Monthly Archives: November 2017

The sun and the sky

Every time someone asked how my week was going this week the only word I had that came to mind was “testing.. it’s been a testing week.”

Was it the new moon? Maybe.

From challenging (albeit normal) bumps in the new business road, long work days, dreary weather, and unexpected fallouts from old support systems- you name it, I probably got it.

Spoiler alert.. the sun still came up in the morning.

Through one of these numerous kicks in the ass from the Universe the last week or so I had, of course, some enlightenment.. and as it often does with me it came in the form of what felt like a stab in the chest reaction to a peers decision making process followed by interpretive dreaming on my part.

^^?? Don’t worry about it.

In my dream I dreamt of mirrors.

In the dreams I woke up surrounded by old comforts but in those old comforts I was faced with reflections that simply were staring me in my face.

I was followed and watched by a transient but related being- with dark, tidal blue eyes that never lost direct contact with my gaze. Still, calm, but undoubtably probing eyes. The being changed forms. Sometimes directly myself, sometimes others from my life’s stories taking different meaning, but yet- the same meaning- every shift in shape.

Through this restless sleep I wandered through (symbolically) a chamber of mirrors, each one simply stating that any answers I was searching for, any change I wanted, was right there. The handbook was mine for the reading. Any analysis, complaint, drama, fallout, burnout I was having was a direct reflection of my own decisions. The only change that I could expect was the shift I made for myself- I woke feeling that I had flipped every comment or concern I’d had about others or situations back on myself.

It was not complicated. It was just plain and simple obvious statements from the abyss.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” CS Lewis.

Over a period of days some of the raw burn out and emotions preceding it settled. I woke this morning to a rising sun, blinding me in the midst of a clear, calm, gentle morning.

Opportunities and ideas came flooding in all day long, unexpectedly, as I embraced the reassurance that everything was going to be.

It will be what it is going to be.

The comforting ability to sit in the calm, quiet, blindingly sunny moment I was in came rushing back.

Do you ever do that? Get so tied up in the past, the future, the endless expectations and reliance on other people’s pasts, futures, and expectations that you forget that all that ever is is only here for a moment at a time?

Staring at the reflections in that dreams wasn’t stressful, hurtful, or unsettling. IN that moment it was exactly what it was. An observation. A small enlightenment. Nothing more, nothing less.

A chance to sit in the still of myself and be still enough to see something staring back out of the waters within.

Wishful Thinking or Panic?

The policies on how we manage low back pain are changing. A new revision to international guidelines in low back pain management will be leading GPs in a new direction when it comes to the initial treatment of a very common condition. Here is the link to the article explaining the revision.

To summarize, the new recommendations point docs towards utilizing movement prescription, yoga, meditation, physical therapies, and psychological therapies INSTEAD or, at least before, using pain medications, or more invasive procedures (like surgery/injections) are commonly prescribed.

This is in response to the growing body of evidence suggesting that pain medications are ineffective in the treatment of low back pain, and the existing, staggering, body of evidence supporting exercise prescription in majority of today’s chronic conditions.

Without delving too far into the complexities of pain management and chronic pain.. it’s safe to say it takes more then either a pharmaceutical or a conservative therapy to be the end all be all. Humans and pain have a long, complicated relationship and it takes a multi-factorial approach to really get to the “cure”.

My initial thoughts reading this article were “YES, FINALLY”.

This is obviously a soap box I stand on daily as an Athletic Therapist and Kinesiologist. I see daily the positive effects of movement prescription and lifestyle change guidance in my clients, and in my peers clients. This isn’t news to us. We also regularly see the negative effects of old school pain management protocols (medications, bedrest, surgeries). More often then not, actually in majority of cases, these old methods only lead to minimal symptom relief and decreased quality of life overall.

One of the issues raised on the new suggestions was the increased burden on the patients to now seek out and pay for unsubsidized services such as psychological consults, therapies, and classes- whereas with medication prescription majority of costs are covered by healthcare.

I get that. I really do.. but I do feel as though it’s a very narrow minded thought.

If we look at the big picture statistics are showing that the pain medications that “don’t cost” the patient anything are not effective. Which means they remain bedridden with pain, dysfunctional, and are at a higher risk for other health conditions. All of this of course costs our economy big bucks- and likely the patient is paying for those medications in other ways. Whether that be in seeking out other therapy regardless of the medications, losing time at work due to persisting symptoms, or spending money on other costly “quick fix” routines in an attempt to mitigate their pain.

Here’s the other issue we run into from the health care viewpoint.. Patients want the easy way, and as a result- Doctors often don’t have the time or energy (or sometimes ability/information) to educate them as to WHY the “easy way” actually isn’t going to serve them long term. I think every practitioner alive comes across a number of patients who drop out of programs, refuse to do their exercises, and/or are not mentally ready to work through the pain or the reasons behind the pain. It’s human nature to want a quick fix- unfortunately when pain arrives often it’s because of layers upon layers of quick fixes or blissful ignorance of a problem that has been brewing for a longer period of time.

How do we help the shift in our systems?

I attended a conference not too long ago where this was a large part of the weekend discussions.

How do we create a more multidisciplinary approach to health, and build relationships between practitioners- largely in an attempt to help the policy makers make shifts to support public access to effective treatment of chronic diseases?

In Canada, we spend upwards of $83 billion a year on healthcare expenses related to inactivity. $37Billion is spent on sick day costs alone, and $6billion a year on pain management prescriptions.

Low Back Pain is in the top two reasons why we go to see the doctor in North American Culture.

Physical Inactivity is linked to 25 of our top chronic diseases and morbidities in Canada- and prescribing movement is statistically and proven as the most effective modality and treatment for all those diseases (along with nutrition and habit change, of course).

This is an issue that is not going to go away with a quick fix.

Creating change starts first with simplifying systems. Both for the primary care practitioners doling out advice and guidance, as well as the patients coming in with a complaint.

Humans trust systems. Even if they complain about the systems, they follow the systems.

It’s becoming clear that the systems we have in place are not the systems that support our overall wellbeing.

It needs to be easy for a physician to send a patient to a trusted, knowledgable resource. When that patient arrives at that resource it needs to be an environment that establishes a system for them, and an atmosphere that supports their process.

In an ideal world we would just flip the system on it’s head. Subsidize practitioner services that support long term health change, tax junk foods and lower costs of locally produced nutritionally dense food, create living spaces and work spaces that make movement the most obvious choice, and build policy in all realms around positive choices, not expensive reactions.

Vs shooting down the systems with the stress and worry of short term growing pains before they have a chance to evolve…

Maybe these short term issues of public expense will create opportunity for the rest of these long term changes to happen. Is that wishful thinking?

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Powerful

“You don’t even know how powerful you are yet”

A friend told me that, earlier this year.

They were right.

This whole year I’ve been in a power struggle with my own being.

I started the year on the fumes of a year full of a “let go” theme. I rolled into the New Year set on shedding and grooming my self care. And in that new routine practice I found a voice that had been waiting.. waiting for a chance to speak.

That voice came out with friends, in self talk, with clients, in my business, and in networking.

It scared me. Often.

Then I noticed.. it only was scary when I tried to hold it in, or didn’t trust it.

The more I got comfortable with speaking the truth pouring out from within- the less terrifying it became. As I learned how to express tact with honesty I saw how my words created power for others.. empowered their own inner dialogue to shift.

In that process I began sensing efficacy in that inner fire. The inner power.

I realized that for so long I associated power with ego, and ego was something I’d worked so hard on releasing attachements to.

But.. are power and ego the same thing?

Not essentially, no.

“You haven’t realized how powerful you are”.. no.. I haven’t. But- I’m learning to experience power and not judge it for inspiring ego. Ego comes with being human- but observing it as part of our being enables it to let go of it’s hold on us.

So I continued to let go, to allow a flow to occur. Things, people, places- they come, they go, they call, they don’t call. It all ebbs and flows.

The pace of our lives sometimes carries us and sometimes we have to exercise control to gain perspective.

Where I sit now I sit in extreme accord with the voice that resides within and the fire that creates action. However I also am at peace with sometimes sitting and letting that voice mature.

My recent trip to Spain was the first travel experience where I honestly didn’t feel the need to reflect, examine, or exercise personal growth tactics.

I just was.

I came home with ideas and thoughts and progressions that I”ve been able to enact with new energy and a stronger voice then before.

I’ve had meetings and experiences since that have caused me to question everything about my experience so far, and how I want to use that experience to create new endeavours and what my purpose is.

I’ve seen love change forms in my life only to strengthen in it’s diversity. Expectations shift from set in stone to malleable elements serving equally those involved. Realities shift from what and who we are taught to be to understanding who we truly are, deep down, and exploring the purpose we all arrive with. Allowing that purpose to take on varying forms.

My life as it stands is wonderful and I look on it every day with newfound gratitude. For the opportunities and the power that resides within me- to give back, to create change, to build the reality I want to exist within.

True unhappiness or unsettledness stems in ignorance of self, distrust in the inner voice.

We learn to listen to that voice through experiencing the smallest moments life brings to us. A client planking for the first time in their two year history with you- and rocking it. A group fitness class that shows enthusiasm for the changes they are ready to make. Listening to an inspiring person in your life speak and feeling blessed to have them in your life. Seeing a friend break through their own internal struggles and let light into their being again.

All these small things are why we are here, and they are only found once we let go enough to let them shine through.

 

(Thank you to Jenaya Larisse Photography for the wonderful portrait 💖)  

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