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Autumn IN THE VALLEY 2012 KEELBOAT RACING

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BACK PAIN RELIEF

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DIABETES FOOT CARE

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A GENERATION ABANDONED

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YOGA FOR YOUR HEART

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www.ComoxValleyHealthAndRecGuide.com


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Table of Contents

Editor’s Note

Keelboat Racing ~ Comox Bay Sailing Club . . . . . . . . . . . 4 by Andrew Wather

Here’s to the ‘Season of Change’! Some of my happiest childhood memories were made walking and kicking the fallen leaves and of course running and jumping into the crunchy leaf pile was great fun too! The autumn brings change to our world all around us, the weather grows cooler, the wind a litte chillier, the sky a little grayer and schedules a little busier. Vacations come to an end along with the lazy summer days, and children of all ages embrace (or begruge) the school bell. The changes every season are inevitable, and some bemoan the constant change on seemingly every landscape we can see, our BC Government is about to have a new cabinet, the United States of America will elect or re-elect a president before our next issue, and sadly, the tragedies we have become all too familiar with continue to unfold around our little blue planet. Gotta say ... it get’s a little tiring. But, thankfully we are ensconsed here in the Comox Valley with an abundance of wonderful food, breathtakingly serene scenery and talented professionals who have chosen to pursue their God given gifts for the sole purpose of helping their fellow human beings manage the chaos and change we are surrounded by ... allowing us to escape all out consumption. Every single article in this issue has a gem waiting in the words. We are so fortunate here in the Valley to have access to such talented and gifted professionals, I encourage you to find the ‘thing’ that works for you to maneuvre through this season with as few battle scars as possible ... Christmas is coming! I would like to pay tribute to the founder of this little magazine that could and HAS for 15 years, Allan Gear. Through unbelievable personal change, seasons of change, swirling chaos that goes with running a magazine, Allan is the calm in the eye of the hurricane. His professionalism is steadfast, his committment to cultivating great information for your health and well being is inspiring and should at the very least make you smile to know someone in the world cares that much about you! Thank you Allan. Enjoy the season of change ... Sincerely, Mary Ruth Harris

Laser Therapy provides relief from BACK PAIN . . . . . . . . . . 6 by Dr. Deidre Macdonald Welcome to the Valley! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 by Norene Wells Diabetes and Foot Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 by Trevor Pritoula Oscar’s Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 by Leslie Sweeney Finding Time to Exercise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 by Raegan Spence The Benefits of Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 by Michelle Henly Heather’s Holistic Hints ~ Desk Syndrome? . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 by Heather Saunders Find an Inner Compass with SoulCollage . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 by Odette Lincoln Warner ABC’s of Good Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 by Patti J. Doyle Breathing your way through . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 by Catherine Dextrase Generational Abandonment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 by Danielle Lambrecht Ancient Wisdom, Present Day Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 by Jennifer Naples Makin’ it Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 by Wes Gietz Yoga For Your Heart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 by Elisabeth Michielsen The Taste of Summer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 by Dianne Goodacre Mood Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 by Esther Kane

PUBLISHER :

Allan Gear

TELEPHONE :

250.339.0252

FACSIMILE : EMAIL :

250.339.2210 alg1@telus.net

EDITOR & GRAPHICS : Mary Ruth Harris Comox Valley Health & Recreation Guide is published 4 times a year. All rights are reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for, and does not endorse, the contents of any advertisement herein, and all representations or warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not the publisher. The publisher is not liable to any advertiser for any misprint(s) in or about the advertisement that is not the direct fault of the publisher. And, in such an event, the limit of the liability shall not exceed the amount of the publishers charges for such advertising. Articles published in Comox Valley Health & Recreation Guide are not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. YEARLY SUBSCRIPTIONS AVAILABLE ~ $10.00 postage paid

~ 2012 WINTER ISSUE ~

Article submissions on Health & Recreation in the Comox Valley are required by November 1st, 2012 & Ad Submissions are required by November 15 th, 2012. Submission Guidelines can be found on our web site. www.comoxhealthandrecguide.com

CV Health & Recreation Guide

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Keelboat Racing ~ Comox Bay Sailing Club by Andrew Wather

The Comox Valley is one of the most beautiful settings in the world for outdoor recreation, and when you consider the amount of water surrounding us, it’s no wonder that the sport of sailing attracts so many

enthusiasts in our area. The The Comox Bay Sailing Club (CBSC) was founded by a group of local sailors in 1965, and has grown to support a large membership base who actively make use of the club’s dinghy sailing fleet, in addition to participating in the spring and fall keelboat races. The CBSC has a long history of supporting keelboat and dinghy sailing in both competitive and recreational capacities. We are actively gearing up for our fall keelboat racing program, which kicks off with the Round Denman Island race on September 8th and 9th. This race is a fun opener to the fall racing series, where skippers and their crew race to Deep Bay on the Saturday, enjoy a BBQ on the docks on Saturday evening, and then race again back to Comox on the Sunday. We encourage and welcome participation from all sailors and their boats in the area. The club is open to a “cruising / introductory division” for skippers who would like to get involved, but may not have much experiencing with racing. If there is sufficient interest, we will offer

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an evening of instruction prior to the Round Denman Race, where starting techniques and racing strategies will be discussed. The fall racing continues with the Fall Series - 4 races held between September 23 and October 14, the Fall Pursuit Race on October 28, and finishes with the Rum Race on November 4, where the winning team gets to celebrate their victory with a bottle of rum! It does not matter what type of boat is raced as we use a handicap system to allow for the various speeds that boats travel at. We even use a performance based rating system which constantly adjusts to make the “better” sailors work harder to keep winning race after race! If you don’t have a boat but are wanting to get involved, no problem, there are often times spaces available on the actively racing keelboats and newbies are always welcome! The spring racing begins again in early April with the Champagne Cup, and a number of races continue through May, June and July - so there is lots of opportunity to get involved! Also keep your eye open for the summer keelboat racing course offered through the Courtenay Recreation Guide. CBSC keelboat racing is a fun way to enjoy time with friends and to get your boat sailing. The CBSC membership is comprised of both novice and experienced sailors alike, with the latter more than

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willing to spend time and energy helping you with the starts, and getting your boat around the course. One of our primary prerogatives is for increased involvement with our keelboat racing program, and we are wholeheartedly committed to supporting this initiative through exposure and education. The Comox Bay Sailing Club has produced high level sailors in the past (Vic Maui, Nanaimo SIN Regatta winners) and have sent sailors to National and International Events from the Mediterranean to Nova Scotia. For more information please visit our web site www. comoxbaysailingclub.ca or contact us by email at cbscsailing@ gmail.com or by phone 250.941.1422.

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Laser Therapy provides relief from BACK PAIN by Dr. Deidre Macdonald, ND

Back pain affects 80% of people at some point in their life. It is a major cause of loss of work, decreased life satisfaction, reduced activity and overuse of medication. A state of the art therapy for back pain called Low Level Laser therapy, is available in the Comox Valley. This technology has brought relief to 1000’s of back pain sufferers. Practitioners who use it consistently state that laser therapy is the most effective, painless and non-invasive way to reduce inflammation and control pain. What causes back pain: Back pain can be caused by the muscles and other soft tissue or by the vertebrae and nerves. Most back pain is caused by the muscles, ligaments and tendons with muscle spasm and inflammation being present in most back issues. A common cause of vertebral back issues is degeneration of the structures of the spine, often causing pinched nerves. Spinal stenosis, or impingement of the spinal cord and nerves, can be caused by, among other things, inflammation of the ligaments which encase the spinal cord. True disc problems only account for about 5% of cases of back pain. In fact, many people’s spines have bulging discs, but they will only experience pain if there is inflammation present. Inflammation and damaged, degenerated structures account for most back pain. Therefore, treatments should aim to reduce inflammation and reverse degeneration. Traditional treatments: The first response for many back pain sufferers is to go to their medical doctor who may order x-rays, MRI or CT. While it is essential to

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CV Health & Recreation Guide

attempt to diagnose the source of the problem, the treatment options available to MD’s are very limited. Surgery is only appropriate for about 5% of back pain sufferers. Pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs may provide some needed short term relief, but they don’t address the cause of the problem or promote tissue healing.In addition, anti-inflammatories are very hard on the stomach lining and other organs of the body. The newer COX-2 inhibitors are no more effective than the older anti-inflammatories, cause only slightly less stomach problems, and are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events. Alternatively, chiropractic manipulation can help to align and mobilize the spine and pelvis, which is very important. It is not able to directly reduce inflammation and may be uncomfortable in an acutely inflamed back. Massage is important to improve circulation, drainage and to break up trigger points in the muscles. However, it can’t treat the inflammation and tissue damage that is inherent in back pain. Laser therapy: Laser therapy is a treatment which is scientifically proven to target the inflammation and tissue damage that cause most back pain. Whether it is


used alone or in combination with other treatments, it is a very effective therapy for giving people relief from back pain and allowing them to resume their activities. The esteemed medical review panel, The Cochran Review, found 5 well designed scientific studies showing that laser therapy was effective for back pain. In a study tracking 100 patients with confirmed disc problems, 90% of them resolved within 14 treatments with a state of the art laser machine. In addition, laser therapy has been proven to give long term relief from arthritis pain. How does laser therapy work: Low level laser therapy stimulates restoration of function at many levels. In essence it promotes the healing of tissues from the skin to the deep spinal structures by increasing cellular ATP (fuel) output, improving circulation and lymphatic drainage, reducing inflammatory chemicals, and promoting cellular replication and collagen synthesis. The net effect is that healing occurs on the level of the muscles, bones, ligaments, nerves and tendons and pain is reduced or eliminated. Dr. Macdonald’s comments: “Over the 15 years I have practiced as a naturopathic physician, I have seen so many people suffer from back pain, arthritis, and joint pain. It has given me great satisfaction to now have the ability to provide relief to patients who had tried so many other therapies and yet still suffered with chronic pain. If a course of laser therapy can reduce pain and allow my patient to increase their exercise

and reduce their pain medications, then I know their long term health has been positively impacted. In fact, I was one of those people. After 6 years and 13 different practitioners, I was still suffering from chronic back pain. Laser therapy provided relief within a few sessions. I continue to use the laser therapy to heal up all the sports injuries I incur now that I am able to exercise vigorously again!“ The Meditech difference: Not all lasers are created equal. Older technology consists of a single low powered probe. Now, high powered probes are coupled with large, flexible light pads that can be wrapped around injured tissue to saturate larger areas with light therapy. Meditech is a Canadian company run by a vascular surgeon their equipment is state of the art. Their machines can be found in 380 clinics around North America, including professional sports teams and hospitals as well as Dr. Macdonald’s naturopathic medical clinic in Courtenay. This powerful technology has helped thousands of people relieve the pain of spinal stenosis, sciatica, degenerative spinal conditions, arthritis, neck issues and more. For information about booking a no-charge, no obligation 15 minute laser therapy consultation with Dr. Deidre Macdonald contact her at 250.897.0235 or via www. getwellhere.com. Dr. Macdonald is a naturopathic physician who has been practicing medicine for 15 years.

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7


“Welcome to the Valley!” by Norene Wells

Locals have unwittingly coined a ‘catch phrase’! I must have heard the friendly greeting, ‘Welcome to the Valley!’ dozens of times during my first months in the Comox Valley. Having moved from busy Alberta, I was warmed by the genuine island welcome I received from local store clerks, tradesmen, neighbors and passers by. I know it is said ‘you get what you give’, and in retrospect, I am quite sure that I was bubbling over with excitement for my new home and likely a little overenthusiastic in telling everyone that I had just moved here and so people were bound to be kind and friendly. But, in any case, I took the welcome to heart, and continue to be thrilled with my surroundings. Even a trip to the grocery store for a loaf of bread was a feast for the eyes with sunshine on snowcapped mountains and green gardens all winter long. Despite the gray of the ocean in storm season a newcomer will be driving around with a smile on their face. Soon though, newcomers to town will find that they need more than spectacular geography. Leaving behind family, old friends and often, a career, means

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there is an emotional void and we find that we need to build a new support network, one that is immediate and local. This is where the Comox Valley Newcomers Club comes in. Newcomers is a national non-profit organization for women formed in the 1960’s in Calgary; the vibrant Comox Valley Newcomers Club came into being in 1988. Primarily and unapologetically a social club, Newcomers is a friendly, warm and welcoming group of woman who have to have been in the valley less than 2 years. Walking into one’s first Newcomer’s meeting can be daunting, as the din of dozens of women happily sharing their adventures and discoveries in the last month greets you, until you realize that all of these women too are ‘Newcomers’ to the valley. Membership is only for 3 years so is always renewing. This is how Newcomers Club works and this is women at their best. Immediate support and friendship for what can be a difficult transition, makes making a new home an adventure and a pleasure. Newcomers meet once a month but the great variety

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of activities held weekly keeps Newcomers busy with various fitness and special interest groups. From Mt. Washington snow shoeing and skiing, from motor biking, bicycling, and hiking to bridge, book clubs and home décor, there are, at last count, 20 activity clubs. New groups evolve as new members come up with ideas and needs. Easy ways to start meeting friends are Newcomer coffee parties, and co-ed ‘appie’ nights, dinner parties or pub nights. Attend a monthly Newcomer meeting, sign up for the nominal fee of $35 and you are immediately among friends. The club is open to women age 19 and over but many meetings and activities include partners such as the Christmas party, the spring beach BBQ and informative evenings about our new home with speakers such as local artist Andy Everson, who recently spoke on Native Culture, and Paul Berry, who gave an insider’s perspective on Rescue Operations of the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSR) team. Social networking is a buzzword of today but while Facebook, Twitter and Link’d are virtual networks,

Comox Valley Newcomers is the real deal, the manifestation of a social network. Real fun, real fitness and real connections that give emotional support while you explore your new home. If you’d like to join the smiling faces of Comox Valley Newcomers we welcome you to our club and our valley! For more information for Comox Valley Newcomers please visit our web site www.cvnewcomers.net.

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Diabetes and Foot Care by Trevor Pritoula, C. Ped. C

There are approximately 2 million Canadians currently living with diabetes. It is estimated that foot problems associated with their diabetic condition will affect as many as 10% of this population. Diabetes (or more correctly, diabetes mellitus) is a chronic disease where there is an elevated blood glucose within the body. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the body deal with sugar (glucose) in the diet. When diabetes is present, either the body produces less or no insulin - Type One / Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) OR Type Two / noninsulin dependant diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) when the body tissues cannot effectively utilize the insulin that is produced. This results in higher levels of glucose in the blood, which can damage a whole range of body tissues and organs. I have had many clients with NIDDM refer to their diabetic condition as “only Type 2”, however it must be stated that both types of this condition are vulnerable to developing an array of side effects.

The foot and lower extremity is especially affected by diabetes because: Elevated blood glucose damages the nerves (damage can occur to the foot and not be detected) this is called peripheral neuropathy. Elevated glucose within the bloodstream damages the inside of arteries, affecting the circulation. Vascular disease causes a decrease circulation in the feet and lower limbs, diminishing the health of the tissues and can impact the ability of the body to heal when damage occurs. Those with diabetes are more prone to infection. The body’s processes that normally fight infection respond slower and often have trouble getting to infections due to the poor circulation. Diabetes is also believed to affect joints, making them stiff and painful. Other complications of diabetes that can indirectly affect the foot are kidney disease (affects proteins that are involved in wound healing) and eye disease (example, Retinopathy) whereby person may be unable to see feet in order to check for damage.

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As a consequence of these factors a number of things can occur: Areas of the foot may incur injury and you do not know about. For example, your shoe rubs a sore onto a toe that gets infected - you cannot feel it because of the peripheral neuropathy, you can not heal very well due to the infection and poor circulation. Charcot’s joints and foot (Neuropathic Osteoarthropathy) is a progressive degeneration of a weight-bearing bones and joints, marked by bony destruction, bone resorption and eventually deformity. The lack of sensation in the feet make individual unaware of the fractures and they continue to walk on essentially broken EFULLY CHECK OVER THIS bones. Foot ulcerations and wounds. Infections can become more wide-spread. The ultimate of this process is an amputation. DID YOU KNOW THAT Diabetes is the main cause of amputations?! OUR SIXTH YEAR! Too much pressure on an area causes the majority OXof VALLEY foot complications and the skin just “breaks down”. They can occur alone or under corns and callus (thickened skin, which usually develops in areas of REQUESTED pressure and stress on the skin). A recent study, conducted by the Institute for Neuroscience and approval to FAX 339-2210 or Muscle Research confirms that 9-0252 - ALLANorthoses GEAR custom are a superior means in reducing nally if you wish to discuss your advertisement.” plantar pressures on the foot by redistributing excessive forces and pressure and better attenuating damaging stress on the foot anatomy. Preventative Foot Care There are several daily steps that one can take to decrease the likelihood of suffering from foot complications associated diabetes including:

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Recreation Guide

• Daily foot inspection, looking on foot and between toes for redness, swelling, broken skin, sores or bleeding. One should see a doctor immediately if any of these problems are present. • Wear appropriate footwear in and outdoors. Avoid bare feet. • Wash feet daily with warm (not hot), soapy water. Avoid soaking feet as this can dry skin. Dry well, cleaning between toes. • Apply sparse amount of lotion to sole and to the top of feet. Do not apply lotion between toes. • Feet may feel cold but avoid heat pads and hot water bottles. If there is a lack of sensation, it may be too hot and cause a burn. Instead, wear warmer socks and thermal underwear to keep extremities warm. • Avoid socks with heavy seams or that are too constrictive. • Cut nails straight across. If vision is compromised, and there is neuropathy or vascular problems present or there is difficulty reaching feet please see a foot care nurse or podiatrist on a regular basis. • Good general health habits such as diet and exercise to maintain good blood sugar levels are important and please avoid smoking. • Shoe selection is vital to those living with diabetes. Canadian Certified Pedorthists are trained to troubleshoot foot and shoe fit issues in order to reduce the risk of developing a foot complication. Additionally, appropriate use of foot orthotics and footwear and footwear modifications, pedorthist’s are able to alleviate the effects of lower limb and foot abnormalities to help prevent foot problems BEFORE they begin!

ANNE LAI LPN Foot Care Nurse In Home Nursing Foot Care phone 250-897-2538 897-2538 email - alai28@telus.net

CV Health & Recreation Guide

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Oscar’s Fund by Leslie Sweeney

‘OSCAR’S FUND’ was established by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital in 2012 for the purpose of reaching out in the community to assist with families who are facing financial challenges and who have pets that need medical attention.

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The fund was created to assist ‘People and Pets in need’ by subsidizing the cost of veterinary care for their sick or injured pets. Anyone who has ever visited Van Isle Veterinary Hospital has likely had the privilege of meeting ‘Oscar’! He became part of our team in 2002. After being adopted from the SPCA, he developed several health issues which were unmanageable to his family ... and he was scheduled for euthanasia. The staff at Van Isle decided to give him a second chance and recruited him to the team! As you may know, Oscar is a 20 pound cream coloured tabby cat that is normally lounging on the front counter, and if you happen to be standing there, you can expect to be giving Oscar a little lovin’! 10 years later, Oscar wants to show his appreciation for his good fortune and extend a little help to other pets that may need a second chance too. Medical studies on the human-animal bond reveal that pet owners are more likely to have reduced stress levels, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They also experience fewer heart attacks than people without. Chances are you’ll live longer if you own a pet! Properly caring for a pet can also be expensive, especially if they unexpectedly become sick or injured. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to cope with the cost of the veterinary care that may be necessary to save or prolong their life. We feel that everyone should be fortunate enough to own a pet regardless of their financial situation. Together, as a community with the help of OSCAR’S FUND, we can affect the lives of people and pets that may not otherwise be able to obtain treatment due to their financial situation. The first recipient to our Oscar’s Fund is a little brown domestic shorthair cat named ‘Cola’! Cola underwent surgery to remove her eye after being hit by a car. You may recognize her as the friendly little girl who greets the customers in the parking lot at the Merville General Store. Thanks to Dr. Bernauer, and the generous donations to Oscar’s fund, Cola is going to be just fine and will likely resume her role as the greeter at the store shortly! Van Isle Veterinary Hospital will be posting success stories of the pet’s that Oscar’s Fund has been able to help on their Facebook page - www.facebook.com/ vanislevet and their web site www.vanislevet.com.


Finding Time to Exercise

Work Hard.

by Raegan Spence, Recreation Coordinator

Play Hard. Be Active!

If you’re like most people, finding time for exercise is difficult. Do you wonder how other people do it? You know the kind, the ones you see with their workout bag in their hand heading out the door when you are going to pull a double shift or just coming home after putting in your regular 12 hour day. Let’s be honest, on your list of priorities, where does exercise fall? Is it even on your list? Are you waiting for your schedule to ease up, waiting for the weather to cool off (or heat up), for school to end or start? The reality is that there’s never a right time to get moving. It’s now or never. 1. Make exercise a priority - We all make time in our lives for the things that are most important to us. If you were told you would receive a million dollars if you exercised everyday for the next 30 days, would you do it? Sure you would, because it would suddenly become a priority. So, make it a priority in your life. 2. Block out the same time period everyday for exercise - It becomes part of your daily routine just like brushing your teeth. Guard this time period like your life depends on it. It’s time to take care of yourself! 3. Find the best time for your lifestyle - Find the time that your exercise routine is least likely to get interrupted by other things. 4. Wake up earlier in the morning to exercise Try going to sleep a little earlier and getting up a little earlier to get your exercise done first thing. 5. Spend 30 minutes or so exercising on your lunch break. 6. Visit with your spouse or friend while walking around the neighborhood rather than sitting on the couch. 7. Take a couple of days to write down how you spend your time every day, and then determine how you can better use your time to fit in exercise. Even if you find the time, the best exercise programs sometimes become derailed by lack of motivation. If you find yourself becoming bored, think of new ways to keep fit. Take a class on yoga, dancing, swimming or tennis. Why not invite a partner to sign up for a class with you! So, what are you waiting for? If you are reluctant to start without a doctor’s approval, make that appointment today! Exercise is too important to wait! CV Health & Recreation Guide

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The Benefits of Dance by Michelle Henly Children are constantly growing and changing and live in a world that does not always meet their health needs. With more access to vehicles, remote controls, TV and computers, an increased consumption of sugars and fats, fitness levels are decreasing in children - a worry when one considers the effects such inactivity can have in adulthood. It is essential that children be encouraged to participate in activities that benefit all aspects of their development.

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One such activity, that is so enjoyable it hardly feels like exercise, is DANCE! Intellectually, socially and physically, the benefits of participating in dance for children of all ages are overwhelmingly positive. Dance teaches listening skills, partnerships, respect for fellow students and teachers, musicality, stimulates imagination, encourages expression and most importantly creates interest in the joy of movement and instils a life-long love for exercise. Dance, whatever the style, allows the student to enjoy many health benefits: 1. Aerobic Workout Cardio increases physical fitness benefiting the heart by lowering the risk of heart disease, strengthens the cardiovascular system, and increases energy, stamina and lung capacity. (Fact: “The muscle exertion and breathing rates of dancers performing in one dance competition is equivalent to those of cyclists, swimmers, and an Olympic-level 800-meter runner.” Craddock) 2. Calorie Blaster It is estimated dancing burns 5-10 calories per minute depending on the speed and intensity of the dance. This leads to an increased metabolic rate, which builds lean muscle, burns fat and deters being overweight. 3. Better Bones & Blood Dance raises our HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers LDL (bad cholesterol). It Aids in blood sugar control – preventing diabetes. AND, it prevents Osteoporosis 4. Prevents Injuries Dance requires a high degree of balance, which strengthens stabilizer muscles, protects the core and keeps us less prone to injury. It helps to improve flexibility – less likely to sustain injury if more flexible


5. Mental Fitness Dance exercises all areas of the brain as the dancer is required to memorize routines, recall steps, patterns, be aware of spatial inter-relations and calculate rhythms. It has been demonstrated to show improved mathematical skills. ANd, dance keeps the mind young, alert and quick and is shown to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. 6. Therapeutic Dance raises endorphin levels - the feel good chemicals in the body that help to prevent and improve stress and depression. It Establishes self-confidence and harmony between the mind and body creating a sense of well-being and it is a wonderful creative outlet. 7. Discipline Skills are learned that will be useful throughout life i.e. teamwork, patience and perseverance as one endeavours on a project until completion, proper nutrition and excellent grooming habits. 8. Social Dance is fun! It is a form of recreation and entertainment. Dance class gives children the chance to make new friends that will develop into long lasting friendships. 9. Builds confidence & self-esteem Dance is great for good posture. Opportunities to build confidence in front of an audience and a sense of accomplishment. 10. Promotes Healthy living Studies show children who are active before 12 years of age remain active throughout their lives. At an early age children are aware of bodies, nutrition, benefits of exercise and joy of it. Involvment in Dance and sport keeps children and teens focused on participating, which in turns protects them from possible trouble. Dr. Pinki Sahota stresses the importance of “… encouraging children… to continue to participate in any form of activity and build a lifelong interest so they can sustain it in later years.” We at Triple Heat Dance – Academy of Performing Arts strive to make dance a joyful and life-long experience. We offer classes to students of all ages, from 2yrs to Adults. Come on out and dance with us!

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15


Heather’s Holistic Hints ~ Desk Syndrome? by Heather Sanuders, RMT

Plagued by poor posture from sitting at a desk all day? More and more people are working at desks and spending more of their free time in front of computers. Anyone who does this for long enough will start to develop ... the ‘Perma-Slouch’. The back leans over the desk in the shape of a C, the shoulders roll forward and the head juts out away from the body.

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Sounds comfortable, no? I’m going to break down some symptoms to show how and why people’s seemingly random aches and pains are connected, and how they can start reversing the process. Let’s start with the back. As I’ve mentioned in a previous Facebook post, our bones remodel themselves over time. So, over time the constant slouch and C shape of our backs slowly becomes permanent. Because so much force is being wedged on the front part of the spinal column this can also lead to compression fractures in the vertebral bodies as and our bones get weaker with age. Not only are the joints affected however. The muscles become weak because we aren’t engaging the musculature normally called on for proper posture. The combination of a weak core and back and the wedging in the spine can lead to disc issues, which in turn can push on nerves and cause pain in the back and legs and could eventually lead to more muscle weakness and altered sensation and function. The reason it seems so uncomfortable to sit up straight is because those muscles that keep the spine erect are weak and tire easily. It’s much easier to lean forward and support our body on a desk or our arms, but this doesn’t help fix the problem. When the shoulders roll forward, a few things happen. First of all, the pectoral muscles become tight

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and short and may produce a lot of pain in the chest and arms when they develop trigger points. Secondly, the opposing muscles in the back between the shoulder blades become very stretched out and weak. Between the short front muscles and the weak back muscles, it becomes difficult, though not impossible, to correct the posture. Thirdly, have you ever tried slouching your shoulders forward but keeping your head where it’s supposed to be? It’s extremely uncomfortable! This is why your neck and head start to stick out front as well. Last but not least, the shoulder and neck joints are no longer sitting where they are meant to and joint pain and range of motion issues can occur. Try sitting up straight and bringing both arms out away from your sides, bringing your palms together above your head. Now try doing that while slouched forward... With head forward posture the muscles at the front of the neck and the base of the skull become short and tight. Muscles in the front of the neck cause pain referrals all through the head, jaw and neck and arms, while the muscles at the base of the skull typically cause local headaches. Finally, because head position is altered, the jaw sits differently and joint problems can arise. There may be painful movement, difficulty with chewing, or clicking/popping noises. Tight muscles around the jaw and issues with the joint can also cause hearing disturbances since it’s so close to the inner ear.

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Play around with head position and a slack jaw, and pay attention to how your jaw and teeth sit (comparing the top row of teeth with the bottom row of teeth). Try having your head forward, back, neutral, and tipped side to side. Of course, not everyone will experience every single symptom I’ve listed above, and thank goodness for that! But if you have a few of these and know that your posture reflects what I’ve described, you may want to do something about it! It’s a very unconscious habit that’s difficult to break, but it’s not impossible! Lots of people complain that fixing the posture is uncomfortable and sometimes creates some pain at first. The reason this happens is because our bodies have become accustomed to their usual position, whether it’s good or not. Someone with good posture would experience the exact same thing if they suddenly started slouching around! Change of muscle and joint position = some discomfort, but as long as you’re moving in a healthy direction, its’ worth it in the end! How do we move in this direction and fix things? First is awareness. Put post-it’s or stickers around the house or work place or car to jog your memory and tune into your posture. Stretch out your Pectoralis Major muscle and focus on keeping your shoulders back (Find instructions for this stretch on my website!). Start strengthening the muscle between your shoulder blades. To do this, squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other/the spine and then draw them down, as though sliding them into your back pocket! Now, your shoulder blades won’t actually touch, and they’ll never come close to your pockets, but the visualization will help get the right motion going. The wonderful thing with the head and neck is that they will naturally begin to follow your shoulders. So start there! Please visit my web site for more free resources, past articles, and other relevant posts in my blog. Check out my stretching page which provides step by step instructions with pictures as well as explanations for why a specific stretch may need to be used. ‘Like’ my Facebook page for weekly posts on various health related topics and links to other helpful resources in the valley! To contact me please call 250-339-9912 or visit my web site at www.heathersaundersrmt.com or drop by my office at #207-1819 Beaufort Avenue Comox. CV Health & Recreation Guide

17


Find an Inner Compass with SoulCollage® by Odette Lincoln Warner

Today, we know from the news that, in addition to the usual changes that life always brings, many people are facing numerous transitions in jobs, finances, and homes. What if, in the middle of a transition or at a crossroads there was a way to get some really helpful guidance with a decision one had to make? SoulCollage®, an intuitive collage process is one way some people find their answers and at the same time are able to rest, play, and have fun. SoulCollage® has been doing this for over a decade with thousands of people and has trained Facilitators who are practicing in 42 states and 18 countries. What kinds of questions do people ask about their challenges or reshaping their lives? Here are some examples: “How should I approach the particular challenge I have?” “If I decide to take this particular road ahead, what might help me and what might get in the way?” “What might help me take care of myself and stay healthy with all this stress?” These are just three of the infinite questions one might ask oneself in doing a ‘reading’ with one’s very own SoulCollage® card

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deck. Following simple directions, the individual SoulCollage® cards will ‘speak’ back to the one who made them and offer access to the card maker’s own inner wisdom. How does one make such a deck? Looking in on a SoulCollage® workshop, one would see people who had decided to take a little time just for themselves. They are seated around a table, scissors and glue in front of them. They are having fun leafing through old magazines, old photos, and catalogues. Some of them already have a stack of pages in front of them that they have torn out. As they look through the magazines, some images ‘grab’ them. Although they didn’t understand why exactly, they felt an emotional connection with that image and tore out that page. They cut carefully around the image and moved it around on a background they have chosen until it feels right. Then they glue it down on a mat board card. The SoulCollage® card practically makes itself. It is hard to believe it is that simple. Yet the answers to questions the card maker poses can be surprisingly

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VALLEY VALLEY deep when that chosenCOMOX imageCOMOX finds its voice. The best Health Health & Recreation & Recreation Guide part is that this wisdom comes from inside the card Guide Your Approval Your Approval is requested is requested ~ ~ maker - no fortune telling or fortune tellers involved; ThankThank You! You! Featuring Fine Italian Cuisine no experience with art necessary – and if you enjoy339-2210 Your changes Your changes or approval or approval to FAX. to FAX. 339-2210 or PH. 339-0252 or PH. 339-0252 - ALLAN - ALLAN GEAR. GEAR. scrapbooking, you’ll love SoulCollage®! “I will stop “I will by stop and see by and you see personally you personally Seena B. Frost, founder of SoulCollage®, if you wish if you to wish discuss to discuss your advertisement.” your advertisement.” Wendy & Bill Meade (250) 890-7575 140 Port Augusta, Comox BC V9M 3N6 published a follow up book that came out in the fall of 2010 entitled, SoulCollage® Evolving: an Intuitive Collage Process for Self-Discovery and Community M.V. LadyM.V. Rose Lady • M.V. RoseFrances • M.V. Barkley Frances Barkley (Hanford Mead Publishers). The basic instructions for Day trips to Day Barkley trips to Sound Barkley andSound Sechart and Sechart doing SoulCollage® are in it. The book also describes • Kayak Rentals • Kayak Rentals • Sightseeing • Sightseeing the many ways that all kinds of people in many • Lodging • Lodging & Meals& Meals community, spiritual, and professional contexts are www.ladyrosemarine.com www.ladyrosemarine.com using SoulCollage®. An accessible, inexpensive, and simple process, SoulCollage® inspires creativity and helps develop real community and balanced lifestyle. Reservations Reservations & & Odette Lincoln Warner is a local trained SoulCollage® InformationInformation Facilitator who is offering her next SoulCollage® workshop (250) 723-8313 (250) 723-8313 1-800-663-7192 1-800-663-7192 series this fall at Innisfree Farm, entitled, “Divorce, Separation 5425 Argyle 5425 Street, Argyle Street, and the Art of Flying! Please contact moonlightMandalas@ Port Alberni Port Alberni gmail.com or call 250.331.9339 for more information. Living Light Home Services Odette Lincoln Warner Chief Scrubber

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19


ABC’s of Good Health by Patti J. Doyle, BScPT, BScP.Ed, OCS

I’ve always told people the A component for their health stood for alignment as when it is altered the joints and other body parts become misused and symptoms will arise. I have since learned another important A for good health is the Artery. Its influence on our body’s alignment is immense. The brain is the control tower for all the systems in our body. The muscular system, the nervous system, the vascular system, and endocrine system etc. Our central nervous system is constantly making decisions and adjustments based on information it receives from these systems through the brain. It prioritizes what is most vital to the brain and our systems health. The artery or blood supply is paramount to the brain as it

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can become permanently damaged if its oxygen supply is cut off for more than a few minutes. The brain will recruit other tissues to tighten and protect an artery under stress from scar tissue or other adhesions in its environment. An example of this pattern is with a “frozen shoulder” scenario that does not rectify with working the muscular and skeletal components of the shoulder and spine. At the shoulder, the main artery that supplies the arm is called the subclavian. It is located under the collar bone as it makes its way to the shoulder from the common carotid artery in the neck. When its mobility has been limited due to adhesions it can not glide and elongate as the limb moves out and away from the body. Small mechanoreceptors (record stretch) send signals to the brain that this vital tissue (tube) is in distress and the brain responds with LOCK DOWN of the muscular skeletal systems and possibly even nervous system. What this can look like is a temporary relaxation of the shoulder and neck muscles after they have been manipulated by a therapist without a total release being achieved. Commonly the shoulder joint will tighten immediately when the person tries to move the arm into a range that puts the artery on a stretch again. The vascular system is quite deep and requires a specific manual technique to help release adhesions in this layer. I have found just working the muscle and/or the

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ACUPUNCTURE joint tissues with these people is not only frustrating but limiting. The manual technique of mobilizing the tissue around the artery is called vascular manipulation. It is a very subtle and highly precise manual therapy technique with amazing results. If the vessel has been restricted for quite a long time a person may experience other kinds of symptoms that are more related to the vascular system as well as their musculoskeletal issues. If an area of the body’s blood flow is compromised there can be an ache or a coolness indicative of poor blood flow. The artery travels in the same fascial tube as the nerve therefore often their may be some tingling or numbness experienced down the arm and into the hand when the tissue around these structures is tight. The real goal of manual therapy is to evaluate and assess what tissue is at fault and causing other systems to be symptomatic. Once that has been determined then the particular type of technique to be used can be decided and the most effective treatment administered. If you have experienced some of these symptoms and feel this type of manual therapy may be of benefit for you look for a practitioner in your area that has some vascular or neural manual therapy training. Happy hunting and keep your tissues moving ... all of them!

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21


Breathing your way through... by Catherine Dextrase, CST

Something so simple and powerful as the breath can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and help us cope with chronic pain and difficult moments in our lives. A slower, fuller breath can help to calm the nervous system and bring us into a more rational, intuitive response state as opposed to shallow, quick breathing that can be characteristic of a fight, flight or freeze response. Extending the breath in length (which will affect the depth) to 6 seconds inhalation and exhalation over a period of five minutes / day can dramatically increase the relaxation response in the body, which in turn will melt stress… Many alternative health practices such as Yoga, Soma tics, Meditation to name a few focus on using the breath as a point of focus and also a way to deepen awareness and movement into facial stretching. You can find a focus point deep in the lungs or even at the end of your nose during meditation, and if you find yourself in a yoga posture where, if by chance you feel not much is happening, you can all of a sudden

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deepen your movement and extend your fascia into a lovely place that will help move any stagnation or stuck energy right on through. You simply let the breath flow into the area of the body you are focusing on. Respiration not only happens with the lungs- the Cranio Sacral System (brain, spinal cord and fluids) also has a respiratory cycle with an inhalation and an exhalation. Just as a shallow breath to the lungs can wind up the nervous system and increase the cycle of stress response, the cranial rhythms can show us where the body holds tension and strain patterns in it’s Cranial Rhythmic Impulse. This involves phases of expansion and contraction. In the inhalation the body widens and shortens, and on the exhale the body narrows and elongates. There is a beautiful video on YouTube of the cranial rhythm of the bones of the head as well as that of the whole body- just search for Cranial Rhythmic Impulse. You may find also information on Biodynamic Rhythms, which is another Cycle that involves an expansive phase and a contraction phase, just as the breath into our lungs and the cranial fluid throughout the brain and spinal cord. The physiology of breathing is a beautiful, dynamic process that we ignore throughout most of our days. After all, if we did focus mainly on the physiological happenings of our bodies, we would perhaps not have much attention left for anything else- there is so much going on! But breathe slowly and fully as much as possible and enjoy the benefits of the clean, fresh air we have access to in this valley! Catherine is a Cranio Sacral Therapist and Intuitive healer in the Comox Valley.

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Generational Abandonment by Danielle Lambrecht, M.C., CCC.

As a counselor, I have worked with many individuals and families who seem to be suffering with emotional pain, loss, and grief over never having a family that could meet their childhood needs. As these individuals grew up they felt unloved, inadequate, and undeserving of love. As a counselor, many clients see me because they are haunted by negative core beliefs about themselves and how these beliefs are affecting them as adults in negative ways. I believe that many families try their best in loving their wives, husbands, sons and daughters; however, due to their own family upbringing they can give only what they have learned. Consequently, a pattern in generations can develop as the lack of emotional skills can affect the next offspring. This is what I call “generational abandonment”. As a counselor, I have seen generational problems being handed down to the next generation. Often my clients are third or fourth generation family members who have learned how to feel unworthy, deficient, or defective without knowing what the reasons are. When I do get a clear picture of generational abandonment I like to tell my clients that this is no one’s fault not your- mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers and so on. Usually most families try their best at least that is what I have found; however, sometimes it is not enough. The main issues that keep cropping up for clients is they feel abandoned, they lack emotional connections, feel victimized, have unnecessary guilt and shame, episodes of depression and anxiety, difficulty trusting people, and some struggle with addictions. The main reason I am writing this article is for all those who can

250.898.9847 Danielle Lambrecht, M.C., CCC. I provide counselling for couples, individuals, and speciality groups. My field of expertise is in Mental Health and Addiction issues. www.daniellelambrecht.ca 280-B Anderton Road, Comox, V9M 1Y2

relate to the experiences of generational abandonment and are struggling with the issues I have written about. You are not alone and I believe with work you can change this generational pattern. When I work with clients I reiterate over and over again “this is not too blame anyone”, and it is not. This issue is about understanding yourself and how generational abandonment has affected you. If you are struggling to make friendships or have intimate, safe relationships because you cannot trust people for fear of abandonment I can help you. If you want to feel and express your emotions but you have not learned that in your family of origin I can help you. Struggling with depression and anxiety due to lack of social skills, isolation, and fear of getting close to people will continue the cycle that you are most likely fed up with, if this is true, I can assist you. I believe most people want to feel they are important, and matter to another, but just cannot cross that bridge and reach out it is because generational abandonment is alive. If past family issues seem to be affecting your current life and you are looking to make a change for yourself, call me at: 250.898.9057 or email me at: danielle. lambrecht@shaw.ca to make a counseling appointment. Danielle can be found on facebook, twitter, and counsellingbc.com. She also takes clients through the Crimes Victims Assistance Program.

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23


Ancient Wisdom, Present Day Benefits by Jennifer Naples

because they work. Even Oprah Windfrey proudly told her audience on her national television show one May that her favourite type of massage is Thai. She loves The title of my favourite text book in college how relaxing it is, and how it gives her more flexibility. captures it perfectly: Eastern Body, Western Mind, a As with all Eastern modalities, Thai Massage, succinct description of how we, as a Western culture Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy look at all that you ingest have embraced, with enthusiasm, century old practices from your senses, your mouth, your environment, your from the East in our quest for health and wellness. relationships, stress, what you spend your time doing Yoga or Acupuncture may be what etc. to bring you back into balance. initially come to your mind. The Lulu The goal is to empower you, Lemon movement is astounding! help you find your strength from Initially we may have been drawn to within to help you make profound yoga for the exercise, but we stayed life changes and heal, instead because of something else. That of becoming dependent upon ‘something else’ is the foundation of all medication. Eastern therapies and medicine that Each modality may have a in the West are compartmentalize. slightly different approach, but We separate the emotion from essentially, they are looking at having any effect on our physical what is out of balance and how body and vice versa. That ‘something to bring you back into balance Thai Massage else’ rekindles a connection within using a variety of diagnostic ~ ~ ourselves, a feeling of wholeness, tools: Tongue and pulse diagnosis, ~ Ayurveda ~ that our ‘imperfect’ bodies are in fact, wind movement in your body, the Yoga Therapy ~ ~ perfect. elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, By Appointment: 250-218-9809 Things are changing, we want Space, etc. Before I lose you, let me TWO LOCATIONS options for our health. Over the past • VI Mountain Centre on Mount Washington put some context to that statement. few years, you may have noticed Thai • 3-3270 2nd Street, Cumberland, BC You know those days when you feel Massage, Ayurveda (ah-yer-vey-duh) NurtureYourBody.ca heavy, sluggish, boated, lethargic? and Yoga Therapy on the scene. Well, in these three modalities you Three quickly growing modalities being recognized would have excess Earth (heavy, sluggish, lethargic) as complementary and integrative support to Western and Water (bloated) and be lacking Fire (energy, drive) medicine that have gained popularity over the past 10 and Air (movement). Makes sense right? Simply a years, not because they’re the new trendy thing, but different perspective for diagnosis. East meets West: Thai Massage, Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy

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Here is an overview of each approach. Thai Massage A fully clothed massage that is as deep or gentle as appropriate for your unique body. Incorporating gentle stretch, pressure points, palming and thumbing (a Thai technique releasing tight muscles, detoxify’s) and range of motion. Why would it be good for you? It addresses a variety of issues from insomnia to chronic back pain, depression to injury rehabilitation and traumatic release. To dispel any myths, Thai Massage should NOT be painful. You will feel taller, more open and centred in your self. Ayurveda Translated to English, Ayurveda means Life Knowledge. In the realm of Ayurveda, each individual person is like a cake recipe, different amounts of various elements make up your constitution which is a combination of Vata – air & space, Pitta – fire & water, Kapha – earth & water. By using a multitude of techniques from Marma Therapy (pressure points, similar to Acupressure or Acupuncture points), specifically made herbal oil massage, deep oil well treatments, the use of heat and diet to name a just a few, there are a variety of options to address just about any condition. Yoga Therapy The name says it all, the use of yoga on a therapeutic level, using specifically chosen yoga postures or asanas (steady pose) to address the body’s imbalances, rebuild after injury, stimulate digestive disorders, pacify the nervous system ... the list goes on and on. On the outside, yoga may look like a bunch of pretzel-like contortionist poses, but go under the skins surface

and have a look at what’s going on. Twists stimulate the digestive system, standing poses build balance and focus, back bends gently stimulate the adrenals and open the lungs. Lots is happening, plus the breath work pacifies the nervous system, calming anxiety and naturally alleviating stress. For more information or to speak to a certified therapist, visit Nurture Eastern Therapies at NurtureYourBody.ca.

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CV Health & Recreation Guide

25


Makin’ it Work... by Wes Gietz

Wiser people than I have pointed out that in order for humanity to thrive we need to be able to live with our own selves, the natural world, and each other. There are some encouraging signs: for our individual selves, today we have a better understanding and more effective ways of healing our bodies, hearts, and spirits; for our relationship with nature, movements such as the Children and Nature Network and Transition Towns. But we don’t know how to live with each other. In the past, and today in tribal villages, there were four layers that kept the social fabric strong: a nuclear family of parents and children, an extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, the community of non-blood relatives we worked and played with, and the society that provided a context of culture, morals and ethics, legends and heroes. A few years ago, some of our social observers pointed out that we no longer have an intact society. Instead, we are ruled by laws and enforcement agencies, and this often feels more like control for someone else’s benefit than a source of safety and support. We also no longer have community in many ways. I don’t know the names of some of the people who live across a fence from me, and in nine years I’ve only shared a meal with one other family in my neighbourhood. The nearest member of my extended family is a several hours away by car. I rarely see most of them, and some I could walk past without knowing who they are. Even the nuclear family is disintegrating, not only because of separations of parents but also because families spend very little time in real company with each other. Repairing the social fabric means learning how to live with each other in ways that are mutually supporting and that feed our social souls. This is not easy, and it may be the biggest challenge – and the biggest opportunity – we face. How many people do you know who live in cramped and uncommitted cohabitation with others because they can’t afford a place of their own? Or who have no place at all? And how many people do you know who rattle around in a house that has more bedrooms than people in it? There’s more than enough good accommodation to

26 CV Health & Recreation Guide

go around. We’re just not using it well. How do we do that? How do we live well together, in groups, under the same roof? I suggest that the first thing we have to do is recognize that one of the strongest influences in mainstream society is away from community, toward having a place that we in some fashion ‘own’, separated from those around us by fences, walls, and alarm systems. If we knew how to live together, to be healthy together in our individual selves and our relationships, we would be able to live well for less money by sharing the cost of our housing, and that alone would be worth it in terms of diminshed financial stress. Add to that the better emotional and psychological health that comes with positive social context; the improved physical health that follows emotional health; and the benefits of working together on physical projects of many kinds from gardening to building or renovations. The result is pleasant to imagine. Here are some of the elements that I consider essential in a healthy community, or a group of people who live together. • Accepted processes for making decisions that affect the group. • A process for conflict resolution. • The will to explore solutions rather than problems. We need to comprehensively re-invent how we live with others. • Commitment to the welfare of the group. • The right to be alone. This past August there was an event called ‘The Togethering’. One of the themes of The Togethering is how to live together well. It is also about discovering, experiencing, and practicing how to come into a healthy relationship with nature, and from there into healthy relationships with our own selves and each other ‘The Togethering’ will happen again next summer. YOU are invited! Come and learn how to live well, to repair the social fabric of humanity.


Yoga For Your Heart Yoga can help us be more fully in our body. Sometimes our mind or emotions take us out of our body. Sometimes it is too painful to be in our body. We may feel disconnected from our bodies and as we age we may even feel like our body betrays us. It is important to develop a relationship with our body and perhaps ask “Have I betrayed my body?” by neglecting it or pushing too hard. A mindful yoga practice helps us to listen to our body. Mindfulness involves a positive regard for our body that includes acceptance, compassion and gratitude.

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Acceptance, compassion and gratitude are qualities of the heart. It is important to bring your heart into your practice. When we are first conceived and the egg and sperm unite the first thing to grow from that seed is the heart. The heart is the center of consciousness not the brain or mind as we might think. The heart and mind need to work together however. One way to create a greater sense of wellness is to bring your attention to your heart, to do what is good for your heart. You can do this in your yoga practice by focusing on your heart center/chest area, breathing into it and invoking a feeling of love or gratitude. This kind of attention and awareness not only creates a sense of calm and peace, but it is also good for your health. It can lower your blood pressure and help to maintain a regular heart rhythm. With yoga practice we can feel a sense of connection when we feel absorbed, expanded, and a sense of freedom. These are some of the gifts of combining yoga postures, breath, sound, and meditation. It is also important to let go of striving. When we try too hard to achieve anything including peace and calm the striving gets in the way. Being present with what is means noticing whatever arises. It means at times feeling those difficult feelings in the heart such as sadness, grief, disappointment, and heartbreak. If we push down these feelings depression can occur which is a condition of the heart and lungs. When we shut down on feelings of grief we also shut down the potential for joy. By creating space for these difficult feelings to arise then joy in our heart is also possible. Elisabeth Michielsen teaches classes in Courtenay and can be reached at 250.338.4263 or visit the web site www. bodyheartsoul.com for class information.

EE

by Elisabeth Michielsen

250-338-2440 4985 Cotton Road, Courtenay “Just Minutes From Downtown” CV Health & Recreation Guide

27


The Taste of Summer by Dianne Goodacre Ah, the taste of summer. After weeks of anticipation, watching that first small green ball forming on the young plant, seeing it reach full size, and waiting patiently for it to change colour to a rich sunset red, your reward now hangs in front of you. As you reach in, brushing the mature vine, the clean unmistakable scent of the leaves is released. The fruit you hold in your hand contains the essence of sunshine. Warm and soft, it glows with health. The plant has given you this gift, the work of a season, with a specific goal in mind. For within, the fruit contains the secret of life, the seeds of promise for the future. The future is in your hands. The first time I saved some tomato seeds, it was under antiseptic conditions worthy of an operating room! Like a first-born, the care and attention those seeds received was only exceeded by my anxiety of doing something wrong. I followed the instructions as exactly as I could, all the while doubting the result. Over twenty years later, I can sympathize with new seed savers trying something for the first time. But I can reassure you, like your children, the seeds are meant to survive in spite of your mistakes! There are many sources of information that will describe a method of saving tomato seeds. Most involve fermenting the pulp gently squeezed from the fruit. It goes something like this: squirt the pulp into a clean jar, add water to half the height of the jar, put on the lid and shake. Keep the jar at room temperature, and give it a shake every day or so. In three or four days the pulp around the seed will have fermented. Open the jar (it will likely smell bad, and that’s good) and pour off and discard most of the water, including anything that is floating. The viable seeds will sink to the bottom fairly quickly. Then refill the jar with water, shake, and pour off the excess water, three or four times, until the

28 CV Health & Recreation Guide

water is fairly clear. Scoop out the seeds, spread them out and let them dry on a piece of brown paper or an unbleached coffee filter. When completely dry, fold up the paper with the seeds inside. Make sure you write the date and the type of tomato on the outside so years from now you know what they are! A cool dry place is best for storing them, but my seeds over the years have been subject to freezing and heating out in the garage (in Edmonton) for a few years, and have still germinated at a high rate! Now here’s the easy method, developed by accident in a pinch when I had two toddlers and no time for saving seeds! I was preparing a salad, picked fresh from the garden late in the fall, and was worried that would I never get around to saving any seeds that year. I quickly squirted the tomato pulp from a few sliced tomatoes onto an unbleached coffee filter. After smearing it around a little to spread out the seeds, I scribbled the date and type of tomato on the filter. A few days later (or maybe a week? My kitchen was pretty messy) I folded up the paper and put it in a cardboard box. I was planning to try to soak them off the paper and do the above fermentation procedure when I had more time. As you can imagine, the seeds were totally forgotten until the next spring! Of course they were glued solidly to the paper. But after soaking the filter for just a few minutes, the seeds came free, nice and clean. As I always soak tomato seeds before planting anyway, this worked just as well. I still save seeds from that particular variety of tomato, and it has been my favorite over twenty years. They have survived all the abuse I could throw at them, including not saving any for several years. They were

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a free sample from an elderly organic grower, a variety called Stupice (stu-PEACH-ka). Our family and friends have been enjoying the taste of summer every since. Now we are here in the beautiful Comox Valley, and have recently joined the Comox Valley Growers and Seed Savers Association. This is a great organization for meeting like-minded people and learning more about growing and seed saving. There is a seed bank for preserving the heritage of the local successful varieties of seed, and Seedy Saturday is a well-known annual event for the whole family. Now’s the time to think about saving some seeds for next year. It’s easy, fun, and very rewarding. Why not give it a try! The Comox Valley Growers and Seed Savers Association’s next meeting is at 7:00pm, Thursday October 4th at Creekside Commons, located at 2202 Lambert Drive, in Courtenay. Guests are welcome! For more information, please call 250.334.2375. Our web site is under construction, but please visit www.comoxvalleygrowersandseedsavers.ca.

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29


Mood Management by Esther Kane, MSW

I have always had my moods readily accessible to me which made me a bit of a challenge to parent I’m sure. I’m the type of person who can’t pretend to be happy if I’m not. I wear my mood all over my face and I’ve given up trying to ‘put on a happy face’ if that isn’t how I’m feeling. The good news I’ve learned over the years is that moods are TEMPORARY. They come and go like the wind, and therefore, I’ve learned not to worry about the unpleasant ones because I know that “this too shall pass.” And pass it does...and then there is room for the happy, uplifting moods which I truly revel in. However, there are certain psychological truths that we can use to help us to get ‘unstuck’ when we seem to get stuck in a low mood. What I’m talking about here is when we don’t allow the coming and going of a low mood and end up staying there far longer than we need to. When we stay stuck in a low mood, we often suffer needlessly and end up wasting time and energy which could be used for better purposes. Richard Carlson, PhD, outlines some important factors in getting unstuck when we’re in a low mood in his book, You Can Be Happy No Matter What: Five

principles for keeping life in perspective. Carlson speaks about The Principle of Moods which I feel are extremely helpful in managing one’s moods more effectively. Try these on for size and see what happens! Here are some of Carlson’s Mood Principles: Our moods are always changing : this is a good thing like I said earlier. Moods come and go, rise and fall. Our job is to be aware of this and allow them to do that. Moods are part of the human condition : Like it or not, you’re going to have all kinds of moods and you can’t avoid them. Carlson says that when we understand this, we can appreciate our highs and learn to be graceful in our lows. He also suggests not taking low moods too seriously and not trying to solve your problems when in a low mood. Very wise! Solve your problems in a high mood : Let’s face it- when we’re feeling low, we don’t make the best decisions. Carlson says that in low moods, we lack access to our wisdom. I agree 100%. I find that people generally do their best thinking when they’re feeling up, rather than down and are also able to make the wisest decisions. So the next time you’re feeling down, just allow the mood to come and go and don’t get fixated on solving problems in your life until you’re feeling up again. Esther Kane can be reached at 250.338.1800.

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Through the wisdom of ancient India you will learn how your time of birth, your energy points (Chakras) and your health (Ayurveda) are inter-related. This knowledge will help to provide balance, guard against dis-ease and allow you to live consciously. With this understanding you will be able to recognize your unique energy cycles.

Classes limited to 8 participants. Times & dates announced upon registration TO REGISTER: Call Phyllis Chubb at 250.757.9498 or Write phyllis@phyllischubb.com

30 CV Health & Recreation Guide

Liz White, MSc RYT-200

Yoga & Stott Pilates Instructor • Pilates Mat & Reformer Training • Attention Dynamics • Postural Assessments • Small Classes/Privates/Duets

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Fall 2012 Issue  

Comox Health & Recreation Guide Magazine

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