Archive for the ‘Health Modalities’ Category

Our bodies are our homes.  Without a body our spirit would be quite diffuse! Without spirit, the body decays, returning its earthly form to the earth.

Our bodies are our vehicles. Without a body I probably would not be able to type these words, practice massage or take a vacation.

What happens if we don’t clean the kitchen counter, do the laundry, empty the trash, water the plants, replace the water filter? What happens if we don’t change the oil, replace the tires, wash the windshield, fill the gas tank? Gradually home or vehicle becomes unhealthy or dangerous and immobilized.

This echoes what happens with our bodies.  We charge around dealing with “stuff,” miss out on sleep and downtime for repair, breath less than pure air, eat less than pure food, sustain toxic relationships – and then we wonder why we are falling apart –  achy joints, medication for everything,  and resigned to status quo or worse.

There is a very sensible solution:  Spring Cleaning – not limited to the season of spring.

People who see me are asking what I am doing to look and feel so vibrant. I feel better than I did when I was 30! I am sooooo grateful that I have found a simple, healthy, versatile, maintainable solution based on natural, organ, whole foods that has helped me lose weight I have carried for over 30 years and replenished my energy. This, plus meditation and exercise can sustain my vitality for decades.

If you want to know more, send me an e-mail – Linda@myhealthyhappybody.com.

TO YOUR HEALTH – and mine!

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by Gail Coffey, formerly CEO, Sharing Wellness Info, reprint from April 2011 newsletter

Feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, enjoying lengthening days and the gradually warming temperatures, thinking about or getting outside and exercising, preparing soil to plant flowers or a garden, bursting with ideas for new projects–these are all signs of spring. Some hints of spring arise inside your being; some appear before your eyes. Have you noticed the budding of the leaves on the trees? the first daffodils? the forsythia bringing us all that bright yellow color? the fruit trees beginning to blossom? the grass greening up? Maybe you’ve noticed that your mood is growing a bit brighter? Your energy is picking up a little and you need a little less sleep. This is the time of Wood in the Five Element model. Healthy wood is known by its flexibility–ability to bend with the wind without breaking; its deep-rootedness (lots of roots below the ground that you don’t see but that support and nourish the tree and keep it from being blown over during storms) and strength; its ability to produce seeds of new life; and its ability to go through the seasonal cycles in all its glory.

With the earthquakes and tsunamis and nuclear reactor failures in the news and impacting our lives, it’s easy to lose the qualities of the Wood energy that we most need:  strength and flexibility; ability to cycle through the emotions that arise rather than getting stuck in fear or other emotion; staying grounded, rooted; and being able to provide the nurturing that those around us need during these times of stress.

The Wood element (spring time) has to do with the organic functions of the liver and the gallbladder–in a systemic way. In our lives, this may affect strategic planning, decisions, judgment–or it may show itself as frustration or a migraine headache when things don’t go according to our plans. It might show up as having trouble making decisions or sticking to a plan.

The eyes are the sense organs of the Wood Element. Dianne Connelly in Traditional Acupuncture, The Law of the Five Elements, says, “The eyes are considered to be vessels of vision integrating the outside and the inside of a human being.” Most eye problems are a result of some type of trouble with one’s Wood element–just as clarity of vision and the ability to “see” clearly are signs of balance in the element.

Often, we associate the months of March and April with a lot of wind, the kind that helps “blow in” a new season. In Chinese medicine, this wind is known as the East wind that, in excess, can cause problems in the neck and throat. It is wise to experience this wind in small doses, limiting its ability to create illness for you while appreciating that the same wind is drying the ground when it is too wet, and carrying seeds to where they will pollinate and start the next new life.

This is also the element of the soul, your desire to be “in life” and “live life.” No wonder, then, that so many people experience the bursting forth of spring as affirmation that they have lived through another winter and will “make it” another year. No wonder that spring and it’s glorious colors and new growth inspire us to write poetry, draw, start an exercise program that we’ve been putting off, reconnect with friends, plant a garden, buy some flowers.

The Wood energy is one of vision and so we invite you to join us and get and hold a vision of our Earth and her people that is all inclusive, respectful, full of peace and Light, and love–fill yourself with the vision, and then breathe it out, sending it to the farthest places you can imagine as well as to all your family and friends. Use this spring energy to do something kind and unexpected–at least once a day–and watch and feel your own heart grow. Since April 22 is Earth Day, you might wish to make a new or renewed commitment to reduce your footprint, ecologically speaking. Or to send prayers to those in spots like Haiti and Japan, or to those facing job cuts in the US–or to all of the above. Enjoy and celebrate spring!

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Our bodies are our homes in this lifetime. We cannot move into another one because we decide that our home is too big, too small, too restrictive, too uncomfortable or dilapidated. We have to take care of the home we have. Our home is most comfortable if we address its needs BEFORE it screams and becomes resistant or complacent. To do this, we have to learn to listen to our body, to feel. Unfortunately, nuanced feeling is generally overridden by the busy mind. Our home, our body then has to take more drastic action to get our attention.

Massage is a great tool for relieving pain. Massage can also help to prevent pain by quieting the mind and body, and calling attention to feeling, physical and emotional. What we feel, we can heal.

Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year!
December 30, 2012


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The following is a series of e-mails sent to clients and friends to let them know I would be having surgery, with subsequent updates.
NEW ADVENTURE – February 24, 2009
Greetings, my friends!
For some of you this will be good news, for others it will be a surprise.
I have a surgery date: Monday, March 9, 2009, at Washington Hospital Center.
My surgeon is Dr. Abbie Fields.
I will be letting go of a very large (14 cm ovarian cyst) and a small mass.  While she’s at it, the Dr. Fields might opt to remove uterus and both ovaries. I’m voting not, if it is not necessary, but will be in no condition to discuss it at that point.  Happily, I am very impressed with her respect for the patient and her confidence and skill, and will trust her judgement.  She says I can expect 3 days in the hospital, and 3 to 4 weeks recovery time.
In case you are wondering, right now I feel great!
I have two weeks to organize my logistics to make this an extraordinary experience!  I am quite touched by the support all around me, and the opportunity this brings for releasing the old and welcoming the new!
I am doing whatever I know to do to prepare to recover quickly from this . . .green drinks, breathing, mediation, exercise, healing sessions, essential oils, castor oil packs, chia seeds.
I know that people have arrived on the operating table with nothing for surgeon to work on – and no logical explanation.  If you would like to hold that vision for me, along with me being in better shape after leaving the hospital than before entering it, that would be WONDERFUL.
This feels to me like a rite of passage. Into what, I don’t know – maybe menopause (to date my body has cheerfully behaved as if menopause does not exist), or something more profound.  Whatever it is, I am in the unique position of straddling the American Health Care System and the more traditional practices that actually contribute to health, so I will be journaling about the experience as a contribution to Health Care reform.
We each have our dramas.  This is part of mine at the moment.  As always, I’m interested in yours, as you have time and inclination to share.  I am grateful you are in my life, and I am in yours. 
I will be making calls over the next few days to reschedule massage appointments.
I plan to practice my “distance healing” skills while recuperating, so let me know if you’d like to be included.
Love, Linda
HOME AGAIN – March 12. 2009
Hi Everybody,
Thanks for notes & cards.
Bridget, daughter,  brought me home yesterday afternoon.
She has been amazing in helping me be comfortable in a world that sees things through a different lens.
Much to write about – what an amazing collection of experiences on so many levels. 
FYI briefly – removed:  large cyst attached to left ovary & fallopian tube, top of uterus.
Bonus removal:  healthy appendix
Have still: cervix & right ovary and all other useful organs! 
Using Traumeel (homeopathic remedy), some supplements and Chia seeds, not much need for hospital pain meds.
Assigned semi-private room – 12B.  Night one: bed in 12A broke, so no roommate! Therefore daughter Bridget spent night against regs, with permission (in rocking chair), and Sheli Sotiropoulos (nicknamed “sister”) arrived after hours for a visit.
Two surprise “music therapy” sessions – one tranquilizing & reflective with flutes (officially a music therapy mission) & one with soul reaching vocals of despair, praise & thanksgiving (spontaneous offering from lab tech Althea).
Excellent nutrition provided by house mate, Marilyn Hyde, stored by kind staff in refrigerator.
Tuning fork & foot massage from Rita Offer.
Room 12B felt immersed in healing energy and the kind and skilled nursing staff seemed to soften and relax in that space.
This has been a most amazing experience – will chronicle later. Today is sleeping & reading day.  I still am a bit sore and tired, and will honor my body letting me know it’s time to relax and recover.  I am well supplied with books, books on tape, and DVDs.  NetFlicks even sent me a free trial offer that expires the end of March!
Projected “recovery time” is three weeks.  Three weeks to practice consciously witnessing miracles . . . 21 days to create a habit.  This is quite a gift!
Thanks for your prayers and ongoing support.
Love, Linda


GETTING BACK TO WORK – March 27, 2009
Hi Everybody –
I have been given the official pronouncement of healthy recovery by my wonderful surgeon, Abbie Fields, MD!  I am recovering brilliantly – very little pain, and easily gaining in strength, flexibility and stamina.  According to literature, expected time before resuming regular activity after this surgery is 4 to 6 weeks.  Monday, March 30, marks the end of week #3.
My benchmarks for re-entry into full participation and attention to the outside world are to not need a very serious nap mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and to be able to be fully dressed without irritating any of my beautifully healing incision.  I expect to start with a few clients next week and resume almost full time massage practice by April 7. 
I am deeply grateful to everyone for all the e-mail, cards, phone calls, flowers, gifts, food, visits, healing sessions, excursions, and prayers, and maybe even that which I will never know of (thinking especially of Marilyn, Bridget & Drew). . . all of this makes recovery a magical journey.
Thank you!
WELLNESS JOURNEY  – March 27. 2009
Hello again!
You might enjoy this BlueMountain e-card:

For your security, if you’d prefer not to click on links within this email:
  1.  Type http://www.bluemountain.com/?source=bma999&rr=y into your web browser
  2.  Locate the eCard pickup button in the upper left-hand area of the page
  3.  Enter the following code –> 2086946486871

This e-mail is about co-creating health.  This journey gives me a lot to write about.  I will learn about blogging, and when I figure that out, I’ll send out one more e-mail, using my linda@myhealthyhappybody.com address, so if you’re inclined, you can read my ruminations without me clogging everyone’s mailbox.
Meanwhile, some recovery activities –
  • Family and friends have continued to remind me of how wonderful life is, and how wonderful the healing process is, and how wonderfully creative one can be in supporting another. That bit deserves its own separate story – later.
  • Wednesday, March 17, one week from leaving the hospital, was my first short drive in my car.  Since then I have taken longs walks in the park in the good weather and/or practiced Western Yoga (Peter Van Daam), driven to post-office, grocery store and self-care appointments (chiropractor, acupuncture, crainial-sacral/energy balancing, colonic sessions).  I will do more next week as well. 
  • Other than that, daily  I am doing castor oil packs, managing my supplement & enzymes with and without food regime, mega-napping and disappearing into two books, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  Pain has been minimal, which I attribute to the homeopathic remedy, Traumeel.
My subconscious actively kept me from getting too involved with worldly pursuits.
  • In my frenzy of preparing to stay at home, maybe in bed, for several weeks, I arranged, via computer, to have all my mail forwarded from my PO Box to my home (same zip code).  What I did not realize was that would delay all my mail delivery by two weeks as it went from post-office to Dulles and back to my post office – and that things like bank statements and other official mail would be returned to sender! 
  • I enjoyed reading e-mail on my cell phone. Good wishes came in daily!  And I deleted some notes and notices, knowing that, when I felt like sitting at the desk, I would get to respond to them on my computer.  Ha – when I finally back on the computer I backed up my phone, not realizing until a few days later that I had deleted them from the computer memory as well.
  • Ahh – life was so simple without snail mail and e-mail!  And now it’s time to re-connect.
Brilliant insight –
  • I will be 60 in 2012. Hypnotherapy would be easier on my body than massage therapy.  Plus, no sheets, can grow fingernails and wear long sleeves and skirts.  I already use elements of hypnotic trance work in my practice.  Why not explore a new career?
Yes, I am doing very well, and, thanks to you, appreciating the connections in wonderful world of mind/body/spirit more than ever.
Thank you for all your good wishes and works.  I hope to see or talk to you soon, in person!
Love, Linda
Linda M MacDonald, CMT

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This is my new blog, inspired by my adventure of surgery, and motivated by my desire to share what I’ve learned so far about being well.  You can find more infomation about me on my website “www.My Healthy Happy Body.com.”

As a work in progress, I will start with notes from my journal as the inspiration and shell, and fill in the details a bit at a time.

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