I just had a wonderful relaxing treatment at Rejuvenating Soles by foot zoner Jenni Orton in Salt Lake City. It started with an ionic cleanse. It looks like a foot bath, but it somehow pulls toxins out of my body and into the water. The water turned brown, which meant my liver was detoxing. After the foot cleanse, Jenni rubbed my feet on specific meridian points, using massage and essential oils and intuition. It was wonderful. I was especially interested in something to help my sinuses, and sure enough my sinus pressure points were tender. She talked to me about the metaphor of sinus congestion, which is that something or someone in irritating me. We had a long conversation about it and she gave me some great ideas on how to work on issues that may be blocking my sinuses. I do believe that not all physical ailments have their root cause is the physical world. In the case of my sinuses, I think there is a spiritual/emotional issue that I need to deal with. To sum up, foot zoning for me was kind of like therapy and foot massage all rolled up in one awesome, relaxing experience. If you want to try this, you can contact Jenni at www.RejuvenatingSoles.com.
My husband and I have begun the task of refurbishing our home. Today I scrubbed, I mean REALLY SCRUBBED our 20-year-old shower. Seemed like a waste of time, because we will soon have it removed, but I just had to do it. What a disgusting job. By the time I was done I really did not want to go near that shower again. I was worried that I had aerosolized some bacteria and fungus. So I got out my handy diffuser and added 8 drops of Thieves essential oil (by Young Living) and let it run for 15 minutes. The whole bathroom felt refreshed and cleansed, and I had some peace of mind. There is some sound research about the antimicrobial effect of Thieves essential oil, but to tell the truth, I am happy if it was just the placebo effect. My mind tells me the bathroom is clean and safe, and that belief is supported by the Thieves aroma, so it must be true. It is nice to have something on hand to use for things like this.
I am still exploring how we use metaphor in our lives, to gain understanding of our world and to communicate with one another. I blogged about metaphors such as “I felt like I was thrown under the bus,”: and how my knee pain was “telling” me to “slow down.” Well yesterday, I was talking to a dear friend about a decision I want to make about “next steps” (that’s a metaphor!) in my life. She said, “Let the path reveal itself.” Wow! For some unconscious reason, that little phrase really helped me to understand just what I should do. Be patient. Let things unfold. Once again, the metaphor said so much more that “trying to figure things out,” which is want I do a lot. The metaphor just made things fall into place. OK, yes, falling into place is also a metaphor. They are everywhere!
I spoke with a girlfriend a few days ago about how one of her friends spread an untrue rumor about her. She told me all the details and I understood her to feel betrayed, angry, and worried about the future of her relationship with her friend. Like a good nurse, I used reflective listening and said, “That sounds like a feeling of betrayal.” Interestingly, she denied feeling betrayed, struggled for the exact right words to describe what she was feeling, and finally settled on “being thrown under the bus” as her main feeling about the incident. I reflected that she must be angry, and she said, no, she felt like she was thrown under the bus. When I finally quit trying to identify/reflect her feelings and instead used her same phrase, our communication seemed to go much better. I said, “So this feels like you’ve been thrown under the bus.” To which she replied, excitedly, “Exactly!” Once I began to use her own metaphor, she felt heard and understood. Seems like a simple strategy, but so very important and effective. So next time someone tells you they feel like they’ve been thrown under the bus, or stabbed in the back, or made mincemeat out of them, reflect those exact words back to them and explore the metaphor. See what happens!
The use of energy healing has a long history. Laying on of hands, prayer, presence, positive thinking, and energy practices such as Healing Touch, Healing Beyond Borders, Therapeutic Touch, Quantum Touch, and Qi Gong are examples of healing approaches that utilize the human energy fields of the client and the practitioner to elicit healing. I have had some wonderful experiences using Healing Touch and Quantum Touch and will begin sharing them on my blog.
When vacationing with some girlfriends, one of them told me about how she had injured her knee and was in constant pain. I performed Quantum Touch, holding my hands on either side of her knee and “running energy” through my palms. She said she could feel “something happening.” However, that night when she went to bed her knee was feeling worse than usual. She said she was pretty mad at me about it. Then around noon the next day we were chatting and she suddenly gasped and said, “My knee pain is gone!” She woke up with no pain and actually had not noticed it until noon. Pretty exciting! That was 2 years ago. I saw her last week and her knee is just fine. No pain.
For a truly amazing story of healing on a spiritual and emotional level I highly recommend going to Jana Schwartz’ blog and read the story about Lisa working in Thailand with tsunami survivors. It is miraculous what presence and intention can do to assist people in their healing journey.
“You wanna fly, you got to give up what weighs you down.” This quote by Toni Morrison got me to thinking about healthy habits. If I want to create health and wellness, I need to take a look at what is keeping me unhealthy. Adding a new treatment or drug to my already existing treatments and drugs and poor eating habits and lack of exercise just adds one more thing to fuss over. Identifying the source of my discomfort is a better approach, before I start throwing all kinds of treatments at it. Simplify. Certainly butterflies cannot fly until they shed the remains of the chrysalis that protected them while they transformed. We all build up a lifetime of habits. Each habit served a purpose and we can be thankful but move on and leave it behind. Simplify.
Taking a look at our dreams can add insight and enrichment to our lives. I use Jeremy Taylor’s method of dreamwork. His basic principles are that dreams come only in the service of health and wholeness, and that the dreamer knows the meaning of her own dreams. According to Carl Jung, dreams put us in touch with the universal unconsciousness, making my dreams your dreams and vice versa. Dreams are the way our unconscious mind attempts to get the attention of the conscious mind, using metaphor and symbols. When we are ready to acknowledge and work on an issue, we will remember the parts of the dream that will give us that message of healing to help us with the issue. If we’re not ready to face an issue, we probably won’t remember the dream. Dreamwork can be used for many purposes. I have a friend who helps couples look at their dreams to treat infertility. Dreams can serve us in times of indecision, grief and illness. If you are interested, you can find out more from the International Association for the Study of Dreams. Click on the links below to learn how to remember your dreams and how to write a dream journal. If you have a dream to share, send it as a comment to this blog, and I’ll analyze it and post it here.
Not long ago I read an article about how the placebo effect is now being called “remembered wellness.” Remembered wellness is also called “the relaxation response.” Does that mean the placebo effect is the same as the relaxation response? As has so often happened in the field of integrative healing, terms change through the years. But this is an interesting thought: If the placebo effect is the same as the relaxation response, then it is imperative that we learn to relax in order to heal. Now on another but related note: I have been down with an upper respiratory infection (okay, it’s a “bad cold”) for about 10 days now. A couple of days ago I was whining and trying to remember what it felt like to be well. So I decided to intentionally remember, with all my 5 senses what it felt like to be well. Could this be an new tool to heal from illness? Well I wish I could tell you yes, for sure, but I can’t. I need to do some more exploration of this topic. But like I say about positive thinking in general, it can’t hurt.
I had a great conversation with a holistic nurse yesterday who has a book about integrative nursing coming out in December. We talked about the difference between the terms holistic and integrative. It’s been interesting how terminology has changed in the past few decades. It all started out as allopathic medicine vs. complementary/alternative medicine. Then there was a discussion about traditional vs. non-traditional medicine. That was just plain confusing because no one knew what was traditional. I grew up with the tradition of going to our family physician, so allopathic medicine was traditional to me. Others grew up using herbs and natural remedies (yet another term that causes confusion) so they think of alternative healing methods as traditional.
The other challenge in this discussion about terms is the use of the word medicine. My understanding is that physicians practice medicine. So if I am a non-physician who uses massage, music therapy, or natural remedies, it would be incorrect to say that I am practicing complementary or alternative medicine, or even integrative medicine. As a nurse, I don’t practice medicine. I practice nursing within the healthcare field. With all these terms flying around, it is no wonder our healthcare system is in need of repair. We can’t even agree on semantics!
Back to holistic nursing vs. integrative nursing. Let me just say that holistic nursing is a way of being with a person, taking into account their entire being, including mind, body, spirit and environment. Integrative nursing focuses more on a way of doing or practicing nursing, taking into account all of the options for treatment, including allopathic treatments and non-allopathic treatments. As a holistic nurse, I want to be able to have a wide variety of treatment options for my patients. So I guess I am practicing holistic integrative nursing. Or integrative holistic health care. Or…. What new words will we come up with in the coming decades to describe exactly what we do? This is an age-old challenge for nurses. Patients know that nurses make a difference, but nurses have trouble describing what we do. And if we can’t describe it, then it is hard to get paid for doing it, and it is hard for nursing to continue to move forward and so what we were educated to do. Now, are you as confused as I am?
The picture I have posted with this blog is Charlie McGuire, the founder of the American Holistic Nurses Association. I know when she founded the organization 33 years ago, these same questions about words were discussed. I really like how her hands are open to the possibilities…
I am certainly no artist, but I just learned a fantastic tool for sparking memories from long ago. This could work great for people who want to write about their personal history, or increase memory of cherished events. I call it Memory Mapping and it was taught to me by Kathy Loveless, a prominent professional speaker. Her’s how it works: Pick a time in your life and draw a map of your neighborhood. You will be amazed how many memories flood back while you are drawing the map. I chose the neighborhood I lived in when I was in 6th grade in Flagstaff, Arizona. Until I drew the map, I had completely forgotten about how I used to save my money to buy Beatles albums at the local Safeway grocery store, or how a bully followed me home from school and teased me mercilessly. I haven’t thought about my friend Debbie Street for decades, and yet her name came right up when I drew her house on the map. You can use this tool to map just one house you lived in, or maybe a place you worked. But seriously, if you want to get in touch with some memories, try this Memory Mapping, and let me know how it works for you. Have fun!