Treating the Spirit

Wellness Coaching

Mind-body-spirit health and starts with you. It is not a magic pill, but rather a journey that you must be willing to travel to gain wellness. My goal is to help you to understand and tap into your innate mind-body wisdom and healing power, which is more about becoming than doing.

We must develop a plan to shift stressful thinking habits into patterns and beliefs that serve what you want now and in your future. As you make a habit of incorporating these practices into your life, you develop supportive thought patterns. You shift the balance of your chemical messages in favor of wellness instead of illness, happiness instead of negativity. When you make the choice for healing mind body and spirit, you reclaim your power and become an active participant in your healing process.

Wellness is not a “one size fits all” methodology.  Everyone has different goals, needs, motivation and barriers.  We must discover the underlying issues that prevent you from being successful and eliminate them, one step at a time to increase your self confidence. You can be healthy, you can set goals and be successful.  You must have faith in yourself, sometimes all that is needed is a little help in finding the path.

Massage

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts, documented use of massage dates back 3,000 years to China.  Ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments.  Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems.

Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. Millions will attest that massage relieves the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to illness.

Massage provides a tactile stimulation, otherwise known as touch.  This therapeutic component seems largely absent in today’s world. In 1986, the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami published groundbreaking research on the effects of massage on premature babies. The preterm babies who received massage therapy showed 47% greater weight gain and six-day shorter hospital stays that the infants who were not receiving massage. Studies today show that stress delays healing and there is evidence of what massage can do on a physiological level.

Many adults have reported cathartic experiences on the massage table.  As a therapist carefully unwinds a client’s stressed and tired muscles, the therapist may very well be unwinding the taut, pent-up emotions that one doesn’t always have time to process in the middle of the day.  The feeling of being touched in a safe, caring, compassionate manner can be a very powerful experience, reminding the client that she or he is not alone in the world. A great example is the story below.

For more information about touch, visit the Touch Institute’s website here

 

A Sister’s Helping Hand

Who can measure the special bond of twins?

Condensed from Worcester Telegram & Gazette

November 18, 1995

Heidi and Paul Jackson’s twin girls, Brielle and Kyrie, were born October 17, 1995, 12 weeks ahead of their due date. Standard hospital practice is to place preemie twins in separate incubators to reduce the risk of infection. That was done for the Jackson girls in the neonatal intensive care unit at The Medical Center of Central Massachusetts in Worcester.

Kyrie, the larger sister at two pounds, three ounces, quickly began gaining weight and calmly sleeping her newborn days away. But Brielle, who weighed only two pounds at birth, couldn’t keep up with her. She had breathing and heart-rate problems. The oxygen level in her blood was low, and her weight gain was slow.

Suddenly, on November 12, Brielle went into critical condition. She began gasping for breath, and her face and stick-thin arms and legs turned bluish-gray. Her heart rate was way up, and she got hiccups, a dangerous sign that her body was under stress. Her parents watched, terrified that she might die.

Nurse Gayle Kasparian tried everything she could think of to stabilize Brielle. She suctioned her breathing passages and turned up the oxygen flow to the incubator. Still Brielle squirmed and fussed as her oxygen intake plummeted and her heart rate soared.

Then Kasparian remembered something she had heard from a colleague. It was a procedure, common in parts of Europe but almost unheard of in this country, that called for double-bedding multiple-birth babies, especially preemies.

Kasparian’s nurse manager, Susan Fitzback, was away at a conference, and the arrangement was unorthodox. But Kasparian decided to take the risk.

“Let me just try putting Brielle in with her sister to see if that helps,” she said to the alarmed parents. “I don’t know what else to do.”

The Jacksons quickly gave the go-ahead, and Kasparian slipped the squirming baby into the incubator holding the sister she hadn’t seen since birth. Then Kasparian and the Jacksons watched.

No sooner had the door of the incubator closed then Brielle snuggled up to Kyrie – and calmed right down. Within minutes Brielle’s blood-oxygen readings were the best they had been since she was born. As she dozed, Kyrie wrapped her tiny arm around her smaller sibling.

By coincidence, the conference Fitzback was attending included a presentation on double-bedding. This is something I want to see happen at The Medical Center, she thought. But it might be hard making the change. On her return she was doing rounds when the nurse caring for the twins that morning said, “Sue, take a look in that isolette over there.”

“I can’t believe this,” Fitzback said. “This is so beautiful.”

“You mean, we can do it?” asked the nurse.

“Of course we can,” Fitzback replied.

Today a handful of institutions around the country are adopting double-bedding, which seems to reduce the number of hospital days. The practice is growing quickly, even though the first scientific studies on it didn’t begin until this past January.

But Heidi and Paul Jackson don’t need any studies to know that double-bedding helped Brielle.  She is thriving. In fact, now that the two girls are home, they still sleep together and still snuggle.