Finished… but not done yet!

Finished. Completed. Concluded. All A’s.
The more I learn, the more I want to share this potentially life changing information. I will continue learning and I will do my best to share what I’ve learned.

I will receive the degree of Master of Science in Health Sciences in Integrative Medicine from the George Washington University. The curriculum I completed represents the most progressive, scientifically rigorous and forward thinking platform for medical wellness. However, I do not have a license to practice medicine. Wellness doesn’t have to be pharmaceutical, surgical or even invasive but rather, wellness is lifestyle based!

Medical wellness. Think about that. Not medical illness but actual wellness. I have been amazed and fascinated by how much research and evidence exists to support the need for lifestyle interventions in order to maximize wellness. Think about these statements and see if either of them resonate with you.

I’m no more stressed than normal.
I feel fine but I could feel better.
Well, let me tell you…
Stress shouldn’t be normal and why don’t you feel better? 

The practice and science of maximizing wellness involves understanding the underlying mechanisms and biochemistry that fuel human cell growth and function. I now get how and why we study genetics, that human metabolism is more than burning calories and that proteins are the building blocks and directions for how we continue to maintain wellness. I get that nutrition is the primary way we fuel our bodies but nutrition also builds or breaks us down. We all have different chemistry and even biology so the right food for one person isn’t the same as for the next person. I know why exercise is necessary for the body’s health, not just weight management. But can you define exercise? Organic food is more than a fad and more than nutrition, it is about preventing toxins from entering the body. Supplements can help you find balance in the body’s systems augmenting what may be missing or lowering what is high.

Physicians, acupuncturists, nurses and nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, chiropractors, naturopaths, yoga teachers, meditation instructors, energy healers, Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors, Ayurvedic practitioners and other healers all have a role in integrating care for patients. Use what you and your practitioners believe will work for maximum healing! Follow the evidence, from traditions and history through to allopathic western medical research. Use the integration of body systems as well as healing systems to maximize wellness! How do I fit into all these practitioners? I am a health educator. I can help you sort through the evidence from your own life, current research and ancient traditions.

The practice of Integrative Medicine often feels like a game of hide and seek, looking for the hiding causes of symptoms and the evidence that directs you to improvement. Looking and questioning isn’t medical but requires awareness and knowledge. How you live your life has an effect on how you feel your body, the clarity of your thoughts, the efficiency of your digestion and the beating of your heart. When stress, unhealthy food choices or things like a sedentary life can be changed, why NOT? There are so many causes that have negative effects on the body and mind however, for every negative, we can change our behavior and lifestyle to effect positive changes and maximize wellness.

I’m not done learning or making my own lifestyle changes. I feel GREAT everyday knowing that I am proactively choosing to maximize my personal wellness and am helping those around me do the same. Movement. Meditation. Spiritual practice. Healthy cooking and consumption. Infrared Sauna. A few supplements. I choose these steps to help me feel strong and vibrant.

My spiritual practice has brought me to an awareness of Karma. There is an element of Karma that is conscious and often moves to unconscious positive choices. I consciously make decisions that are selfless however many decisions that appear selfish are really in oder to prepare my mind and body to serve others. As healthy decisions become healthy habits, my efforts toward positive health become automatic. Karma is a path of action. What you do matters and all actions have consequences, both positive and negative. I want Amazing Karma and amazing results. Do you?

While I might be finished with this degree, I’m still working to balance the Universal laws of cause and effect in order to maximize wellness. Amazing Karma, my friends. Come and get it… but know you’ve gotta work for it! I will be teaching health classes and doing one-on-one sessions at JOURNEYoga in order to help you find your Amazing Karma and balance your causes and effects.

Do Something!

It’s time to learn about yourself and how to maximize wellness.
Balance the laws of cause and effect!

Meditation Matters

Meditation Mumbo-Jumbo…documented with Science!

MRI’s show change in grey matter density with as little as 8 weeks of practice. EEG’s track brain activity during meditation showing what areas are enliven by meditation and which are calmed. Studies are reproduced with similar results all over the world. Double blind research studies as well as comparative effectiveness and epidemiological studies agree that mediation offers profound benefits for the body and mind. While science is able to show benefits and some explanations, the spiritual connections that can be made during meditation are still left as individual to the meditator and not included as components of modern research. I’m choosing to use easy access resources instead of scientific journals to ease you all into the science. If you want the hard stuff of the NCBI, let me know!

Meditation can change your brain.

  • Meditation improves processing of thoughts, new information and sensory input.
  • Meditation increases your capacity for compassion & empathy
  • Meditation reduces stress & fear
  • Meditation improves sense of self

Read more
Chopra Center
Harvard Gazette

Meditation changes your body.

  • Reduces Chronic Pain
  • Improves many digestive challenges like IBS.
  • Improves Immune Function
  • Increases Heart Rate Variability

Learn more
Scientific American (interesting videos) –
Harvard Gazette (different than previous article)

There is no one correct way to meditate, rather many different techniques with various results.

  • Using breath connections
  • Mantras
  • Mindfulness
  • Trancendental
  • Body Scans
  • Loving-Kindess
  • Spiritual Connections
  • Counting and number work

This list could go on forever. How can you choose the best style of meditation for your needs? It often takes a teacher and sometimes a group to begin your meditation practice. Take classes with different teachers and learn many techniques, paying attention to your responses. Be open to what is working, and if it is not, return your mind to a technique of meditation that has offered you a sense of calm and focus in the past.

Learn more:
Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

Meditation is not as simple as sitting still and quiet however that is a fantastic start. We at JOURNEYoga believe it is a powerful tool of transformation and is a possibility for everyone. Start or continue your JOURNEY to better health, less stress and and more meaningful connections!

Do Something!
Sit down. Shut up. And Breath…. if it were only that easy.
Maybe sign up for a class at JOURNEYoga instead.