Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Health of Being Mindful

Mindfulness is a term that is being thrown around a lot in meditative circles.  To some its definition is being "intentional, accepting, non judgmental, focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations in the present moment."

To me, being mindful is making a conscious choice in the moment.  It is the opposite of being on default. (I believe some things have great value in being on default, but that will be a different blog post.) Maybe there is a word that better describes this then being mindful, but I don't know of it.

This type of mindfulness has great benefits to general health and well being.

Some examples of mindfulness are as follows.

Checking Facebook only certain times of day and not allowing a ding or beep to dictate what you are doing.  Choosing exactly what you feed your body.  It doesn't even have to be healthy.  Consciously choosing to eat a doughnut because you truly enjoy it, is I believe much different then eating when you are bored, or eating with guilt,

Knowing why you are buying something.  Books, clothing, electronics, conscious spending is powerful.  Why are you taking this seminar or reading this book?  To learn because you want to, or because you think it will look good?

Choosing what entertainment you enjoy, instead of simply sitting down in front of the TV or in front of some smartphone game.

Giving someone or something your entire focus and energy.  Listening to understand, not just waiting to give your answer.

Having a three year old has helped me immensely in this regard.  They seem to know when you are not PRESENT with them.  They aren't bashful about saying,  "Look at me please,"  "No sit with me."

When diets and budgets work it may be more of learning to be mindful and less about the exact diet or budget.  Wasteful eating and spending is cut out.

As a chiropractor/therapist/coach every person you work with is a chance to practice mindfulness.  Without it, there is little chance to get better and improve at your craft.  Without mindfulness you will  have one years of experience repeated 20 times, not 20 years of experience.

One of the reasons I've really enjoyed the Functional Range system is that palpation is taught with high precision.  Palpation of anatomy and feeling for tension, forces mindfulness.  Mindfulness to me will lead to me being a better therapist.

Mindfulness promises less stress and more enjoyment out of each situation.  This has solid research behind it.

The practice of mindfulness will be hard at first.  But like most things, the more you practice the better you get at it.  I think it will help carve away the minutia of what's really important vs what is just easily available and accessible.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Dosages of Life

Sitting in a seminar this past weekend my mind began to wander about different principles that one encounters as you are introduced to new information or information presented in a different way.  I also started to think about what are some principles that I believe will never change.  One that I came up with is this, "Life is all about the correct dosage."

As a coach or therapist, you basically go to school or learn to apply the right dosage.  Knowing when to give a patient more pressure, less pressure, more therapy, less therapy.  How much, how often.  Coaches do the same thing.  More work load, less work load.  To give a cue, or let the athlete figure it out.  Work or rest is still dosage.

Medicine is crucial to get the right dosage correct.

What makes you better in one dose can make you sick or hurt in the next.  Caffeine can be a wonderful thing in the morning.  Triple shot of espresso an hour before bed may not be a great idea.

Some alcohol has been shown to be pretty healthy, even healthier then total avoidance.  To much alcohol is not healthy at all.

Fasting is a type of dosage.

There are times when I hear my youngest crying and my oldest asking me to play some game and I wish I could have some alone time.  Not having seen them for 3 days, I can't wait to have that "problem" again.

Osteoporosis is a disease of inadequate loading.  They don't get the right dosage of load on the bone.

Not enough sun and you can get rickets, to much sun and you may get melanoma.

To much stress can lead to all kinds of chronic disease and issues.  Not enough stress, you would never grow.  Your body doesn't get better or function like a human by not doing stuff.  It needs the right dosage of movement every day.

Sleep is a dosage.

As we grow older or do more in our life/profession, perhaps all we are doing is getting better at learning what dosage to give out, to accept, to chase, to recommend, to treat and to coach.