Friday, July 25, 2008

Chronic Illness & Stress

From time to time I wonder why I'm the only one of my siblings to get Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yes, it is present on the paternal side, so there's the genetic component. Growing up on a farm where all manner of pesticides and herbicides were used didn't help either. Recently, I've come across evidence that working/swimming in pools that use chlorine can have an effect on immune function. Three strikes there.

I think one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle was presented to me when I read The HeartMath Solution - the book that was the catalyst for this new venture of mine. Plain and simple stress - the way in which I internalized everything and literally, took it to heart.

I know since making some changes by using the HeartMath® system, my flare-ups have been far less frequent and my pain management skills have increased. I also have better lab results. It is so much easier for me to go about my day, which allows me to do more of what I choose to do.

For those of you who are of the reasons my hands (and those of any person with RA) look the way they do is because the inflammation has led to the dislocation of the fingers. As you can imagine, it is painful to give a firm handshake, or even open a door or a bottle of water - things many people take for granted.

To find out more:

HeartMath is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Appointments - Serenity Now!

Those of you who live with a chronic disease (and even those who don't) know that a lot of time is spent waiting - in doctor's offices, at labs, at the hospital, at physio and even waiting of a different type - for appointments with doctors, specialists and for results of tests, biopsies, procedures and surgeries.

The big question here is how you spend your time waiting. Are you tapping your foot, sighing or silently (or not so silently) fuming? Engaging in these types of behaviours does nothing to hasten the appointment. In fact, that sort of behaviour ends up making an already stressful situation worse by causing you to release a cascade of 1400 chemical and physical changes, complete with side-effects, which further contribute to ill-health.

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 30 years has meant that I've spent a fair amount of time "waiting". Early on, I learned to always have something to read. Then, I learned about the techniques that I now teach which take me further on the road to feeling better emotionally, mentally & physically. Some of my benefits include: sounder sleep, improved memory, better decision-making, reduced pain, & increased creativity and sense of calm.

To find out more:

Photo: Steve Woods

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery

Do you know someone who does something well - something that you admire, are jealous of or wish you could do? Rather than wishful thinking, why not ask them what they think, feel and do to achieve the desired outcome?

This is a time, when you can imitate...much like children learn behaviours (good and bad) through imitation. As adults, we seem to think that we always have to re-invent the wheel...sometimes it makes sense to adopt the techniques that others have learned to be successful.

So, here are a few ideas to get you started...who has an office that is always organized, makes meals that are nutritious, is coping well with a chronic illness, keeps the yard tidy? Choose something that you've always wanted to do (and never seem to accomplish), start small and see what you can learn...

For help on this, please contact me by email by clicking this link: (Developing new habits )

Photo by: Rodolfo Clix

Monday, July 7, 2008

Amusing Tales from the Road

In my Summer Newsletter I wrote an article entitled "The Long and Winding Road of Life." I ended it by recounting two amusing stories that happened while I was on the road. (Subscribe to Newsletter)

Summer is a time when people head out on the highway to locales near & far. Please leave a comment by sharing a funny story from one of your road trips.

Learn how to use these stories to help you deal with your stress at

Photo by: Juan Llamosas