Sitnews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Compliments to Your Health

So Whaddya Doin'?
by Joann Flora,
Acupressure, Nutrition Counseling, Qigong


June 10, 2004

I've been writing this health column for a while now, and have tried to present the best information I have on a variety of topics in which I hold personal beliefs. I've offered information about Chinese medicine, exercise, the value of motivation, body work, nutrition, and stories about what's working for others. Today it strikes me that it's time to

photo Joann Flora's garden

My garden...
Photo by Joann Flora
ask the big question: So, what are you actually doing about 'whatever'? Define 'whatever': anything that doesn't work for you, such as disease, depression, boredom, inactivity, work stress, unhealthy relationships, annoying neighbors, the zit on your nose. Whatever.

This is a very complicated question. The answer varies greatly depending upon if you have heart disease, a cold, live in a travel trailer, or wear a coat that's not warm enough in the winter. Do you miss your family or do you wish they weren't so conveniently located? Do you deserve a raise? Have you asked for one? The point I'm getting at is that many things in life bother us physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and all these bothersome things can directly impact our well-being. I can be sick because I have a contagious disease or I can be sick because I am emotionally spent. I can be unwell because my arm is broken or I can be unwell because my stress level is out of control. I can have frequent headaches with no biophysical relationship to pin it on and the headaches can be as severe and debilitating as if I had a diagnosable causation.

Too often, illness and disability come to control our lives. We can physically and mentally exhaust ourselves trying to manage a disease process. The more we think about it and work on its care and management, the more power we give it. We become the heart disease or cancer. It's no wonder physicians refer to their patients by their diseases (the stroke in room four). Is this really our fate, to become our disease or disability? It is if we don't change our thinking. Regardless of how much attention we must give to our individual health concerns, we are infinitely more than the summation of our illnesses. And that brings me back to my original question: So whaddya doin?

To become free of the fetters that bind us in our disease process, we have to take away it's power; the best way to do this is to redirect our thinking elsewhere. I am not suggesting that anyone stops their medical treatment. Rather, see your healthcare provider, do your prescribed routine, and move on with your life. Stop being your illness. Think about the things you can do rather than those you can't: THEN GO DO THEM. We are fortunate to live in an area of great opportunity and great need. Begin to enjoy an activity, volunteer your time to someone who really needs you. Get off the pity-pot and be as capable as you are capable of being. Be of service to someone. Go shopping for someone else a few times each year (Homeless Shelter or other non-profit group providing meals to those in need). Or be self-indulgent by taking on a new interest or volunteer project.

Here is a list of some organizations who welcome volunteers:

Pioneer Home
Southeast Senior Services
Ketchikan General Hospital
Rendezvous Senior Day Services
Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council
First City Players
Elementary Schools
Salvation Army
Friends of the Library
Animal Shelter

Here is a list of some places to explore new interests:

Park & Recreation Classes
Indoor Recreation Center
Ketchikan Public Library
Yoga Haven
First City Players
Ketchikan Community Chorus
UAS Ketchikan Campus
Your garden (yard, containers, baskets or indoors)
Walk all the trails you are able to walk
Rescue an animal from the Shelter
Ketchikan's Museums & Art Galleries

If these ideas don't get you moving, pick up your phone and call around. The important thing is make an opportunity to stop empowering an illness or disability by replacing the obsessing with service to others or a new interest. I welcome any emails from those looking to fit an interest or activity to their specific health concern. Please feel free to drop me a line. Summer is coming. In the Chinese Five Element System it is the time to increase our joy and be most active. Do it now.



E-Mail Joann Flora
 E-mail Joann Flora


©Compliments To Your Health
Joann Flora 2003


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