Healthy Concepts

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” —Zig Ziglar

When it comes to accomplishments, the focus tends to be on the success, the outcome of whatever it is you wanted to improve upon. “I did this!” “I made it here!” It’s wonderful, but anyone who has reached an objective — and that’s everyone in one capacity or another — knows it’s not the whole story. Committing to a goal takes dedication, time and effort.

And it’s difficult!

Sure, there are moments of triumph, but there are also times of discomfort and doubt. And that’s normal. It’s our subconscious clinging to a habit, pattern or belief that it’s become accustomed to. Thankfully, we can change what it’s used to by focusing on what we want.

When I visited Wisconsin Hypnosis Center for our feature story, I was somewhat comforted by the realization that this occurs within everyone. Hypnosis is a tool — and Jay Luck a facilitator — to refocus on what it is we want our subconscious to create a habit in. It could be weight loss, to quit smoking, stop procrastinating, etc. (Check out the several testimonials on page 32 to see that the options are endless!)

The common denominator of success stories? The way hypnosis changes the person for the better. Not solely because of the outcome, but because of the process and journey leading up to it. Higher self-confidence and newfound positive habits will always be invaluable.

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What comes to mind when you’re asked to think about hypnosis?

Answers are sure to vary, and at some point often include the widely associated stage shows and silly acts for entertainment. And while that’s a fun portion of the art, there’s much more involved in the method that could easily be described as something not always immediately associated: logical.

Defined partly as “a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness,” it makes sense that hypnosis would have a perfectly appropriate place in one’s quest to reach a goal or accomplish the next level of success in whatever it is they choose.

In fact, in small ways, we use it every day. When we repeat something we want to remember, or when we’re driving our car on a familiar route, we’re in a hypnotic state. But we don’t realize it at the time, and the difference lies in learning how to choose certain states to see a positive result.

That’s where Jay Luck comes in. Now a master hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, he was introduced to hypnosis accidentally, and its effectiveness initially surprised him.

“I met a (hypnotist) by accident. He asked what I wanted to change and I realized there was something my wife said that bothered me… the next time my wife said it — I’m not saying I didn’t hear it or didn’t care — I didn’t feel the emotional shift,” he says. “I wasn’t looking to do hypnosis… but after that I knew how cool it really was.”

Wisconsin Hypnosis Center — with locations in Appleton and Green Bay — has been in business for 29 years and, more often than not, positive reactions much like his own are the rule, not the exception.

It’s similar for Wisconsin Hypnosis Center’s Hypnosis Assistant and Trainee, Angie Levens.

“The best thing about my job is I get to watch people fall in love with their amazingness that they may not have realized existed,” she says. “(It) is all day every day at varying levels… hypnosis is an amazing way to tap into the best version of ourselves.”

Why does hypnosis work?

Jay explains that we tend to believe that our subconscious mind — that which is known for influencing feelings and actions — is in control. Habits, patterns and beliefs fall into this category, and when we feel stuck, we blame it for feeling compelled to do something we know we shouldn’t, like smoke.

“People who smoke have a pattern of believing cigarettes help reduce stress, it makes them look cool and a part of a group, things like that,” he says. “They think they’re stuck with cigarettes but really the subconscious brain hangs on to habits, patterns and beliefs because of the ‘benefit.’ They come to me and say, ‘I’m stuck, I can’t quit.’”

He explains that in reality there’s always something underneath a habit that’s emotional in nature that is why the habit exists. Our subconscious mind hangs on to this, and thus a habit is born. To change the way our subconscious mind runs, Jay focuses on the client’s ability to succeed.

“They can have success with something that they haven’t had it with before. And then (they) fall in love with themselves enough to agree to follow tips and techniques I give them to help them change the habit. But they have to want to love themselves first.”

Jay offers free consultations at Wisconsin Hypnosis Center to determine if a potential client is right for hypnosis and to ensure they’re ready for success. He has each person watch an introductory video while answering questions like, “Why are you here?” “Are you sincere about solving your problem?” “Why is this time different?”

“One of the misconceptions out there is that if you go to a hypnotist you’re not in control,” he says. “I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. A client just has to want to come in and they have to want to have success.”

Jay provides private hypnosis sessions that also include classes, audio tracks, reading material and workshops. He says simply one session isn’t enough. Real change happens one-on-one with a client because he’s asking about what’s happening with them that day, and what they need at that particular time.

“Clients are just blown away with what can change. When they say, ‘Wow,’ that’s the best day for me — and I do get that every day.”

RESULTS VARY. Wisconsin Hypnosis Center teaches self-hypnosis, and are not doctors. They do not diagnose mental health issues or medical conditions, and refer out people who may need those services.

In their own words:

Jay believes that hypnosis is, and should be, a client-focused business and often leaves it up to those who have had success to explain how it has changed their lives. Testimonials — Wisconsin Hypnosis Center clinics have over 20,000! — have a respected and prominent place in describing exactly how hypnosis changes lives.

“I can truly say after three sessions I have not been angry when things that used to trigger it appeared. I have been able to transform my anger and move on from that emotion to something totally different… I am way more relaxed…”

—Jazmin T., Green Bay

“I am able to achieve a state of relaxation beyond anything that I have experienced before. I know that I am in control. I can accomplish my goals… it feels good to be this confident.”

—Karl K., Appleton

“I have smoked for 40 years. I have quit many times but have always returned to smoking. This is different. I think about it but don’t act on it. I didn’t believe in hypnosis until now.” —K. Stevens, Appleton

“I came in to give hypnosis a try after trying many other techniques to try and get myself motivated to finish projects and stop procrastinating. It wasn’t until after Jay told me what my pattern was that I had realized stress had been one of the key factors that made getting stuff done so difficult. I am very thankful for having done this, because I not only found ways to help get myself to finish projects/try new things, but I also discovered that I can do these things without having to feel overwhelming stress all the time.”

—Kale M., Shawano

“In one week my sleep habits have completely changed. I can feel the calmness of simple everyday things that I never paid attention to before… healthier mind, healthier body, healthier me!”

—Debbie D.

“I made the initial call to lose weight, and I am thrilled to be making better/healthier choices, but I am also so proud that I am gaining a mental self-confidence that has been lacking for a long time. I can’t wait to see and feel how this changes my life forever.”

—Jackie K., Menasha

“Before I came (to Wisconsin Hypnosis Center), I had chronic insomnia. After my first session, I learned that I was unconsciously choosing to have insomnia and that I could choose not to… I have been sleeping well ever since my first session.”

—Leah K., Minneapolis

“I was a smoker for about two years but still had trouble kicking the habit. After the first session, I noticed that over the next few days there was no need to pick up a cigarette. The sessions there after greatly reinforced that I could live the rest of my life as a non-smoker.”

—Gary C., Oshkosh

“I am so happy with myself. I am now 30 pounds lighter than when I started this program... It’s easier to stay focused on my goal. I really like this hypnosis thing.”

—Gina M., Porterfield

“I have a new self-confidence. I feel better about myself. I no longer desire soft drinks and junk food. My eating habits have become healthy. I want to go walking each day.”

—Kenneth B., Appleton

“I am starting to believe in a new me and know that the right actions will follow. As Jay has taught me, I am being flexible with creating new habits and patterns. I am excited to see myself a month from now and how different life will be.”

—Melissa H., Green Bay

“Since I started working with (Wisconsin Hypnosis Center), I feel different and act different. I am more positive, confident and realize that I can control how I feel… My only wish would have been that I found out about this years ago.”

—Ryan S., Burnsville, MN

Can self-hypnosis help you?

Jay explains the habits, patterns and beliefs he sees at Wisconsin Hypnosis Center that are often successfully treated with hypnosis:

  • Weight loss
  • Quit smoking
  • Anger management
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Procrastination and self-doubt
  • Grief healing
  • Fears and phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Take their online quiz to see if you can be hypnotized!

Wisconsin Hypnosis Center works with individuals from all areas of life from corporate to small businesses with the mission to raise public awareness in order to improve their quality of life through information on maturity, accountability, responsibility, family values, morals and ethics. Along with private one-on-one sessions, they are available for corporate speaking, motivational talks, comedy stage hypnosis shows, personal mentorship, on-site consultations and more. Online sessions are available!


Wisconsin Hypnosis Center

1111 North Lynndale Drive, Suite 203, Appleton

2830 Ramada Way, Green Bay

612-868-8177 • 920-954-1277

wisconsinhypnosiscenter.comapplevalleyhypnosis.com

Over the course of history, law firms have made money by selling the time of their employees. It’s called billable hours. Most of you are aware of how they work. The biggest problem with billable hours? They promote inefficiency!

Let’s look at an example:

Joe Smith comes into XYZ Law Firm and tells them he wants a trust to hold his family cottage. The attorney takes down a bunch of information and gives Joe an estimate based on the projected billable hours. Let’s say the attorney and support people work together well and finish the project ahead of schedule. Joe is happy because he got exactly what he wanted and it even cost a little less than what they originally told him.

Steve Wilson comes into XYZ Law Firm the very next week with the same request: he wants a trust to hold his family cottage. Herein lies the problem, though: Joe and Steve’s requests were exactly the same, but will be treated like they were completely unique. A firm that needs to bill hours will start Steve’s trust from scratch, even though they have a template (Joe’s) that could be used to do the project faster. Under the billable hours system, there is no incentive to be efficient! The whole concept is incredibly ambiguous and outdated. Nobody is going to challenge an attorney that says a trust is going to take 10 hours to draft.

I will concede this: There are absolutely times when a case is so unique that there is no avoiding a billable hour system. But for most of you, this whole system is like going online to “Nike ID” (customize) a pair of sneakers online, but instead of creating something totally unique/different, you decide to create the same colorway that you could just buy off the shelves for 40 percent less. Nobody does that! But we’ve done it in “lawyer world” for a long time because the terminology is confusing and we don’t know any better.

The end result: legal services cost more than they need to.

Nobody tries to find better ways of doing things and people generally work “just hard enough.” The thought of that drives me insane!

An alternative:

Let me apologize in advance. Once you read the alternative you’re going to be mad at me for even trying to explain the billable hour system.

It’s so simple. So obvious. I almost don’t even want to say it…

The answer is: products.

Instead of quoting billable time to a client, quote a flat fee for the creation of the product. Trust = $2,000. The more efficient the firm is in delivering that trust, the more profitable they become on the project.

It really isn’t groundbreaking. In fact, it’s how 99 percent of the world works.

You don’t go to Menards to buy a hammer and get a quote on how long they think it will take to make one. They are already made for you, you just have to compare prices and buy what you want.

Now, it will never get all the way there. But, as time marches on, legal services will start to look more and more like legal “products.”

I would strongly encourage you to seek out a law firm that is ahead of the trend. One that offers “flat rate” pricing options. It’s far more consumer-friendly.

As for you, Mr. Billable Hour, you sir, have officially been put on notice: we’re coming for you.

“Our deep respect for the land and its harvest is the legacy of generations of farmers who put food on our tables,preserved our landscape and inspired us with a powerful work ethic.” —James H. Douglas, Jr.

By the time this article hits the newsstands we should be closing in on the temperatures around 50s or so in northeast Wisconsin. The days will be longer and we will have gained that extra hour from daylight saving time. Farm animals will be having babies, chickens will increase egg laying and plants started out in greenhouses will be getting hardened to the weather and closer to being planted outdoors. If you have not signed up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share there are probably still some farms looking for new members. If you are on the fence, keep reading and find out why you should consider a CSA. If you have already signed up, you are probably counting the days and hours until you can feast!

Maybe you want to bring out your inner farmer and join a work share where you can work hours on the farm doing various jobs in exchange for your weekly share. That will give you an added appreciation of what goes into the food you feed your family. If money is tight, search for the farms that offer this type of share. It doesn’t take much time, usually 3-5 hours a week, depending on the size of the share. This will be rain or shine, but well worth it.

Since small farms tend to use more sustainable practices than large conventional farms, they do less harm to the environment. For example, small farms tend to practice crop rotation, composting and other methods to enrich their soil, so the plants grown on their land have the most vitamins and nutrients to absorb as they are growing. This combined with the fact that they come to your table within 24 hours ensures that the vitamin content of the food is not compromised.

Most small farms avoid using poisonous herbicides and pesticides that are harmful to humans and other life. Did you know that traces of glyphosate, which is a main ingredient in toxic roundup, has been found in the umbilical cord of newborns? That is scary stuff.

We are aware that toxic chemicals often used in large conventional farms can enter our bodies through our largest organ, our skin, when it is sprayed out in the open or touch the plants. We can also ingest it through our stomachs since it is absorbed by the plants we eat. Have you ever thought about it being in the meat supply? What about the cows that graze on the grass? Or the chicken that eats the insects that ate the leaves of the sprayed plants? Sadly, we also see the effects in our dying bee populations.

The time is now to pay attention to our food supply and support the people who are working hard to make sure the food they provide their communities is clean, safe and they are not endangering the food chain or environment. You can start small by becoming a “locavore” and eating seasonal produce close to where you live. Learn how to can, freeze or dehydrate food for the winter months when produce is not available. Buy humanely raised meat of animals who had a chance to run, jump, dig and be out in the fresh air. All of these little things add up and will do a world of good for — well, our world.

 

Check out these local CSA farm share programs!

FARM:

Where to find:

Types of Shares:

Featured Items:

About the farm:

Brookside Farms

5027 Hwy 41

Abrams

920-639-6100

www.brooksidefarmsllc.com

Green Bay Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturday Full, Half, Create-your-own and Sweet Share (honey and maple syrup) Wide variety of vegetables, apples, melons and herbs. Egg shares and canned shares available, too. We have a semi-load of beehives and produce raw honey and maple syrup. Organic practices are adhered to utilizing heirloom and non-GMO seeds whenever possible.

Field Notes Farm

1579 Church Street, Stevens Point

262-224-6027

fieldnotesfarm.com

Downtown Appleton Farm Market, Saturdays 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.;

Future Neenah Farm Market, Saturdays 8 a.m.-noon;

Downtown Stevens Point Farm Market, Saturdays 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Every week and every other week pick-up options.

Regular size starting at $285 and Micro shares starting at $145.

Household staples - carrots, lettuce heads, tomatoes, peas, zucchini, green beans, squash, onions and more. Also, apple cider, apples and herbs! We are a certified organic  and worker cooperative farm that takes pride in farming with a focus on soil health, building community and transparency. Each share features a newsletter with a story from the farmers, a list of the share's contents and simple recipes. We also have an orchard of peach, plum, pear and apricots. In the fall, we press apple cider to be fermented. We have a 5-month payment plan for our shares. Pick up sites in Appleton, Neenah, Amherst, Stevens Point and Plover.

Fox Cities Farm LLC

W2594 County Road JJ,
Kaukauna

920-585-4315

www.foxcitiesfarm.com

Downtown Appleton Farm Market - Saturdays, Neenah Farmers Market - Saturdays, on-farm store

Full Share every week, Full Share every other week, Fall Add-on Share

A variety of staple vegetables/fruits, occasional heirloom/odd varieties, varieties selected for flavor, canned items, recipe suggestions

Small farm located two miles east of Appleton North High School. All crops/tree fruits produced using organic growing methods focused on soil health. Items from other local farms added for CSA box diversity. Our small orchard of fruits/berries is beginning to bear, and we are adding more perennial fruits every year. On-farm store offers produce, pork, poultry and eggs. All animal products are pasture raised.

Park Ridge Organics

N8410 Abler Road, 
Fond du Lac

920-979-9658

parkridgeorganics.com

Downtown Appleton Farm Market - Saturdays 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (our stand is on College Ave. in front of McKinney Photography).

Our on-farm store is open Monday to Saturday from June through October.

Full, Half and Quarter Shares offered every week for 20 weeks (June through October). Late season shares (November and December), Winter Storage shares (January and February).

Vegetables, mushrooms, eggs (available for farm pickup only), pasta and herbs.

Park Ridge Organics has been certified organic since our beginning in 2003. It is a second-owned farm providing produce to over 300 members each season. Our farm grows high quality produce and takes strong measures to ensure food safety. With over 14 years of growing experience and soil management, our produce flavor is exceptional!

The G Farm

9328 Manu Road, 
Larsen

920-268-2856

www.theg.farm

On farm each Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Online sales delivered Tuesdays.

Possibly the Neenah Farmers Market.

8 pounds with or without eggs, or 16 pounds with or without eggs.

The first Tuesday of each month you will receive your share of pastured meats delivered right to your door. Beef, pork, chicken and turkey are included in the share. Check online to find our food shed or delivery zip codes (in the FAQ section).

We raise animals as they were intended to grow in nature. Cows do not get grain, they do not have a crop. Chickens, pigs, turkey and all of the other animals are raised on pasture and each serves a purpose in building the soil and the ecosystem on The G Farm. Stop by the farm and learn about your food, your farmer and the systems these animals are raised in.

Triple B Produce

E6501 Mickel John Rd, 
New London

920-427-9435

www.triplebproduce.com

Shares can be picked up at the farm and we also deliver to Waupaca, New London, Shopko in Appleton, Anytime Fitness West and Bulk Food Store in Greenville.

Full, Half, Bi-weekly Full share, Egg Share.

Green beans, beets, peas, sweet corn, kale, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, broccoli, leeks, peppers, kohlarabi and more!

We practice companion planting, which is a natural way to produce bigger and better harvests. We offer eggs and pick-your-own beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. Our shares are available for 14 weeks during the growing

season.

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Yoga has been gaining more and more popularity over the years, and there are many reasons for its top spot. It’s a great workout, and also has a mind/body/spirit component I’ve been trying to focus on in my everyday life. I have taken a few classes here and there, but with the meditative and mindful connection at the forefront of my mind, I wanted to try again with a new outlook. I asked my friend — who had never taken a yoga class — to join me to see what she thought too.

We visited Megan Knuth, 200RYT, at Unknown Yogi within Aurora’s Apothecary in Appleton, and it was the best decision for two beginners wanting to learn what yoga is all about. It turns out, my friend loved it and realized she had been missing out, while I fell in love with it all over again. We went to a “pop in” class on a Friday morning, and it felt like a personal instruction as at this particular time it was just the two of us, instructor Megan and another friendly student.

Megan began by talking about the different facets of yoga, along with the importance of being aware of your breathing. She spoke gently throughout the session to remind us to take it all in and inhale and exhale purposefully. We went through a variety of poses and sequences and a few times we laughed at feeling muscles we hadn’t in a long time — the best kind of stretch (not to mention our core truly getting a workout)!

At the end of the session, Megan went above and beyond any class I had ever been to by covering us each in a blanket, laying a weighted eye mask over our eyes and using the lavender scent throughout the room was blissful! I told my friend how lucky she was to have this happen during her first time doing yoga as I had never experienced anything like it before.

My friend and I were so impressed with Megan and based on the class alone would recommend it to anyone, but after speaking with her for a while realized there’s another reason to appreciate Unknown Yogi’s mission. They participate in and regularly donate class fees to the “Give Back Yoga Foundation,” which integrates yoga to help people with addiction recovery, eating disorders and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. She will also soon be hosting compassion fatigue classes for caregivers.

Because Unknown Yogi is conveniently located within Aurora’s Apothecary, we were able to stroll through the the store after class. My friend loved the incense Megan used during yoga and said she wanted to create the same sense of relaxation that was in the studio at home, so she was on the hunt and found it easily.

Aurora’s Apothecary has an abundance of natural products, homemade salves and lotions, along with fragrant handmade lip balms and sprays. I also noticed an all-natural bug spray, which will be perfect this coming summer. They have unique jewelry and several pieces of art that made me pause to appreciate.

They also have a blending bar to make your own scents with essential oils. This was the coolest thing to us! Glass bottles are provided, and there’s even a notebook of recipes so if you are drawn to the same combination time and time again, you simply write your name and personal recipe down. It’s fun to flip through for inspiration too.

Owner Melissa Aurora Adlebush is the president of the Fox Valley Herb Society, and she and her husband, Kevin, provide classes with subjects like designing your own herb garden, how to make bath bombs, plant identification courses and how to make the most of the “weeds” in your yards — all within their Appleton store.

My friend and I had a great time discovering yoga at Unknown Yogi and all of the wellness products within Aurora’s Apothecary. I have a feeling yoga and shopping locally will become a routine!


Unkown Yogi / Aurora’s Apothecary

1607 Richmond Street, Appleton

www.unknownyogi.com

920-213-9763

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www.aurorasapothecary.com

920-430-7846

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Ulness Health Insurance & Wellness is a family-owned health insurance agency that helps individuals and employers buy health insurance in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In the last decade, buying health insurance has become increasingly confusing and expensive, so more people are turning to the expertise of an independent insurance agent to make sure they are getting the best value on the insurance they need. Partly because health insurance has become so complicated, Ulness Health’s agents focus only on health insurance and not other types of insurance, such as life insurance or property insurance, which leads to a deeper level of expertise.

Ulness Health agents assist people throughout the health insurance life cycle: from employer group health insurance plans, to plans for individuals and families without employer coverage, and finally to retirees and Medicare beneficiaries.

Ulness Health agents help business owners looking to offer employee health benefits, choose between PPO, HMO and POS provider networks and co-pay, and HSA plan designs, which can be mixed and matched to offer the desired balance between benefits and costs.

Ulness Health agents help individuals and families without employer health insurance, such as independent contractors and early retirees, analyze their income to determine eligibility for federal tax credits that may dramatically lower the cost of monthly premiums. Enrollment assistance also includes analyzing plans for in-network medical providers and optimal plan designs, such as deductible amounts, co-pay amounts and Health Savings Account eligibility.

One of Ulness Health’s deepest areas of expertise is health plans for Medicare beneficiaries. When you turn 65, you enter a whole new world of health insurance and the choices can be overwhelming. Ulness Health agents provide guidance regarding when to enroll in Medicare Part B, whether a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan is the right choice, and which Part D prescription drug plan will have the best coverage for your medications.

Ulness Health does not charge a consultation fee for its services, so you pay the same premium whether you use an insurance broker or buy insurance without agent assistance.

Ulness Health also believes there should be more to managing your health than an insurance policy, so in addition to traditional insurance consulting services, Ulness Health also offers innovative wellness strategies for improving your health and keeping your health care costs low. Its agents take special care to explain wellness benefits offered by your insurance to improve your health and can connect you with wellness providers focused on prevention and treatment of the whole person.


Ulness Health is located in downtown Appleton at 214 North Superior Street. Contact Ulness Health at 920-735-2852 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule an appointment.

Spring has sprung and with such, comes the nettle! Some of us may be very familiar with this seemingly pesky weed from the garden, while others may have grown up running through the stinging nettle patches. Whether familiar or not, this early spring superfood is a valued source of nourishment.

Nettle, or urtica dioica, is commonly known as big sting nettle, devil’s leaf, hoky poky, Indian spinach and more. The nettle plant has common names in over 18 different languages, emphasizing its cultural prominence for food and textile use. Nettle is categorized as an extremely nutritive herb, being very mild with a high profile of nutrition. The leaves can be used for tea, infusion, tincture, cooked greens, (steamed) pesto, or added to soup. The leaves contain formic acid, which is responsible for the sting. This acid is neutralized by heating, drying or mashing.

Many herbalists include nettle in a wide array of uses, as it boasts an exceptionally lengthy list of vitamins and minerals. Most notably, calcium, chromium, magnesium and zinc, while also high in manganese, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, selenium, silicone, thiamine and vitamins A and C. It is also one of the highest plant sources of protein available and is believed to build the blood and strengthen the body. It’s no wonder that David Hoffman is quoted as saying, “When in doubt, use nettles.”

Nettle infusion is a popular way to draw out more of the vitamins and minerals than a tea or shorter steeping period. Drinking your vitamins and minerals in a water base makes them more bio-available and easier assimilated by the body since digestion is bypassed. It is an easy and economical way to strengthen the body.

Nettle Leaf Infusion

1 ounce of dried nettle leaves

1 quart of boiling, filtered water

To make an infusion, simply add one ounce of herb material to a quart size glass and slowly pour one quart of boiling water over the herb. Stand a butter knife in the glass to absorb excess heat and prevent breakage. Let steep for eight hours or overnight. Strain out the herb material and add to the compost. Add frozen berries for ice cubes to impart a lovely flavor and beauty to your glass.

Nettle makes a wonderful addition to the garden and provides several harvests over the growing season. It also contributes nutrition and support to the plants growing around it, as well as speeding up the breakdown of organic materials in the compost pile. When used to water plants, compost tea made with nettles stimulates growth and provides resistance to bugs.

Be sure to harvest the herb with gloves, as the young plants pack a sting. Grab the top of the plant and cut off the top two or three sets of leaves. Cut the leaves off and discard the stem. The leaves do not need to be washed, simply shake off any debris and store in an airtight bag in the refrigerator for up to a week or hang to dry immediately. They may be used as an incredibly delicious alternative to kale or spinach in any cooked recipe or steamed for pesto.

Do not eat the leaves raw. Be sure to steam or cook the leaves for a minimum of five minutes to be certain the acid is fully neutralized. Only harvest the leaves from young plants, before the plant blossoms.

As always, please talk to your health care provider before adding herbs into your diet.


References: “The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine.” Basic Health Publications. B Mars. 2007,

“Nutritional Herbology.” Whitman Publications. M Pedersen. 2010.

“The Earthwise Herbal. A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants.” North Atlantic Books. M Wood. 2008.

“Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide.” Storey Publishing. R Gladstar. 2012.

 

Are you part of the 4-35 percent of athletic population that suffers from pain in the lower leg (shin) when you run or jump? Are you also sick of all the conflicting advice from parents or coaches? I will touch on all of the important areas of “shin splints” and what you can do to get back to living your active lifestyle.

What are shin splints?

“Shin splints” is an umbrella term for the following: medial tibial stress syndrome, tibial stress fracture and exertional compartment syndrome. It is very important to know which type you have, because that will determine your next course of action. This is best determined by scheduling an appointment with your medical practitioner. Medial tibial stress syndrome results in pain on the inside part of your tibia or shin bone that is roughly 5 cm in length near your ankle. This is characteristic of diffuse pain to the touch or with running that resolves with rest. If this issue is not addressed, it can progress to a tibial stress fracture. Tibial stress fractures are painful in a much smaller area (point tender) compared to the wider 5 cm range of medial tibial stress syndrome and is normally on the front ridge of the shin bone. If you believe that you could possibly have a tibial stress fracture, then you need to see your doctor immediately.

As you can see, the above issues are bone related, but the last issue is a muscular and fascial issue. Exertional compartment syndrome is characteristic of pain with running usually 10 minutes into the exercise and resolved 30 minutes after exercise. This is also accompanied by cramping, burning, and numbness on the upper outside shin due to pressure from fluid being trapped in the “compartment” around the muscle. This is a serious issue that requires immediate attention by your physical therapist or doctor.

What causes shin splints?

Shin splints are caused by a muscle imbalance between the tibialis anterior (front) and tibialis posterior (back) muscles in your lower leg. One muscle becomes inhibited and weak while the other is overworked, causing a spasm in the muscle, resulting in pain. For example, if you have pain in your calf, it is due to weakness in the front muscle and vice versa. The weak muscle is the issue and one of the factors that needs to be addressed. Other issues that can cause shin splits are improper footwear, overtraining, weakness in other important hip and leg muscles, and running style.

What do you do if you are experiencing this pain?

First, allow for appropriate rest and adjust your training program accordingly. Physical therapists recommend cross training with activities like weightlifting, swimming or biking while your bone heals. If you experience more of the muscle related pain, it is important to address trigger points along the front/back side of the shin bone. This can be done by using your thumb to search up and down the front/back of the shin bone looking for tight and tender spots in the muscle. Once these spots are found, simply hold for 5-10 seconds with light to moderate pressure. Overtraining is an issue that can bring on shin splints. Increasing duration, frequency or intensity of exercise too quickly can lead to pain. Slowly work into a training program, progressing the duration and intensity in a controlled manner.

Managing Shin Splints

There are two predominant camps in the management of shin splints. One train of thought is using an orthotic or specific type of shoe to better support the foot. A good shoe store will be able to take a look at your foot and help determine your needs based on your foot mechanics. Typically, a person with flat arches should look for a motion-control shoe or one that limits pronation of the foot. The other camp believes that these over-supportive shoes or orthotics are encouraging the dysfunction in your foot, making you dependent on such items. They suggest the use of a minimal heel drop shoe and walking barefoot to strengthen the arch of your foot. In my opinion, if you are in the middle of the season, choosing a good motion controlled shoe may be your best option. A long-term solution would be strengthening the arch and becoming less reliant on orthotics or overly stable shoes.

 

How great is it, in this time of needed expansion and inclusion, that there is also a powerful, sacred healing approach that matches those needs! It is called Reiki. Modern Reiki was bestowed upon Usui Mikao in Japan in 1922. Reiki, meaning “universal life force” or “universal energy” is now taught and used across the globe for a wide variety of healing purposes. It is also known as prana, ki, chi, mana or rauch. This life force is everywhere, in everything. It is now commonly used on people, animals and plants. This life force comes from God/Source/Prime Creator, goes through the Reiki practitioner to the one receiving this spirit energy. Some say that Reiki started with people from ancient Egypt and India, and that Jesus possibly used it. Reiki also has links to Buddhist lineage as well, noted in the code of honor of Reiki, which points to mindfulness.

Reiki releases blocks, opens and balances the chakras, the entire energetic system, and brings healing to the practitioner and recipient. The healing gently flows where it is needed on all levels: body, mind, emotions, spirit. William Lee Rand, Reiki Master Teacher, eloquently states that guides, angels, archangels, God actually do the healing. The healing energy comes through the practitioner to the client for the highest good of all.

The Reiki practitioner either lays hands gently on the person or holds their hands slightly above the person’s body, with the intention of serving as a channel or vessel for the energy to come through them and to the client. As in many of the healing arts, each practitioner develops his or her own particular style of giving Reiki, while following the teachings.

Reiki can be used for personal use or a combination of personal and professional use. It is of great benefit both ways. There are four levels of Reiki, open to anyone that feels moved to learn and grow through this sacred art.

Level I covers the codes, philosophy and perspective of dis-ease, the chakra system, and receiving the first attunement. A Reiki attunement connects the student more strongly to the life force. Each level has an attunement, performed by the Reiki Master Teacher. Level I enables the person to administer Reiki to him or herself. Level II begins teaching some of the symbols, as well as a more mind and emotions focus, whereas Level I has a more physical base emphasis. Level III and IV are the master levels of Reiki. They are divided into two separate sections. Level III addresses the spiritual component of Reiki, along with symbols. This level is for the student who wants to become a Reiki Master but not teach other students this healing art. Level IV is the level to become a Reiki Master Teacher. The student can choose how many levels he or she wants to receive training in.

This gift of life force energy encompasses all beings — people, plants, animals. Its lineage draws from many global locations and traditions, and the healing goes to where it is needed: the physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual levels. How amazing to have access to such a beautiful, diverse technique!

“We all have dormant abilities inside ourselves waiting to be used.” Christopher Penczak

The sky is the limit! 

Optimal health is a balance. At the center is you: mind, body and spirit. Lifestyle factors such as nutrition, our relationship with food, joyful movement, sleep, relaxation, positive relationships, spirituality and stress management influence that balance. Having a clear vision of what “lights us up” heightens our health and well-being. By keeping that vision in our mind’s eye, it becomes our “North Star” for creating sustainable lifestyle changes.

In theory, that all sounds great! Yet, why is sustaining a consistent self-care practice elusive for so many? Often, we underestimate the impact of how we respond to stress, which includes external stressors as well as the internal stress we place on ourselves to perform in a certain way. Developing effective ways to manage stress, without turning to food, alcohol or other forms of self-destructive behaviors is essential to self-care.

One main stressor many of us face is the belief that there is never enough time. How often do we hear ourselves or our friends talk about being too busy? We almost wear “time-strapped” as a badge of honor rather than looking at how it is undermining our health. Here’s the ironic thing about that belief — it creates a stress response in the body, which in turn releases chemicals that make us feel rushed. Another major stressor undermining self-care is lack of confidence that we can change.

A way to tackle these stressors and others is to decide to slow down in the moment by connecting to our breath. We can do this anywhere, anytime. As the body relaxes, we start to notice that time feels a bit more spacious. We can see that thoughts and emotions are not constant, they are fleeting. In this state, we can consciously decide to make a different choice rather than habitually responding with patterns that don’t serve us.

It is also helpful to understand that the change process is not linear. Experience has taught many of us that it’s not easy to change eating habits, to develop a consistent exercise program, or to make time each day for relaxation. We often take one step forward and two steps back. Steps that move us in the direction we want to go are reinforcing. The more we do them, the more the neural pathways in the brain are rewired. Steps that take us away from what we want are teachers! Often, we don’t realize the gift of “failure” because our inner critic starts chattering loudly — shaming us once again for not being able to succeed with our self-care goals. We can learn to challenge that critic and embrace the lessons we are meant to learn so we don’t have to repeat them. The next time we face a challenging situation, we can pause, breathe and embrace the opportunity to make a different choice.

The following poem beautifully describes the change process.

Autobiography in Five Chapters by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost.

I am hopeless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find my way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I’m in the same place.

But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in; it’s a habit.

My eyes are open; I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

Think about your self-care journey. Which chapter best describes your story? What steps could you take to eventually walk down another street, toward your “North Star”?

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