Yoga Changes the Brain

Thursday, March 20, 2014 14:08 | Filled in discussions, information, Research studies
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Rodale Article: The 6 Worst Natural Ingredients

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 17:00 | Filled in discussions, information, resources
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The 6 Worst Natural Ingredients

They may sound healthy and “all-natural,” but you don’t want any of these ingredients in your grocery cart.

Rodale, once again, simplifies and makes quite clear some very basic and life-saving (over your long term) facts to steer your lifestyle away from sneaky ingredients labeling and dangerous additives lurking in seemingly innocent natural products. Lots of pictures for those of you that lean more from the visual approach, and divvied up into six simple chunks of information, this is a quick study and easy to understand.

More healthy news from Janet’s Eye on the Media…. photo-1-Version-5

Dr Susan Pacheco – Another Voice

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 19:32 | Filled in discussions, information, janet's writing, mission statements, visions
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beautiful beach


Dr Susan Pacheco, a Pediatrician who has committed herself to working an even longer stretch of “the road” for her children by speaking up about an often forgotten piece of the climate change concern…. that of the health challenges documented, researched and validated as the result of  increasing environmental toxicity, and unaddressed by most “debaters” in this crisis. This is a touchy issue because who wants to say they support the profit of oil and other carbon-based products over the health and well being of innocent children? Yet to even write that bit about the debate over this crisis brings up yet another matter that Dr Susan Pacheco’s lovely, intelligent and kind video touches quietly without words: that the argument is for argument’s sake. Is it not? Else why argue the point, literally the gunpoint, staring one in the face? Things are a’changing here on this precious planet with seven million and counting humans pushing out the other species and spilling over our refuse into the environment in so many ways. What is there to argue with common sense that the fruitflies in the gel medium test tube are crowding one another so much that they have reached the height of their lifespan and population bell curve. Now the down swing of the bell curve begins. The weakest die off first. The question is: because we are sentient beings, could we make moves to alter the course? Could we create a self-sustainable environment? The question is not do we know how to create this however. The question really is: will we?

Please enjoy this link to Dr Susan Pacheco’s brief but elegantly spoken and evocatively imaged video. 

Will You Dance This Year?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 19:51 | Filled in discussions, information, janet's writing, mission statements, visions
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Will you dance with us this year?

One Billion Rising

Last year on February 14, 2013, one billion people danced in 207 countries…. Yes, in 207 different countries, a wave of strength and courage empowered by universal love and the willingness to act to know, to do what is right and before one, to speak, laugh, cry, sing and to dance…a wave rose, swelled and swept across the globe in our hearts, minds, soul. This attached video (the One Billion Rising underlined above this paragraph) premiered at Sundance Film Festival January 19. The video is only nine minutes short chock full of rich action when we all danced around the world as One last year.


What is One Billion Rising? In the words of our organization, One Billion Rising is women and their friends, family, lovers and children stopping whatever they are doing and rising to dance in the name of ending violence everywhere NOW. Vday or February 14 is our day of joy and Love. This is a rising up for justice in the form of calling out the act of violence going on behind doors and in broad daylight around the world daily. By dancing, we speak the unspoken yet loudly heard cry of pain of one billion abused and raped, unanswered by our seven billion in number family of humans. And we dance because this is our expression of freedom to speak and to live life without oppression by violence. Please follow the link to the One Billion Rising page and find out more about what is being done this year in your communities and around the world… and I sincerely invite you to join us in this beautiful full and inspired dance of freedom!


From please read some of the details about the strike, rise and dance for V-day this year.









Go to the website to learn how to participate in One Billion Rising this year on February 14. Lets end violence against women and girls Now, forever. Lets be the co-creators of a Golden Age where all are free to dance without fear or intimidation.

Wherever you are, it begins now.




What Sleep Loss Looks Like

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 13:16 | Filled in discussions, information
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Welcome Home! from the holidays. Feels like I have been gone too long, but I came up with many stories and articles to share for Lifestyle Modification support while traveling over the winter holidays. So look to see a few posted right away. Today, I am beginning with an article share from Huffpost Healthy Living. Some of you, like myself, may be looking at the new year and contemplating that sleep will have to step aside to get back on track with your goals. Don’t Do It! This article briefly illustrates how necessary sleep really is to accomplishing your most cherished goals as well as safely conducting the mundane activities of life. I hope you will look it over….and look for more from Lifestyle Modification Support to come……




Laughter’s Healing Power

Saturday, November 16, 2013 13:54 | Filled in discussions, mission statements, Quotes, visions
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 The Language of Laughter…..

“The power of laughter is a power for good. It raises the spirits, purifies the soul, testifies to tolerance, kills resentment, routs enmity, disrupts distrust, promotes understanding, makes all skins kin, puts Man “one up” on the beasts of the field and only one down on the gods of Olympus. It is the best peace propaganda known to civilisation, being more easily understood than Esperanto or “desperanto.” It says more with less expenditure of air than any other form of human expression.”

[Author unknown, (1935). Laughter is the language of the world. In The New Zealand Railways Magazine 10 (6). Retrieved from: .]


attacked by a fishy!Laughter truly Is the language of the world. Imagine peace, imagine joy, imagine love. I hope you will join all of us that support and participate in the cause of laughter, the universal language. Discover the healing power of laughter…. slowly, if you must. Practice a tentative smile at passersby. Worry not about their reaction. The smile will stay with them and silently return upon their own face each time they ponder its meaning. Just imagining the act of a smile can awaken a surprising sense of joy within. Grin and tease your perceived opponents . . . . witness a slice of tension dissolve. Perhaps the dismissed tension is only in you, so be it! Is this not a great relief? Laughter adds objectivity, a moment of stepping back and reassessing the situation from a grander scale. And yet, laughter demands no such grandiose outcomes or motivation. Laughter simply provides pause; a grace barely mentioned in the intellectual debates, but a gift worthy of gold for its refreshing breeze of equanimity. If the world’s denizens share this wordless understanding, then is this not evidence of laughter’s transcendence beyond mental contentions? I, and many others, laughing in the stands, say this is more than evidence, this is just cause for further embellishment and abandoned release to laughter’s healing power.
So much life! Love and laughter to you and yours, janet and family


Enjoy this delightful video of laughter lifting spirits at children’s hospitals:

Laughter Is the Language of the World

[Click on the Laughter Is the Language of the World link.]


Resources for more groups that promote laughter and laughter’s healing wisdom. May you live long and laugh forever!


Your Arthritis Wants Yoga

Sunday, October 20, 2013 18:33 | Filled in information, janet's writing, Research studies, resources
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Your Arthritis Wants Yoga

bow pencil-paint


“Yoga? For arthritis?” My 40-something friend rolls her eyes and shakes her head, “You must be crazy. How can I twist my body like a pretzel when I cannot bend over?”



What is new about encouraging yoga for arthritis? More research! to back up the benefits of mild to moderate exercise for arthritis, including research specifically using yoga. The research enhances what yoga enthusiasts have been saying for decades: yoga provides many benefits specific to arthritis without alarming physical high jinks and manipulations.


What is important to know about yoga for arthritis? Yoga styles vary; some are well-suited to arthritis, others not so much. Yoga postures are specific to parts and regions of your body; begin with an educated instructor to choose the safest postures for your particular arthritis. Yoga strengthens muscles, thereby supporting joints for a longer joint life, more overall stability in daily activities, and less pain. Yoga provides more than exercise; yoga improves your lungs’ capacity, yoga enables deep relaxation, and yoga increases mental clarity.


How does yoga accomplish all this? Some yoga postures strengthen the large muscle groups that are used for the position, which then benefits the corresponding joint by lessening duress on the joint. Yoga increases range of motion, which gives you more room to work with before reaching your joint’s stress point. The combination of deep conscious breathing combined with focus on the body during the positioning for each posture has been shown to increase endorphins. Endorphins are those “feel good” hormones that up your mood and sense of well-being, decreasing the sensation of pain. As with all exercise, the movement and breathing causes your body’s blood, filled with needed oxygen, endorphins, and nutrients, to move more effectively into your muscles.


What do you need to know to have a positive experience with yoga and to experience improvement in your pain levels? Research shows that each individual discovers their unique range within any exercise as far as stretch and endurance. As with all exercise types, begin slowly and gradually increase how much you are doing as your strength for the practice improves. An experienced and specifically trained instructor will know which postures are safe and how far to go with the position. So choosing a qualified instructor insures you have the best support for learning your range. Some classes are for yoga performed in a chair! So whether you are limited to a chair or if you need to incorporate exercise into a sedentary work situation, you have options to enhance your personal experience with yoga. Choose from Hatha Yoga schools and teachers for yoga best suited to Arthritis. Some Hatha Yogas which work well with Arthritis are Iyengar, Integral, Ansura, and Kripalu. See the Resources list at the end of this asticle for more links to schools of yoga.


The “always” list: Talk to your Arthritis Provider before beginning the first yoga class to receive specific instructions about any restrictions or limitations to share with the instructor. Discuss with the Instructor their experience with Arthritis students as well as your doctor’s recommendations for your specific condition. Choose a beginners class and progress slowly even if you feel good during the class. The saying “no pain, no gain” does NOT apply to you or to yoga. Pain means slow down, pull back some on the stretch, and/or take a break.



The Yoga Alliance is a great resource to finding certified yoga instructors. The site provides a directory and also provides links to more information on yoga education.

The Yoga Journal is available at many stores including your grocery store. Inspiring and educational articles keep you updated on the latest research related to yoga for many conditions including Arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation has a DVD especially for those with Arthritis that shows yoga postures specifically for various types of typical Arthritis conditions. The DVD is named Arthritis Friendly Yoga and can be found at:



Ehrlich, S. (2012). Complementary and alternative medicine guide: Rheumatoid Arthritis; University of Maryland Medical Center Health Information and Medical Reference Guide. Retrieved from:

Gothe, N., Pontefex, M., Hillman C., and McAuley E. (2013). The Acute Effects of Yoga on Executive Function. Journal of Physical Activity & Health 10(4):488-95.

Haaz, S. (2009). Yoga for Arthritis; The John Hopkins Arthritis Center website at:

Sharma, M. (2013). Yoga as an alternative and complementary approach for Arthritis:

A systematic review; Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 18 (3).

Communication … Simple, Right?

Friday, October 4, 2013 19:13 | Filled in discussions, information, janet's writing
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Janet Still FNP

Lifestyle Modification Support


Communication … Simple, Right?


If communication is as simple as speaking one’s mind, why all the fuss about misunderstandings? Someone else’s problem, some of you may answer; others of you are too busy to answer as you are in the midst of an issue in your life to address and are uncertain where to turn for answers….with no time to talk or, more importantly, listen to another perspective. And I do not want to leave out those of you that are well aware of how complex simply talking with another can be, unless one is paying close attention to the many verbal and nonverbal signals the speaker is giving. This has been a week rife with examples of how much more complex communication has become in our modern world of expanded communication opportunities via computer technology, and because of immensely advanced data, knowledge, and potential directions that the continuously advancing technologies offers us.

tech icon

Reading this article may offer you a nudge as to how to redirect confrontation in a healthy and mutually beneficial manner. Reading this article may awaken you to recognizing your point of view is possibly exactly the same as the others in your “situation” but how you are choosing to communicate your viewpoint is the cause of your perceived problem. And hopefully, whether you have been told this a proverbial one hundred times or not, this article may enlighten you to the fact that others actually cannot read your mind nor can you accurately read their minds either!


From Congress’s ongoing verbal posturing solving nothing apparently this week (no budget, no government) to the multitudes of battles verbal to physical in our world, communication is a clear issue. Language barriers are an obvious impediment in accurate transference of ideas, desires, hopes, and problems. Even in those speaking the same language, however, barriers related to language abound. Obvious difficulties arise from different desired outcomes in the exchange of ideas. This article is about when we either ostensibly want a shared outcome like good or better health, or when we sincerely know we must create an agreeable compromise, but somehow come out of our conversations feeling further from our goals. Have you ever left your doctor’s appointment feeling more clueless that when you went in? Why does that happen? Sometimes there isn’t even new information; you and the doctor just seemed to be speaking from two entirely different worlds. He or she is in a hurry because the fella in the next room is plainly in a desperate way by the sound of his incessant coughing, you give up and never even ask the questions you intended because you are trying to digest what the expert just shared … before the expert smilingly dashed out the door.

Young, smiling female doctor in a white coat.

I have been that expert smilingly dashing out the door. Because I hated the situation, I have given much thought to how to prevent the repeat performance. I saw by your facial expression that you felt clueless or I heard your exasperated stifled sigh, but when I asked if you understood what we talked about, you said, yes. This week I once again became aware that age-old adage that communication is a two way street or that “it takes two to tango” needs a more thorough review. My work as a virtual consultant-advocate is about helping others to communicate more successfully with their healthcare team. I act as your “Ghost-writer” case manager sometimes when you come to me with a healthcare issue. Most of the time, my clients complain that their provider does not hear them, understand them, or in some manner disagrees with the patient goals. We go over your medical records, history of symptoms and treatments, what worked and what did not work from your viewpoint, and make a game plan for you to share with your primary provider. Great first step.


In experience, communication faux pas occur even with a great plan. Often the actual source of the communication problem turns out to be the patient did not understand their provider’s wording. Medical jargon, local dialect (lingo), interruptions, a moment of processing one idea causing the patient to simply not be listening when the important detail was spoken, faulty hearing related to illness or sounds in the clinic … all are possible reasons for the omission in understanding. I share this because while as experts and providers, we are responsible for effective communication with our patients, we do not have control of every aspect of every situation. At the same time, your health and wellbeing may be in danger. Yes, I can help you, the provider says, but not if the two of you are not clearly tracking on every detail of the conversation.

kapowie copy

If you are making a decision not to follow your provider’s expertise, you must communicate that to the provider right away. Your provider cannot be held accountable if you do not follow his or her medical advice and your health fails. Some folks fear the confrontation. I admit I have witnessed providers becoming overly attached to patient’s decisions. To my own surprise, I, too, have been very anxious for my patients when they disagreed with the treatment options. Often the problem here is two-fold: the patient has waited too long to honestly express their feelings regarding the diagnosis and treatment; and/or the provider has not adequately communicated the whole picture so that the patient can comprehend all the possible risks and benefits. But whatever the reason for the impasse`, please be aware that ultimately your provider has an ethical and legal obligation to direct you to alternative care and/or treatment options. SO PLEASE speak up when you are disturbed or upset by the interaction. Do not leave if you intend to not follow the treatment plan until you set up an alternate plan to address your situation.

musical note

Here are some tips for you regarding communication with your healthcare expert, in descending order of urgency, start with the last tip and move back up this list:

~When your provider or the clinic’s staff or someone sufficiently trained in your symptoms says to go to the ER when you are experiencing certain types of symptoms, ….GO TO THE ER. Do not collect $200, do not wait anxiously for very long to receive a call back from the provider’s office. Only call your friend or your mother to take you to the ER if you have called ER and they said it is okay to do so. Otherwise call 911.

~Before you call your provider’s office with disturbing, strange, painful, and/or scary symptoms, first give a few minutes to thinking how to get the unusual nature of your symptoms across in very few words to the receptionist. The receptionist is not a trained medical expert. Hopefully she has received and understood training for certain keywords to recognize an urgent situation. Do not count on that. What is scary about your symptoms? Did you listen or take home an info sheet on what to look for to call the doctor urgently? If you did, let me give you a big cheer right now! Those are the words to express specifically and clearly to the receptionist. If not, think how you would explain this to a friend or neighbor that you would ask for help so that they understood how the seriousness of your question. Here is a hint: if just trying to get to the file cabinet for that info sheet or walking to the neighbor’s door may have you gasping for breath, that is a serious symptom, shortness of breath. Others are: feeling faint or blacking out, extreme pain, dark colours in your urine, feces, or other body fluids (this is blood usually) . . . and anything that prevents normal daily life activity.

~Do not listen to people who have no medical training about life threatening situations. That sounds very oppositional or negative but I am not saying they do not have experiences or wisdom to share. Sure, listen to them, but when it comes to decision-making, surely you want to have all the information about your specific situation to hand in order to make the best decision for you, your continuing health. To this end, request from the clinic staff, or your provider directly, info sheets for emergency situations as well as for support groups, websites with reliable sources and resources. Ask whether a national organization exists for your condition so that you can educate yourself for all possible situations ahead of their happening and to prevent complicated situations from ever arising. If your clinic does not have this information or is not willing to assist you with this type of request, something is wrong. Find out why and look for more answers wherever you can.

~Express understanding when requesting more information; listen to their answers and make note of the information for filing away; make note as well of any promises for future resources and return to retrieve the information because you are in charge of your health ultimately; make it clear to your provider and the clinic staff that you are an active member of the healthcare team on your case. A good healthcare team will be happy to know you are on the ball. When you have questions, write them down as soon as possible to ask. Ask the clinic and provider their preferred method of receiving requests and concerns and always use their preferred method first, making note if they fail to reply by their stated method. Let them know where they let you down, because a strong healthcare team wants to know these issues in order to improve. Get clear with your provider your desired outcome for your healthcare condition and listen to hear your provider agree or disagree. If your provider has a different outcome in mind, ask for reasons and whether a compromise is possible.

~Finally, what should be stated first, but I always state last for emphasis: always begin all your written or spoken questions, requests, discussions with … direct eye contact, a kind expression such as a smile, and an honest statement of something observed about the person that you can commend or compliment. I know you may be feeling horrible. You are sick after all. What about the staff? They face ill people all day in grumpy grouchy unpredictable moods… ALL day. The job is often so stressful that staffing shortages are a common theme, so that harried receptionist may be having to pull overtime after calling desperately to find childcare and/or may have been doing the work of two all day because their coworker called in ill and so forth.

Night dance

Communication is a two way street, which means that you also must give a little to receive, for the tango to come off sensationally. How hard is a simple kindness to another? A question folks often ask me when they feel they have been ignored. What about turn-about? Start on the right foot, with respect, and then follow verbal respect up with actually giving respect in your actions. Listen to others with sufficient patience to learn if the solution you need is already a given or if communication seems to be failing. This foot-forward approach nearly always saves time and effort. Who would not go out of their way to help someone who has treated them with patient kindness? Maybe you.

<3 icon


Additional reading, resources, references:

Fong Ha, J. and Longnecker, N. (2010). Doctor-Patient communication: A review; The Ochsner Journal (10) 1; p 38-43.

Haftel, Lypson, and Page (2008). Patient-Doctor communication: The fundamental skill of medical practice. Retrieved from:

Ludwig, M. (2008). Physician – Patient relationship; Ethics In Medicine: University of Washington School of Medicine. Retrieved from:  

National Institute of Health (NIH) (2013). Talking to your doctor: Resources from NIH. Retrieved from:

White, C., Moyer, C., Stern, D., and Katz, S. (2004). A content analysis of e-mail communication between patients and their providers: Patients get the message; Journal American Medicine Informatics Association (11); p 260-267.

Thanks to Microsoft royalty-free clipart for the icons, the doctor and the dancers photo.


Hava nice cuppa …… ?

Sunday, September 29, 2013 17:28 | Filled in resources, Uncategorized
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I must add to you personally that I observe the so called negatives can all be counterbalanced by choices regarding the type of coffee; how you brew your beloved cuppa; and judicious moderation.

Whereas the positive effects look good by themselves! though I would have to read the individual studies to see if I agree with those particular conclusions, some of the positives are self-evident. 

Ahh to nap… I nap therefore ….

Sunday, September 29, 2013 17:26 | Filled in resources, Uncategorized
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relaxed at home

This one needs no introduction really…
who does not want to learn a bit about how to get the most out of your nap?

Hey, who does not want to be armed with a great “excuse” .. I mean! reason, yes, reason for taking a nap!!

me and my dog