Author Archive

New Year’s Resolution: Strengthen Your Gratitude Muscle

- January, 2018

There’s plenty of research that tells us that expressing more gratitude supports a healthier life. Not just emotionally but the experience of gratitude releases chemicals in our bodies that support our physical health as well. Yet when faced with challenges our mind’s capacity to focus on the negative can take over. This is a primitive, survival and unconscious response – at least until we let ourselves consciously acknowledge it. It is in that moment that we have a choice: Continue to follow the wave of negative feelings and self talk that perpetuate the release of bodily chemicals that make us feel crummy, or find a way to make a shift.

Before blindly trying to shift to gratitude, it is also important to find a way to take care of the worry, fear, overwhelm, anxiety, or whatever the difficult experience or circumstance is creating. Trying to push away the discomfort rarely works, or is only successful temporarily, until the monster of negativity returns. New research suggests that any emotion, when truly felt, only takes 90 seconds to pass. To learn more, look up this 15 minute TEDx talk on-line: Emotional Mastery: The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Feelings – Dr. Joan Rosenberg – TEDx SantaBarbara

Once you have learned to experience, feel safe with and honor the uncomfortable emotions that come up you can begin to look around you for things to be grateful for – of which there are many. Unfortunately once again, the judgmental, comparing mind can make this more complicated than it needs to be. Just being grateful for each breath is a simple start. Although many of us can be grateful for family, friends, our home, cars, jobs, health, etc. There are many other people whose lives have been so challenging that family and a support system may be distant or non-existent. Many of my patients are challenged with daily and hourly persistent pain, which can consume the thinking mind and blind them to seeing the blessings around them. It can require persistent diligence and patience to appreciate the capacity to shift ones attention towards what is working from what is not going well.

I have personally experienced several challenges this past year. Not the least of which was on December 14th when my husband had to be taken by ambulance to the Emergency Room at St. Charles for excruciating shooting pain from his upper back down both his legs while the strength and sensation in his legs gradually disappeared. (He is home and doing very well now, learning to find his balance and walk again). We were surrounded by so many people in the hospital, a few of whom we knew, who were in a much worse condition than he was. After our initial shock, we were able to receive the blessings of friends, family and caregivers, and recognize how grateful we were as things could have been so much worse.

I suspect my challenging experiences this past year ultimately helped strengthen my gratitude muscle as I learned over and over again to shift my attention and recall my blessings. Even in the midst of one of the most difficult experiences of my life: watching my strong, capable, can-do-anything husband succumb to a spinal cord injury, I was able to see how things were falling into place to support a successful recovery. That’s not to say that there weren’t and still are moments where I am overwhelmed by fear and worry. In these moments I have learned to stop, place my hand on my heart and gently say to myself, “90 seconds”. I pause, breathe, feel, often cry and just let it all out. Miraculously, the strong emotion passes, and I go on with my life. Eventually I remind myself to give thanks and feel into the gratitude of my many blessings.

Like any new exercise, living a more grateful life takes practice with pacing and patience. Some days will be better and more consistent than others. Some weeks you may forget completely then get back on the gratitude wagon the next week. If your thinking mind has practiced focusing on what’s not going well, it is in a habit. This means it doesn’t take any thought or energy to go to the place of negative familiarity. So making the shift takes gentle intention. You can’t beat, shame or demand yourself into gratitude. It takes developing your own kind and caring inner voice that will coax and remind you of your blessings and love and forgive you when you forget. Ultimately the pleasure of living a grateful life will begin to call you more often than the old habit of negativity. Not that you will ever be free from difficult experiences, but you may find more freedom in balancing the challenges with the awareness of the blessings of your life!

May you experience your blessings more fully in 2018!

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Necessity is the Mother of Invention 05/15/2015

- May, 2015

I’m not sure if it was my last blog, or maybe my husband just got tired of hearing me whine. But either way, I’m thrilled that he finally discovered the answer to my sore hands. Pipe Insulation!

I’ve had a few recommendations. The most common is (more…)

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Home to Heal:

- April, 2015

Crutches, naps, pain pills, help with moving my leg, a nice visit on the deck in 70 degree weather with my dear sweet mom. So glad I got (more…)

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Get Out of Your Slump!

- April, 2015

Adjust Your Ergonomics to Prevent Neck & Back Pain.

Join Instructor Nancy Hartung, BS. PTA. for a one hour workshop to help get you out of your slump.

Learn secrets on how to minimize neck or back discomfort.  Learn ways to help your work station to cause less stress and strain on your body. 

Reserve your space now as seating is limited for this free event.

Monday, April 27th from 5:30-6:30pm

Click here for the workshop flyer

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No Pain Life Gain March 2015

- February, 2015

No Pain — Life Gain

March 9th, 16th, and 23rd.

Mondays 5:30-6:30pm

Reserve your seat for these Free* Workshops

Voluntary donations accepted to support underinsured children receiving therapy at Treehouse Therapies .

March 9th: Explain Pain presented by Allison Suran P.T.

March 16th: Anti-Inflamatory Foods presented by Dr. Lisa Uri

March 23rd: Stress presented by Allison Suran P.T.

Click here for more details

 

 

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Free Classes Resume Soon

- October, 2014

After taking the Summer off from offering classes, WE’RE BACK! If you or someone you know experiences persistent pain, consider registering for these free classes. Research shows that the more knowledge a person has about their pain experience, the less pain they will experience – at least in the short term.

I’ve been experiencing my own persistent pain for the past one and a half years  (more…)

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No Pain Life Gain November 2014

- September, 2014

November 3rd, 10th, and 17th.

Mondays 5:30-6:30pm

Reserve your seat for these Free* Workshops

Voluntary donations accepted to support underinsured children receiving horse therapy at Healing Reins.

November 3: Explain Pain presented by Allison Suran P.T.

November 10: Stress presented by Allison Suran P.T.

November 17: Anti-Inflamatory Foods presented by Dr. Lisa Uri

Click here for more details

 

 

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Choose Change, Choose Health

- April, 2014

 

It has been said “it takes as much effort to be unhappy as it does to be happy, so which do you choose?” This is so true. Yet we often don’t realize how much effort and energy is being put into maintaining the inertia of our unhealthy, unhappy, or uncomfortable state. Often, the initial steps towards change can be very simple, even easy. You start small and don’t have to change everything all at once. After all, what have you got to lose?

Please be sure to join us Monday, April 28th at 5:30 p.m. at this free one hour class.  Fran Manti, MS PT, will lead us with insights on how to safely start and progress an exercise program.  Discuss precautions for certain types of medical conditions.  Explore different types of exercise and learn why they are important.

Reserve your spot for this free class by calling

Healing Bridge Physical Therapy

541-318-7041

Click here to see class flyer

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Choose Change, Choose Health

- April, 2014

Choose Change, Choose Health Allison Suran, PT, GCFP

When you break a bone, the doctor straightens it. If your appendix is inflamed, you have it removed. If you gash your skin, you have it stitched up. When you have an infection you take an antibiotic. When you have pain, you… Pain is an elusive concept. For some folks, even the slightest discomfort will motivate them to seek relief. For others, it often takes a great deal of pain, often to the point of interfering with their regular activities, to seek help. Even then, it can be difficult to address the lifestyle patterns that influence the (more…)

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Foundations Of Exercise

- April, 2014

In our “Get Well – Stay Well” series, Healing Bridge Physical Therapy will be offering our 2nd presentation titled; “Foundations of  Exercise: How Much, How Far,  How Fast? ” This presentation is for anyone interested in increasing their activity or exercise.

Many of us have good intentions to get started on exercise or recreation activities but find we just don’t follow through.  (more…)

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