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Linda Simmon C.Ht.


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.. . and as usual, a few of my favorite quotes,


"Love doesn't make the world
go round. Love is what makes
the ride worthwhile.

— Franklin P. Jones

"Take care of the minutes, and
the hours and years will take
care of themselves."
— Lord Chesterfield

"Why not go out on the limb?
That's where all the fruit is."
Mark Twain

" There is no problem a good miracle can't solve.
— Tom Wason

"People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges."
— Joseph F. Newton

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."
— Gandhi

"Always do right.
This will gratify some people
and astonish the rest."
— Mark Twain





Autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere).

Welcome to the October newsletter and I hope it finds you all doing well.

The day when the Sun rises exactly east is called the 'Equinox' because it brings days and nights of equal length. The end of September brings such an Equinox. The two equinoxes are a natural time for rebalancing. That may be one reason why in spring we feel an urge to clean and why now so many of us may feel an urge to set our lives straight. This is an excellent time for us to think about and reinforce a sense of balance within ourselves and our lives.

This is also the time when I start thinking about the holidays that are approaching.

I have always loved the holidays, pretty much everything from Halloween up to (but not including) New Year’s Eve; however, I am reminded regularly by news stories and by my clients that there are many, many people who suffer during the holidays.

I myself have found that the last couple of years my enjoyment of the holidays hasn’t been as great as it used to be. A feeling of isolation can overwhelm us, any of us, at any time, but I think the holidays are when this feeling of isolation and even depression is magnified. I have come to realize that recently I have forgotten my own lessons and that I need to be reminded of them myself regularly. So a few of my thoughts that I hope will help make this holiday season better for all of us.

.Linda Simmon, C.Ht.

By Linda Simmon

Americans have a third fewer close friends and confidants than just two decades ago - a sign that people may be living lonelier, more isolated lives than in the past.

In 1985, the average American had three people in whom to confide matters that were important to them, says a study in today's American Sociological Review. In 2004, that number dropped to two, and one in four had no close confidants at all. "You usually don't see that kind of big social change in a couple of decades," says study co-author Lynn Smith-Lovin, professor of sociology at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

Close relationships are a safety net, she says. "Whether it's picking up a child or finding someone to help you out of the city in a hurricane, these are people we depend on." Also, research has linked social isolation and loneliness to mental and physical illness.

The study finds fewer contacts are from clubs and neighbors; people are relying more Bowling Aloneon family, a phenomenon documented in the 2000 book Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam, a Harvard public policy professor.

The percentage of people who confide only in family increased from 57% to 80%, and the number who depend totally on a spouse is up from 5% to 9%, the study found. "If something happens to that spouse or partner, you may have lost your safety net," Smith-Lovin says.

Also, people have far more entertainment tools such as smart phones, TV, iPods and computers, so they can stay home and tune out. The Internet is a major cause for isolation. We must make an effort to keep personal contact, confidants, etc. It is important to actually hear another human voice and to see another face. Texting is a great, fast way to send a message, but it doesn’t and can’t replace an actual conversation. I cannot stress how important it is to talk to each other.

There is definitely a link between fulfillment and friends or family or loved ones. Let’s face it, not all of us have great families, but if we don’t, it becomes even more important to have close friends or to “make your own family”. Not that our happiness is dependent on others, but that having them makes a more well rounded, balanced full life.

We cannot be happy, fulfilled and be completely isolated. Touching, talking, sharing are crucial elements to joy and happiness. This is also an area where having a pet can help you tremendously. Hug your dog, cat, talk to your bird or fish, whatever, you will feel much less isolated and alone; and you can make your pets your family as well. There’s nothing wrong with that and don’t let anybody tell you there is.

The past is where we have been and we learn from it. It can guide us on this journey of our life, teaching us and helping us realize what we want, who we are and where we want to be. The future is yet to come and we can dream about it and visualize how wonderful it will be allowing those dreams and images to guide us in that direction. But what about now? This moment? The present?

This is where we exist, this is where we actually live this life we’ve been given and it is meant to be enjoyed. Laugh, love, giggle, play, dance, swim, read, nap, do whatever gives you joy and whatever allows you to relax fully. At least once a day remind yourself about this. Make it a habit. Do at least one thing that gives you pleasure.

If you do not, then you’ve lost your “now”, the “present” and eventually you’ll find yourself in a sort of limbo land of work, wishes, dreams, dissatisfaction and not quite reachable goals but rarely will you feel the satisfaction of a job well done or a life well lived. You can’t because the job is never really done and the living isn’t happening. Worse than that, you’ll feel as if you are simply existing, not even coming close to experiencing all that this world has to offer you.

Our hopes, dreams and goals are the things that get us moving forward. They guide us toward the right path and show us the life we want to live. This is a great thing, but not the only thing. We must remember how to be a kid again. How to enjoy the moment completely, fully. We must allow this creation of life that we have set in motion to unfold and present us with the unlimited possibilities that are available. Possibilities we will begin to see even more clearly when we can reconnect with the child in each of us and can freely laugh, love and play, play with your dog or cat or child or partner. Just play sometimes not everything has to be about work. Play is crucial to your happiness and fulfillment.

We each do create our own reality with our thoughts so be careful what you not only think about, but listen to and watch because it all affects our thoughts.


  • 5 Steps to Joint Pain Relief

Discover strategies to ease hip, knee, shoulder, and back pain.

Chronic pain comes in a variety of forms. Joint pain is a common one. If you suffer from stiff, achy joints, you're not alone. Twenty-seven million Americans have osteoarthritis -- leader of the pack when it comes to joint-pain culprits. You can thank other causes, as well, including ligament and tendon damage, muscle tears, excess body weight, age, bad posture, and poor biomechanics. Whatever the reason, there are special steps that can help ease painful hip, shoulder, spine and knee pain. Here are 5 of them:

  1. Eat to relieve joint pain.
    Food can't prevent or cure joint pain, but certain nutrients not only enhance muscle and bone strength, they also take a bite out of joint pain. Fill your plate with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, pain-fighting polyphenols, and vitamins C, K, and D.

  2. Move to improve joint pain.
    Resist the urge to hit the couch when your joints hurt. Move through the pain instead. Why? Exercise triggers the production of lubricating synovial fluid and feel-good brain chemicals, and improves joint pain, function, and range of motion. It may even boost cartilage growth in the knees. Ask your doctor about exercises that help rather than hurt your joints.

  3. Watch your weight.
    If you're overweight, ask your doctor for a safe weight-loss plan. Every excess pound you shed takes 4 pounds of pressure off your knees, and can reduce hip and back pain, too.

  4. Work with your doctor.
    Ask your primary care physician if a specialist can help you with your joint pain. An orthopedic specialist and/or physical therapist may be better equipped to tailor an effective pain-treatment plan.

  5. Don't ignore joint pain.
    Pace yourself and avoid activities that aggravate your joint pain, such as running long distances, lifting heavy objects, or kneeling for hours pulling weeds. Use a daily pain diary to note the activities that worsen or improve your joint symptoms.
  • Best Foods for Pain Relief

Can you get chronic pain relief from food? Check out eight foods that fight pain to include in your chronic-pain-management strategy.

No single food can completely stop chronic pain, but a healthful diet is a powerful part of your pain-management strategy. The Mediterranean diet, for example, is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthful unsaturated fats. These edibles can help build strong bones and muscles, and -- in some cases -- can even fight pain. A wholesome diet also helps prevent pain-aggravating weight gain and boosts your energy levels and mood so you can cope more comfortably.

  1. Whole Grains Fight Pain.
    Whole grains are rich in fiber, a good-for-you ingredient that curbs appetite and helps you manage your weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight is important to keep chronic pain at bay. Another benefit: Whole grains are a good source of magnesium, a mineral that has been shown in animal studies to fight muscle pain. Enjoy a wide variety of whole grains -- from whole wheat bread to fast-cooking quinoa and bulgur -- to relieve chronic pain.

  2. Salmon for Pain Relief.
    Enjoying salmon in your diet is a good bet for managing chronic pain. Salmon is rich in pain-relieving omega-3 fatty acids, but it's also a great source of another potential pain fighter: vitamin D. There's a strong link between low levels of the sunshine vitamin and chronic pain, and emerging research suggests supplementing your diet with vitamin D may help ease the discomfort. A 3-ounce serving of salmon has nearly half the RealAge-recommended daily dose of vitamin D: 1,000 international units (IU), or 1,200 IU if you're older than 60.

  3. Olive Oil for Pain.
    Olive oil is liquid gold when it comes to fighting pain. This elixir is rich in antioxidant polyphenols that help inhibit a common pain-causing mechanism in the body. Plus, olive oil makes a great substitute for butter, which is high in saturated fat. That's great, because too much saturated fat in the diet has been shown to erode bone strength and trigger pain. So enjoy this Mediterranean alternative in your next pasta sauce, salad dressing, or saute. But use it judiciously. Olive oil has 120 calories per tablespoon.

  4. Spicy Pain Fighters.
    When it comes to spices with potential pain-relieving properties, go for the gold: ginger and turmeric. Ginger contains four substances (gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone) that have analgesic qualities similar to aspirin or ibuprofen. Turmeric -- a spice used in Indian and Thai curry dishes -- contains curcumin, another ginger-family member that may also help fight pain. So, next time you're feeling extra achy -- brew a cup of ginger tea or order some Thai takeout for dinner.

  5. Strawberries Beat Aches and Pains.
    Grab a basket of sweet, juicy strawberries next time they're in season (or use frozen ones anytime). These red treats are chock-full of vitamin C, an antioxidant with powerful properties that relieve pain, according to research. Some studies suggest vitamin C may help people experience less pain after breaking a bone or having orthopedic surgery. Similar research indicates vitamin C may hinder arthritis-inducing cartilage loss and the formation of bone lesions in the joints.

  6. Greens against Pain.
    Toss a spinach or arugula salad for a jolt of vitamin K -- a nutrient with potential pain-soothing properties, according to some preliminary research. Vitamin K also helps maintain strong bones and healthy joints. In one study, older adults with ample blood levels of K were less likely to develop osteoarthritis, compared to a low-in-K control group. You can get all the K you need from dark leafy greens: a cup of raw spinach has 145 micrograms (132% of what you need for the day). Caution: Vitamin K also helps with blood clotting, so if you're taking blood thinners, check with your doc before boosting your K intake.

  7. Dairy and Pain.
    Can yogurt and other dairy foods relieve chronic pain? Not directly, but they do contain two bone-building nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. Not only does vitamin D do more than build bone strength, it may also play a role in reducing chronic pain, according to some study findings. So, load your grocery cart with yummy, creamy (but low-fat) dairy foods fortified with the sunshine vitamin. Can't stomach dairy foods due to lactose intolerance? Reach for calcium- and vitamin D-fortified orange juice or soymilk.

  8. Wine and Pain.
    Can a nice glass of Bordeaux help soothe achy joints and muscles? It may help. The resveratrol in wine, grapes, and grape juice may have an analgesic effect similar to aspirin, according to a handful of animal studies. But if you add resveratrol to your list of nutrients that offer pain relief, just watch how much of it you get from red wine. Experts recommend no more than one daily glass of wine for women. Men can get away with one more. And don't forget: You can dose yourself with resveratrol equally well by eating red grapes or sipping grape juice.
  • Exercise for Pain Relief.
    Find out how to work exercise into your chronic pain management plan. When you live with chronic musculoskeletal pain, exercising might be the last thing you feel like doing. But it pays to keep moving. Workouts encourage your body to release endorphins -- neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers. Regular exercise also helps you manage your weight, which is good news because extra pounds tend to aggravate persistent pain.

    Your doctor can advise you on the best activities for you, but most pain-management exercise programs include this combination:

    • Low-impact aerobic workouts.
      In one study, people with knee osteoarthritis who participated in a walking program felt less pain after just eight weeks. Other aerobic options that fight pain include cycling and swimming,

    • Stretching.
      Studies have found practicing yoga and tai chi, both forms of exercise that enhance flexibility and range of motion, can help soothe pain.

    • Resistance training.
      This kind of workout builds joint-supporting muscles to help reduce chronic pain. Your doctor or physical therapist may tell you to build muscle using weights, resistance bands, water exercises, or even your own body weight.

    Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you've been inactive due to chronic pain.

Also, "listen" to your body whenever you work out and avoid any exercise that hurts.

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you think might like it.

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© Copyright 2018, Linda Simmon