April is National Humor Month | Physical Exam or Wellness Visit?

Celebrate National Humor Month with a smile!

By Chris Hammerlund

 Visit  www.patchadams.org  to learn more

Visit www.patchadams.org to learn more

April being National Humor Month, it's a pretty good month to remember one of your Illinois neighbors, Hunter Doherty Adams. Never heard of Hunter Doherty Adams who lives in Urbana these days? Of course you have.

He's the real funny-faced doctor“Patch Adams” made famous by Robin Williams in the movie of the same name. Actually, Adams was made famous by himself long before Robin Williams came along.

 Assured Healthcare Staff enjoying Laughter Yoga.

Assured Healthcare Staff enjoying Laughter Yoga.

He's devoted his life to caring for people who spend most of their lives in the rips of the health safety net. In the first 10 years of his official medical career, he treated 15,000 patients for free.
He was his own national health insurance plan. He's a doctor with different point of view.

This is sort of his month because Adams has always believed that humor was a tool to keep people healthy. But not a silly, feel-good sort of trick. An actual medically valid tool.

He's sort of a holistic medical holy warrior and though the movie that bears his name portrayed him as a mostly well-meaning eccentric, the real Patch Adams has spent his life as a tough - minded civic activist.

But his teams of volunteers still gather every year, load up their clown makeup, bright colored fright wigs and head off to a remote foreign locale to deliver medical expertise - and laughs.

The thing to remember about Adams is that humor is a not a casual affectation to him. It's a way to face health troubles and triumph over them. He believes the power of a large unrestrained laugh, a wide smile and an open heart can cure what some medicines can't. He's teaching us to take care of ourselves with laughter. Love is not a grim duty. It's joyous. And Adams has always taught that the healthy person is firmly planted in a community of shared joy, a family of care and a sense of happiness.

It's one of those ideas that seem “new age” now, but in 100 years the concept will seem so obvious that no one needs to defend it. Remember the days when we thought acupuncture was some goofy hocus-pocus?

Adams used his own funny faces to help conquer his own depression. And then he went global.

So this is his month in a real, meaningful way. But he won't keep it to himself because being funny is only real if your share it. Science already knows thatlaughter has positive physical effects.

One day science might prove that happiness is its own cure.
So, make yourself laugh and mean it.
Make someone you care about giggle.
It might be the best thing you can do for good health.

Meditation Made Easy

A daily meditation practice is one of the very best habits you can establish for yourself. Studies have shown that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity. It can also help you to let go of negative feelings and give you a more positive outlook without the use of medication. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the thought of meditation because they believe it is either difficult to do, overly time consuming or attached to a specific religious belief; all of which are false. Meditation is actually a very healthy practice that will result in less stress, a healthier body and more mental clarity. To reap the benefits to mind, body and spirit, you need only to practice a very basic form of meditation. Try these simple steps for just 10 minutes each morning:

Read More

Behold the Lowly Dandelion

Spring has finally sprung, and brings with it the stirring of growing things all around us.  One of my favorite memories from childhood was seeing the big field across the street from our house transform from muddy, snow blotched thatch to lush green grass, suitable for barefoot games of tag and running bases with my friends.

Read More

Tai Chi for Fitness and Mental Clarity

Right now is a good time to focus on ongoing fitness practices that can help to keep us healthy all year long.  One daily practice you may want to consider is Tai Chi.

Tai Chi is a series of physical postures, or "forms", which are linked slowly and precisely by meditative movement.  It originated in China more than 1,000 years ago and is considered a martial art that is practiced primarily for its health benefits, including reduction of tension and stress.

Read More

Meditation Made Easy

meditation techniquesA daily meditation practice is one of the very best habits you can establish for yourself. Studies have shown that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity. It can also help you to let go of negative feelings and give you a more positive outlook without the use of medication. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the thought of meditation because they believe it is either difficult to do, overly time consuming or attached to a specific religious belief; all of which are false. Meditation is actually a very healthy practice that will result in less stress, a healthier body and more mental clarity. To reap the benefits to mind, body and spirit, you need only to practice a very basic form of meditation. Try these simple steps for just 10 minutes each morning:

  1. Dress comfortably and find a quiet location where you will not be interrupted. (This is sometimes the most difficult part!)
  2. Sit or lie down (some people say that meditation should never be practiced lying down, but it can as long as you are not prone to falling asleep... sleep and meditation are two very different things and do not have the same effects.)
  3. Relax your body by taking a few slow, deep breaths. (Make sure that your belly rises before your chest as you breathe in. This is known as deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing or "belly" breathing and helps the body to relax. Deep breathing is a great relaxation technique on its own.)
  4. Now, simply close your eyes and try to clear your mind of all thoughts while focusing on your breathing... as thoughts do come into your mind (and they will), gently acknowledge them and then let them go, refocusing each time on your breathing. Your goal is to stop thought as much as possible and you will find that as you practice meditation daily, it will become much easier and more beneficial. Some people find that listening to a constant sound such as the air conditioning or a hum will help them focus. In this type of basic meditation, there is no need to use a mantra (a word or phrase used to focus the mind in some types of meditation).

Be sure to keep your practice simple and it will be much easier to maintain. It's as easy as that!

Terri R. Marshall is the owner of Tranquility Bay Relaxation Therapy & Wellness Coaching in Annapolis, Maryland. She is a Relaxation Therapist, Certified Stress Management Specialist, Certified Wellness Coach, Therapeutic Guided Imagery Practitioner and Green Living Consultant. Terri specializes in local individual Relaxation Therapy sessions which relax the body, calm the mind and soothe the spirit as well as Wellness Coaching sessions which promote a health and happiness. In addition, she is available for out-of-area telephone consultations and gift certificates are now available for all Tranquility Bay services. Visit Terri's website for more information or a copy of any of her great self-help publications: http://www.tranquilitybaywellness.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Terri_R._Marshall