• Me and Tai Chi

    I like Tai Chi, you know that slow moving stuff you see ‘old’ people doing in the park in China town?

    I recently came back from a big workshop in Toronto the 20 year anniversary of the passing of the Master of our style. Mr. Moy Lin-Shin.

    It was my opportunity to see all the ‘top’ practitioners in one room and they did not let me down. Wow, can those men and women move and generate power. Yes that slow moving stuff is not always slow, but it sure is moving. Moving me across a room like I got a push from a train. Our style is purely for health, but there are a few ‘old timers’ that took me aside and showed me some of the ways to apply that force differently.

    We had a visit from Mrs. Kwan, a small Chinese lady that is a legend around those parts. She did a demo and showed some techniques to make this part or that part work better. So I asked the great question; “wow, she’s good, how long has she done Tai Chi for?” 35 years. “wow, when did she start?” age 63. “Wait a minute that lady is 98 years old?” yup.

    Lets just say, HOLLY COW!!! Having been in the business of watching people move for 22 years and doing martial arts for just under 40 years. Mrs. Kwan has cemented my belief Tai Chi is a health preserving, longevity super exercise thing to do. Run out and join now! The club I teach for is non-profit so, $25/month and free if you can’t afford it.Read more

  • On the radio

    I recently did a NPR national radio interview with Ezreena Scott  a local trauma therapist. It was my first radio gig. You can listen to it here.

    Ezreena did a great job and I learned a lot by doing it. Radio time goes fast and then it’s gone.

    I would like to have said so much more on the subject, so I will touch on it here.

    We all have trauma, individually our personal trauma can be a 10 out of a 10. If you compare traumas from person to person, yours might not seem so bad in comparison. But only in comparison, personally if you think your broken leg is a 10 out of 10, then it is, for now anyway.

    If you compare your broken leg to watching your family die in a house fire, your broken leg may seem less important in that moment. But if you just reflected on your leg it can re-emerge at the 10 level.

    I think everyone would be well served by seeing a therapist from time to time. For trauma, life goals, mental thoughts, depression, anxiety, shyness, feelings of isolation…. lots of things.

    The more time people spend in “modern” culture of cellphones etc, the more trauma they will possess.

    Why is that? Well when I was a kid there was a BIG newspaper called the “Sunday edition of the New York Times”. It was said that one newspaper issue had more information in it than my Great-Grandad was exposed to in his whole life. True or not I don’t know but an interesting statement.

    When you consider in a day my child can be exposed to ANY information in the world. Much of it is not good, even trauma inducing. And yet all statistic show the world is safer, less poverty, longer lives, more conveniences. What is going on.

    Trauma is good business. The famous newspaper adage, “if it bleeds, it leads”. Meaning put the worst stories first and lets get people’s adrenaline (fear) going. We are hardwired to respond to stress inducing things. The response they want is you read, watch or listen all the way for their advertisements to sell you something.

    How does Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture help? I could have said more about this on the radio show, but…Read more

  • Grade 6 camp outs and goals

    I admit it, one of my big life goals was fulfilled last week. I got to chaperone my kids Grade 6 school camp out and it was fantastic. Thank you to the SD23 school teachers that made that trip and many before it happen. I am grateful for the amount of time you put into it.

    The location, Gardom Lake Camp and it was impressive, weather was awesome and no big injuries and lots of great moments.

    I am a fan of goals. Over the years I have made thousands and likely accomplished hundreds.

    There are as many ways to make goals, as there are people striving for them. Google it and try a few different ways. I have changed how I do it several times in the last 35 years (ouch that’s a long time).

    Now I pick 5 goals a year, generally bigger ones. Break them down into bite size pieces and go about getting them done. Once you have done it for a while it’s fairly straight forward. In the beginning I used to beat myself up a bit for not getting them, or changing them, or…. Now I just work on them and they get done or they don’t.

    The one thing I think more people could be aware of is, many of your goals will NOT bring you what you thought.Read more

  • Coach-ability

    Did a North U sailing trim and tactics course this weekend. 60+ participants, 30 volunteers, 20 boats and perfect weather (a miracle for our lake).

    We had 5 famous sailing coaches fly in from around the USA and Canada and they put it too us. It was great for a few reasons.

    Our boat won the races, that’s always nice. But how that happened was really interesting.

    The crew on my boat, all knew each other but had not sailed together. Sailing is really a symphony between all members of the crew, some good choices and luck to make your boat go fast.

    But the first thing we realized is, we have all developed different ‘short-hand’ practices on each of our boats, which crashed our symphony to the ground.

    There were some mild tense moments and then a magical thing happened. We were coach-able.

    We put our ego’s, stupidity, ignorance on the side and went about the business of getting better. We did what out coach told us. The boat went super fast and it was great. Read more

  • Trauma Talk

    I am getting interviewed by a psychotherapist on the subject of trauma, so I thought I would listen to her radio show and get an idea of what I am in for.

    I was listening to her guest Colin Stroud of Cambridge, England where he runs a trauma program. He said some very interesting things about children’s processing of trauma, which I ‘generally’ agree with.

    disclaimer: All situations are different and require an individual treatment solution, what follows is a discussion not specifically applicable to your child, get a professional to assess them.

    Children under the age of 7-8 normally have a different functionality to their brain than adults. They basically do not have as many connections inside their brain to think or process in a way adults do. This can be very difficult for an adult to understand and be patient with.

    Children from the ages of 8 to 16-ish, have a “normally” connected brain, like everyone else, BUT they just got the ‘fully functional model’ and they don’t necessarily know how to run all the options.Read more

  • Marine safety

    I had the great pleasure to teach a Marine Radio course this weekend with my Kelowna Power Squadron friends Clark and Howard.

    I lived on a ship for 6+ years in that time I did over 500,000 nautical miles (it’s a lot) and I have been lucky to sail quite a bit in the Caribbean and Gulf Islands. I even got to go to Antarctica by ship.

    I can not count the number of fatalities I have seen in that time. Lots, and many were preventable.

    The emergency’s generally happen very quickly. The set up for the emergency can take years of poor maintenance, bad luck and mostly not following safe boating practices.

    The easiest thing in the world that would save lives this year is, WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET!

    I bought a super cool one so I like to wear it, I put a big rescue knife on it to make it look even cooler.

    Read more

  • all body care ward willison

    Passing of a great man

    If someone has taught you, counseled you, mentored you, gave you a hand up when you needed it. Go thank them!

    Giovanni Maciocia is likely the most published English author of Chinese medicine (TCM) books in the world. He passed away last week.

    As for theory he is the most influential teacher I will ever have.

    The first TCM book I ever bought was his on tongue diagnosis. I remember in the early days holding it up to people’s mouths to compare the pictures and proudly declaring “you have a damp Spleen”. Only for them to ask what is a damp Spleen and I did not have a clue how to explain it. Now I do thanks to Giovanni.

    Then I got his book on the Foundations of Chinese Medicine and I thought hit the jackpot.

    When he taught courses, they were clear, relevant and fun.

    I started acupuncture long before the internet was a big thing. There was no Amazon to order the latest book. There were no latest books. Giovanni’s books really shaped a generation of practitioners.Read more

  • Improve consistently

    I like to review my life twice a year. Am I going in the right direction. Am I getting things done… I suggest you do as well.

    Over years small improvements will add up HUGE. I have read that plenty of times when I was younger.
    “Inch by inch it’s a cinch”

    But now that I have done, for example, Tai Chi for 20+ years I notice how the little improvements have made the big improvements. So now I am working on all kinds of little improvements.

    *note – just because I (we) read good ideas does not mean we do good ideas, or understand, believe they’ll work…

    Take face cradles from the treatment tables. The picture is the history of them at our clinic. We just got three of the black ones. oowww ahhh. The things that excite an Acupuncturist.

    Each one is a little better design and hopefully we have one now that will get rid of the cursed ‘forehead line’. Interesting each one cost me $100. I bought the first one in 1996.

    The point is, some goals/tasks/wants/desires are big, too big to get in one swing. Break it down into smaller pieces and go at them.

    As the saying goes: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Simple Christmas

    I was treating a school teacher and she said how stressed the little kids were in the school. That lead us to a conversation that changed me a bit.

    We talked about how adults know the ropes and understand the “policy’s and procedures” of the holidays. But for a little person it’s like asking them to drive a reindeer sleigh, well most of us could not drive a sleigh.

    Some of us actually need another sweater, most of us don’t.

    Most of us actually need some more “together time”. Well likely all of the people I see in my clinic can use more “together time”.Read more

  • The power of slowing down

    I occasionally get to treat someone from a far off place. Sometimes I have even been there. We will start talking about how life is in their country.

    Then I will start to remember how I was there compared to here.

    We really go with our hair straight back in this country, well I normally do and most of the people I see in clinic also do that.

    I think they should turn the power off for 10 hours in this country that would solve everything. I imagine that is how the first generator was built.

    For most of written history, people got more down time. Especially for the eyes. With screens, internet, tv… our poor eyes get used a lot.Read more