• Premature Death and what we can do about it.

    40% of premature death is caused by “behavioral patterns”. I was reading a study from University California, San Francisco and they where looking at early death.

    It is an amazing factor that 40% of people that die young are driving themselves to that party by their daily choices. Now I am fairly sure they do not look at it like that but the science does.

    A big part of that number is obesity and smoking, it’s a US study. But even in Canada the number of obese people is going up. Smoking numbers are going down but it needs to go lower.

    What to do? Well every year or so pick an area of your life and make it healthier. Read somethings, ask some people, try some things and see what happens. Make it simple, make it repeatable and find ways to enjoy it and make it part of your routine.

    I have said before, this year I am eating more fruit a day, my goal by the end of the year is to have 4 pieces of fruit 5 days a week. So far so good. I found that if I blend them up in the morning and drink it at work it gets done 17 days out of 20 so far. Not perfect but I have a few months left to tweak my system.

    The thing I know from work it once a persons behavioral patterns have caused a problem they are normally difficult to change in a short time and sometimes that’s not fast enough.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

    reference article is here http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa073350

  • The time is Sailing by

    Speed is a relative term in sailing. With the new America cup boats going 20-40 knots (sailing jargon for real slow compared to a car) we are able to go as fast as a kid on a peddle bike. The average sailing boat is going 5-10 mph. So a quick walk to a so so jog.

    I so often see people at the clinic who have been going ‘full throttle’ for a very long time and pop into the clinic and wonder if I can do a pit stop at the speed of an Indy car.

    Our bodies for thousands of years where going at sailboat speeds, now for the last 70 years they have sped up to race car speeds. I was just at a party and for the first time in my life I was talking to a person who was texting, eating and ‘talking’ to me all at once. I know for most of you that’s a daily thing, but for me it’s a future patient.

    I see a lot of people who’s gas tanks are empty and empty is not a good way of saying it. If gas where in stones they have ground the last one up for the last drop of gas they could get from it and now it’s all just dust.

    Take a little slow time. Your body can handle a massive amount of abuse and recover, but it still must recover and that takes some slow time. Ow and Acupuncture helps too.

    If you put frogs into a room temperature pot of water and slowly turn up the heat they will stay in there and die. Don’t be a frog.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • 45 life lessons worth learning

    There are some real sit down and think about it lines in here. One of the many things my job has taught me is; some days suck. For some of those days this list can help.

    Written By Regina Brett.(editing by Ward)

    1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
    2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
    3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone…
    4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
    5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
    6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
    7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
    8. It’s OK to get angry just get over it and don’t hurt anyone, including you.
    9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
    10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
    11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
    12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
    13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
    14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
    15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; you have a front row seat.
    16. Take a deep breath as fear is excitement without the breath.
    17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
    18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
    19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
    20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
    21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
    22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
    23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
    24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
    25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
    26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words “In five years, will this matter?”
    27. Always choose life.
    28. Forgive everyone for everything.
    29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
    30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
    31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
    32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
    33. Believe in miracles.
    34. You are loved, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
    35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
    36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
    37. Your children get only one childhood.
    38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
    39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
    40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
    41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
    42. The best is yet to come.
    43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
    44. Yield.
    45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

    Have a good think,
    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Boats for Hope

    This weekend our crew of 12 kids and 6 bigger kids (adults) spent hours and hours turning a normal sail boat into a Pirate Boat. So around 200 kids who are ‘handy-capable’ could come in converted power boats to marauding Pirate boats and steal our treasure.

    It was all part of the annual Variety Club Boats for Hope Charity. Which happens at a number of yacht clubs around BC. It has raised 1.2 million since it started.

    What’s this goto do with heath?

    Over the years I have read and watched lots of stuff about how to be happy and successful. Mostly they all say the same thing and one of those things is to donate your money and/or time to a worthwhile cause.

    Doing Boats for Hope for the last few years I appreciate again why it is on the list of a successful life.

    There is something moving to see a hundred plus people getting together to put something like this on. From all the yacht club members, fire, police, search and rescue, local businesses. Every one has a busy lives but each person put this ahead of all other things and that’s cool.

    Then there is the children, they get loaded onto the boats by firefighters and taken to the six pirate boats with treasure. They hail how many kids, we pass over the treasure and then the water fight begins and it’s serious stuff. We have all manner of water guns, buckets, water balloons and a high pressure hose and pump! We all have a good time.

    At the end all the pirate boats converge on each other for a water fight battle that makes the front page of most papers. After that it’s a big party at the club. Here’s the battle scene, I am on the bow with the hose in the yellow. https://www.facebook.com/AllBodyCare?ref=hl

    Of course the real treat is to see the smiles on the faces of those children that have lives much more difficult than any of us want and if we can provide a bit of fun they can talk about for a few weeks, it’s all worth it.

    I encourage you to pick some sort of ‘good deed’ work and start small and grow it from there. Boats for Hope started at the Royal Vancouver Yacht club when one of the members said, ‘hey lets make a difference’. And they do.

    Thank you for reading,
    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Wait till they are thirty.

    When your children are thirty talk (read complain) to them about how tough your childhood was.

    You will likely get an interesting feedback from your kids, like “well you did that to us.”

    You will sit there with your mouth open saying something like, “but you don’t understand I had this, that and those reasons.”

    They will smile and say something like, “and that mattered to us how?”

    I remember when I heard this story I did not have a child and thought what hog-wash. Then I got one and by the time my kid was 2 I had gone to my dad and apologized for how I have commented on my childhood, twice!

    As parents it is difficult to keep our kids point of view in mind but I can tell you it will save them years of therapy and likely a lot of illness.

    Happy Fathers Day

    Thank you for reading,
    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Keeping on Keeping on

    The dental implant went okay, but the skin graft donor site. Well that did not go so well and I ended up getting some medical intervention.

    There I was feeling sorry for my self, I had just started chewing again (previous to that it was all liquid) and things where looking perfect and bang it was all going bad.

    They say “improving your health is like going up an escalator and loosing your health is like going down an elevator.” Often I think it’s more like a stock market graph trending up or down. But when you get a sharp down what do you do?

    You do whatever needs to be done. Denial can make a poor situation bad, and a bad one really ugly. Then go from there.

    The state of your morale is very important to your health and when your health is going bad, often so is the state of your morale.

    I think it is very important to remember times in your life when the chips where down and how you survived that. If you are over 20 you have some good stories. Otherwise look into other people who have no legs and run marathons. Or loose their parents and go on to run huge children’s programs. Or people who die (it was for a short time) and go on to become Acupuncturists.

    Like John Wayne said, “you gotta have grit”. But also like my mom used to say, “I am just having a short pity party, I’ll be back soon.” It’s true you can have a little cry if you need to, and then get back up, dust yourself off and do what needs to be done.

    If you need some morale boosting give us a call.

    Thank you for reading,
    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Pain is a good teacher

    At 10pm it felt like someone brushed my chin. At 2am it felt like someone punched me in the chin. At 6am I was in my car driving to my doctor’s office. He asked why I was there, I SCREAMED my chin was killing me. He said go to the Dentist.

    That’s when I learned all about root-canals. Unfortunately my Dentist was not an expert at them and that started a 23 year experience with an infected jaw and multiple “procedures” to my chin/tooth.

    Finally the poor tooth was extracted and then last Thursday I got a dental implant with a skin graft and a bone graft.

    My Dentist, who I pray knows more than the first one, informed me I will need some pain medication for a few days and expect bruising. He suggested I get some Tylenol. I smiled politely.

    Not to be macho, I took some of my Chinese herbal pain medicines and put on some of the clinics famous Bruise-cream. I am happy to report no pain and no bruising. I am also taking some immune boosting herbs, some for healing surgical wounds and I thought I should throw in some for grey hair but those will have to wait.

    Have you ever read the side effects of Tylenol? Or most pain medications. Now don’t get me wrong if my stuff did not work I would have sent the wife to the store for some but it would never be my first choice.

    I have done a number of clients for pre-surgical and post-surgical treatments. To make their body’s stronger before, during and heal better after. Just never on myself before, it works great.

    I suggest to all of you to have some other forms of pain medications at your house so you do not have to make Tylenol or the other medications your first choice either.

    If you have some forms of surgery or other pain issues going on give us a call and see what we can do. As anyone who know me will tell you. I would NEVER say throw the western medicines away, you keep them close by, but lets see what we can do with a gentler, healthier, less side affect approach.

    Thank you for reading,
    Be Well,
    Ward Willison

  • The Power of Downtime

    Know any workaholics? Likely you can look in the mirror and there you are. If not you can read on to find out a bit about the inner working of one.

    For many of us we no longer go out into the wilds and kill supper, drag it back to the shack and cook it up. To compensate we WORK ALL THE TIME!

    I have a fantastic true story of what can happen with too much work and not enough rest.

    I had the pleasure of knowing a SEAL (think James Bond on steroids) for several years and I asked him about the training to get into the elite unit. He told me of how they would run thru the hills for 17 miles with 70 pounds of rocks in their backpack. One run him and his partner where “blasting along” the dirt road when a “little old lady with a cane passed us”. He at that point realized his “blistering pace” was actually a slow walk.

    They were so tired they lost their perception of reality and that’s the big point of this story.

    The power of downtime is just that, a time to re-charge, re-vitalize, re-prioritize and all the other good words. There is a great book on this topic called “The Power of Full Engagement” available at your local library or there are several youtube video’s on it.

    It’s like Mikey says, ‘Try it you’ll like it’. You can start small, say 15 minutes one time a week. Just sit, relax, get a enjoyable book, look at the scenery and have a cup of tea. Our family just returned from a week of sailing in the BC Gulf Islands and I can tell you it was fabulous. No phones, heck no power, just us and nature a bit of rain and the occasional hot tub at a marina (okay some power is a good thing).

    There is a famous story in the acupuncture world of how the big benefit Western people get is they have to stay still while the needles are in and that is a miracle.

    Thank you for reading,
    Be Well,
    Ward Willison

  • Kids getting ‘pinned’

    Had a great week at work. I treated several children and one 6 year old girl wanted to get pinned, just like her 8 year old brother. I said sure.

    The youngest client I ever had was 6 weeks old. She had a very bad case of ‘colic’ and all attempts had not worked so the whole family showed up to see what I could do. The baby was sleeping and the treatment called for me to put 4 needles into each hand, one between each knuckle.

    I could feel the tension of the parents, especially the Grandmother, I was convinced she would KILL me if that kid cried. But as some of us know children have a fantastic pain tolerance and done well acupuncture is normally painless.

    With Grandma clutching her purse ready to hit me I inserted the first pin, the baby gurgled a bit and stayed asleep. The sighs of relief from the family was fairly amusing.

    I know most of us are sure acupuncture will hurt a lot and depending on who does it to you, you may be correct. At last count I have put in about 1.2 million needles and so far so good.

    Of course the clinic has many ‘non-needle’ treatments for people that are not able to overcome the fear and sometimes acupuncture is not the way to go.

    But it sure is neat to see a little girl come in and ask for it, then fall asleep and once the treatment is over say to her mom how great she feels. That’s a good week at work.

    Thank you for reading,
    Be Well,
    Ward Willison

  • Tools in the tool box.

    There are never enough tools in a persons tool box. Ask any man. In the CAM business it is somewhat like that also.

    When I first started in 1996 I was taking two courses a month for several years. I pounded so much new information into my head I thought it would explode some days. But each new course seemed to be the one that would solve a frozen shoulder, and the next would get rid of allergy’s and the next….it never ends

    Heather has taken up tuning forks for working on people. My teacher started using them about 4 years ago and loves them.

    My only experience with them was at a course in Langley in 1996. I went early to get a ‘balance’ from the teacher to see if I thought she was any good, (like I would have know back then). She had these big tuning forks and I asked what they where for. I laughed when she told me. So she took two of them, I laid down on the table and she ‘rang’ them and touched them to my stomach. I SWEAR it felt like someone put their hand inside my abdomen and massaged my insides.

    In all the years I have been doing this it still is one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to me. To top it off my stomach never felt better after that.

    Come on down and let Heather give that a try on you, she does not have that specific set of forks but I am sure you will enjoy some sound vibration.

    thank you for reading
    Be Well
    Ward Willison