• 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

  • Season changes and a tune up

    Well, a season change is upon us. There is some color in the leaves and the cool mornings signal that fall is approaching. This season change, more than the others, I get people who are not well.

    People just feel off, their get up and go, went.

    What is going on? Well it is traditionally the time we slow down a bit. Harvest is just finishing, there are lots of party’s to celebrate getting the crops in. For much of recent history, we would take a couple of weeks easy, until we prepared for the winter.

    Now-a-days there are no “seasons”. My dad is out farming and getting the crops in, but it’s on a massive tractor. Not a machine pulled by horses, like when he was a child.

    Studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in school, I would read about the importance of getting treatments at season changes and thought they where kidding. Now after 20+ years I know they are serious about it.Read more

  • Sun lotion

    Recently there has been a lot of talk of children being chemically burned by sun lotion. It looks terrible and it must hurt those little people a lot, but what is it doing on them?

    A few years ago I did a TV interview for sun lotion and learned all about the history and ingredients in North American and European sun lotions and there are some big differences. If you can get the European stuff. Also get lotion with UVA and UVB protection.

    First off, my African friends do not use sun lotion growing up. They just stay OUT OF THE SUN, during the 10am-3pm times. They cover up, play under trees, inside or where ever they are not getting blasted by the sun.

    I lived in the Caribbean for about 5 years, the first year I used a lot of lotion and after that I only put a bit on my nose for the remaining years. After learning how to be in the sun and not be in the sun depending on the times of day.

    Now if your telling me that’s inconvenient for you, then don’t have children. A parental job is to keep your kids safe and keeping them out of peak UV exposure times is part of it. Sun lotion is really little bits of titanium and goo to hold it onto your skin. Really not very good for anyone.

    In the TV interview I was actually arguing for the use of it and the other guest said putting sun lotion onto a kid “is equivalent to child abuse”. Maybe a bit overstated but…

    I do think there are times a young person (think age 5 and up) may need some sun lotion. But I think you should not put it on a baby. They simply need to be kept out of the sun during peak times. I know that may interfere with your beach time, but it’s for the best.

    What about skin cancer and sun related damage? Stay out of peak sun times.

    I do keep a bottle of sun lotion on my boat and do use it if I am racing for the day. I do think there is times for sun lotion and you situation will be unique, but the less chemicals you put on a child the better.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies



  • Stationary bike at your stand up desk, good idea or bad idea?

    The world of stand up desks, have you got one yet? It’s going to save your world. But wait you also need to get a tread mill or a stationary bike with it.

    So is it a good idea or a bad one? The short answer is, bad and of course the longer answer is, it depends.

    The idea that standing up is better than sitting down for work entirely depends on the work you do. People will say it’s better for your posture, your thinking, your…. They are likely the same people that came 5 years ago and “ergonomized” your desk, saying the same things then.Read more

  • Are your senior parents lying to you?


    My University friend did a study that made the National news that shows seniors are not being honest about their state of health.

    I could have told you that without any study. Heck I can tell you, that you are likely not being honest about your health if someone asks either.

    Seniors are wildly fearful that their Independence is going to be taken away if they are deemed to be medically unwell. Yet the opposite is true. The more we understand their state of health the more appropriate resources can be  apply to their situation. Lengthening their independence.

    I encourage all of us with parents over the age of 70 to have regular, honest, health talks. Prepare them for the reality of moving to a ‘retirement resort’. Do everyone a favor, get them in one before they need to.

    I remember my Grandparents, we moved them from their 5 level split home of 45 years to an apartment. I was amazed at how they complained until they got there and where just amazed how much easier it was to live in.

    Then as they aged we moved them into a ‘retirement facility’. Ow did they resist, but again after a few weeks, they loved it. A whole group of like minded people, meals cooked, activities, music…

    I think we are all scared of aging and dying. I think we should adopt a culture where our parents come to live with us and we are all more communal. But, that’s not how we do it in North America, the next best thing is get them around some of their peer group. Versus living alone and scared all by themselves.

    We are not meant to be alone. We are social beings. It can be hard to get your parents to be honest about their health but start early and show them you care. Remember they changed you diapers, you owe them.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies


  • Calming with Temple Grandin

    Do you know who Temple Grandin is? She is a PhD. who has changed the cattle industry and Autism.

    She is a Autistic lady that grew up in the 60’s with a mom that would not put her in an institution (nut house). Instead she went to school and kept on going.

    There is a fantastic movie about her called “Temple Grandin” I urge you to rush out and watch it. It does a fantastic job of showing a different way to look at people.

    There are several lessons to learn from this movie, the one I point out is “Calming”.

    The ability to take a person from a high arousal state and bring it down to calm. How do you do that. Temple has an interesting way to do that, go watch the movie and see.

    I remember years ago watching a multi-multi millionaire business man speak about life at 75 and all his staff wants him to slow down, take it easy. He said NO WAY. I am not going to slow down I am going to ‘calm down’.

    I did not pick up on it then, I thought it was an odd statement, but now 15 years later I get it. At work I see most of us can use a calming mechanism, or several ways to calm ourselves.

    I have several things I have developed to calm myself down. I referred to it as ways to counteract periods of depression. Now I see it as ways to calm me down from an agitated state, which may be ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’.

    I play guitar, read, have tea, breath, do tai chi or kung fu moves.  Sometimes I’ll watch some YouTube or TV and when it’s bad I clean the house, who knew that’s my go to calming thing.

    I use different ones for different levels of stress and I normally observe how effective they are and modify my approaches as needed.

    I hope all of you can work on building your ‘calming’ repertoire you will be glad you did.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Learning from Masters

    In North America we banter around the word “Master”. In Asia it is reserved for someone that really has it figured out. Not everything figured out but their piece of the pie, that they understand.

    I recently took a course on Neurology from a Master J. Yuen. He has a resume that is staggering. The short notes are, he’s the 88 generation Daoist of his lineage. How long is that! He has been working on people, on his own, since he was 11 years old.

    He sat there, no notes and just opened his mouth and it was like google was powering him. He just seemed to know everything and be able to explain it so anyone could understand. Then at the break I saw him holding the door open for a student. He just seemed so nice, normal and humble. A real treat to meet him.

    Then we had Suzanne Robidoux speak about pain. She has been living in China for the last 20 years and really must have been working hard. Her teacher is over 100 years old (picture of him). Now there is what you call the perfect picture of a TCM Doctor.

    Education is weightless and I like to get a lot of it. It takes years of learning and experience to piece together what to do with patients on any given day. It it the hardest jigsaw puzzle of them all. It was fun to go and see two people that have their pieces of the pie figured out.

    Here’s a pic of Master Yuen


    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Perspective from a Sailor’s point of view

    My wife recently competed in the Re/Max Women’s Keel boat sailing championships. Held at the Kelowna Yacht Club. It was fantastic, the wind did what it does here (a bit irregular) but the event was run perfectly.

    I had the opportunity to be in the group that listened to protests from competitors on rule infractions and was that interesting.

    To protect the innocent I will modify the story a bit. A competitor protested another boat for fouling them. Lets say, boat ‘B’ said boat ‘A’ cut off boat B and sailed upwind of them. A said they did no such thing and A sailed happily downwind of them!

    Forget the alleged ‘cut off’, one group said they went up and the other said down and they where very, very sure of their stories. How can this be? The actual “judge” that came into town to make sure we did things correctly said this happens all the time.

    He normally goes out on the water with his tape recorder and records all close calls and fouls he sees so when they get back to the protest room he can refresh his memory and have the correct decision, otherwise most of these protests would never get solved.

    We had some video from a drone helicopter showing some of these situations and when you hear the boats describe it before you see the video you could not believe it when you actually see what did happen. Lets just say the video normally told a different story.

    Why is this? Well it has to do with stress and memory. The more stressed out you get the more of your senses go haywire. But your senses don’t tell you that. So you can literally have one eye turn off and get monocular vision, which will radically limit your depth perception. You can read hundreds of stories of quarterbacks in big games not hearing the crowds yell. They are so focused and wound up their ears turn off, amazing but true.

    Then there is your memory, or specifically how you transfer sensory data into short and medium term memory. Put it like this, if you don’t do it a lot, take a race, process it and sort out the ‘facts’ in your short term memory and then push it to medium term memory all while continuing to race, your going to do a poor job. But again your memory is not going to tell you that. Heck even if you do, the judge has been to world championships and the world best sailors have opposing stories as well.

    What has this to do with regular life. Well I have spent a few afternoons talking to people about their recollection of past traumas, life events and other various memories. I can tell you their recalled stories are about as true and clear as a sailors. But again their memory is just not letting them know that, and most of us are suffering for it.

    Many, many of our experiences are not as good or bad as we think. I encourage you to challenge your thinking and memory. Ask yourself is there any possibility you could be a little, or a lot, off on your recollection.  Ask some others about the event and be open to what you hear, because neither of you likely have the story correct.

    I am not saying your abuse did not happen or you did not suffer when a loved one died. More the guy that cut you off in traffic was not out to get you. Or the office worker that ‘snubbed’ you for not saying hello, likely was not out to get you either. So many of life’s protests are not exactly as you remember them.

    If you want to see how you observe and transfer information to your brain with a few tests try these youtube video’s here.

    To see some of the pics of the race click here.

    To see a cool drone video of it click here.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Daddy Daughter Day

    If you have children then you know they magically get bigger. One day I am holding a little bundle of joy and what seems the next day I have a four and a half foot monster saying, NO NO NO!!! How may times have I treated parents for stress because of their teenagers? Lots.

    I moved out of my parents house at 18 to go and finish my apprenticeship in Calgary, my daughter is half way there. I get a lot of comments at work about: “just you wait till her teens”. So like everything I don’t understand I go get some books on it and read.

    The books say if I build and keep a strong relationship with her all may be well. Nothing is for certain but for sure if I don’t build and keep a strong relationship with her the chances for happy teenage years are slim.

    To build that relationship is simple, it takes time. Lots of time, not quality (it would help) but quantity. The other day we did the beach, forgot to bring toys (remember it’s the dad, we where lucky I brought swim suits and some sun lotion). My daughter built this whole game out of “floating rocks” and we did that for a few hours.

    To get the quantity I decided to take a day off work. That will cause some challenges at work. I am hoping it will cause less challenges with my child as she grows up. I’ll let you know.

    Study’s and my own experience shows some days I don’t see my child when she is awake. I have left early for work and returned home late from meetings and she is in bed. I remember my parents doing that and as a kid I never understood it.

    I was looking through baby photo albums and remembering the fun times we have had so far. I am glad I can take time off work to go and have more “memory making experiences”. With some luck I can also avoid some of the horror stories I hear weekly at work about teenagers.

    See where you can carve out some more time with your kids, spouse, friends, even yourself. You may be amazed how fun it is.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Gold medal, The closest I’ll ever get to the Olympics

    Recently our clinic won the “Gold” medal in “Best of Kelowna”, for the Healer category. Last year we won the silver. It is an interesting thing to me as I immediately think of the clients I am having a hard time healing and wonder how everyone else is doing.

    We are really grateful to our clients and others who voted for us. The time they spend to vote is precious (if you tried to vote you’ll know just how difficult the company made the process) and we recognize people have lots of things to do.

    I credit the win to my teacher, Elisabeth’s, training. She taught me to treat one person at a time and to treat them. Not their sore shoulder, their asthma, their insomnia. But them and that treats the shoulder, asthma, etc. When I talk to clients about their past experiences in clinics I hear some terrible stories. I always wonder how many people have those stories about my clinic.

    That is one of the reasons we continue to take courses, buy books, research on-line (yes some information on-line is good) and think about solutions to problems people can have.
    The support Heather brings to the clinic is invaluable, really for those that know her, how many of you have said I can just leave her with you and I can go jump in the lake…. I am lucky to have found her at one of those courses we have taken.

    At the end of the day the award is a signal we do some things right at All Body Care and we look for ways to make other things improve. Heather and I thank all of you for voting for us and supporting our clinic over the last 15+ years.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies