• Parenting from the far North

    The problem with young children is they yell, hit, bite and have tantrums!

    Do you think they came out of the womb that way? Or did they learn that from someone? Likely you see where this is going?

    I wish I had read this article when my child was very young, however I am still going to use it now. Here is a link to the whole article. It is not that long and there are some reference materials you can see there.

    In 1960 a young anthropologist, Jean Briggs, went up north, way up. To live with an Inuit family to see how they did it, live that is. But she noticed something that she searched for the answer for many years. The people she was with, they did not get upset. Like never.

    Even just showing a smidgen of frustration or irritation was considered weak and childlike, Briggs observed.

    Her first hint as to why no one showed anger was a strange sight on the beach. A mother was encouraging her young child to throw rocks at her and when he did, she playfully exclaimed “ouch”.

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • all body care tech stress

    Tech Stress Loading

    Recently All Body Care had its web site rebuilt and we incorporated on-line bookings. For tech savvy people that likely seems a non-event.

    Tell to a guy who practices something 3000 years old and runs the whole thing from a binder he’s had since grade 11, it was mighty stressful.

    We are very grateful for the great tech people that really did all the work (and continue to correct all the things we blow up).

    Change is a constant, but it does not happen at a “constant” rate. Most people have what I call stress loading events. Everything is going along just fine and then WAM!

    Read more

  • Willpower and sugar

    Do you suffer from decision Fatigue? John Tierney wrote this really looooong article on an interesting topic with a twist I had not see before. I summarize it below, for the full article click: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?ref=johntierney

    Basically willpower is limited, the use of it depletes it. Once it is depleted bad things start to happen. Once willpower is lower it is harder to make “trade-offs”, and view the nuances of the decision clearly.

    So we head down the path of less resistance. The famous example is the candy at the checkout. You have made all these decisions on what to buy. You get to the end and feel burned out and need a little snack. Normally you would not eat that “crap” but like magic it hops into your checkout basket.

    The interesting thing was have a shot of glucose and all is well again. I find that interesting but I do notice I eat all day at work. I don’t see how glucose can replace rest but they say the brain changes where it works once fatigue has set in, and the new spots are  not good for decisions.  A shot of sugar will do the trick short term but better food choices will make it a longer effect.

    Another item in the article was the added pressure of poverty in the decision loop. When money is tight, so our the options. To find good options takes more “trade-offs” and that quickly depletes willpower, leading to poor choices.

    What to do. Space out activities that will use willpower, thinking and concentration. Make sure your well fed and watered. Keep and eye on your fatigue levels and reflect on how the recent decisions are. If you notice you are not making your normal decisions. STOP and get some rest, food, water, change of scenery.

    Good luck and watch out for the candy bars in your shopping basket, it’s a sure sign you have depleted willpower and remember the person your talking to may be depleted also. Makes you think about giving your GP a sugar candy before they assess you.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies


  • Yearly Goals.

    A game without a goal is just running around.

    You can call it New Years Resolutions, Goal’s or anything you like. If you have nothing to aim at you certainly won’t hit much.

    Start with, what would you like? I started with wanting to eat more vegetables. We spent a year figuring out how to eat 5-6 portions (1 cup) of vegetables a day. The next year we wanted to eat better meat. We spent a year sourcing farm sources of meat, which turned out to be hard because the farms stop producing for various reasons.

    I wanted to get better at Tai Chi, so I spent, you guessed it, a year looking at Tai Chi video’s, taking workshops and just doing a lot of Tai Chi.

    I wanted to be a better parent so I googled best parenting books and read a bunch. Many sucked, many did not. Overall we are improving, or at least our daughter says so.

    I wanted to go to the moon, turns out it’s just not going to happen. I was very sad, upset and miserable and I got over it and found a different goal to work on.

    With google and youtube you can really learn basically anything from anywhere. A trick with goals is to pick something in your level of achievement. If you are in grade one, do not have a goal of going into grade seven next year. You will likely fail. Even if you really, really try.

    You can have a 6 year goal of getting into grade seven and the first step is to pass grade one, and get into grade two.

    Many people’s goals do not work because they watch too much TV and think they are just going to lace up their shoes and go run a marathon in a couple of weeks, because some guy on YouTube did it. Maybe they did and maybe it’s a lie. Either way you will be better off picking some goal that is “SMART”, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time limit. You can google a million sites to help you set goals.

    For me it’s easy. What do I want. Then I build a plan to get there. Some, like going to the moon, will never happen and others will. I have been doing goals for 30 years and it’s really made a huge difference in my life. I normally pick 5 a year and if they are all done before the year is over I think of some more.

    Give it a try, what can you loose? I never worried about what I could loose. I focused on what I gained from it.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies


  • Surviving Christmas – or any other ‘festive time’

    Well it’s here again that super happy, ever relaxing, healthy holiday time. Not really your experience of it? Well read on for some help.

    Move far away to a tropical country for December. Not an option either?

    Work changes in December, it’s 75% stress cases vs the regular 20%. I love a good stress case just like the next acupuncturist but it is so unnecessary.

    Step one keep your regular sleep times. If there is one thing to have a happier, healthier life is get sleep and likely more of it.

    If you, your children or anyone you meet is regularly miserable, get them more sleep and magic can happen. Everyone feels better and acts better with appropriate amounts of sleep. Start with 8 hours of on your back in a bed and go from there. Can’t sleep? Call me.

    Eat whatever, just don’t over eat. It is likely too much to ask to eat healthy in December. But overeating can be avoided. Also don’t skip meals to have ‘more room’ for the big meal. It really messes with your blood sugar levels and that will affect your mood, likely not in a good way.

    Don’t watch TV in November or December, that way you won’t know all the latest things you just must buy for you and everyone you know. Look around your house at all the awesome things you just had to have and do you use them? Buy something consumable (food) for gifts and at least it may get used. Or make jam, salsa, antipasto, sauce, spiced nuts etc. and give them that.

    What to do about going to the in-laws for x-mass and all the fun that brings. Well the easy one is don’t go. “But everyone will be so upset”. Does that include you? if not maybe it’s time to start your own family tradition. Everyone loves family traditions, they have to start somewhere, why not now. Make up something your family unit can actually enjoy. Everyone will understand, really.

    Mostly just be kind to yourself. Most stores do half! of their sales pre-xmass. There is a lot of marketing to make you feel like crap if you don’t go massively into debt and give all your money to a store in return for future junk.

    Take a breath, life is short. If your going to buy something, buy memories not future junk. Go make some good memories this December and good luck.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

  • Spend time with the one’s you love

    This summer I took Mondays off and had Daddy Daughter Day. It was a big hit with my daughter. We went biking, hiking, swimming, Scandia, painted windows (that was not her favorite) and other fun stuff.

    I look at it a number of ways. It’s tough on the work. It’s wonderful on the daughter. I am a big fan of a couple of books. One is “how to hold on to your kids” the other is “hold me tight”. One is for kids and one is for marriage but both really say the same thing.

    Spend time and lots of it with people you want to be in a relationship with, if you want it to last.

    For many many years, there was a theory of ‘separation’. Meaning everyone is just going to go out on their own and be a lone wolf. Your kids are going to grow up, separate, move out and forget your name. Your spouse is going to grow older, separate, move out and find someone else s name.

    Then a few doctor’s started writing about “attachment theory”, which was ridiculed during the time “separation theory” ruled. Attachment theory is basically we become attached to people and are strongly influenced by them versus people we are not so attached to.

    One of the ways to get people to attach to you is to do things with them. Build stories together, live adventures together, sit together, eat together, talk.

    I read a quote years ago that I never believed until life proved it to me in a painful way. “The person you are, will be the same person you will be, when you reach the end.”

    Many people think when they make a million, or get a degree, or go to Hawaii, ect. They will magically change into a super person and everyone will love them and call them and want to spend time with them.

    That will be true if they where a decent person along the way, if not, good luck.

    So taking a day off may make me work longer into my 70’s, I may loose patients to other clinics. I may keep my daughter loving me and calling me daddy. You can guess what’s happening next summer.

    To all the lovely people that actually read these posts thank you and go spend some time with someone you want to.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies