Through most of my life, I’ve been an optimist. I’ve always chosen to find joy in the little things…a scribbled picture from a loved one, an episode of Days of Our Lives or a goofy gesture from a friend. It was these simple items or acts that originally helped me be present, smile and find the calmness in my life. When my cancer returned, filling days with stress and uncertainty, I sought out Zen practices. I thought about how I needed to find peace from within, rather than relying on these acts/items to provide it. In the last few years, I’ve found small tools that not only increase positivity; they have also helped me find peace and calm during stressful situations. Yesterday, I spoke about this and my favorite smartphone apps that focus on mindfulness on WTNH-TV’s CT Style.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…insert music and bright flashing lights here. Then pull the curtain back and you see reality. Rushing from urgent work meetings to children’s holiday concerts, then to festive parties and last-minute bargain shopping events, this season is filled with joy and plenty of stress. Being an achiever, I’ve always tried to get it all done with a smile. Though, no matter how many errands I delegate or projects I put off until next year, I still feel a little anxious in the scurry to get it all done. This year, I put my super healthy gadget girl powers to the test and tried a few devices to help de-stress. I even spoke about this, finding a little zen during the holiday season, on CT Style our local ABC affiliate award-winning lifestyle morning show. Below are some of my favorites gadgets and tools.
The holiday season is well under way. If you haven’t started shopping, there’s still time to buy online or run to the mall to beat the crowds and out-of-stock shelves. Knowing many parents start shopping first with kids in mind, we premiered our 2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for Kids last week. Now, we’re releasing the grown-up version, the 2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide. As I mentioned in last year’s feature, since I’ve embraced an organic, low-toxin lifestyle, I always investigate and experiment with new products and services that focus on health and wellness. I’ve attended seminars, events, and researched the latest guides in search of unique gift ideas that won’t break the bank. Here are some of my favorite items that focus on wellness.
A University of Miami study about the benefits of stress management for breast cancer patients was recently documented in the medical journal, CANCER. The Huffington Post covered this story, featured my experience and hosted a panel to discuss the findings on HuffPostLive.
I’m honored to have taken part in this 30-minute show about cancer and stress management. Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani was an incredible host, thoughtful and informative. The panel included study author, Jamie Stagle from Massachusetts General Hospital, Paige Davis of Soul Sparks Meditation, Life Coach Kellie Frazier and Tiffany Denee Jones of PinkChoseMe.org.
I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the Fall of 2013. The news was shocking and sobering, especially considering I knew very few people who thrived with it. Scared beyond comprehension, filled with sleepless nights and worries dancing through my head, I thought I knew what that diagnosis meant. At the same time, publicity ramped up for Disney’s “Frozen,” but I didn’t pay attention. The movie opened Thanksgiving weekend and after the holidays, the world knew it was not only a box office hit, but the key to a young girl’s heart. I didn’t realize, it would be to mine, as well.
As the world was singing “Do you Want to Build a Snowman, ” I was anxiously awaiting my first set of scans after being diagnosed. My mind was filled with wildly ranging thoughts:
Was this the calm before the storm? Would the results show tremendous growth and I would only have a few months or years left?
If so, would my child really know me? Should we tell him or not?
Will my new treatments debilitate me? Will I feel like myself? Will I be myself?
If somebody told me years ago that I would get used to needles pricked all over my body, I would have laughed. Despite always being intrigued by health and wellness trends, my fear of those tiny daggers kept me away. About six years ago, however, when trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, I was desperate to try all-natural methods. It was then that I was introduced to acupuncture.
Acupuncture is an Asian/Chinese modality that’s been around for thousands of years. Thin needles are positioned into certain points (meridians) on the body in an effort to balance the energy flow (chi) throughout. Oftentimes, each patient’s needs are assessed upon the initial visit with a full-body exam and blood work. Once the treatment begins, thin needles are tapped into various points on the skin from head to foot. Treatments last 15-45 minutes, depending on the practitioner. Acupuncture isn’t a one-time fix, follow-up visits are often suggested depending on the symptoms. Many acupuncturists are certified through the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM.) In addition, some doctors are integrating acupuncture into their practices and can be certified through the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA.)