By Deanna Berman, ND, CM
Many people experience anxiety or depression at some point in their lives. These are normal responses to everyday life situations like the loss of a job, illness, family crisis, etc. Anxiety and depression will often resolve on their own. At other times, they can be overwhelming or debilitating. That's the time to get help.
Anxiety can present itself with constant worry or fear, insomnia, chest pain, heart palpitations, rapid breathing, or digestive symptoms. There are many types of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Depression is on the other end of the spectrum, often experienced as sadness, fatigue, and loss of enjoyment or motivation. Sometimes feelings of depression occur only during certain seasons, as in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Sometimes these feelings occur during a menstrual cycle, as with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
By Shawn Tubridy
I knew nothing about Qigong (pronounced chi-gung). I only knew that the videotape I ordered from the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation claimed to address breast cancer prevention. My grandmother and two of my aunts have battled breast cancer. With such a strong family history, I was open to any means of prevention. There was another video available on the Dragon's Way program — Qigong for weight and stress management. I ordered that as well since excess weight and stress also run in my family. Since that day I have learned a great deal about Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
When I first received the videos, I started practicing both of them on a fairly regular basis, often getting friends and family to join in. The practice felt right for me and helped me with physical challenges that had troubled me for years. For example, I used to have numbness in my arm that would wake me up at night with excruciating pain. Qigong was the only thing that helped. A move called "The Dragon Looks at His Tail" allowed me to relieve the numbness and pain myself. After regular practice, the pain went away completely. As a result of the relief I experienced, the Dragon's Way became my way!
Dr. Oz has said, "If you want to live to be 100, do Qigong." Qigong, traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance our intrinsic life energy, has been used in China for over 5,000 years to heal many types of diseases. It does this by helping to awaken, move and build the body's own healing energies. Qigong is believed to help develop human potential, improve awareness and increase access to one's true self. There are many different forms of Qigong, each with a specific purpose, just as different physical exercises have different effects on various aspects of our bodies. I practice a form of Taoist Qigong called Wu Ming Meridian Therapy, passed to Master Nan Lu, founder of the TCM World Foundation, by generations of Energy Masters. This therapy focuses on stretching out the energy pathways, or meridians, that run through the body. Using gentle, repetitive stretches, it assists the body in building and moving energy.
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By Kristie Snyder,
When Pam Wooster’s daughter came home from school and asked her if she knew that the kids used disposable styrofoam lunch trays, she was appalled. She knew that after their 20-minute useful lifespan was over they would just end up in the trash, so she decided to take action. Two years later, the Ithaca City School District’s (ICSD) Food Service Program has switched to compostable trays and reduced its trash by 73 percent.
The new trays, made of sugar ca...