Friday, 31 May 2013 17:53
By Stephanie Haskins
While many people have become familiar with the role of a birth doula, they may not be aware of how a postpartum doula can assist in easing the transition to life with a new baby. Whether you're arriving home from the hospital or settling in after a home birth, you and your partner find yourselves alone with your baby. You may be tired from the birth. You may be recovering from a Cesarean or a particularly difficult delivery. You may have other children wanting your attention. However elated you are with this new little person in your lives, having a baby can be overwhelming.
In our culture of rugged individualism, we sometimes think we must shoulder our responsibilities on our own with little or no support from the outside. At no time is this expectation more glaring than during the postpartum period, when families begin the long process of birth recovery and learning how to care for a new infant on their own.
Statistics published by the Illinois Department of Public Health (http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/womenshealth/factsheets/pdpress.htm) in 2012 report that approximately 50 percent of new mothers experience mild depression; 10 to 20 percent experience postpartum depression, and 1 in 500 to 1000 suffer from postpartum psychosis. With new mothers left to fend for themselves, often spending hours alone with a new baby and possibly other children, little wonder that these numbers are so high. In other areas of the world, new mothers are cared for by their families and extended communities for 30 to 60 days postpartum. Typical in the United States is for a few meals to be delivered.
Sunday, 05 May 2013 17:59
By Carrie Stearns
What if we believed our bodies to be full of wisdom? What if we really listened to our body when it expressed itself through pain and illness? What might we hear and where might it take us?
The practice of homeopathy involves deeply listening to the body and hearing its experience of pain and illness as a language guiding us toward greater balance and health. Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine that works with the body to bring about healing. To work with the body, I, as a practitioner, need to really listen to the body and seek to understand what it's expressing. When a client comes with an acute or chronic health issue (like a sore throat or allergies), I do not just note it as a generic problem. I begin to ask a series of questions that help me to understand exactly how they experience their sore throat. I might, for example, ask if the pain is sharp or dull. Is it better or worse from swallowing? What happens when you drink warm liquids? These questions are key to finding the right remedy for treating the sore throat, because these modalities distinguish a client's symptoms and offer a clear expression of how the person actually experiences their sore throat. One thing that makes homeopathic medicine unique is that it relies on these details of how symptoms are actually experienced. This is the key to working with the body.
The conversation becomes even more interesting when we go beyond the specific physical modalities and begin to look at what the mind and emotions are saying. It might be revealed that this sore throat began after a difficult incident at work in which the client was unable to speak up for themselves. Or a person's debilitating sinus infections began a month after the sudden death of their father. When we really listen to the body, we can often begin to see a much bigger picture than a sore throat or clogged sinus cavity. We begin to get a view into our life as a whole and see where the roots of illness actually are. This is how symptoms become a doorway that can lead us into deeper relationship with ourselves. Such a doorway is full of potential to lead us toward living the life that we actually yearn for.
Thursday, 04 April 2013 00:22
By Patrice Lockert Anthony
A whole-foods lifestyle is possible for low-income individuals and families. Good health, vibrant health, begins with whole foods. Most of our grandparents cooked, gardened, and ate what was available. They didn't cook meals to satisfy each person in the family. Their children ate what was prepared.
So many things are tied to vibrant nutrition. Children do better at school. Adults do better at work. A whole host of medical conditions (obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc.), which often plague the poor, are positively impacted by a whole-foods diet, but we have to want it. We have to want it for ourselves and for our families. We have to want change. Change that incorporates mostly whole foods will change lives.
Cost-wise, we are negatively affected if we buy convenience foods, eat out a lot, don't cook from scratch, don't plan meals, don't garden, and don't have a mindful food practice in place. Eating anything that has been boxed, packaged, cooked, or served to you or for you hikes up the price of our food costs. Period. Avoid this option whenever possible if money is an issue. Eating out is an obvious source of hiked-up food costs. If we're really trying to keep a lid on those costs, this should be used as a rare treat.
Cooking meals from scratch is the best thing we can do. These meals are more flavorful. They have a better chance of including the whole family in the process of meal planning. Cooking from scratch helps to ground the idea that good food and good food preparation matter. We get to experiment with taste, color, texture, spices, seasonings. More than anything else, if we want to change how we and our families view food, we'll need to be hands-on as often as possible. It matters.
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New in Wellness
Body and hair care from John Masters Organics is on sale this month, and check out seasonal organic cotton clothing.
Does your wardrobe need an update before heading back to school? Not only are we introducing new GreenStar T-shirts (represent your local co-op in style!), but we've also expanded our offerings from Pact, a Fair Trade organic-cotton apparel company that donates 10 percent of its profits. We've gone from socks to camisoles, T-shirts, leggings, and yep, underwear. And did you make it to the beach yet? If no, fear not! Just grab a bottle of Sea Mist from John Masters Organics to give you that "beach head" look right here in Ithaca. Also try their Zinc and Sage Shampoo and Conditioner (a staff favorite), or the Blood Orange and Silk Protein styling gel, a stellar styling product for curl definition without the crunch. John Masters Organics features some of the cleanest body care products in the industry, with loads of organic ingredients — and all their hair and facial care products are on sale this month at 20 percent off.
By 12th Moon,
On Tuesday, April 12, Council conducted its monthly meeting at The Space @ GreenStar with nine of our thirteen members present. We took a few minutes to honor the passing of a local, and regional, food hero, Gary Redmond. Our thoughts and good wishes go out to his family and the whole Regional Access crew; we will miss his warmth, humor and concern for our local food systems. Thank you, Gary, for being you.
During Brandon Kane's monthly Interim General Manager (IGM) rep...