Showing posts with label Richard Lund. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Richard Lund. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Big Rocks

By Richard Lund, M.S.
Integrative Health Associate

An expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and to drive home a point, told a story these students will never forget.

As he stood in front of this group of high-powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” He pulled out a large wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more would fit inside, he asked, “Is the jar full?”

Everyone in the class agreed, “Yes.”

“Really?” he teased. He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some in and shook the jar, causing the gravel to work itself down into the spaces between the rocks.

Then he asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?”

“Probably not,” one brave student ventured.

“Good!” he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He dumped the sand in the jar and it filled the spaces between the rocks and the gravel.

Once more, he asked, “Is the jar full?”

Now the whole class was on to him. “No!” they shouted.

Once again, he replied, “Right you are!” Then he grabbed a pitcher and began to pour water in until the jar filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager student raised his hand and exclaimed, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you work hard, you can always fit some more things in!”

“No!” the teacher replied, “That’s not the point. The truth is, if you don’t put the big rocks in first, you will never get them in at all.”

Friends, what are the “big rocks” in your life? What are your priorities, the most important things in your life, which only you can decide? If wellness is a priority, are you putting your life’s purpose, exercise, good nutrition, sleep, and stress-management into your schedule? Connect with us digitally to learn about our Five Pillars of Health & Well-being and how to optimize your whole health – mind, body, and spirit.


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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Guided Imagery

By Richard Lund, M.S.
Integrative Health Associate

Guided Imagery uses the power of your mind to help to ease pain, give relief from conditions such as asthma and diabetes, help fight cancer, promote successful surgery, and reduce anxiety before medical procedures. In practicing guided imagery, you focus on images and the relaxed feelings that these images bring.

Your mental images of calmness and peace produce the same feelings in your body. If you think sad thoughts, you feel sad. If you think of anxious thoughts, you become anxious. To reduce stress, focus on calming images and feelings. As an example, imagine yourself in a calm, pleasant scene you’ve experienced in the past. Slow your breathing, making it even and deep. Think about relaxing your muscles and they will relax. As you move into a very relaxed state, you can introduce messages and ideas of any desired behavior or goal. This becomes a powerful way to change your attitudes and behaviors to promote health.

Below is a script you can use to make a recording using your own voice or have someone read it to you. It can be very effective in treating headaches, reduce muscle tension, anxiety, pain, or stress, and to promote sleep.
  • Sit comfortably and let your arms and hands rest at your thighs, or folded on your abdomen.
  • Close your eyes, and bring your awareness to your breathing. Bring your awareness to an area just below your navel, in the very center of your abdomen. 
  • As you inhale, expand and your abdomen rises. As you exhale, relax and let it sink gently, while your chest remains still. This is a more relaxing form of breathing. Make your breath slower, smooth and continuous, soft yet deep. 
  • Calm your mind, so when any distracting thoughts enter your mind, gently bring your awareness back to your breathing, making your breath more comfortable, more relaxed. 
  • As you exhale, begin to release tension from every muscle in your body, from the top of your head down to the bottom of your feet, just let the tension go. As you think about relaxing your muscles, they will relax. 
  • Starting at the top of the head, exhale, and think about relaxing all of the muscles in your head and face. Relax your temples, your forehead, and as you exhale, let go and completely relax these areas, and rest your eyes. 
  • Next, relax the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Inhale deeply, then exhale, letting go, and as you continue to breathe deeply, completely relax this area. Your shoulders are relaxing more and more, letting go of any tension there. Then feel like a wave of relaxation flowing down from your shoulders, down your arms, to your fingertips. 
  • Bring your awareness to the center of your chest, take another deep breath, as you relax all the muscles surrounding the center of your chest, inhale deeply into this area, let go and relax this area. 
  • Now bring your awareness down to your abdomen. Continue to feel the abdomen expanding as you inhale and gently sink as you exhale. Make the breath longer, deeper, soft and quiet.
  • Bring your awareness downward…., to your hips…..continue down the inside of your legs, to the inside of your knees, to your ankles, then continue down to the bottom of your feet. Feel any tension or stress flow out through the bottom of the feet. 
  • As you exhale, feel relaxation spread throughout your body. Feel your body immersed into a calm, tranquil state of relaxation, until you feel light, more comfortable, more relaxed. 
  • Now, as you continue to relax, imagine a beautiful place, a very peaceful place from your past, real or imagined. You can imagine it to be any place you choose, perhaps by the ocean with clean fresh air, or the mountains with a stream -- anyplace is perfectly fine. You are alone and there is no one to disturb you. This is the most peaceful place in the world for you. 
  • Imagine yourself there, see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. 
Imagine yourself there and feel that sense of peace flow through you and sense well-being and enjoy these positive feelings, and keep them with you for the rest of the day and evening, and tomorrow. Allow these positive feelings to grow stronger and stronger, and each and every time you do this kind of relaxation you will be able to relax deeper and deeper. Regardless of the stress and tension that may surround your life, you may remain more at peace, more calm, more relaxed. And these positive feelings will stay with you and grow stronger and stronger throughout the day as you continue to relax deeper and deeper.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

You’ve Heard of Tai Chi, but What About Qigong?

By Richard Lund, M.S.
Integrative Health Associate

For those of you that haven’t heard of Qigong, or not sure of what it is, I’ve seen a growing awareness and interest in Qigong, as well as Tai Chi. But what is Qigong? And how is it different from Tai Chi?

Let me first start with the definition of Qigong. Qi is the Chinese word for energy, and Gong refers to knowledge or skills developed through consistent practice and experience over time. Therefore, Qigong literally means training or working with your vital energy. Its purpose is to gather energy, circulate it smoothly and continuously throughout your body, and nurture it to promote health and improve your quality of life.

Qigong, like acupuncture, is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which teaches that the best way to promote health and healing is to balance and circulate your energy smoothly and continuously, like your blood flow before physical symptoms develop, and thus preventing illness and injury. This is done by calming your mind, relaxing your body, and breathing slowly and deeply. Qigong exercises can be done sitting, standing, or lying down, remaining still as in meditation, or while moving, more like Tai Chi as seen in parks and peaceful natural settings.

There are several main categories of Qigong:
  • Medical Qigong, which improves functioning of our internal organs 
  • Qigong for health 
  • Spiritual or contemplative Qigong, which is more like meditation 
Tai Chi is the martial art form of Qigong. Both having the same principles, but is practiced more for health. Both Qigong and Tai Chi are excellent forms of meditation.

Most often Qigong involves practicing a single movement repeated over and over again before moving to another movement, while calming the mind through awareness on posture and relaxing your breathing. This allows your energy to circulate smoothly and evenly throughout your body.

Tai Chi is practiced as a series of movements linked together, like a dance sequence, following one after another with no breaks in between, done slowly and evenly. Both Tai Chi and Qigong are often called moving meditation, whereas Qigong is a set of simple, repetitive movements that are much easier to learn than the Tai Chi form while also developing correct posture, stability, balance, and whole body coordination. Both promote relaxation and well-being and manage stress. These benefits eventually spread into all of our activities of daily living. Most Tai Chi classes begin with practicing Qigong like warm up exercises. Furthermore, one can first learn Qigong to develop a solid foundation for good Tai Chi.

To learn more or attend a class, please call 732-324-5257.