Photo: woods wheatcroft photography

Many people struggle with a partner to recreate what was there when they first fell in love. We have great hopes when we start out… then things seem to fall apart. We might start out blaming another, only to realize that we are also part of the problem.

There is another cause; for many this is THE cause. It’s that we inherited a model that is limited, and we have no tools to build a better one. Who was taught the skills of connecting? Who had parents that modeled those skills?

A second problem comes from how boys are raised. Since fathers left the farm for the factory, boys were instructed how to be emotional from a feminine perspective. Women stepped up to do what they had to do. The consequence is that men lost the masculine perspective of emotionality.

As men, we want to succeed. We listen to our mothers, teachers, girlfriends and then wives on how to show up emotionally. We try our best, only to keep failing. Men give up. Women give up. We blame each other and ourselves.

The blame is not with us; it’s with our models of how to connect and how to be emotional as a man. But the responsibility to change what’s not working lies with us. We need to find a model that works and become proficient at it.

Through the work of people like Sue Johnston, Ph.D, we discovered a simple way to learn the skills of connecting. With these skills, we see failing relationships become passionate love affairs. The first step is understanding how, when under stress, we revert to our survival behaviors that protect us.  They might protect us, but they certainly will cause disconnection. Then, you need to risk being vulnerable to rekindle connection, which begins to turn around a struggling relationship. From there, you hone the skills and come up with a plan to reinforce them.

In 2005, I asked eleven men to join me in forming the Sandpoint Men’s Group. As of today, more than  200 men have participated in the group over the years. We have four current, active groups. We were featured in a documentary film. There’s a book about how to start your own group.

We found a model that works. This model is spreading around the world, teaching men Masculine Emotional Intelligence. Men in these free groups teach each other what none of us had taught to us as boys.

Start today, slow down, take a risk and connect. Tell your partner how you appreciate her or him. Even if you feel you don’t, start with something you at least did appreciate. Stop disconnecting around conflict and start connecting around what’s good.

Men, check out our free groups – www.sandpointmensgroup.com. We welcome new men. These groups are amazing—and a lot of fun. Many marriages were turned around because a man learned what was never taught to him.

Owen Marcus, MA, Rolfer, men’s trainer (www.owenmarcus.com), and couples workshop leader

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To read the previous article, visit our blog: www.SandpointWellnessCouncil.com.

Sandpoint has an amazing array of healthcare providers, from physicians to holistic providers. Many moved here after having successful practices in large cities. The best way to find what you are looking for is to ask—ask people who have gotten well. There is a lot of good information on the internet. It’s easy to see who is more interested in selling rather than educating. Here are some reliable sites:

www.mercola.com

www.bulletproof.com

www.drweil.com

Don’t be confused by all these names: Alternative Medicine, Functional Medicine, Holistic Medicine, Natural Medicine and Integrative Medicine, essentially they are the same. Every so many years a new term is created to make it seem that the new practitioners are better. There are subspecialties like homeopathy and Oriental Medicine (acupuncture). Then from there you get into an endless list of body, movement, and exercise therapies along with herbal, nutritional and psychological approaches.

Don’t think you need to find the perfect therapist doing the perfect therapy. The best approach is multi-disciplined. Start with a good referral. If you like the person, try them. If you don’t like them or their therapy isn’t giving you what you need, try someone else. Use the previous articles to guide your path to being strong. You are your general contractor. Hire your subs to do particular tasks.

Often you will “fix” one problem then become aware of another pending issue. Keep going. Let YOUR experience be the judge. If after a few sessions you don’t see an improvement, find someone else. You are only risking money and time. With alternative therapies, you are very safe. If for some reason you don’t feel safe, don’t do it.

Nothing is a panacea. If someone tells you he will cure everything, you may want to think about not using him. Certain therapies will be very good for particular issues and others. For example, Rolfing is best for issues related to stress, structure, and soft-tissue. Outside of those issues, you should see someone else.

Take One Action

Take charge of your health. Be willing to try something different if what you are doing is not working. Invest in your health, it’s the best investment you can make. Don’t use the excuse that if my insurance doesn’t pay for it, I won’t do it. Know, if you don’t make this investment, you will be the one paying sometime in the future.

Here is a short list of proven therapies that have excellent practitioners here in Sandpoint.  Try one: acupuncture, holistic nutrition, massage, cranial-sacral therapy, Rolfing, biofeedback, mindfulness stress reduction, Pilates, super slow weight training, yoga, homeopathy, naturopathy, PTSD therapy, somatic psychotherapy and men’s groups. I have benefited from all these therapies and have studied a few of them. I consistently recommend clients to these therapies—I want everyone to have a higher level of health.

Owen Marcus, MA, Certified Advanced Rolfer, author of: Power of Rolfing, www.align.org – call if you have questions: 265.8440.

photo: ladala / Pixabay

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To read the previous article, visit our blog: www.SandpointWellnessCouncil.com.

How Empty Carbs Will Sabotage Your Health

There is a growing list of studies showing that when we remove the empty carbohydrates (grains) from our diets and replace them with organic meats and vegetables, our body’s transform themselves.[1] Good supplements providing the needed micronutrients are a good investment. Don’t waste your money with them if you are still eating the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).

I continue to see clients who just eliminated bread, cereal, and other grain products from their diets who lost weight while eating more, eliminated their allergies, and other whose chronic gut problems healed themselves. In spite of what we grew up being told, it’s not oil and fat that make us fat—it’s the carbs.

Inflammation is now seen as the cause of many diseases.[2] Carbs are proven to be the cause of inflammation.[3] Carbs become an irritant to the body, much like scratching your skin would be. Over time your tissue becomes inflamed. With constant irritation and inflammation, your body develops an auto-immune response; it starts fighting itself. Rather than rebuilding, your body is in a constant stress situation. You aren’t getting the nutrients you need to rebuild; you are getting the irritants that are injuring your body.

There are many “diets” that people advocate as the best no-carb diet. When you study them, you realize there is very little difference between them. Don’t fret the details. Find one that you like and follow it. Here are a few of the more popular ones: Paleo, Bulletproof, Ketogenic, and Primal. Conceptually they are based on what our genome was designed to eat. 10,000 years ago since we left the cave or genome has only changed .01%. Our bodies changed a lot less than our diets. The caveman was not hanging out at Mc Donald’s.

Meat Is Good

For decades I see clients where their major symptoms can be attributed to the lack of animal protein in their diets. There are clients who I will not work with because they are so protein deficient that I would be wasting their time and money.

Another misnomer is that meat is bad for us. True grass fed cattle and cage free poultry will have less of the contaminants and more of vital nutrients such as Omega 3 oil.[4] For rebuilding tissue, there is no nutrient more important than protein. You can’t build new tissue if you don’t have its building blocks.

In our next article, we’ll discuss the best resources and therapies mentioned in all the articles.

Owen Marcus, MA, Certified Advanced Rolfer, author of: Power of Rolfing, www.align.org – call if you have questions: 265.8440. 

[1] http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-the-paleo-diet-supported-by-scientific-research/

[2] www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/preventive-care/article/why-inflammation-hot-topic

[3] http://www.health.harvard.edu/family-health-guide/what-you-eat-can-fuel-or-cool-inflammation-a-key-driver-of-heart-disease-diabetes-and-other-chronic-conditions

[4] http://chriskresser.com/why-grass-fed-trumps-grain-fed/

photo: skeeze / Pixabay

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To read the previous article, visit our blog: www.SandpointWellnessCouncil.com.

Getting well is like remodeling an old house. You see great potential and know there will be some work involved, and as you start tearing down old walls, you find new issues. As you heal, you become more aware. At first, that can be a curse. You start feeling things you never felt before. Those tight shoulders weren’t a problem when you had 24/7 back pain. But now that your back pain is gone, you feel the tension in your neck and shoulders.

Learning New Behaviors

Possibly the biggest enhancer is education, be it increased self-awareness or understanding diet. Without behavior change, you will recreate the problem. If you continue to walk around holding your shoulders up, you will continue to have shoulder and neck pain.

Chances are your shoulders going up along with other tension producing behaviors were unconscious stress responses. Recognizing your stress responses allow you to unlearn them. Learning to breathe is THE stress reducer. You can’t get tense if your breathing is relaxed. But, I guarantee what you think is a relaxed breath isn’t. I have never seen anyone, including Olympic runners I’ve Rolfed, who were breathing full, natural breaths.

The quickest way to unlearn your habitual stress response is to take a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. While in Scottsdale, AZ, my business partner Paul and I had the largest company in the country teaching MBSR. We were amazed at how learning how to breathe a natural breath changed people’s lives. Paul continues to lead classes through www.stressbeaters.com. You can contact him about his proven online course – which insurance companies are now reimbursing.

Reducing stress can mean learning how to walk in a way that doesn’t reinjure you (my site has a free ebook on walking naturally – www.align.org). It also might mean adapting your furniture to fit you rather than the opposite.

Two Keys to Rebuilding

To get well, you need good sleep. Your body will not fully regenerate without good sleep. You can cheat for a while, but the debt will come due. More coffee in the morning is not giving more vital energy. It’s revving up your nervous and endocrine systems much like stress does. It’s not giving you the vital energy your body requires to rebuild.

Removing the unnecessary stimulations – whether it’s overuse of caffeine or staying up late to watch a movie – allows your body have restful sleep so that it can rebuild.

You also need the proper macro and micro nutrients to rebuild. You wouldn’t remodel your house with mediocre material, so why would you attempt to rebuild your body with less than a good diet and good supplementation?

Next week we will explore the simplest and most powerful way to use diet to get well.

Owen Marcus, MA, Certified Advanced Rolfer, author of: Power of Rolfing, www.align.org – call if you have questions: 265.8440

photo: skeeze / Pixabay

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A Roadmap to Better Health – Part 3

July 25, 2016

To read the previous articles, visit our blog: www.SandpointWellnessCouncil.com. Reversing chronic issues, preventing future ones, and enhancing performance comes first from removing what is limiting you, what is making you sick. Whether from your body or your environment, the two factors that best determine your health are stress and toxicity. How Releasing Stress Gets You […]

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A Roadmap to Better Health – Part 2

July 25, 2016

To read the previous article, visit our blog: www.SandpointWellnessCouncil.com. We live in a culture that has an artificial divide between allopathic (standard) medicine and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices. We need both. Standard Medicine Allopathic medicine developed out of the use of surgery and drugs. If you’re in a car accident, you go to […]

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Title: A Roadmap to Better Health – Part 1

July 25, 2016

Do you have the body you want? Is it looking, performing, and feeling like you want? For too long, we accepted our fate: good health is something we hope will not leave too quickly. If we’re lucky, we might feel good until 50, then we succumb to joint replacements, an increasing arsenal of meds, and […]

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Fences, Neighbors, and Learning About Each Other

June 6, 2016

I enjoy an experience since I moved into Sandpoint from its rural environs.  My neighbor and I talk over our adjoining fence.  My town veggie garden separates our yards and I share my harvest with her each year.  I never grew up experiencing sharing a fence and neighbor conversation.   I remember Robert Frost’s poem relating […]

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Duct Tape isn’t the only useful tool

May 31, 2016

You know how many people love Duct Tape?  Duct Tape is so useful for so many needs.  I see cars with silver Duct Tape patching up auto booboos and red Duct Tape holding together translucent red cellophane over tail lights.  Now artists and crafters are fashioning multi-patterned and colored Duct Tape into jewelry.  Ingenious for […]

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Another Option for Chronic Injuries

May 12, 2016

Our first approach to pain is to ignore it, hope it will go away. As a kid, that approach often worked. As we get older, it doesn’t—not because of age, but because of accumulated tension. Rather than shutting down your awareness, you start to feel it. You let your pain teach you what your body […]

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