Media Niche

From time to time, I’ll be offering vintage and older (1700’s to early 2000’s) wellness media as I find them. Most of the information is timeless–it’s just as relevant today as it was when it was published. Some of the very old ones are just fun for learning the history of various wellness techniques.

These are one-of-a-kind books from my own personal library and that come into the Thrifter’s Niche online thrift shoppe from friends and family.

The books are posted at various selling sites so clicking the link here will take you there. If the site requires you to have an account to use it and you don’t want to sign up, send me an email at niche@healthylifestylesmedia.com and I can find another way to get the item to you. Please copy and paste the link to the item or page you’re on so I know what you’re looking for, in the event of changes on this page.

Here’s the first title being offered:

BonniePrudden-AfterFiftyFitnessGuide

Bonnie Prudden’s After Fifty Fitness Guide – $5.70 + shipping

This is one of the original wellness books that discusses  ‘myotherapy’ or what we now know as trigger point therapy. There lots of photos to show you how to use myotherapy and also how to do a variety exercise and workout routines. There are also sections on pain management. Even though it was published in 1986, it’s the type of book that has information that never gets old.

Click here to view and purchase at eBay.com


Are You Looking for Something Special?

If you’ve been looking for certain books, DVD or VHS videos, or relaxation/meditation or workout music CDs  and just can’t find it, let me know–I might have it or know where to find it for you.  I have access to a lot of media on lifestyle change, psychology, fitness, wellness, spirituality, relationships  or environmental topics.

If you’re not sure of titles, you can indicate what the book is about and the name of the author if you know it (or as close as you know it).  If you’re just interested in a topic with no particular author or title in mind, let me know that too and I can get you a list of things to choose from.

Fill out the form below to let me know


 

Week 2: Walking Goals

bullbrdnotesbalanceEach week I visit with a Nurse  to evaluate what’s working in the Program or what might need to be modified or changed.

Today I was asked to set a walking fitness goal. It is said that a person should walk 10,000 steps a day but according to my FitBit fitness tracker and my calculations, that is close to 3 miles! There’s no way I can walk that every day right now.

However, on Saturday I went to an arts festival with my sister and walked 12,000 steps but it was definitely not without pain afterwards. I was laid up until Sunday evening. So, my goal is to walk 8,000 steps without pain during the walk and into the evening and the next day. That may take a bit of work.

After checking my FitBit app for the last few weeks, I find that I do between 1500 and 3000 steps on a normal day, ranging from short breaks away from the computer to refill my coffee cup or water bottle to doing household or gardening chores.

My grocery/supply shopping days and going to festivals are about 7000 – 10000 steps but I have much pain for a day or two afterwards. So my goal is to be able to walk through a fair or festival and not totally collapse when I get home.

But as I mentioned, most common fitness guidelines say you’re to do 10,000 steps a day. I certainly don’t go to fairs and festivals or shopping every day, so that means doing the equivalent of 7 – 8000 steps a day as a goal toward 10,000. My plan is to start small with 2000 – 3000 steps walking around my neighborhood.

steppergirlI also have one of those mini-stepper machines for when it’s not so nice outside. I thought of a neat trick for making that more interesting rather than staring at my bedroom walls while I’m stepping.

I went to YouTube on my laptop and searched for National Geographic Traveler videos. I found one on the Great Wall of China, which is one of my dream places to visit.

It was cool because the film crew was filming the tour guide as they were walking behind him so it was just like I was walking the Great Wall with the tour group!

walking-great-wall-china

My local library has a collection of National Geographic videos so I’m going to take out some more and set up my portable DVD player in front of my stepper and become a virtual world traveler.

Watching a video or even just looking out a window at your yard (provided you have a nice view!) takes your mind off the fact that you’re exercising. You can become engrossed in a travel video or watching the birds at your bird feeder and not even feel like you’re working out. You might just do 5,000 steps before you know it! Add in the steps you do around the house or at work and you just might make 10,000 a day!


 

Week 1: Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy helps you with what are called “Activities of Daily Living” or ADL’s as they’re commonly known. These are things you do every day like walking, sitting, dressing, bathing, cleaning house, driving, lifting, or things you might do on your job or around the house.

desktop

We began by working on plans for things we like to and need to do but have some trouble with. My list includes:

  • “Shopping walking” – that slow stroll with occasional stopping, reaching up or down, squatting and getting back up again.
  • Minor household repairs requiring looking and reaching up over my head or kneeling on the floor. Same as the Shopping but without the walking.
  • Sitting at my desk – I slouch when I’m working because I don’t have ergonomically-correct furniture–it’s way too expensive. I’m now trying to sit in my office chair in a semi-lotus position  so my spine is straight and that helps until my legs start cramping.

I’ve gotten so I when I go shopping, I don’t even look at anything on upper or lower shelves anymore. If I do, I’ve learned not to squat down to take a closer look. It’s embarrassing when my friends have to help me back up again.

We also learned about Pacing, which means doing whatever you do sitting or standing for about a half hour then switching to another task that requires the opposite movement for another half hour. You should also take time to gaze out the window to refocus your eyes for 10 – 20 minutes, especially if you’re doing computer work.

The occupational therapist told us about the “20-20-20 Rule” where you work for 20 minutes, break or switch to an opposite task for 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away.

timer

I tried this but stopping work every 20 minutes broke my concentration too much. I decided to try 40 minutes working with a 10-minute stretch/breathe or do an opposite task like putting in a load of laundry and putting away what came out of the dryer. Then I look out the window for 10 minutes.

My OT said my 40-10-10 Rule was good. So, for my short 10 minute break projects I’ll prep a salad for dinner or walk around the yard and water flowers, or put a load of clothes in the washer or fold what’s in the dryer.

It seems that the switching up of tasks this way–alternating sitting and standing–allows me to get more done during the day. I’m incorporating short bouts of housekeeping, prep cooking, gardening, and laundry into break-from-sitting-time. I feel more productive now.

break-time

Try the 20-20-20 Rule (or 30-15-15 or 40-10-10 or whatever works for you).  Use a kitchen timer or a timer on your computer and set it for the number of minutes for your break time.

This ‘rule’ is especially good for those who work in cubicle or desk jobs where you’re mostly sitting. Try to stand up and stretch and move around as much as you can. Look at something distant from you–a window or the far wall of the call center or office to get refocus your eyes to prevent strain.

If you do this, share how you did it and if it helped you. If it helps, how? If it doesn’t help, why?

 

Week 1 – Fitness Class: Physical Therapy and Movement (“Phy-Ed”)

Physical Therapy and Conditioning

In my weekly routines, Morning Stretch is followed by one hour of fitness-and-conditioning machine workouts. State-of-the-art fitness and conditioning machines are new for me because I’ve never worked out on anything more than a treadmill or stationary bike while doing physical therapy at my home clinic.

healthy woman legs dark

When I first entered the pain program’s workout center, I was intimidated. It looked like the set for a movie about the Spanish Inquisition, or maybe a football team documentary.

 

OK–maybe not that bad. The machine  that strengthens my neck muscles actually made me feel pretty good. They say that stronger neck muscles should help alleviate the pain caused by the degenerative discs.

 

girl head-banging to rock musicThe repeated back-and-forth motion of my neck while using this machine brings back memories of my old heavy-metal head-banging days, except in slow motion.

 

I told my 20-something-year-old therapist that I’d be ready to start head-banging again after this treatment. That made her giggle. Imagine old people like me head-banging. We still do, you know.  

 

Come to think of it, could head-banging be the reason why I now have degenerative disc disease? Do Baby Boomers have more neck problems than Gen Y’ers and Millennials?

 

The Gen X’ers of the Disco Era probably also have neck issues. There was all that pointing up and down and following their pointing with their their eyes with a steady up-down neck twist. It’s a variation of the head-bang only with a slower beat.

 

disco-dancers

Dance Mishaps

Now that we’re pondering whether dancing might be harmful to your health, let’s also consider tripping, falling and getting (accidently) decked:

Have you ever:

  • Taken a hard fall on your butt on a dance floor?
  • Been socked in the jaw by a wild elbow?
  • Tripped over a kicking foot and gone flying?

There are a lot of videos of this phenomena out there and most of them seem to be at marriage celebrations–so therefore, wedding accidents.

 

Injuries from falls very often show up later as chronic arthritis and myofascial pain: inflammation of the muscles and facia (FACE-she-ah) which are the tissues covering and connecting the muscles to the bone.

man-falling-down-img

Dancing mishaps can also occur at clubs, celebrations and community events too. Anywhere where there’s wild music.

 

Polkas are especially dangerous. All that spinning and getting dizzy and hopping on one foot then the other. All at the same time.

 

If you live in the Upper Midwest US or South Canada, you know what I mean. Oh, and watch out for that Butterfly Dance, eh?

 

If you’re wondering what that is, watch a clip here. It seems safe enough for the first couple minutes but then…all heck breaks loose. 

NOTE: to my knowledge, no dancers were harmed in the making of this video.  

 

They were having fun doing something healthy: burning up the calories consumed from the wedding feast, the cake, and the beer. OK–the beer isn’t exactly healthy for everyone but it can get people up to dance who otherwise would not do it anywhere else. And they laugh and have fun. Social connection is also recommended for healthier living. That’s for a future discussion.  

 

Dancing is a great cardio workout, no matter how you do it. It doesn’t have to be vigorous–you can do a slow waltz or just sit in a chair and move your arms and legs to music (as your mobility allows). Any amount of movement for even 10 minutes is better than not moving at all. Start out simple and easy. The more you do it, it starts feeling so good you want to do it more. 

 

“Housecleaning Aerobics”

woman dancing with mop

 

This is one of my favorite workouts:

  1. Put on your favorite dance music
  2. Crank it up (if it doesn’t bother your neighbors or housemates)
  3. Grab a broom or mop or dust rag
  4. Boogie down 
  5. Sing along (again, thinking about who may hear you and if you mind) 
  6. Sweep! Mop! Dust! Turn–and step–and wipe–123. 

 

Singing is an excellent workout for the lungs, diaphragm and stomach muscles. And it boosts endorphins too. Those are the brain chemicals that make you feel good and happy when you’re feeling that way. But when you’re not, singing and dancing can activate those little endorphins which help lighten you up, lessen the pain, and make you feel better. (Granted you don’t trip and fall while dancing with the broom!) 

 

So, to wrap this up, my recommendation is that if you don’t have access to a fitness center or conditioning machines, try singing and dancing. Doesn’t matter whether you’re any good at it or not–just do what works and makes you feel better. 

 


PS: for you aging head-bangers out there, watch for the upcoming  “Heavy Metal Aerobics” video at DIY Healthy Lifestyles’ YouTube page.

 


Comments, Questions, and Suggestions


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Responsibility & Choice

blondwomanchoosinghealthy

In my studies of health and wellness management, a professor made an interesting statement in a lecture about taking personal responsibility for our own wellness:

“To talk about health only as a matter of individual choices and personal responsibility assumes that we are always aware of the choices we’re making and that we are always free to make them. The truth is that not everyone is in the same position, and there are differences in how we live and the context in which we make our decisions.”

I had to think about this. In this world of information-overload, how can we possibly be unaware of choices?  In this land of the free, how can we not be free to make those choices?  How does this affect our personal responsibility?

First, how can we be unaware of choices? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Lack of facilities, businesses or services that offer health information or healthy choices in small or rural communities
  2. Limited access to health information for low-literacy and non-English speaking populations
  3. Limited computer or Internet access to find online health and wellness information
  4. Belief that natural wellness products and services are very expensive and only available to wealthy people
  5. Confusing information about the safety and trustworthiness of wellness information and products
  6. Medical professional bias that encourages patients to discredit natural health and healing as fake or ‘just a fad’.

From the above list, we can see choices are limited by a lack of quality information in formats and places where people can easily find it. You’re not free to choose if you don’t know you have choices.

Second, what could limit the freedom to make those choices? Here are some things that can limit the freedom to make healthy choices:

  1. Health conditions that prevent eating certain foods, such as trouble digesting vegetables, fruits, legumes, or grains, or mobility conditions that limit movement
  2. The over-availability and convenience of processed packaged foods, junk foods, and ready-to-eat microwave meals that encourage convenience over healthy nutrition
  3. A steady diet of convenience foods that contain chemical additives that may promote carbohydrate addiction, or strong cravings for sugary and starchy foods, which are often mixed with unhealthy fats and oils. This addiction may cause an inability to choose healthy foods because of the strong physical cravings.
  4. Influence from family or friends who believe  natural healing is “bogus” and discourage talk about it, practicing it, or using natural products or treatments.
  5. Lack of sources for quality information and ‘how-to’ instruction.

These examples serve to show that “not everyone is in the same position, and there are differences in how we live and the context in which we make our decisions.”

Take some time to think about whether any of the things I listed affect you, your family or your friends. If you have any of these limitations, think about ways you can overcome them.

If you live in a choice-limited community, get together with others and brainstorm ideas for getting more natural health information and services. You may find ways to create some do-it-yourself healthy choices that can empower you toward taking personal responsibility for your health and wellness.

If you’re stumped for ideas or things to do, the DIY Healthy Lifestyles Journal can help you and your groups to discover ways to get around the limitations that keep you from exploring natural health.

Please use the comments box below if you have questions, comments, or would like more information.

Make This Your Best Year EVER

JackCanfieldWithin the last couple of months, Jack Canfield has become my favorite motivational “guru”.
One of the greatest things about Jack is that he fits the DIY Healthy Lifestyles criteria of ‘simple’ and ‘frugal’ by sharing his coaching free via YouTube and downloadable guides and workbooks.
The best part is that his freebies are usable and helpful. You don’t get teasers full of hints, unusable information, hype about the program  and links to “learn more now in the full program–yours for only $500+.” Jack gives you complete information and workbooks you can really use and will help you transform your wishes into workable goals.
 I’m inviting everyone to join me this year in working with Jack by following his YouTube page and getting on his email list so you can access his wisdom, webinars, workbooks and guides.

Do You Suffer from Excessive Stuff Syndrome?

It is guesstimated that nearly 48.9% of the U. S. population suffers from this condition!

WHAT IS ESS?

Excessive Stuff Syndrome (ESS) is a debilitating syndrome that has been known to cause mild to severe anxiety, elevated stress levels, and a sense of overwhelm and despair.

WHO DOES IT AFFECT?

It is estimated that nearly 48.9 percent of the U. S. population suffers from ESS, more than half female aged 40 to 80+. Common contributing factors for developing this syndrome include:

  • Strong desire for creativity
  • Interest in arts, crafts, or special hobbies
  • A love of reading and learning new things
  • Special interest in collecting
  • Underdeveloped or non-existent storage and organization skills

HOW DOES ESS DEVELOP?

ESS often begins in childhood with the onset of SSS or Saving Special Stuff, typically in small-to-medium sized containers or special drawers.

Those afflicted by SSS experience strong tendencies to save things that interest them, based upon one or more of the contributing factors listed above:

  • Books about interests (common to all forms of SSS)
  • Post cards
  • Mail advertising packets
  • Postage stamps
  • Magazine photos
  • Badges and buttons
  • Magnetic cards to stick on fridge or file cabinet
  • Keychains from trade or home shows
  • Notebooks
  • Calendars
  • Any items containing attractive visual representations of the interest focus.

HOW DOES ESS MANIFEST?

As children grow, so too do their interests. Often, growth and expansion of the interest will lead to the next stage of development, SSNS or Saving of New Stuff. The further the syndrome develops, the more precise, sophisticated, and necessary the Required Stuff becomes.

The books become larger or more accumulated and here now may be subscriptions to magazines that must be saved. Posters and charts become valuable and cherished.

Friends and family members, often unknowingly, enable the development of SSNS through gifts of activity kits or implement sets. Once the activity is adopted, there follows a need for more supplies and implements.

Other Contributing Factors to ESS

SSNS can also develop from interests that necessitate the need for special clothing such as uniforms, costumes,  identity apparel (special clothing for meetings or events), footwear, head gear, and equipment. As the child grows, the need for larger spaces in which to store it all increases.

If the contributing factor of a love for reading and learning is involved, there may be the added tendency toward accumulation of:

  • More books
  • Magazine subscriptions (as noted above)
  • Mail-order kits and learning programs
  • Notebooks
  • Binders or scrapbooks for collecting loose pages, instruction booklets, and clippings from magazines and newspapers.

HOW SSS and SSNS DEVELOPS INTO ESS

The leading contributor to ESS is the attachment to keeping the things collected from the onset of SSS into adulthood.

A primary triggering factor of ESS begins to emerge in the teen years, from about ages 15 to 21. This is the time when teens begin to consider moving away from home to attend college, go to work, or explore their options. It is a time when one must consider what they will take with them and what can be parted with.

This is also the time when the patient becomes highly susceptible to the  triggering factor of ESS known as TIIS or This Is Important Stuff.

The main symptom of TIIS is an inability to discern the Truly Important from the Possibly Unimportant. The patient may begin to experience feelings of great attachment to the Special Stuff Saved from the blossoming of their special interests as a child.

That first activity kit project becomes symbolic of their life-long love of their interest of choice. The young adult feels a great need to keep this object either on display or in a place of safekeeping.

There may be collections of instructions and how-to clippings still to be tried out that cannot be parted with yet. There may still be activity kits not yet assembled. There are still things to be explored.

HOW ESS ESTABLISHES ITSELF

The TIIS factor plays a large part in the decision-making process that arises out of the SSS and SSNS phases. Each and every item, piece, part, document and scrap must be put through the TIIS test. Is This Important Stuff or Is It Not?

The more the interest has established itself in the young person’s mind, the more difficult it becomes to determine Important from Not Important Stuff. Typically, the patient undergoes such stress and sense of turmoil that a decision is made: This is ALL Important Stuff.

All the Important Stuff is then boxed up and moved to the new location, and often, to new subsequent locations.

It is at this point that a definite diagnoses of Excess Stuff Syndrome can be made.

HOW IS ESS TREATED?

There is no known cure for ESS. Treatment can include Resolve Development where the patient decides to close the eyes and toss things out, or seek the help of a trusted friend to support this treatment.

Another form of treatment is to develop the skill of Storage and Organization.  which can be both a solution and the trigger for a secondary from of ESS known as CSC, or the Collection of Storage Containers.

CSC can mask the manifestation of ESS by creating a false sense of control by appearing to have organized and controlled the spread of ESS by having a Place For Everything, and Everything In Its Place. This can lead to an aggravation of the original trigger of SSS (Saving Special Stuff), which in turn exacerbates CSC. This can develop into a self-perpetuating and chronic ESS condition.

Chronic ESS can be a very debilitating condition. It can develop into an actual behavioral health diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder manifesting as a condition known as Hoarding.

This could ultimately require Professional Psychological Treatment if your ESS goes beyond this tongue-in-cheek article describing the condition in a  light-hearted manner. (See Disclaimer below).

OTHER SUGGESTED TREATMENTS

With that in mind, there are other milder treatments that really could be applied in less serious cases of ESS:

  • Scanning paper documents and photographing childhood projects and saving them to computer, discs, jump drives or cloud drives
  • Building and dedicating a small museum or section in your local public library or community center devoted to your interest for the education of friends, neighbors, and future generations
  • Donating your collection to a youth group or club
  • Cashing in on your stash by offering it for sale at an online sales website
  • Holding a special garage sale for others interested in your stuff

These treatments could trigger one beneficial side-effect. Seeing your Special Stuff going to people who will greatly appreciate it and give it a good home can bring about positive results, and possibly even cure your ESS.

PROFESSIONALLY-SUGGESTED TREATMENTS

There are also some mind and brain balancing techniques that can help:

  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also called ‘Tapping’
  • Support Groups and Talk Therapy – explore your thoughts about your  stuff and its meaning with others who have ESS
  • Home Organization Coaching
  • Journal Writing Therapy – working out your thoughts about ‘stuff’

The last one has worked well for this article’s author. It was an ESS near-meltdown during a studio organization session that sparked the article. Writing it out led to the list of suggestions for help with this insidious syndrome, and possibilities for its treatment if not a permanent cure.

If you suffer from ESS or its trigger or secondary conditions of SSS, SSNS, TIIS, or CSC, try out some of the suggested treatments to see if they help.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is not intended to diagnose or suggest treatment for OCD or any other related disorders, nor is it intended to belittle or ridicule such disorders. The “conditions” described above are not real conditions but developed out of the author’s imagination.

This article is strictly intended as satire and actually pokes fun at the author herself. Suggested treatments are based upon the author’s research into mind-body healing techniques that can help to deal with the issues of Saving Special Stuff and Excessive Stuff Syndrome.

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Learn Something New This Week

VirginiaPublicLibrary

My own local public library

You’re never too old to learn something new.

In a way, I’m glad I finished my degree and don’t have to worry about getting ready for another quarter. In another way, I miss the new learning and the sparking of ideas from that learning that would excite me about whatever I was studying.

You don’t need to be in school or enrolled in any course to be a student of something you’re interested in. It doesn’t have to be academic–it can be a hobby or a fascination with something in particular, say gardening, woodworking, playing an instrument, or whatever absorbs your interest.

Studies have shown that curiosity and a desire to learn new things go a long way toward strengthening your memory and cognitive functions. It is said that people who read more, watch educational television or videos, or spend time on a hobby maintain higher brain function into their 80’s and 90’s.

All you need for exercising your mind is a public library. Free media everywhere on anything you ever wanted to know about. Books, videos, recordings, newspapers, magazines plus digital formats of paper media.

It’s the best of both worlds: free information on nearly anything and everything, in paper and/or digital formats, for people with or without computers.

I’ve been a library bookworm since childhood. But, during my recent studies, I got used to getting books on Kindle, and using downloaded e-books instead of ordering $300 textbooks or $18.00 paperback novels (that’s ridiculous!). We could also download research material to print if we wanted to but I like saving the forests.

Because of that, I hadn’t been to my library in years. I do pick up a lot of books and videos from garage sales but that’s different: you’re not seeking out a specific topic, you’re picking up books that interest you that just happen to be there.

You walk into a library and pick a section related to your interest and BAM–suddenly you don’t know where to start. Me, I always go for the “beginners’ guide to…” or “an introduction to…” if I’m learning something new.

If it’s something I’ve been learning about and want to know more, I’ll look for “techniques in…” or “the (practioner’s) guide to…(interest)”. These would be like the ‘watercolor painter’s guide to flowers’ or ‘the gardener’s guide to organic vegetables’. You already know about gardening but now want to learn to do it organically.

My particular favorites for exploring either new or familiar topics  are the For Dummies and the Everything (Topic) series. There’s almost nothing that hasn’t been covered by someone in any line of work. Many of those authors are university professors or professionals in that area so you know you’re getting good, solid  information–for the most part.

I have read some that confused me because the author of a “‘beginner’s guide” assumed the reader already knew a lot about the topic. If they assume that then why are they writing a “beginner’s guide”? Something I’ve often wondered.

Many authors of these series update their work every year, especially if the subject is one that changes frequently, like the Internet, economics, or social media. Others are timeless, like arts n’ crafts instruction using techniques that haven’t changed for centuries such as fiber arts, preserving, or wood-working.

Your library’s how-to video section is a good place to go too. I find it easier to watch something done than to read how its done. Some of the For Dummies books are also on video, which is very helpful for visual instruction like fitness workouts, Yoga or using the Internet.

If you already do use the Internet regularly, you can find literally zillions of free how-to videos from YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook and other social media sites as well.

Libraries also make use of the Internet to assist people. They offer access to all sorts of online information databases, can help locate media and get it from other libraries, and provide you with your own library ‘home page’ where you can keep your lists of things to look for and manage your loans, returns, and holds.

Now–what’s really cool about libraries: if you don’t own a computer, you can get time at your public library, and if you need to, you can have someone walk you through learning how to find stuff.

No matter your age or learning style, there are many ways for you to learn about something you’ve been interested in–or something entirely new–for FREE at your nearest public library.

So, in honor of Back to School Week, get out there and learn something new.

 

 

 

 

Personal Responsibility & Choice

blondwomanchoosinghealthy

In my studies of health and wellness management, a professor made an interesting statement in a lecture about taking personal responsibility for our own wellness:

“To talk about health only as a matter of individual choices and personal responsibility assumes that we are always aware of the choices we’re making and that we are always free to make them. The truth is that not everyone is in the same position, and there are differences in how we live and the context in which we make our decisions.”

I had to think about this. In this world of information-overload, how can we possibly be unaware of choices?  In this land of the free, how can we not be free to make those choices?  How does this affect our personal responsibility?

First, how can we be unaware of choices? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Lack of facilities, businesses or services that offer health information or healthy choices in small or rural communities
  2. Limited access to health information for low-literacy and non-English speaking populations
  3. Limited computer or Internet access to find online health and wellness information
  4. Belief that natural wellness products and services are very expensive and only available to wealthy people
  5. Confusing information about the safety and trustworthiness of wellness information and products
  6. Medical professional bias that encourages patients to discredit natural health and healing as fake or ‘just a fad’.

From the above list, we can see choices are limited by a lack of quality information in formats and places where people can easily find it. You’re not free to choose if you don’t know you have choices.

Second, what could limit the freedom to make those choices? Here are some things that can limit the freedom to make healthy choices:

  1. Health conditions that prevent eating certain foods, such as trouble digesting vegetables, fruits, legumes, or grains, or mobility conditions that limit movement
  2. The over-availability and convenience of processed packaged foods, junk foods, and ready-to-eat microwave meals that encourage convenience over healthy nutrition
  3. A steady diet of convenience foods that contain chemical additives that may promote carbohydrate addiction, or strong cravings for sugary and starchy foods, which are often mixed with unhealthy fats and oils. This addiction may cause an inability to choose healthy foods because of the strong physical cravings.
  4. Influence from family or friends who believe  natural healing is “bogus” and discourage talk about it, practicing it, or using natural products or treatments.
  5. Lack of sources for quality information and ‘how-to’ instruction.

These examples serve to show that “not everyone is in the same position, and there are differences in how we live and the context in which we make our decisions.”

Take some time to think about whether any of the things I listed affect you, your family or your friends. If you have any of these limitations, think about ways you can overcome them. If you live in a choice-limited community, get together with others and brainstorm ideas for getting more natural health information and services. You may find ways to create some do-it-yourself healthy choices that can empower you toward taking personal responsibility for your health and wellness.

If you’re stumped for ideas or things to do, the DIY Healthy Lifestyles Journal can help you and your groups to discover ways to get around the limitations that keep you from exploring natural health.

Please use the comments box below if you have questions, comments, or would like more information.