Photo by Toni Tan

If there is to be any peace,
it will come through being,
not having.
~Henry Miller

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tandao wellness

THE STUDY

A new study showed that a stress management program can help people contain an illness.

The American Academy of Neurology published a study of 121 people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who participated in a course of 16, 50 minute sessions over 5 – 6 months. Each person spent time with a therapist, exploring positive coping mechanisms – including relaxation techniques, healthful and social activities — along with elective sessions (such as fatigue, anxiety and pain management).

HOLDING STEADY

77% of the participants not only felt less stressed, but the study also showed a halt in the progression of the disease (meaning there were no new lesions or brain damage). This is encouraging news. We can, to some extent, play an active role in our well being when managing an illness.

However, once the training ended, so did each person’s practice with their new found skills. And with it, so ended the positive effects of the training. What happened?

GROUP HUG

While further studies are needed to explore the reversal, we could speculate.

Having support through a difficult period is, in many ways, its own good medicine. Losing a support system eliminates an important variable in managing illness:  nurturance.  Learning the skills wasn’t enough to sustain a continued wellness practice. The shared experience of community may have played a strong part in everyone’s stress reduction. Along with stress management skills, community AND continuity seem to make for a better balm.

Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing.  To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation. ~Wendell Berry

TanDao Wellness

Learn more about the study at Science Daily

Check out our new book Energy Warriors: Overcoming Cancer and Crisis with the Power of Qigong

Hexagram #55: “A moment of great influence is at hand. Prepare wisely and act accordingly.”

In the I Ching, the hexagram for Fullness (Abundance), Feng — represented by the trigrams of thunder over fire. Pow! It is a natural metaphor: a powerful storm that gathers energy and explodes in all its ferocity. Remember though, that energy only lasts for a time. It will mature, lose force and dissipate. Then, it’s gone. Carpe Diem!

The moments of our lives have a transitory quality, but inside of them there is power and opportunity at the center. Strength lies in our observation. It is a true power. Our own influence will gain and lose strength. Action comes from learning when to move in with speed and accuracy in that moment of clarity, while grace comes from exercising patience. We are forever balancing, gauging when to move forward or retreat. In minding the cycle we can find the energy at its strong point. Identifying opportunity enables us to catch the wave, the dawn, to strike while the iron’s hot. Also, to know when it’s not hot — refinement of the observation also teaches us to let go of that moment.

Toni Tan

Moving, exquisite piece: Autotomy and Remembering by Martha Crawford, LCSW

what a shrink thinks

The limbs of a starfish assist escape because they can be shed.

(Shuker, KPN. 2001. The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. 240 p. http://www.asknature.org/strategy/7120557f65475a9a7d8656fd02946964)

Some people live their whole lives in one zip code. They remain near and close to their family of origin, and their extended family. They find their earliest attachments to be hospitable, enduring, and nurturing. There are people who still have their best friends from kindergarten, from high school, from college and from twenty years ago.

These lives have, for the most part, offered a kind of narrative continuity, consistency, a sense of going-on-being, where the people who know them now, knew them then, and can watch and mirror what has changed, and what hasn’t.

These are lives that unfold progressively, epigenetically, perhaps each chapter moves forward with a tidy security – or perhaps with a suffocating, repetitious…

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