Helpful Steps to Managing Anxiety

Anxiety, Pixabay, Free for Comm Use

Melissa’s Rap: The earliest symptoms of anxiety I can remember were in Elementary School. I didn’t know what they were at the time. I struggled with anxiety all the way through high school and college and into adulthood. I still suffer from anxiety, but I have come a long way and have learned how to manage it better. My anxiety became so prevalent at such a young age, that it didn’t occur to me until much later in life that not everyone experiences life in this way.

For those who do experience anxiety regularly, those experiences can vary drastically. For some, it comes and goes, is usually triggered by a stressful incident, and is for the most part manageable. Others, like me, seem to have it always underlying, just beneath the surface. Certain situations, experiences, and even people can trigger it, and those triggers and the symptoms they experience as a result vary from person to person. Continue reading

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Yoga for Healing Trauma


Sadness, Pixabay, Comm Use
Melissa’s Rap: According to Oxford Dictionary, trauma is defined as 1. a deeply distressing or disturbing experience or 2. physical injury. Regardless of the type of trauma, it inevitably has a tremendous impact on you and your ability to function in everyday life. Seeking therapy from a licensed mental health counselor and building a support system are very important steps for helping you heal after trauma. Yoga can be another effective tool you can utilize as well.

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Health Crisis Part 5: Denial

Sarah’s Rap: This is the last post in this series and about perhaps the biggest hurdle of all to our health: DENIAL. This is what prevents people with illness from acknowledging the problem, committing to taking steps towards better health and/or from making changes to key contributors to the country’s (and world’s) disease epidemic: the Standard American Diet, a broken healthcare system, unhealthy lifestyle choices and environmental toxins.

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Denial is a tricky beast– difficult to overcome. If a person is in denial, he/she won’t believe it. This is the nature of denial. Even now many of you are reading this, thinking it doesn’t apply to you. And it may not. Please humor me though. I’d like you to ask you to open your mind and keep reading. Let this post help you to take a deeper at your health and lifestyle, and perhaps by the end you might feel differently. If not, and you have no health issues, that’s wonderful. Keep up the good work! Maybe you’ll think of a friend that is in denial and needs your help. Or maybe, you will admit that you are suffering from illness and want to take control of your health and happiness.

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Yoga for Cold and Flu

Melissa’s Rap: Being sick is never fun. It can be very draining and exercise is usually the last thing on your mind. But, yoga can be very beneficial when you aren’t feeling well. It can help get the energy flowing, jumpstart your lymph system and strengthen your immune system, which will help your body fight. 

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Health Crisis Part 4: Environment

Sarah’s Rap: If you’re like me, you barely go a day without meeting someone with health issues of their own or talking about someone they know with illness. It makes me so sad, partly because of the sheer prevalence but also because most people chalk up their illness or symptoms to genetics, bad luck or no idea. They often live a life of suffering, prescription medications and a pile-up of diseases.

Sure, genetics can play a role– some of us are more susceptible to certain conditions based on our DNA, and when we live a lifestyle that doesn’t support our own body’s needs we can flip that genetic switch on. But just because your grandmother had breast cancer, doesn’t mean you will definitely get it. The conditions have to be right. And maybe bad luck has a small part, but ultimately I feel that the majority of illnesses are caused by a handful of specific things. I’m not alone in this. Raymond Francis, author of Never Be Sick Again, believes that only two causes of disease– deficiency and toxicity. Continue reading

Ways of Coping: Self-Care for When Life Challenges You

Melissa’s Rap: Sometimes life throws us curveballs. Sometimes it feels like those curveballs are coming at us 90mph, one after the other and we can’t seem to stop them. We all cope with these curveballs differently. You may lock yourself in your bedroom with a bottle of wine and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Someone else may binge watch eight shows on Netflix and refuse to answer any messages. Another person might pick up a bat and take those curveballs on to the best of their ability. Me? I go one of two ways: anxious manic doer or utterly useless sloth. Either I go into action and basically stop sleeping, or I become completely useless and choose something similar to option A or B above. Neither of which is really healthy or effective.

As I’ve gotten older, though, I have learned something. I have to do the work to tackle those curveballs and that means different things depending on the situation. But one thing is for sure… I have to implement some key coping methods to get me through it.  Continue reading

Health Crisis Part 3: Lifestyle

Stressed for timeSarah’s Rap: This is the third part in my series on what I feel are contributing causes behind the high numbers of disease and illness which so many Americans, and others around the world, are suffering from. If you missed them, check out my first two posts on the Standard American Diet and the “disabling” U.S. healthcare system.  It likely will not come as a surprise that unhealthy lifestyle choices are also key factors to the prevalence of disease, but sometimes what constitutes “unhealthy” may be less obvious.

I’m no saint myself when it comes to some of my own habits. In fact, I know that several are contributing factors to my own health issues in recent years. But if I don’t acknowledge the destructive behaviors and their negative impacts, I won’t continue to make (and keep) the changes necessary to get to a healthier me. I’m hoping this post can help you to do the same and take the right step towards better health. Continue reading

Reconstruction Redo: Take 2

Melissa’s Rap: Sometimes things don’t go as planned. And sometimes you do everything right and everything falls into place except one detail. Unfortunately, that is often the case with reconstruction after a mastectomy. Some women will require three to four surgeries to get the reconstruction to take.  Continue reading

Pranayama: Breathe in Peace

Melissa’s Rap: Pranayama, control of the breath, is the basic foundation of any yoga practice. Sometimes it is your yoga. It is that important and that impactful of a practice. Focusing on your breath alone is so powerful, it can have profound effects on one’s health, both mentally and physically.  Continue reading