Thursday, November 30, 2017

Power Up Your Life & Make Stress Work 4 You: excerpt # 12

" It's been a while since I posted an excerpt for my stress book.  Been very busy with the move into our new big house, but here I am with some new material.  This a description of the Jacobson method, a very well known relaxation method".

The Jacobson method.
According to Jacobson, relaxation is the absence of muscle contraction, which leads in return and as a secondary effect, to the reduction of brain activity.  This method is therefore fully geared towards the reduction of muscle tension.  It is particularly recommended for hyper-nervous individuals who can't keep still, type 'A' personalities, the over-achievers and those who suffer from RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome).

Often, for some people, this hyper-excitability phenomenon is caused by too much stimulants such as coffee, tea, or chocolate which creates disturbances in the metabolism's absorption process of minerals such as calcium.  When there is not anough calcium in the body, the nervous system becomes over sensitive and can cause the above mentioned reactions.  For others, the over sensitivity of the nervous system is caused by a condition called 'peripheral neuropathy', a kind of degeneration of the nervous system.  In any event, Jacobson's method is effective against one's limb's restless sensations.

The alternate muscle contraction / sudden de-contraction has the positive effect of bringing a fresh and increased blood supply to the muscles and thus has a soothing effect on the overly-excited muscles.

As for any relaxation technique, choose a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.  The discet listening of soft background music is recommended to accompany this method.
In a softly lit room, stretch out on the floor or sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes.  Extend the right arm in front of you, contract it and hold the contraction until you feel a burning sensation.  At that point, suddenly release the contraction in your arm, so that it falls down heavily on your lap.  once this is done, focus your attention on the growing feeling of heaviness in your arm.  At that point, you can, if you wish, accentuate the relaxation by visualizing your arm buried under an enormous weight.  Repeat the same process with the left arm, legs, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, chest, neck, etc.  Try to put an emphasis in the areas of your body where you usually feel the more tension.

In the second phase of the exercise, using the same process, relax even further the muscles that are already at rest while another part of your body is contracted.  Thus, while you extend and contract the right arm, make a conscious effort to relax the rest of your body.

For maximum efficiency, the exercise should be done for thirty minutes every day.  This exercise is beneficial to rid the body of accumulated nervous energy, especially for thos people who have difficulty keeping still before a session of deep relaxation or meditation.


Stretch out in a comfortable chair and close your eyes.

Extend the right arm in front of you, contract the muscles and hold the contraction until you feel a burning sensation or fatigue.

Release suddenly the contraction in your arm and let it fall down heavily on your lap.

Focus on the feeling of heaviness.  repeat the same process for the other parts of your body.

For the last phase, repeat the same process, but make a conscious effort to increase the relaxation of the muscles that are already at rest while another specific area of your body is contracted.

Increase the length of each session up to thirty minutes each day.


Dr. Pierre Milot, Ph.D., Ph.D. (tc)
Life Transitions Counsellor - Relationship/Grief/Stress/Spirituality Coach 
Online - Phone - One-on-one consultations
Info or free evaluation
Tel: 613.774.4389

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rising From The Ashes of Loss, My Voyage Through Grief: excerpt # 32

Mental note
Thinking back at times when I feel down, I wonder what motivated us to go ahead with either treatment, natural or chemical.  Rationality is not always at the rendezvous when lives are threatened.  Our survival instinct took over in these confusing times and we somehow always seemed to find the need to overcome the odds.  What would an animal do when suffering from a deadly wound?  Survive at all cost or lie down and die, realizing instinctively that its time has come?  Maybe we should be more like them when we sense that our time may have come, not give in to religious, family or social pressures but let go and face the end of our lives as it comes.  In Louise’s case, she surprisingly admitted towards the end of her ordeal that she was doing all this partly for me.  That she wanted to wipe out the worried look of pain that constantly haunted my eyes every time I looked at her.  That she wanted to stick around a little longer to look after me.  If only I would have known, I could have told her sooner that it was OK to go; "I’ll make it on my own, honey, even though I’ll limp for a while, I’ll somehow manage to survive.” “Go towards the light, do your thing and stop worrying about me,” I would have said, but these words had yet to be offered.


Dr. Pierre Milot, Ph.D., Ph.D. (tc)
Life Transitions Counsellor - Relationship/Grief/Stress/Spirituality Coach 
Online - Phone - One-on-one consultations
Info or free evaluation
Tel: 613.774.4389

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Rising From The Ashes of Loss, My Voyage Through Grief: excerpt # 31

January to September 2009                                                                                     
Louise's CA 125 level goes up again
After the end of the ten sessions, of course another test was required to evaluate the success of our efforts and, yes, it again involved darn needles. Poor Louise. I’ll have to talk to the staff at the cancer centre to try and see if they would have a solution that could help make life a little easier for her.  I felt responsible for her wellbeing and this stuff about the needles was making me edgy and resentful; something would have to be done soon.  As for me, regardless of the results, I had decided not to have more chelation treatments, so the test was unnecessary.
Fifty percent reduction in Louise’s heavy metal level was the result of the latest test.  It was very encouraging, but Dr.R thought that, although positive, more reduction was a must and he suggested that Louise go through another round of ten treatments. More needles. ‘Sh….’, I thought.  This came as bittersweet news for Louise though, who at this stage had not noticed any significant changes in her energy level and seemed to be losing her positive attitude.  Not good.  The fact also that all these treatments were not covered by Medicare or by our private health insurance was adding to our already high stress level.  This venture was getting more costly by the minutes, one hundred and ten dollars per treatments plus cost of testing and specialized natural medication was beginning to be a heavy burden on our wallets.  Now, to top it off, we were considering adding ten more treatments and one more test, Ouch!  What the hell?  We came this far so we may as well go all the way.  If this was to bring my baby back to life, no cost was too high.  
But, before going ahead with the second round of treatments, another disturbing situation had to be dealt with; Louise’s CA 125 level had gone up again and the gyn-oncologists wanted to see her to talk about more chemo treatments what a downer.  CA 125 is a tumour marker detected through blood tests.  When it goes down after treatment, it means that the tumours have shrunk, but when it goes back up again, it may mean that the cancer has come back and it’s not an encouraging perspective at this stage of the game, I know something about it.  
So here we go again, back to the Ottawa Cancer Centre to evaluate Louise’s condition and the thought of more chemo treatment was not on our agenda.  After a short stay in the waiting room, we’re invited by one of the attending nurses to proceed to a private room inside the compound and wait for the specialist on duty.  Louise was obviously stressed out and a little depressed and I was impatient and apprehensive at the bad news to come.  But we would never in the world have expected to be so shocked by what we were about to hear from Dr F. one of the leading gyn-oncologist in the department.  Due to the fact that Louise’s CA 125 level had increased, the recurrence of her cancer was suspected.  Therefore more chemo was necessary according to our up-to-now buddy, Dr.F. He strongly recommended that Louise go ahead with the treatment as soon as possible.  I was nauseated at the mere thought of this and I can only imagine how Louise felt.  
After spending some time explaining to us the ins and outs of the treatment, the kind of chemical they use (which was different from the first round of chemo) and the likelihood of side effects, he sat expectantly waiting for us to give him the go-ahead to start the sessions.  He was growing more impatient by the minute because of our reluctance to agree. We were considering  postponing his treatment in favour of the alternative option. He then stood up suddenly, gathered his paperwork and, exhibiting an air of grandeur, as if we had just insulted him personally, hurriedly proceeded to walk out of the room. Suddenly though, as if his unacceptable behaviour was not enough, adding insult to injury, he turned around while crossing the threshold of the door and said with a frustrated voice; "Well make up your minds quickly before I lose your file in the system.” 
Even though we were completely taken aback by this poor display of professionalism, we decided not to give in to his undue and unfair pressure and to go ahead with the alternative treatment.  Was it a mistake?  Time will tell.   As for Dr.F’s disappointing behaviour, well I'll let you make up your own mind.
Soon after starting the chelation therapy sessions, we quickly realized that the non-invasive and non-aggressive natural treatments was too slow to kick in compared to the lightning speed at which Louise's cancer was progressing.  'Clear cell ovarian cancer' is very aggressive and the natural treatments could not keep up.  

Dr. Pierre Milot, Ph.D., Ph.D. (tc)
Life Transitions Counsellor - Relationship/Grief Coach 
Online - Phone - One-on-one consultations
Info or free evaluation
Canada: 613.774.4389

Friday, November 3, 2017

Stress Management As A Cure For The Common Cold How Stress Management Aids Wellness

Stress Management As A Cure For The Common Cold

How Stress Management Aids Wellness

As various colds and strains of the flu are passed around schools, offices and homes across America, you may be wondering what you can do to stay healthy. We’ve all heard recommendations to get flu shots, bundle up if it’s cold outside, and the like, but your mom and your doctor may have neglected to tell you about an important precaution you can take to avoid getting sick: practice your stress management skills!
The effects of stress on immune system functioning and overall level of wellness have been studied and well-documented, and if you're worried about your health, stress levels should be monitored closely! Stress affects your overall wellness level and susceptibility to infection in two important ways:
  1. Weakened Immune System - Chronic stress can raise cortisol levels and weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to colds and the flu, as well as more serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.
  2. Unhealthy Choices - When we’re under stress, health may suffer because we don’t always make other healthy lifestyle choices like getting enough sleepexercise and healthy food in our diet, which also makes us more likely to become ill.

Steps Toward Wellness

To protect your health, stress should be kept to a minimum and other precautions should also be taken. To increase your odds of wellness, especially during flu season, here are some important steps you can take:

Practice Stress Management Techniques.

Certain techniques, like journalingyoga and even laughter have all been found to increase immunity. By practicing stress-reducing activities, you can keep your body from going into chronic stress mode, maintaining increased health and wellness.

Take Care of Your Body.

Eat a healthy healthy diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly to keep your body running smoothly.
Taking better care of your body will keep it functioning properly and increase your ability to fight off the latest bug that’s being passed around. And, if you do get sick, a generally healthy body can bounce back from illness much more quickly so you’ll be less miserable while you’re ill, and heal sooner.

Maintain a Supportive Network.

Social support boosts immunity and helps you manage stress in your life, both of which will keep you healthier. By keeping several healthy relationships in your life, you’ll have friends to help you through the difficult times and increase your enjoyment of the good times, helping everyone stay healthy and enjoy life more.

Stay Organized and Maintain Balance in Your Life.

Keep your home uncluttered. Become proficient at saying no to requests that aren’t in line with your priorities. Staying organized and balanced will help you keep from overtaxing yourself, and can help reduce the level of stress you experience in your life, helping you stay healthier in the long run.

Practical Tips To Remember

As always, don’t forget to take the common sense health precautions that mom and the doc have been telling you for years:

Wash Your Hands

Do it frequently, and especially before meals.
This will keep germs from being passed to your face, so your immune system won’t even have to worry about fighting them. You can also use antibacterial hand lotion to serve the same purpose when you’re out and about.

Take Vitamin C and Drink Plenty of Water.

The vitamin C can strengthen your immune system and the water can help flush out toxins. This increases proper functioning of your immune system and helps you fight disease more easily.

Avoid People Who Are Sick.

If members of your family are ill, in addition to washing your hands and avoiding direct contact, it’s a good idea to spray disinfectant spray on all door handles, light switches, phones and other areas of the house that are touched often and may contain germs.
A little prevention can go a long way in keeping you healthy. While I can’t promise that you’ll never be sick again, following these wellness suggestions for living a low-stress, healthy lifestyle can have a very positive impact on your health and wellness levels.
Dr. Pierre Milot, Ph.D., Ph.D. (tc)
Life Transitions Counsellor - Relationship/Grief/Stress Coach 
Online - Phone - One-on-one consultations
Info or free evaluation
Tel: 613.774.4389