Jun 16

Laser Spine Institute

This podcast really opened our eyes. Brian had to go to Scottsdale, Arizona to have the operation. Fascinating interview. Enjoy

Apparently, the same company that offers this wonderful service has approached the Canadian government, and they haven’t committed either way. When you hear of these stories, it makes you wonder why everyone can’t get along and become partners in technology that could not only relieve pain and suffering, but put many people back to work. If you want to leave us your opinion, simply type it in on ‘leave a reply’ area below. Thank you, Rick and Pat.

May 22

Office Place Stress, Part 4: Are you doing what you love? Most people aren’t.

Tell me something. Did you pick your present job because you thoroughly checked out the company, its ethics, culture, corporate image and employee environment, or did you just throw a bunch of resumes out at the world and hoped at least one of them would stick? If you did, your not alone. Millions of folks just don’t have a choice and need to work virtually anywhere in order to keep it all together. So, what happens if you find yourself in a situation that is less than acceptable and you aren’t as enthusiastic about your job or career as you thought you would be? Remind yourself that it is only temporary, and that you still have the ability to react positively and to control your next move.

If you have become complaisant, check out your present companies benefits packages to see if they offer any form of counselling services that you can tap into. The worst feeling in the world for is to suggest to yourself that you might be stuck in a dead end job and not following the path that makes you extremely happy (or at least relatively satisfied) When I worked at one of the largest call centers in North America, I worked along side of people who had their PHD’s, one fellow was actually a brain surgeon, and others had years and years of post secondary education in their chosen fields and simply could not find work anywhere and had to ‘wait it out’ until their personal situation improved. Inside the call centre (at maximum capacity the building held 1800 employees) there were people from all walks of life, with many levels of, well, lets say determination, enthusiasm and involvement.

Now, I can hear a bunch of you heckling me in the background and saying ‘Yes, but I don’t have any post secondary education to further my situation’, and that’s a very fair statement. Here’s my answer. Most companies now have some kind of program in place where they will actually sponsor you to go to school. That’s right, they will pay for your courses, as long as they are marketable for the company, and as long as you pass all of your studies. That sounds like an interesting proposition doesn’t it? I mean, let’s look at it from a different perspective. The majority of people will tell you that, in order to get the job or career you truly want you need some kind of post secondary education. Why not take advantage of the incredible opportunities that await you.

I personally know someone who completed a full marketing program at a local university. It took him a couple of years, and he had to initially pay for the courses semester after semester but the company paid his back in full. Imagine, getting paid to go to school. Interesting concept. The reason I threw this idea at you is because if you are struggling, becoming stagnant or just plain dis-interested in your workplace, this might just be the lifeline your looking for.

The real purpose of this blog entry is to let you know that there are always some sort of positive change or action you can take, even if your particular situation seems less than stellar, there’s always hope. And, if you still can’t see the positive side of life, go back and re-read our third entry in our Office Place Stress series, and that is to take brisk walks, often and enthusiastically. Hey, that’s one of the prescriptions a medical doctor may suggest to you for depression, and that is to do allot of walking.

May 21

Office Place Stress Part 3: You forgot to breathe.

I read an incredible book a few years ago called ‘The Breathing Book’ by Donna Farhi. In the book, she makes some remarkable claims that we don’t really think about that much. She says that when you walk on pavement, your body goes into a kind of ‘mini spasm’ and your internal organs tense up quite a bit, and that exact tensing moment really plays havoc with your breathing.

When your walking along, your vision is, of course focused on looking straight ahead. Some of that field of vision can actually see part of the ground directly in front of your feet, and then sends a signal to your brain saying ‘look out, we know that’s pavement (really hard unforgiving ground) your about to walk on, and the involuntary body tensing begins, and interrupts your breathing pattern allot. See the amazing things that you find out when you read?

The author takes you through the very real benefits of showing you just how important the art and science of breathing is all about. I practice breathing 3 times per day when I study Chi Kung and Yang Style Tai Chi. You just would not believe the difference between putting your breathing patterns on auto pilot, or making a concentrated effort to practice healthy breathing. It improves digestion, healing, improves oxygen delivery to the lungs, provides mental clarity and the list goes on and on.

Have you ever observed the way a baby breathes? From the lower tummy, or abdomen, not the chest, and that’s the challenge with most of us. We breathe from the wrong place in our bodies. As we grow up we inherently forget that we slowly change many things in our lives. We get busy and accept more ‘responsibility’ like school, then perhaps pose secondary education such as college or university, and then you get a job, have a mortgage, have kids, then your paying for someone else’s post secondary education. Stress causes us to do many things, including how not to properly breathe. It’s just one of those things that we take for granted, but don’t give it much thought. After all, we all know how to breathe right? Perhaps. All I know is that when I practice my Chi Kung and Tai Chi, it is a gentle reminder how to gain benefits from a very powerful and popular form of Kung Fu that has been successfully used in China for thousands of years.

May 18

Office Place Stress, Part 2: A new thought, a great walk.

How many times have you heard this statement. ‘Just take a walk, you’ll feel great’. And you wonder, where did they pull that slogan out of? Well, if we look just a little deeper in the benefits of walking during your day, I’ll just bet that you would be surprised at all of the incredible life changing (yes, life changing) things that you can achieve from a really brisk walk. Especially, if you use a computer all day like I do. Today for example, I did a power walk that would put a greyhound to shame. (Okay, if it had the flu, an injured leg and poor eyesight) but the point remains that I took the time out of my day to goble down some lunch and get out there in the sunshine. And, for all of you logical people who just have to know all of the exact details of what a brisk walk can do for you, here’s the list.

1) Walking is absolutely free, and can be done almost anywhere.

2) Walking fits everyone of all ages, shapes and sizes.

3) Walking can be an extremely challenging form of exercise

4) Walking can be integrated into everyone’s lifestyle relatively easily.

5) Walking is a very low strain on the feet, joints and body, and risk of injury is very low.

6) Reduces heart disease, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure.

7) Reduces body fat, enhances mental well-being. Increases bone density, reducing the risk of cancer of the colon, helps to control body weight, helps increase flexibility and coordination, and if that’s not all,

8) Its allot of fun!

Oh, and while were on the subject, lets talk about ‘Work Place Walking’.

1) Improved productivity.

2) Fewer insurance and compensation claims.

3) Fewer absenteeism.

4) Decreased accidents.

5) Reduced staff turnover.

6) Lower cost related to retirement, training and orientation.

7) Improved attitude toward the organization and higher staff morale.

8) A more receptive climate for, and ability to cope with workplace changes.

9) Enhanced business.

May 18

Office Place Stress, Part 1: How do you handle it?

This will be a great series on office place stress, and what you can do to stop it dead in its tracks. OK, perhaps not dead in its tracks, but you’ll at least be able to categorize, condense, prioritize and realize that office place stress can be just a figment or your imagination. Here’s what we can do together.

First, know that however bad your office place stress gets, you get to make some decisions. For example, take a look at your typical day and gauge your office work place on a scale of 10 to 1. 10 being the worse stress you can take, and 1 being the least. Here is a fantastic revelation that you might want to keep to yourself. Say for example you have a stress level that is way out there. I mean, on the drive to work, your anxiety is through the roof. Where do you store your tension? Where are you most vulnerable physically. Personally, I tend to hold my tension and stress in my lower abdomen. So, I consciously focus my breathing on my lower abdomen, and with every breath I take, allow the relaxation process to enhance the experience. By the time I get to work, I find I have much, much more energy that I would ordinarily have had I not relaxed for the entire drive in. (Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that I get to listen to my favourite podcast’s as well)

Your office place stress will be there when you get to work, so, why allow it to get the best of you on the drive to work? Think about this. When you combine all the stress and tension that is going to get thrown at you in your day, and your doing what you’ve always done (allow parts of your body and mind to literally freeze up) isn’t it about time you did something different? How long do you intend to go on torturing yourself with your specific type and brand of anxiety? There is hope for you, even though you may think that there isn’t.

THE FIRST STEP: SET REALISTIC GOALS FOR Y0UR SELF. In this day and age, I know that almost every business is expecting more out of you with less time available. The one thing that you need to do is to take stock of your abilities and be really honest about the work load you can handle. This will no doubt take some real soul searching to find out what is fair, honest and doable. Sit down with your immediate supervisor and set some guidelines on how you need to approach your workload. This should be a team effort because if if you don’t work as a team, it’s going to be a might long day, and for some of you, a long year.

Both of you should start by putting together a list of expectations. Really, a form of procedures that you can use as an expectation guideline. After all, if you don’t have any kind of procedure list, how will you ever know if your meeting the expectations set before you. When I used to work for IBM, Microsoft, HP and Toshiba, we had very specific training and a mini printed manual called a complete ‘scope of work’ where every single step was documented so that there should be very few if any questions after you have been trained in a particular platform, whether it was software related for Microsoft, or hardware break/fix based for Toshiba when you need to fix a huge four foot long plotter.

A basic procedure manual is so vitally important that, if your place of work doesn’t have them or support using them, you can always have employees pointing their fingers at each other saying ‘it’s not my fault, its his or hers’. Procedure manuals give direction, essential training, responsibility, traceability and sense of accomplishment. If there are no basic procedure manuals or guidelines, why not volunteer to create one for your company in the exact department you work in.

Apr 09

The Placebo Effect

Ever heard of the placebo effect? Of course you have. But, have you heard about this. Some very powerful regulatory groups regard the placebo effect so strong that they actually want to ban placebo’s from the Olympics because they consider it a real advantage to the athletes. Interesting.

Apr 08

Miracle Ball Method, Parts 1 and 2

This method has proved invaluable to me in the management of my pain in my neck. I would suggest that anyone who has injured themselves try this inexpensive but really effective tool a try. It may not work for you, and if it doesn’t you’ve wasted $12.49, and you can give them to a family member, but this system has put me back in the game again, and for that, I am very thankful.

Part 2 below.

Mar 28

One of the best Reflexologist’s has passed on.

She will be missed very much by many loving students, friends, family and adoring fans. We have truly lost one of the greatest ambassadors of Reflexology and holistic health. It was because of Yvette that I created the ‘Healthy Tech Talk’ method of health for computer users. Even though Yvette is gone physically, she did leave behind a great blog that she has entrusted me with. Please feel free to visit the blog in order to get to know Yvette and what she meant to so many people. The address is:
yvetteeastman.squarespace.com

As a business person, one of my hopes is that I can live up to people who are vastly smarter than I am, and Yvette was one of those instructors that towered above most people.

Here at ‘Healthy Tech Talk’ we have taken some of the best ‘principles’ of Yvette’s training and hopefully everyone who comes in contact with the product will love it the same way we did as we were putting the program together.

Mar 13

I’m the only Reflexologist that doesn’t believe in Reflexology

Pretty strange statement isn’t it? Here’s why I said what I said. When you mention the word ‘Reflexology’, you take on a whole infrastructure of mixed stuff. Some Reflexologists can’t even agree if they are using acupressure or not. Then, if they can’t explain something in even the slightest scientific terms, they say that it ‘just works’. Well, that’s wonderful, but if your anything like me, there are allot of unanswered questions that really need to be addressed on some level, and there as Shakespeare would say is ‘the rub’.

In the healthy tech talk system, we don’t use hard core Reflexology. I took the most practical, powerful and believable aspects of Reflexology and combined it with what I call ‘trigger ball’ therapy and teach the PC user how to deeply relax while using all 3 systems at the same time. I am under the impression that Reflexology on its own just won’t give you the relief your seeking. Neither will the trigger ball therapy or the deep relaxation exercises. Personally, I can’t wait to get out in the real world and show off my system. It’s perhaps one of the best out there.

I taught Reflexology for several years through the adult education program of my local school boards, and I always felt just a little bit uncomfortable attempting to ‘sell’ what boils down to a belief system. That was clarified for me just a few weeks ago as I was video recording Yvette teaching her advanced class, and she again re-enforced the notion that Reflexology is indeed a belief system. Let’s look at the bigger picture. Take for example Chiropractic medicine. While it is very tightly controlled, monitored and is backed by a college based educational system, chiropractic was once connected to a person who was involved in ‘magnetic healing’, which by most accounts has been questioned by the scientific community. Some will claim that chiropractic is also based on a belief system that supposes the alignment of the spine can influence health for the entire body. Sounds strangely familiar doesn’t it?

Reflexology just doesn’t have the same ‘panache’ that the other systems do, and as stated above in this blog, some reflexologist’s can’t even agree on the delivery method of the basic principles. The science behind the art of reflexology is scarce, substandard and sometimes desperately stitched together from questionable studies and reports that aren’t as convincing as I would like them to be. Still, and there is a ‘still’, reflexology has an annoying habit of being able to relax, restore, revitalize and calm in an amazing way that is still quite a mystery to me. That’s why I am going to attempt to explain it from my side of the fence, as an electronics technician.

Have you ever heard of the book called ‘The body Electric’ by Dr. Becker? He is a medical doctor who was fascinated with the influence of the body’s electronic and electrical system. It took him a few years to gather enough research together in order to write the book, and as I read it over and over again, it revealed to me that the body has a very interesting way of using the properties of magnetism and electricity to do some pretty incredible things, namely to allow healing with the properties that are in his book.