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Possumhaw: Tapping into good health


Shannon Bardwell



"Smiling is infectious, you can catch it like the flu. Someone smiled at me today, and I started smiling too." 






With all the flu going around Sam and I have taken some small measures to increase our chances of not getting sick. Vitamin C supplements are dropped into a glass of water like the "Fizzies" of the 1950s. They have all the vitamin C of orange juice without the sugar. No more neighborly handshaking or friendly hugs, at least for a while, maybe a knuckle bump instead, topped off by a whole lot of handwashing.  


Avoiding crowds in close quarters is a consideration, excluding church fellowship and MSU girls' basketball games.  


Time for my annual physical fell in January, but since I was healthy I called in and postponed my appointment until late March. Even the receptionist thought it a good idea This is not the time to visit the doctor's office unless it's absolutely necessary since that's where the sick people are. I heard of a couple of doctors' offices telling people not to come in if they thought they had the flu. They'd called in a prescription for Tamiflu. It had gotten that bad. It seems the best thing you can do to avoid the flu is to keep your immune system in good shape. I picked up my 1976 "Natural Healing" book to reacquaint myself with any ideas we may have forgotten. There was a whole section on how amazing our body's immune system is naturally if we do our best to care for it.  


"Numerous studies have shown that, overall, most disease is sub-clinical, never becoming severe enough to produce recognizable symptoms. We generally remain unaware of the battles that rage within us and this attests to the effectiveness of our natural defenses." 


Good nutrition is stressed as a basic necessity for good health; it's the fuel for all biological processes. Eat your vegetables, limited sugar, fat and processed foods. Take vitamins for optimum health. Sleep well to prevent fatigue which lowers the body's resistance. Exercise to get the blood pumping and increase endorphins. Laughter is always a good medicine. Be positive. 


Massage therapy loosens muscles, increases blood flow and reduces lactic acid in sore muscles. Massage may seem like a gift you give yourself, but it's a whole lot cheaper than a doctor visit and prescription meds. The Natural Healing book suggests a Japanese technique called "Shiatsu," which means "finger pressure." It's a cross between massage and acupuncture.  


The description reminded me of the "tapping" technique we were taught at The W's Life Enrichment Program. The class was called "Healthy Self." The instructor taught the class to do a light finger tapping on certain areas of the body as a therapeutic exercise. 


I decided to try the technique on Sam when I got home. Sam relaxed and closed his eyes while I lightly tapped on his brow. I thought it was going well until he said, "I can't tell you how annoying that is."  



Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.


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