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- January 2017
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To navigate the health and wellness marketplace for our families and our selves is an exercise in nearly endless choice making. Among the many challenges accompanying us is reconciling the conventional assumptions and external messages about healthcare in our culture with the natural, inner guidance system operating deep within us.
I believe that when we can get quiet enough and listen within, we know what is good for us and what it not. Unfortunately, there are many barriers in our society to cultivating that inner quietude and access to self-derived knowing. Staying alert and increasing consciousness in our personal More >
Con Alma Health Foundation Convenes Forums Around the State
As New Mexico’s largest foundation dedicated solely to health, Con Alma Health Foundation brings people together to gather information, discuss issues and develop solutions that address the state’s health needs. This includes bringing people together to learn more about federal healthcare reform and what it means for New Mexico.
The statewide foundation recently held meetings in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, where speakers provided information about components of the federal Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act such as Medicaid expansion, American Indian eligibility and the health-insurance exchange, as well as proposed bills for this More >
Con Alma’s Roadmap
1. Improved conditions and policies that address Social Determinants of Health and advance health equity, especially among racially and ethnically diverse and underserved populations, can significantly improve health in New Mexico.
The correlation between poverty, educational attainment and good health is evident when comparing health outcomes for NM’s children and others in the United States. NM ranks 48 and 49 respectively in teen death and teen birth rates.
• Racial and ethnic minorities suffer higher rates of mortality and illness compared with other Americans and receive a lower quality of healthcare.
• New Mexico has the second-highest poverty rate More >
The first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011 and became eligible for Medicare. By 2020 those same people will be 74 years old. Over the next 20-plus years the United States will experience what has been referred to as the Silver Tsunami. This represents an epic demographic shift, with more elders per capita needing care than has ever been experienced in human history.
Unfortunately, by that time, if current trends continue, more than half of the nurses in this country will have retired and may need care themselves. Meanwhile, low retention rates and decreased employee satisfaction resulting from workplace More >
Working in hospice has been one of the great joys and challenges of my life. I started out at the bedside working as a hospice nurse case manager. I was impacted by the sacredness and raw intimacy that is present at the end of life. It is from the dying that I have learned more about living than anything else I have been exposed to. I began to see how the youth- and beauty-driven culture of mainstream America avoids the elderly, the sick and the dying. These people have become our version of untouchables. By removing them from our More >
Dr. Stephen Weiss
Today while driving home after adding an acutely ill patient to my schedule at the end of a busy day, I happened to eye a bumper sticker on the back of a car which my whole being emphatically embraced: “When the Power of Love Overcomes the Love of Power, the World Will Know Peace” (William Gladstone). This ranks up there with some of the best quotes I’ve ever seen. Profound. Simple. True. With this kind of wisdom so freely available, why is it that our nation is reeling from yet another mass shooting, this time involving precious young More >
Smile, breathe, relax. There. Feel better? Surely it can’t be that easy to lead a happy and healthy life. But there are a few simple changes we can make in our daily routine to vastly improve our health and well-being, and in turn, the health and well-being of our communities. By taking better care of ourselves, we become better parents, spouses, co-workers and stewards of our communities. So what follows is a list of five ways to keep healthy, happy and well balanced in the new year.
1) Breathe: “When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace,” says an More >
Snuggle In and Chow Down
Dr. Japa K. Khalsa
Hibernating is a human thing: We are designed to shift into low gear in winter. Like a farmer tinkering with his tools while snow covers the ground, downshifting gives your body time to repair itself. This is your body’s natural agenda.
Given extra downtime and deep nutrition, your body can refill the disks in your back with fluid, rebuild immune system cells and recondition your stressed-out nervous system (among other things). That can mean less back pain, better overall health and an increased ability to handle hectic lives.
Just like night gives us time More >
Jan and Jack Kerr
Oh, Fair New Mexico, we love you so. We love to garden, walk, hike, bike, ski, swim, play tennis, ride horses and fish.
However, New Mexico doesn’t love our skin. As much as we love it here, we live in a very harsh climate, and skin care is not a luxury–it is a necessity. When you evaluate the inevitable age-related changes in the skin, you have to take into consideration both intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
Individuals age at different rates. Intrinsic aging is the chronological aging determined by the DNA of your skin type, inherited from your parents and More >
Diabetes. Alzheimer’s. Obesity. Cancer. With disease and depression running rampant, it’s not surprising to learn that we run the risk of exposing ourselves to over 80,000 toxins in our modern day-to-day lives. Enter the Self-Care Revolution™, an inspiring, educational 12-month series of weekly 60-minute teleseminars, Q&A calls, self-care journals and self-assessment tools.
The series is designed to promote more holistic, patient-centered solutions to the current disease-management model of healthcare. Inspired by Dr. Robyn Benson, DOM, a specialist in pain management, women’s health and family medicine, and sponsored by Santa Fe Soul Health & Healing Center, the Self-Care Revolution is bringing More >
Eco-Friendly, Multidimensional Facility Inspires Wellness
BODY of Santa Fe is a center for yoga, tai chi and dance, a spa and a childcare center. It is also a clothing store, boutique and café. Located in the heart of the City Different (333 Cordova Rd.), BODY is known for its ethos of chemical-free living. Lorin Parrish founded BODY in 2004 on the premise of establishing a new paradigm of business: a community center that inspires and facilitates wellness. BODY Yoga School, a Vinyasa teacher-training program, began in 2012.
Pesticides commonly used in cotton production end up in air, water, soil and people. BODY More >
We have many words to express concepts of health and wellness. Marketers use key phrases to engage and attract a broad audience. Researchers test products and sometimes express their findings within the frame of desired results. Western medical research is often based on the premise that there is little discernable difference between people. This leaves us with unanswered questions about why a product will work well for some people but not others. There is no philosophic underpinning to gain insight on why this is.
Ayurveda is a philosophic platform that gives us a sound understanding of how, when and More >
I have a confession to make… I can’t stop using Seimei. I use it on everything and everyone, never ceasing to be astounded at the results. But more about that later.
First, some background. I’m a Mind-Body Integrative Therapist with dual licensure in Clinical Counseling and Bodywork, in private practice for 26 years. I’m also a Naturopathic Doctor. Over the years, I’ve acquired a huge toolbox of specialized modalities that address issues ranging from emotional and psychological distress to trauma and physical pain. These tools have proven quite effective in meeting my clients’ needs.
I reluctantly agreed to study Seimei, a More >
Audrey Shannon, DVM
What does health or healing mean to most of us? Is it just the absence of disease, or dealing with problems? Or, can we expand health to mean a sense of well-being and vitality, as seen in an active, robust animal who is engaged with its environment and with human companions?
Many people who turn to acupuncture, herbs and supplements for their animal companions are seeking to not only improve a certain condition or state of disease; they are also concerned with their animal’s quality of life.
In acupuncture and Chinese medicine, the practitioner looks at the whole body More >
When the Center for Native American Integrative Healing opened in Santa Fe in July, I knew that this, for me, was home. The Centers, in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe, offer a unique blend of healing assistance, a combination of Native American healing with Western modalities and Vipassana Buddhism. I asked the director, Karen Waconda-Lewis (Isleta/Laguna) to explain this innovative approach.
SG: How do Western therapies, Native American traditional counseling, healing ceremonies and Vipassana Buddhism work together?
KWL: Frequently, healing is blocked by stress, deep emotions, re-invoked trauma or environmental toxins. Medications or drugs ingested over a period of years and More >
Gathering inspiration for her life’s work took a circuitous route for Helen Wildman Meehan, drawing on travels as far flung as Guinea, Spain, Australia and England, and drawing upon diverse talents in music, massage and theatre. Born in San Francisco, Wildman Meehan moved to New England at age 12, where dealing with her mentally challenged mother gave the young girl the gift of compassion for others and a profound understanding of the need for healing as an integral part of childhood education.
Captivated by sight of children singing on the hilltops of Austria in the film The Sound of More >
On a cold and windy Dec. 9 in Albuquerque, the New Mexico Solar Energy Association (NMSEA) celebrated its 40th anniversary at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Seventy-five people reconnected with people who have been involved with the organization for decades. What a milestone! Forty years, and the NMSEA is still promoting clean, renewable energy—especially solar energy—through education, empowerment, collaboration and advocacy.
Sharon Gross, wife of the late solar advocate and UNM Dean Bill Gross, wrote, “I found the celebration energizing. It was wonderful hearing about new NMSEA directions, and learning so much about so many people involved in solar.”
Outgoing More >
In 1972, just before the Arab oil embargo triggered the first US “energy crisis,” Peter van Dresser, Steve Baer and Keith Haggard founded the New Mexico Solar Energy Association (NMSEA) and hosted the first “Life Technic” Conference, the “proceedings” from which became NMSEA’s first publication.
Soon thereafter, the Sun-dwellings Project was born when the Four Corners Regional Commission (a federally funded agency administered by the governors of the Four Corners states) asked van Dresser to consider a project to design solar heating units for retrofit to mobile homes. Van Dresser suggested, “Rather than try to solarize house trailers, why More >
New Mexico State Land Commissioner Ray Powell
One Health is a collaborative decision-making approach that helps ensure the long-term health of plants, animals, people and local communities. This effort will help the State Land Office optimize revenues and create good jobs for New Mexicans while caring for State Trust Lands in a sustainable manner.
It has been proven that states and local communities that take the best care of their natural world have the strongest economies, the best jobs, and enjoy the highest quality of life. Using the One Health approach helps ensure that land-management decisions look at the big picture More >
For the past decade, Dr. Sam Fernald, a watershed management professor in the Range Sciences Department at New Mexico State University, has led an effort to research acequias, NM’s centuries-old irrigation and water governance system, in the community of Alcalde in Río Arriba County—specifically the hydrology characteristics of acequias and how they interact with shallow groundwater. In recent years a land-use-change analysis was incorporated into Dr. Fernald’s research to gain a better understanding of how land-use change can impact water management, riparian ecosystems and acequia culture. Acequias are at particular risk due to increasing urbanization pressures and the potential impacts on actual More >