Dr. Muehsam's Blog

Musings on healing, wellness, living and more…

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Published on 09/09/2016

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Reflections on a New Year

Published on 12/31/2015

reflecting image with text

Hi Everyone,

Just a few thoughts on our entrance into 2016.  Hoping these can be interesting and helpful to you.

As I’ve been reflecting on the eve of the New Year, I’m taking pause to be a little gentler, a little softer, a little easier on myself.  And I offer you the suggestion to do the same.

We’re often exhorted by both the internal and the external  to make resolutions, to take stock, to reflect, to proffer of letting go of the old and beginning anew. And that’s all good. And it all can be so very supportive, so powerful and transformative.

But at the same time, there can be a critical self that’s at play here, implying that we’re not okay the way we are, that we have to change, that things have to change, for us to be okay, for anything and everything to be okay. For us to be at peace.

Here’s my New Year’s suggestion: take pause to be in this moment, in this very moment, as you read this.

And after you read this, stop.
Stop to pause. To breathe.

Just breathe.

Just breathe

 

Inhale deeply into your belly, letting it expand all the way around to your lower back and down to where your legs meet your trunk.

And exhale with an open mouth and a sigh. And again. And several more times.

And know that you’re perfectly okay now. Just the way you are.

Youare perfect nowjust thewayyouare

Wishing you a wonderful entrance into 2016.

Happy NY 2016

As always, yours in service of healing, wellness and living,

Dr. Muehsam

 



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healing_begins_with_forgiveness-586168

Current events of the past several months inspired me to put fingers to the keyboard: the church shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, and the trial and verdict in the Boston marathon bombing.

Both matters led to much discussion in the media from both sides of the aisle: from those who demanded an eye for an eye, and from others who considered forgiveness as the only means of reconciliation and healing.

In this piece, I’ll offer that forgiveness is, indeed, the ultimate and only path to absolution and healing. However, I’ll also offer that it does not necessarily come easily. Rather, it may need to be a process: a process of honoring the experiences of suffering, of pain, of anger; then and thus, compassion for self and others; and finally, the natural consequence of these: forgiveness.

you-will-begin-to-heal

Here in Part 1, I’ll detail how both ancient wisdom and modern science teach us that holding  anger can cause disease and that freeing ourselves from anger’s grip can heal us.

In Part 2, I’ll offer the how-to’s of forgiving: first, how to access and release held anger; then, how to find compassion for self and other(s); and finally, how to experience the end result of these: forgiveness.

Here’s the gist of it all:

The resultant healing may be the healing of physical “dis”-ease. Of emotional “dis”-ease. Or it may be healing in another form; of circumstances, of relationships, or more. It may be all of these.

When-you-forgive

Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science: The Power of Anger and the Power of Forgiveness
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Ancient wisdom abounds on the link between anger and disease. And now, modern science offers us abundant proof, supporting the veracity of this link.

On the ancient wisdom: the cosmologies of all non-Western cultures hold that emotions, when persistent, held and unresolved, can affect all aspects of our lives, including, and most significantly, our health. Anger, and its close relatives of resentment, frustration, and irritability, is considered to be a primary cause of disease when not dealt with and released. To detail the entirety of these various world views is beyond my scope here, but I’ll give a brief mention of traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine, Native American Medicine, the varied healing traditions of the African continent, just to highlight a few.

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Here’s some of this ancient wisdom:

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Modern science can now contribute to the discussion, concurring with this ancient wisdom: anger, either suppressed or expressed in extreme, is a risk factor for disease, and can impede healing. Research has linked anger with heart disease, ulcers, cancer, pain, infections, obesity, diabetes, and more.

The “how’s” of these research findings lie in the basic research exploring connections between emotions and health.

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Thoughts and feelings can:

Ancient wisdom and modern science concur, as well, on the healing power of releasing and resolving anger, and on the power of forgiveness.

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In the traditions of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, for example, addressing the root cause of disease, the emotional cause of disease, can heal that disease. The scientific rationale for  such healing lies in the work of modern biomedicine. Studies have demonstrated effects on cardiac health, outcomes in cancer patients, improved immune function, less pain, less depression, less anxiety, and more. And by the same mechanisms I’ve described above.

(A brief and final aside: physicians in clinical practice, as well as physicians and medical students in training, have not yet caught up with these research findings. Medical education and practice often lag quite a many years behind current scientific endeavors.)

Bottom line: if you can change your thoughts, you can change your emotions;  you can change your health,  and you can change your life.

Stay tuned for the how to’s in Part 2.

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Hi Everyone,

As I write this post on the eve of a New Year (2015), I realize what follows may seem absolutely non- sensical.

Hoping you’ll read on, and perhaps will find some sense it.

Here’s the gist of it: it’s all about “trying.” Or rather, “not trying.”

And, I offer it in light of the resolutions, that for many of us, accompany the New Year’s holiday.

First, a bit on “trying.”

How many of you are trying? Really trying?

Trying to accomplish something: trying to attain a particular state of being, living, health, wealth, relationship, or work?

Or, maybe a state of mind?

(A gentle aside: please know that this post comes without judgment for any and all of you who may be doing a lot of “trying,” in any sort of way. I’m a chronic, recovering “”tryer” myself!)

Back to the issue of “trying.”

All of this trying is completely self-defeating.

Some of you may find this notion complete non-sense….and, yes, I agree – it’s kind of counter-intuitive.

Here’s why trying doesn’t work. And why stopping trying does.

Because, the more we try, the more elusive what we desire may become.

Because, the act of trying tells our subconscious that all is not well, that something other than what we have now, is needed.

(Yes, I gotchya….this point may seem counter-intuitive, too)

Because, trying, literally creates stress in the body.

Because stress in the body, among other things, blocks us from allowing and receiving (the keys to not trying, and the gifts of not trying.)

About stopping “trying.”

It releases the stress in the body.

It allows us to be fully present, in the moment, with what is….whatever is. Allowing it.

And, by being fully present, we are in the state of allowing, of receiving.

But, and yes, this does seem counterintuitive!

Does this mean we should never have intentions, goals, desires, and never “work” towards these?

No.

It means that we need to release our attachment to the outcome of our “work,” and to let go of any struggle involved.

It’s wonderful if we can even delete the notion of “work” as struggle in any way, from our thoughts, words, and vocabulary.

(For those of you who know me, I’m always taking about deleting the “shoulds” from our thoughts and speech – same idea.)

For some more thoughts on all of this:

Deepak Chopra recently offered some wisdom along the same theme. He called it “Success Without Struggle.”

Finally, all of this is a bit in the vein of my prior blog post: “Less is More.”

And, in days to come, I’ll be writing with some practical suggestions on just how to stop “trying.”

Wishing you all the most wonderful entrance into this New Year, 2015. May you experience this notion of “not trying” and may it bring you success without struggle.

Hoping my meanderings here are interesting and helpful. As always, I welcome your feedback.

Yours in service of healing, wellness, and living,

Dr. Muehsam



2 responses to “On New Years’ Resolutions: To Try or Not To Try….?”

  1. Pamela says:

    Thank you so much for your as always articulate and persuasive explication of a simple practice which has such power to transform our experience.

    It makes me feel inspired to remember to do it!!

  2. Lanette fisher-Hertz says:

    Hi, Trish — Have you heard the Colbie Caillat song entreating us all not to try so hard? I thought of you and this blog post today when I heard it on the radio. You can see the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXoZLPSw8U8

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On Healers and Healing

Published on 07/06/2014

Every six weeks or so I send out an email announcement to everyone on my email list to let them know about the upcoming New York city visit of a British healer named Malcolm Smith.

Malcolm is quite an extraordinary man. I’ve experienced his unusual gifts personally, and born witness to the experiences of many others.

For more details: http://www.malcolmsmithhealer.com/index.html

But the reason I’m here today, on a very sunny summer Sunday afternoon in Manhattan, is not to tell you more about Malcolm. Rather, it’s to share a bit about healers and healing.

If you are seeking out a healer in order to be fixed or cured of whatever may be ailing you, I encourage you to read on.

My thoughts on healers and some suggestions:
I have had many experiences with “healers” such as Malcolm, and a good part of my work has involved researching their activities.

I have witnessed miraculous healings and I have witnessed no healings at all.

Through these experiences, I have come to believe that illness can be an opportunity for healing on a deeper level, for growing in many ways on our life journey, for moving towards and even gaining a greater sense of peace and well-being within.

For some, this “healing” may involve a physical healing. For others, it may be a deeper healing on a level that cannot be explained in words, beyond the physical.

For some, this may mean the discovery of a new way of being, of experiencing life, that brings a sense of well-being and peace that was not known before. And yet for others, “healing” may mean leaving the body, e.g., death.

A little more on this topic of healing and the physical body:
We Westerners are very attached to our physical bodies; it is the nature of our Western culture, the reductionist, materialist world view that informs the tapestry of our lives.

With only this very material fabric to cloak our experiences, health challenges can prove difficult and frustrating, present a struggle, and even cause deep discontent.

I have traveled to many parts of this planet over the years in my search to learn more about healing. Some of these journeys were inspired by my own health opportunities (I prefer “opportunities to “issues” or “challenges”!)

Those cultures whose cosmologies accommodated more than the three dimensions of our “material” world, e.g. some sort of everpresent spiritual foundation for living, were cultures where there was much individual and collective serenity.

There was less attachment to the physical body, or even none at all. And more peace of mind regarding health issues. Less attachment to the state of the body, and more faith, and less fear.

In fact, only faith, not fear. The two are really quite mutually exclusive. (In time to come, I’ll write more on faith and fear. And, how fear really can be a life-threatening emotion.)

Now I will return to the essence of this piece:
If you seek out a healer, go without expectations.

Go with an open mind. With a tabula rasa.

You may not receive what you are seeking, if you seek a particular outcome, a “fixing” or your body, or some other situation, or circumstance in your life.

And, then again, you may.

Years ago a wise teacher of mine once told me that my job as a physician was not to cure my patients of their respective illnesses, but to teach them how to connect with their own inner wisdom, so that this inner wisdom would be their guide for getting well.

And, sometime later, another wise elder suggested I pray not for the cure of my patients, but for their ability to see the light, to learn the lesson that their illness has come to teach them.

Perhaps some of you will resonate with the above, perhaps some of you will not.

But, wherever you are on all of this, try to know that the healer lies within you, not within the scope of any system or means of any practitioner.

See the varied approaches and practitioners as merely guides and partners.

We can guide you, direct you, and support you, even give you tools and techniques and remedies for helping you.

But do not surrender to these.

The minute you surrender to being fixed, you give your power away.

See all as the helpers to support your finding that healing wisdom within, that wisdom that is your nature.

PS I hope you found this post interesting and helpful. As always, I welcome your feedback!



One response to “On Healers and Healing”

  1. Douglas says:

    Powerful stuff Dr Trish.

    It is so inspiring to see that you as an MD are taking this so necessary direction and sharing your wisdom with all. Received with thanks and much appreciation on this path to good health, fulfillment and joy.

    Returning the love and light which you send so clearly in your messages, Douglas

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I’m writing this on a rainy Friday in New York city, early afternoon – the perfect time for a nap. Likely some of you will quiver at this mention. You may find naps unproductive, a waste of time, an inherent impediment to leading a meaningful and fruitful life.

For those of you who finds naps unappealing and maybe even incompatible with your daily existence, please consider otherwise and read on. In this piece, I’ll be explaining how “being” more and doing less actually supports your health and wellbeing, and thus, all aspects of your life.

Many of us live our days and lives as if on a treadmill, keeping up the pace to a pre-set rate and rarely getting off to exhale, to rest, until the very end of our day.

What is the reason for this treadmill craze? I’ll say quite simply: fear. Fear of all the “what ifs”: what will happen if I stop the treadmill and get off? How will I survive? And sometimes the fear is just about the fear of feeling feelings.

For many of you readers from my hometown of Manhattan, where we have lots of treadmill walkers and runners, you may relate well. Please forgive me, you city slickers, don’t take this personally. It’s a natural inclination we all have, myself included. And please forgive me, others of you, either here or elsewhere, who may not relate so well. Likely you’ve cottoned on to the age old wisdom long ago.

Continuing on for all of you: what is fear? I’ve heard the popular slogan that it’s “False Evidence Appearing Real.” In modern psychiatric and psychologic cosmologies, fear is considered an emotion, an “affect.”

In my work as a holistic physician, drawing from many non-Western healing traditions (traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, in particular), fear is merely a vibration (as all thoughts and emotions and even physical entities are) that can be shifted quite easily and instantaneously, using simple techniques to which we all have access.

The How’s and the Why’s
Here’s some more about these techniques – hoping that what follows can be helpful to you on your journey: it’s about how you really can and do affect your own health and well-being. And in ways that are easy, effortless, and available to you now.

A little background
For eons, modern medicine has held that our genes determine our destiny, and are the fundamental root cause of whatever happens to us health-wise. Yet for many more eons, prior to modern medicine’s entrance into our dynamic lives, ancient wisdom has held otherwise.  But now, modern science is proving our genetic beliefs to be incorrect, and in fact, supporting the truths of ancient wisdom.

Here’s what we’ve come to learn, via the fields of epigenetics and neuroscience:

These techniques are simple and accessible and completely available to you, now. They are the techniques of being versus doing. They are the techniques of stillness and mindfulness. Breathing is one of them. Meditation another. And also, quite simply, rest. And sleep. Obviously, these latter two are not really techniques at all. Rather, they are the necessary and natural experiences of our bodymind.

Modern science has now shown that these techniques (and rest and sleep, too) have significant and lasting effects at the physical level. They can, just to name a few:

And the most wonderful side effect is peace. Peace of mind, and peace of body. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s available to you now, in this very moment. And you don’t even need to make time for a nap. It’s literally, only a breath away.

For more details on Breathing, Thoughts, Emotions and Your Health, see my articles in The Epoch Times:

The Omnipotent Power of Breath

The Power of Mind

Emotions and Your Health
PS I hope this post was interesting and helpful. As always, I welcome your feedback!



2 responses to “Less is More: The Key to Health, Wellbeing and More”

  1. mark seltman says:

    I’m not much of a napper, but my partner and many of my friends take what they call ‘power naps’. They may only be ten minutes long, but that’s enough to renew and refresh them.

  2. Marina V. says:

    The race we all in is very unfortunate side effect … We can choose to stop, but we merely do that, but some events may force us to do things we never have done.

    Nap is great !

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It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon, and here I am, writing to you from cyberspace.  As promised, my intention is to be interesting and empowering.

Hoping you find that what follows is both.

First, just a momentary segue:  my blog is taking requests. The D.J. seeks your input!  So, please feel free to write with requests, topics, questions, etc.  My aim is to be of service to my readers, not merely to write what pleases me!

Okay, back to the subject of this blog:   Fear or faith, “dis” – ease or health.

Are you in fear or are you in faith?

Are you thinking, doing, acting from a place of fear or from a place of faith?

If you’re worrying, about money, your health, relationships, your work, life path, and/or perhaps more elevated spiritual or metaphysical concerns, then you’re in fear.

If you’re in fear, please consider reading on. 

(Hmmmm.  I’m feeling that I may be coming off a little presumptuously.  I’ve been warned by my family and friends that I need a soapbox.  Well, here I am at my soapbox; hoping you hear me without presumption.)

Again, back to the topic at hand (these fingers can get carried away and leap to points far beyond!):

Key word:  “worry.”  If you worry, you’re in a state of fear, not faith.

And, fear and faith act like a toggle switch.  They can’t be both on or off at the same time.  Either you’re in fear and not in faith, or you’re in faith and not in fear.

So, what does it mean to be in fear?

It means you’re not present, in the moment.  It means you’re not in the flow.  It means you’re not allowing, trusting, surrendering.

End result:  you’re blocking energy in yourself and in your relationship to everything in life.  You’re limiting. 

In fact, you’re making (or keeping) yourself sick, and stuck, and poor, if that’s an issue.

Yes, believe it or not, “”dis” – ease, sickness, or ill health, can and is often the result.

(More on this in another blog….I will try to spare you looooong ones.  Just a minor aside to explain that the emotion of fear results immediately in a state of stress in the bodymind.  Illness can result.  Stress can cause disease.)

Okay, meandering back:

So, what does it mean to be in faith?

To be in faith means to be trusting, to be surrendering, to be letting go of our need to control, to figure things out.  It means to surrender to the notion that we are not in charge.

For many, this in itself can feel scary and overwhelming. Yet, if you’ve ever actually had the experience of totally surrendering, letting go of trying, trusting that all will happen without your efforts, as it’s supposed to, this can be incredibly liberating.

A personal aside:  I’ve had quite a few “health opportunities” as I like to call them (as opposed to “challenges” or  “problems”) that have offered me just that:  the opportunity to experience surrendering.  I wouldn’t have gotten the point at first, otherwise.  Some of these experiences were near crisis level. That’s how far I had to go to learn about letting go.  I was forced to stop doing, to surrender to my body. I could not do anything else but let go and surrender to my body….. (Yet another blog topic:  the healing power of illness, if we can allow it, because it necessitates surrendering.)

Okay, so how can we be in faith not in fear?

Sometimes it’s really hard….but, and yet, at the same time, once we experience it, it can come more and more easily.

Here’s how:

Slowing down.   Stopping doing.  Stopping thinking. 

Sounds easy?  Or paradoxical?  Or ridiculous?

Maybe some of all of these?

Practically speaking, here are some suggestions (they’re 18 of them, actually):

1) Rest when your body is tired. 

2) Rest before your body is tired.

3) Learn how to breathe (LOL !!!)  Infants do it, dogs do it, cats do it.  You can do it!  By breathing, I mean the kind of natural breath that allows for balancing of our bodymind, our autonomic nervous system.  We automatically enable the physiologic state of relaxation.  (Check out the breathing article on my website for more details:  http://www.transformationalmedicine.org/articles.html)

4) Play.  Do something fun and childlike every day. 

5) Observe children and animals at play.  Take a couple of cues from them.  They’re in the moment.  They don’t stop to worry.

6) Be here now.  With what is.  That means not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future.  This moment is all you have, right now.  The moment we go backwards or forwards we are no longer present.  (Google Ram Dass;  read “Be Here Now.”

7) How to be here now:  via the breath!

8) Feel your feelings….This may be hard.  Sometimes there’s deeply held stuff that feels uncomfortable, that we’re not often encouraged to be with.  (Rumi, the 13th century Persian mystic has some pretty funky stuff to say on this….if you like poetry, check him out.)

9) Take time in nature.  Walk on the earth (not on pavement!)  If you’re an urbanite, this is a must!

10) Move your body.  Dance if that’s your thing.  Exercise if that’s your thing….but, be careful, if you tend to be in fear.  Many of us “fear” types can overdo it.  Too much exercise makes more stress for your body.

11) Express your creative juices….even if it’s just doodling.

12) Take time to daydream.

13) Start a journal.  Write down your deepest desires.  Free associate.  Limit nothing.  Allow everything.

14) Meditate.  (If this feels challenging, I’ll be blogging in days to come on how to make it feel easy.)

15) Believe in a higher power.  God.  Or divine source.  Or just the power of something/someone greater than you, if all that God stuff makes you uncomfortable.  Even a friend can be that something/someone.

16) Be gentle with yourself.  No judgments.  No shoulds. 

17) Breathe.  Inhale, exhale….again.  Inhale, exhale….exhale longer.

18) Finally, stop trying.  Release your effort.

And, after you finish reading this, take a minute, just a minute, to do the following:  close your eyes, soften your throat.  If your upper and lower teeth are touching, make a space between them.  Breathe.

(All you need is a minute, a mere minute, because of how breathing affects the nervous system.)

Breathe some more.  Let the belly out on the inhalation.  Gently in on the exhale.

Breathe again.

And, yet some more.

You will be in faith, not in fear.

Okay, that’s all folks.

As always, please feel free to reply with comments, questions, feedback (critiques most appreciated, too!)

Let me know how I’m doing.

Yours in healing, wellness and living,

Dr. Trish Muehsam (aka “Trish”)

 



One response to “Fear or faith? “Dis” – ease or health?”

  1. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after going through some of the articles I realized it’s
    new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I found it
    and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

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Emotions and your health

Published on 01/28/2010

Click to open the PDF file – Emotions and your health

 



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