Thursday, February 22, 2018

Simple Things

It's a cold, rainy day in February. I'm thinking about the little things and the simple things that can make life better.

Here are a few things I thought of that make life better for me.

*Clean air.
For years I've used the Foust air purifiers ( Then a friend told me about Honeywell air purifiers, and I've been using one of those that I really like. It works differently than the Foust ones (those are great for filtering chemicals). The Honeywell one seems to be better at filtering dust, pet dander, etc. They are both good air purifiers, just different.  You can find Honeywell air purifiers online at Walmart, Amazon or other places. Here's a link to the one I use now:

*Healthy food.
When I eat healthy food, I feel better - it's that simple. Most stores now have good options for finding healthy food, but it can still be a struggle to shop, read labels, and keep healthy food on hand. If you're trying to eat healthier this year and avoid junk food, this blog post might have some helpful tips.

So many times laughter is just the "medicine" I need. If you haven't laughed yet today, maybe this video will help with that. =)

These are three simple things in life that can make a big difference. =)

If there's a simple thing you appreciate that might be helpful for others too, please add to this list by sharing it with us in the comments. Thanks!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Some Prayer Requests

I realized it's been a while since I've shared prayer requests about some of my EI friends. Would you take a few minutes today to pray for one or more of these precious people? Thank you so much!

S, N, K - These two brothers and their mom are still enduring chronic fatigue, severe chemical sensitivity, etc. They are amazing examples of living by God's grace and persevering in suffering. It's been a long road for them (over 20 years). Please pray for continued strength and faith for each of them, and for answers and tools that will bring progress in healing.

E, D, A, Z - This amazing family has been dealing with multiple and extreme health challenges for over two years. God has brought much miraculous healing, praise Him! However, there's still a long way to go. Right now the priority is for better sleep for the youngest child, so that everyone can sleep better. Please pray God will bring healing for Z in the area of sleep, and that everyone will soon have improved sleep.

J - He has been struggling with mold illness for the last few years. Praise God that he was approved for disability! However, he's currently homeless because there are no houses he can tolerate. He's been sleeping in a relative's car, but with the freezing temperatures, it's hard to stay warm. Unless you've lived through something like this, it's hard to imagine. So I'll just say that life is very difficult for him. Please pray his disability payment will come through quickly so he can buy a vehicle, and that he can find a car that is healthy for him. Also, please pray God will keep J close to His heart through this fiery trial.

A - My dear missionary friend has been dealing with health challenges after many years in other countries. Fatigue, allergies, poor sleep, etc. are some of what she's working to overcome. She's praying for restored good health soon so she can continue in the ministry God has given her. Please pray for clear direction and wisdom about treatment options, supplements, diet, etc. Also please pray for encouragement and joy in the midst of this difficult season.

E - She has been dealing with chemical sensitivity for over ten years. Though she's improved a lot and is able to do many things now, she needs to find new housing soon. This is a huge challenge for anyone with EI. Please pray God will lead her and will provide a safe and healthy place for her to live. Also for daily encouragement and continued healing for her.

Thank you so much for your prayers! These are just a few of the people I know who are facing difficult health challenges. There are many others. It's hard to see people in pain, but I can also see God at work in their lives through the suffering. As Psalm 91 says, God is our refuge and He is with us in trouble.

I hope you are experiencing God's comfort and strength in your life today. And if you have a prayer request, feel free to post it in the comments, so we can be praying for you as well.

God bless you!


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Oops...And Happy Stretching!

I am so sorry about not doing a post last week! I had a crazy week with so much going on, and I completely forgot. I think that's the first time that's happened in years.... Please forgive my lapse.

So I thought I'd do a quick post today, and then we'll be back on schedule next week. =)

Today I wanted to share about a great resource for stretching. A few months ago a friend told me about this program called Essentrics. As she described it, I got very excited! I said, "That sounds like just what I've been looking for!"

For those of us who want to do some kind of exercise but also want to be careful not to push our bodies, this program is excellent! It is a special kind of stretching - continual movement stretching, not static stretching. It stretches and strengthens at the same time. It's gentle, yet still gives you a workout.

This kind of stretching can help improve range of motion, joint health, and mobility. For me, it also has helped strengthen my core and help with posture.

There are different videos according to levels of fitness, different muscle groups, health goals (pain relief, posture, etc.), and more. The workouts I've done so far have been the 15 minute programs - one with stretches for posture, one for neck/shoulders, etc. My body has responded well and actually wants to do these workouts!

The website has several mini-videos you can watch. There's more information there, and you can look at the different options of workouts.

I'm so thankful my friend told me about this great tool! I hope it'll be a good resource for you. =)

Happy stretching!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Inspiration For A New Year

For the first post of this new year, I wanted to write something helpful and inspiring. I was trying to figure out what that might be...when I saw something I wrote three years ago. And it was the exact inspiration I needed for this new year. So I thought I'd post it again, and I hope it'll encourage you again. =)

And I'll list some other resources below for you too. Welcome to a new year - may it be our best year yet!

January 1, 2015 - Healthy New Year!

May your stress be less.

May your environment be non-toxic.

May your immune system be stronger.

May your neighbors be fragrance-free.

May your food be organic.

May your laughter be plentiful.

May your peace be unshakeable.

May your healing be ongoing.

May your strength be renewed.

May your heart be joyful, no matter what comes.

Praying many blessings for you in this new year!

Additional Resources for starting a new year -

1) I wrote about courage on my other blog last week. If you haven't read it yet, here's the link. Whatever comes this year, I'm praying that courage will be our victory!

2) The Life Today tv show is airing several episodes about health to start the new year. I appreciate their understanding of how we are whole beings, and that health involves body, soul and spirit. I think you'll appreciate these shows. You can watch all the episodes on their website.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Moving Forward

2017 has been quite a year for me!

I traveled somewhere almost every month.
I worked part time for several of the months.
I went to church regularly and have loved it!
I attended 6 different conferences/seminars and other various events.
I rode a horse again! (Last time was about 12 years ago.)
I spent 5 weeks visiting friends in Europe!
I completed my Life Coach's certification and Reflexology certification.

I'm still amazed and in awe that I was able to do all these things! I praise God for the healing He has done and continues to do in my life. And I'm excited to see what He has in store for 2018! =)

I'm happy to report that some of my friends saw great progress in their health this year as well!

One friend was able to completely get off a medication she'd been on for years!
Another friend has had improved sleep quality and healthier gut function.
My friend's little girl has had significant improvement in the many health challenges she was born with.

It's been exciting to see others improving with their health!

At the same time, some of my friends didn't see much visible progress this year. I know how hard that can be. It's easy to feel discouraged or frustrated. I don't have all the answers. But I believe there is usually more going on that what we can see. Sometimes we really are moving forward, even when it feels like we're stuck or standing still.

Sometimes moving forward is simply
...getting up and persevering through today,
...changing the way we think one thought at a time, thanks when we don't feel like it,
...choosing to focus on the positive instead of the negative,
...not giving up.

Wherever you are today, I hope you're seeing visible progress in your health. But even if you're not, I hope and pray that you'll keep moving forward, one courageous step at a time.

God bless you in the new year!  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Merry Christmas!

I know this can be a difficult time of year for some of us. Health challenges, missing loved ones, stress, etc. can make it hard to feel very "merry."

At the same time, I think we all need moments to stop, to pause, to breathe, and to celebrate something.

In the midst of every trial, we need hope.
In seasons of sorrow, we need pockets of joy.
In hardship and stress, we need laughter and song.

Christmas is a special time of year. But I think we can easily miss what it's really about.

It's not about decorations, cards, or trees.
It's not about parties or food.
It's not about shopping, stockings, or presents.
It's not about lights or caroling.
Ultimately, it's not even about gathering with family and friends.  

Christmas is about what we all need. It's the reminder that Jesus loved us so much, that He chose to leave heaven and come to earth. God became a baby.

Jesus left perfection to enter our messy world.
He came to experience our trials.
To carry our sorrows.
To endure our hardships.
To embrace life as we know it.
And to die in our place.
So that we could then embrace Life itself - in Him.

Christmas is about the gift God gave in sending Jesus.

When we pause to remember that gift...
we'll see again the hope that we have in Him,
we'll receive renewed joy, knowing that death is not the end,
we'll want to celebrate and sing about how good our God is,
...and in the process, Christmas once again becomes the gift we always need.

So whatever you're going through right now - sorrow, pain, trials, hardships, stress - I hope you'll celebrate this Christmas with wonder, gratitude, and enthusiasm!

And in the process, I hope you'll find whatever you need.

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people, for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior...'" -Luke 2:10-11

"The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means 'God with us')." -Matthew 1:23

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him." -1 John 4:9

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16

Friday, December 1, 2017

Thankful For Reflexology

I apologize that this post is a day late. It's been a busy week, but I'm thankful for all that I'm able to do these days! And I'm excited that last month I completed the process to become a certified reflexologist! I started the training about a year and a half ago, and along the way I've seen more of what a wonderful gift reflexology is.

For those who haven't heard about it, here are some quick facts from the International Institute of Reflexology.

What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a science that deals with the principle that there are reflex areas in the hands and feet that correspond to all the organs, glands and parts of the body. Reflexology stimulates these reflexes using specific techniques.

What does it do?
Reflexology helps to relieve stress and tension.
It improves nerve and blood supply.
It helps nature normalize (come back to balance).

By working the reflexes in the feet, specific areas of the body can benefit (through the three things listed above). It's amazing to me how God created our bodies, not only with the ability to heal and repair, but also with built in help such as reflex areas in the hands and feet. 

For me, reflexology has been a great addition to the other things I've done for my health. Having reflexology sessions helped me a lot when I was still recovering from years of chronic illness. It has also helped me with issues, such as trouble breathing, pain, reducing stress, etc.

Here's a brief quote from someone I did reflexology for earlier this year:

"I did reflexology with Joanna after a very physically and emotionally stressful period of my life, and I found it really helpful. Working on my feet really helped highlight and release things in my body, and sped up the healing process, and even started it in some cases where my body seemed 'stuck.' Having Ehlers Danlos Syndrome means that I'm quite wary to place my body under the care of others as it is very fragile and hyper-flexible, but Joanna was very sensible to the needs of my body and its limits." -S.W.

So far I've been able to do reflexology for a variety of people with different health challenges - including headaches, arthritis, back pain, acute pain, allergies, intestinal problems, and more. I've had great feedback from people about it.

Reflexology isn't a "magic button;" it's simply another tool that can be used in taking care of our health.

From my experience, I'd encourage anyone with severe or chronic health problems to start slowly with reflexology. When my health was still pretty bad, I started with a 20 minute reflexology session (10 minutes per foot). Gradually I was able to build up to having longer sessions. I also told my reflexologist when to use less pressure. She was great about being sensitive to my needs.

Some people I've worked with can start with an hour session, and it feels great to them! It just depends on the individual and what their body needs.

If you haven't tried it before, you might consider reflexology. The IIR (International Institute of Reflexology) that I did my training with, has a list on their website by state of certified reflexologists, if you want to try to find someone in your area. You can also read more information about reflexology on their website:

Reflexology has been a blessing for me. I'm excited about seeing it hopefully be a blessing to others as well.