Author Archives: Shannon McQuade

Kick off Your Healthy New Year’s Resolutions with 4 Simple Tips

ImageI like these 4 simple suggestions for getting back on track after the holiday food fests.  We’ve had our share of dietary issues and sensitivities in my family that have required much more extensive and complicated changes.  It’s nice to see that there are a few basics that everyone can easily follow:


1. Water

2. Garlic

3. Apples

4. Exercise

For details, read Natural Society’s article here.  

Have a happy and healthy 2013!

The End of the World….Again

ImageI can imagine a great number of things and have, at times, believed my imagination to be true.   Over time, I’ve learned to balance my inner and outer reality to come up with a fairly reasonable conclusion (though not perfect by any means).  So thankfully, I can understand that the end of a calendar doesn’t necessarily mean the end of a literal world.  Of course the earth will eventually come to an end.  Are we near the end?  I don’t know.  I’ve become comfortable knowing enough that I don’t have to know everything….most of the time anyway. Continue reading

Winter Reflection

candleThe earth is a bit distant from the sun this time of year and, as we are not separate from our environment, we can sense the difference in how we feel.  Since ancient times, people have gathered together, lit fires, and decorated their homes with foliage for a sense of warmth and connection during this season.  As we journey forward, it’s important to understand that it’s natural for things to slow down as we recede into winter. Though we may be “too busy” it’s good – at this time – to take a break to pause and reflect on the past year as we move forward into a new one.

Laughter is the Best Medicine: The Real Patch Adams

ImageOne of the biggest highlights of my life was “clowning” with the real Patch Adams.  I had the opportunity to coordinate the event “Living a Life of Joy” at Kingsbury Hall in May 2008.  It was fun to go around the University Hospital dressed up as clowns and see the smiles on the faces of the patients there.  (I removed my red nose as it got too itchy). I recollect the moment in this picture quite well as he was a bit sweaty from going all over the hospital and he thought it would be funny to squeeze a bit tighter for the photo!

You may remember Patch Adams from the movie starring Robin Williams. What you may not know is that, over the course of the last two decades, Patch has been on the road for 200-300 days of the year.  In 1985, he took a group of people on a clown trip to what was then the Soviet Union. Equipped with colorful clothing and compassion they visited hospitals, orphanages, homes for the elderly as well as just clowning on the street. Since then, these trips have been an integral part of Gesundheit´s global outreach.   Patch started the The Gesundheit! Institute, 40 years ago.  Continue reading

All or Nothing? Finding Balance with Dialectical Thinking

What I usually hear at this point is… “whaaat”?

Yes, dialectic is not a word we commonly use. It comes from ancient Greece and was made popular by Plato and Socrates.  Basically, a dialectic is a dialogue between two different points of view.  It differs from a debate, where there is a ‘right or wrong’.  A dialectical approach holds both points of view at the same time, evaluating both sides and coming to an understanding that is somewhere in the middle or a ‘shade of grey’. Continue reading

Eyes: Windows to the Soul and….Key in Unlocking Negative Emotions

ImageHow many of you – just for the heck of it – randomly dart your eyes around, back and forth, up and down or diagonally?  Most of us don’t unless we’re dreaming and having REM sleep.  Research has found that this rapid eye movement, that occurs in our sleep, plays a significant role in processing and storing information.  It’s like we have a built-in computer processor that runs a program every night to clear out unnecessary files and store what is needed.  Though human beings are more complex than computers, our brain operates as a central processing unit and our organs are attached through nerves, just as computer components are attached by wires.  If you try to load too many files on your computer, or the wires are worn down, the computer can slow down, freeze up, or just shut down completely.   Continue reading

A Prelude to the Holiday Season: 5 Tips to Minimize the Stress

ImageWell, here we go already!  I think practicing gratitude on a regular basis is good for your mental health and, with Thanksgiving here this week, now is a good time to double up (chanting to yourself over and over what you’re grateful for).  Depending on your circumstances, the holidays can trigger a variety of emotions.  Memories from years past, stress about “to-do” lists, concerns about encountering family members you may prefer to avoid, etc. etc.  Here are a few tips to begin managing the stress that may come with the season:

1. Don’t be trapped by tradition.  If you find yourself dreading the holiday season, you may want to consider doing something different this year for your own well-being.  Reclaiming the peace and joy –  that the holidays are meant to bring –  is worth the discomfort of change.  Continue reading