Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Float Away with Flotation REST Therapy

Are you bombarded by noise and chaos in your environment? Feeling tired and over-stressed? Longing to get away from it all? Try floating away!

Since 1975, flotation tanks have been used in conjunction with restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) to induce deep physical and mental relaxation. This form of relaxation training involves floating in an enclosed tank filled with a small amount of highly-concentrated solution of Epsom salts and purified water.

The tank is both soundproof and lightproof, creating an environment completely free of sensory stimulation. The heavy concentration of Epsom salts allows the participant to float face-up on the surface of the water and sleep or daydream without fear of sinking or rolling over. The controlled climate settings can precisely match the temperature of the air and water with the participant's own body temperature.

Stepping into the tank induces an automatic relaxation response. After a short adjustment period, the participant begins to experience feelings of weightlessness, timelessness, and a sense of deep relaxation. Suddenly, he or she is aware of every heartbeat, muscle twitch, and sensation in the body. The mind calms down, finding new freedom to explore the infinite possibilities of the imagination. The participant becomes keenly aware of suppressed thoughts and emotions. Without the distraction of outside stimuli, he or she turns inward, becoming more and more in tune with his or her own physical, mental, and emotional landscape.

The typical flotation session lasts 45 minutes. Most participants emerge feeling relaxed, refreshed, and re-energized. After being deprived of sensory stimulation, the whole world takes on an appearance of freshness and renewal. Colors, sounds, and smells seem suddenly brighter and more vivid. Stimuli is a welcome relief from the darkness and silence of the flotation tank.

Supervised flotation REST has been used along with relaxation training, stress management, and biofeedback to treat hypertension, anxiety, stress disorders, chronic pain, muscle tension, insomnia, PMS, rheumatoid arthritis, spastic muscles, lupus, scleroderma, and smoking cessation.

Studies done at the Medical College of Ohio reveal that flotation REST reduces blood pressure, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones such as cortisol. It increases the release of endorphins from the brain, producing a sense of well-being, relieving the symptoms of stress, and alleviating or reducing chronic pain. Muscles relax, range of motion improves, and participants feel a greater sense of muscle control. Participants have reported increased energy levels, more focused mental concentration, less susceptibility to sensory overload and illness, and higher performance levels in the areas of sports, science, and the creative arts. Personal relationships improved, and people with chronic pain experienced temporary relief from pain symptoms.

Flotation REST therapy should be performed by a qualified professional. But individuals can purchase their own flotation devices for use in the home or visit a flotation center to participate in a session.

Dawn Pisturino, RN
June 20, 2007
Copyright 2007-2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

My Thoughts on the Coronavirus

By now, everyone has been affected in some way by the coronavirus. People have gotten really sick, with most recovering, and some dying. Some people who tested positive never got sick at all. Most Americans, however, seem to be healthy and well.

Due to the spread of coronavirus around the world, countries began to shut their borders, institute quarantine and isolation procedures, promote education about the virus, social distancing, and an economic lock down. Right now, the world is at a standstill.

Millions of people have been temporarily laid off or furloughed from their jobs. Others are working from home. People are anxious, restless, bored, and scared. What will happen next? Will things get better? Will they get worse? Will this virus be defeated? Will it come back again? Nobody can really give us an adequate answer.

Businesses - both large and small - are suffering. Will they be able to reopen? Or, will this shutdown put them out of business? Just yesterday, retailer Neiman-Marcus announced its plans to file bankruptcy. This will likely cost a lot of people their jobs.

The federal government has increased the national debt in its effort to help people weather the storm. And most of us are grateful for the extra money and support that the government is providing. But it's only temporary. And the money only stretches so far. Rents and mortgages still have to be paid. Food still has to be bought. Life goes on.

Gun and ammunition sales are through the roof. Why? Because of the threat of increased crime and overreach by state and local governments. While convicted criminals are let out of jail, law-abiding citizens are forced to shelter in their homes, wear masks in public, and follow restrictive and unconstitutional mandates. Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, for example, is prohibiting people from buying seeds, planting gardens, and hanging American flags. What do these normal activities have to do with preventing the spread of coronavirus? This kind of out-of-control power grab by politicians is sparking anger, protests, and demands to end the economic shutdown.

The mainstream media has fed into the hysteria by politicizing the crisis, deliberately spreading fear and chaos, and sensationalizing the number of cases and deaths. Politicians are at war with each other, pointing fingers, and deliberately spreading misinformation and lies. It's an election year, folks! And that matters more than unifying and helping the country.

Then we have Bill Gates and the big tech companies wanting to stop people from working until they acquire a certificate that they test negative, have already recovered from the virus, or have been vaccinated. WTF? I feel sorry for anybody who doesn't live up to their standards. And what made them the experts anyways? Bill Gates has a financial interest in all of this. And this is a guy who wants to reduce the human population by 15%. No, thank you, Mr. Gates! I'll take a pass on any vaccine developed by you!

Liberal governors are also refusing to open up their states' economies until some distant date in the future, out of fear that the coronavirus will reoccur. Come on, guys! People need to get back to work and back to a normal life as soon as possible. Standing in line for toilet paper happens in third world countries, not the good old USA!

On the positive side, people are finding a healthy appreciation for the things they have, the things they are missing, and the things they had lost, such as their love of family and faith in God. People are praying more and spending time with their loved ones.

So, out of all the chaos, order will come. Out of all the fear, confidence will grow. And out of all the death and destruction, new life and hope will be restored. We are resilient people, after all.

Dawn Pisturino
April 19, 2020
Copyright 2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Origins of Pagan Easter

The Spring Equinox marks the festival of Eostre - also known as Ostara - a Germanic goddess worshiped by the Anglo-Saxons. If "Eostre" looks familiar, it's because the word eventually morphed into "Easter."

The pagan symbols of Easter include rabbits, hares, and eggs. Rabbits and hares represent fertility, while eggs symbolize fertile purity. Easter egg hunts can be viewed as a re-enactment of rebirth and renewal rituals practiced by ancient people. Lighting a bonfire at dawn on Easter morning hearkens back to the days when Germanic believers lit bonfires at dawn on the morning of the Spring Equinox. Decorating eggs and wearing new clothes symbolize the end of winter, the coming of Spring, and the birth of new life.

We all look forward to the coming of spring and all the beautiful treasures it brings: fresh green grass, colorful and fragrant flowers, birds singing in the trees, blue skies and sunshine, and warm breezes wafting through our open windows. Spring is the time when we feel energetic and renewed. We want to stretch out our muscles and get outdoors in the sunshine. We feel suddenly motivated to clean out our closets and send belongings we no longer need to the local thrift shop. We shop for new clothes, try a new hairstyle, revel in nature and the world at large. After the oppression of winter, Spring sets us FREE.

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Dawn Pisturino
April 11, 2020
Copyright 2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.