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Volume 11 Issue 2
July/August 2005

Integrative Medicine:
Where Conventional Meets Alternative for Truly Wholistic Medicine

Bread—The Staff of Life, or Not?

A Good Laugh Helps us Face Our Problems with Renewed Energy and Courage © 2004

Turn Stress Into Success by Rewriting Your Subconscious Beliefs: The Benefits of Psych-K™

Thoughts on Death and Dying: An Evening with Spiritual Teacher, Sylvia E. Browne


Volume 11 Issue 2— July/August 2005
by Melva Armstrong
Melva Armstrong

I am slowly getting settled into my new living space and thoroughly enjoying the immense natural light and sunlight that comes in from the east and south exposures, especially after living in a north-facing apartment for over six years with no direct sunlight, where my view from the main window was the back concrete wall of a small three-story strip mall. I find sunlight so very important for keeping up my spirit and providing my body with natural nourishment in order to feel healthy and peaceful, so moving to this new location feels wonderful.

Because I am now blessed with living next to the South Saskatchewan river I have been taking a daily morning walk where I first slowly and carefully make my way down a very steep hill that leads to a gravel pathway at the bottom. Then I begin my brisk walk along the path, always savouring that first sight of the occasionally still yet swift-flowing river and inhaling the intoxicating smells of the wild roses that I pass along the way. Everyone I meet who is walking, riding, or jogging along this special part of nature seems to be full of joy and happiness so I can only conclude that there are special powers at work on this riverbank that uplift folks so fully. I know that I certainly feel more energized and connected to a higher power when I am there.

One day in early April I saw seventeen yellowy-brown fuzzy goslings up on the edge of the bank with six parents next to them, teaching them the ropes of how to nourish and clean themselves and how to survive. Now, several weeks later, those same little goslings have lost their yellow fuzz, their feathers have turned to brown, and they are almost as big as their parents. I find it amazing how quickly they grow and I feel blessed to be able to watch this process. And just today, in mid-June, I saw six teeny-weeny little ducklings, all in a row, quickly swimming behind their mother as she hurriedly lead them to shelter in some reeds. As I watched them I remembered a time in grade five when I received the gift of a tiny duckling from a class-mate named Michael Sullivan. I loved that furry little duckling, especially feeling its soft feathers on my hands. Ah, the beauty and joys of nature are so very important to our well-being and good health! I hope all of you manage each day to find time in your busy schedules to go outdoors where you can feel, touch, and smell the gifts we have all around us in our gorgeous natural world. I can guarantee that your spirit will be lifted.

With the summer solstice, we have reached the pinnacle of longer light per day. Throughout the summer I like to savour those long, light nights for they feel very magical and blissful, where the afternoon seems to go on forever. Then there are a few hours of darkness and it is back to the light. I find the cycles of our planet forever fascinating and I believe learning to live in synch with them is the great challenge for all human beings.

I feel honoured and privileged to feature in this issue, Dr. Louise Gagné’s article, Integrative Medicine: Where Conventional Meets Alternative for Truly Wholistic Medicine (p. 16). Dr. Gagné is a Saskatoon family physician who has recently completed a two-year fellowship in the University of Arizona’s Integrative Medicine Program, which is directed by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. Andrew Weil. (His picture is on the front cover along with Dr. Gagné and Dr. Maizes.) I truly believe in a wholistic approach to medicine because it encompasses and addresses all aspects of the human being—body, mind, and spirit—which, in my way of thinking, is only common sense. My hope and prayer is that many more doctors and health professionals, locally and throughout our world today, will seriously look more closely at expanding their minds and their practices to include a more integrative approach in their work. It is about using the best of both worlds to keep people healthy and therefore, happy.

Along with our feature article, we are blessed with a full line-up of other well-written and informative articles that, together, address the importance of looking at ourselves as “whole” human beings—body, mind, and spirit—in order to maintain that balance required for daily good health and well-being.

May you bask in the summer sunshine, discover new places and new friends, and laugh daily like you’ve never laughed before. Until we meet again, keep well and happy!

(I honour the Spirit in you!)

Melva's signature

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