When I first joined PALM Health, I was encouraged to take a personality assessment called the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). This assessment involves answering a couple hundred questions that reminded me of the Myers-Briggs test but this test breaks personality into two main categories: Temperament and Character. Under these categories are sub-categories/traits such as novelty seeking, harm avoidance, persistence, self-directedness, and cooperativeness, among others. Through participating in the 8-week program, I am hoping to use the outcomes of the TCI to learn more about myself, understand how to use my innate traits to help me grow personally and professionally, and discover what makes me thrive.
I am currently reading The Tao of Pooh and the following quote reminded me of some of the points that were discussed with me after taking the assessment. What I learned is that we don’t necessarily want to change our personality entirely, we just want to understand the different aspects of our personality and how to work with them effectively in all situations.
“Sooner or later, we are bound to discover some things about ourselves that we don’t like. But once we see they’re there, we can decide what we want to do with them. Do we want to get rid of them completely, change them into other things, or use them in beneficial ways? The last two approaches are often especially Useful, since they avoid head on conflict, and therefore minimize struggle. Also, they allow those transformed characteristics to be added to the list of things we have that help us out” – The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff
For example, introversion is not a less desirable trait than extroversion. It just demonstrates how we tend to interact with others and influences what activities we choose to participate in. Traits such as avoiding harm may be useful in some situations but can hinder the way we handle other situations. Therefore, we must learn how to make our traits useful.
Be you. Don’t try to change yourself to fit a more desirable mold because you may find that your traits help you greatly. If there is a quality that you don’t like about yourself, think of a few ways in which that quality is positive and would be of benefit to yourself and to others.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE PARTICIPATING IN CRYOTHERAPY
Walking into a spaceship-like contraption while it fills with nitrogen gas and plummets to subzero temperatures doesn’t sound appealing. But whole-body cryotherapy has been popular among the wellness community. My first experience was on Wednesday and I had two more sessions on the following days.
Before the session, the technician explained the process to me, took my blood pressure, and had me sign a consent form. Since I have a spinal fusion, I asked a few of my doctors if the metal rods would be a problem in the cold temperatures and I was assured that it would be okay. The tech provided me with wool socks and booties and wool mittens. I also used the wool elbow sleeves.
The chamber was pre-chilled as I stepped in but it filled with the nitrogen gas as the tech started the machine. The tech talked to me throughout the whole three minute experience and gave me time updates every 30 seconds. The recommended amount of time is at least 1 minute but 3 minutes maximum.
An important component of the 8-week program I am doing at PALM Health is called the Trilogy, which encompasses cryotherapy followed by 30 minutes in the infrared sauna and a 25-minute salt room session. The purpose of pairing these three services is to promote detoxification for reducing inflammation and rebalancing neurotransmitters.
Days 2 and 3 of cryotherapy were much better since I knew what to expect. I slept well on the following nights and have noticed less muscle soreness from my weight-training workouts.
This week was the start of my 8-week wellness journey at PALM Health. A couple of weeks ago, I had an acupuncture assessment in which energy production of several acupuncture points on the body were assessed. From these measurements, the energy produced by the different organ and body systems is determined. Deficiencies or excesses of energy affect the functioning of our bodies from our overall energy, cognition and emotions to our digestion, the absence or presence of physical symptoms, and likeliness of future disease risk. Meridian balance among these systems is thought to be the key to vitality and longevity. The findings from this assessment are used in biofeedback rebalance sessions, acupuncture treatments, and nutrition among other therapies.
“The body is to nature as a violin is to an orchestra. The strings are to a violin as the organs are to the body. For the orchestra to play in harmony all the instruments must be tuned to each other. If a single instrument is out of tune, the whole sound is dissonance rather than harmony”– Beinfield & Korngold
This week on Thursday I had my first consultation with the chiropractor for acupuncture treatment. After the doctor asked questions about my medical history and goals for the treatments, he reviewed the acupuncture assessment with me, explained why I am feeling the way I am, and how the symptoms are linked to the organ systems. He could also see from one of the charts on the assessment that I was waking up several times in the middle of the night. There were three points on this graph that showed an excess of energy at certain hours of the night meaning that the body is not in a state of rest at these times.
Next, the doctor performed an assessment where he had me hold up my arm or leg while he pushed it down and he could move it effortlessly. The doctor asked me to push on the roof of my mouth with my thumb and then he couldn’t move it as easily! This was so weird!
The remainder of the appointment was an acupuncture treatment. The doctor also put tiny magnets on various points on my feet that stay on for a few days until they fall off. The whole consultation was very informative and fascinating. I was blown away and I can’t wait for the next one!
I also participated in a neuroplasticity class and a body meditation class this week. In neuroplasticity, the instructor gave each of the students a small ball and we tossed the ball in our hands with a specific rhythm. She then added our feet and coordinated the foot pattern it with the hands. It was a lot harder than it sounds but really fun! Body meditation was not a still meditation, rather a movement-based meditation linking breath with motion. Both of these classes are always different so I am looking forward to trying them again!
The program gets going full speed next week. Up next: my first experience with whole body cryotherapy.
“The part can never be well unless the whole is well” –Plato
I have talked in previous posts about the importance being kind to our bodies by listening to it’s cues when we are pushing beyond our limits. But did you know that paying attention to the mind and soul is equally important? Understanding what healthy feels like requires tapping into a combination of these three facets that influence total well-being. The mind, body, and soul must work in harmony because when there is dysfunction with one part, other parts start to dysfunction as well. We must nurture our bodies through these actions: an appropriate amount movement and proper nutrition, establishing a sound mindset, participating in activities that set our creative souls on fire.
Mental health is a topic that a lot of people are afraid of talking about openly but it is something that must be addressed because the body cannot be well unless the mind is also well. We are all in this together and keeping it a secret is disadvantageous. Thought influences more than our emotions. It influences our current and future physical health, too.
Follow along as I share my experience on this 8-week journey and learn more about myself while participating in activities that nurture the mind, body, and soul.
Some topics you will learn about through my perspective:
- Pink Himalayan Salt Room Therapy and Meditation
- Body Meditation
- Biofeedback-Cardiac Coherence