Sunday, November 10, 2013


My tinnitus began in early childhood, in the form of occasional sustained notes (at the time, I thought I must be especially sensitive to noises from electronics), and an occasional loud noise, swelling rapidly and then fading rapidly, very much like feedback.

It evolved into a frequent sound like cicadas buzzing (and which I long thought
was), and these days is a more or less constant chorus ranging from a sound rather like the leaking of air from an almost-blocked sinus to a large field of cicadas.  That nasty feedback noise seems to be gone for good, though (touch wood).

My recently taking a job in a noisy industrial environment probably isn't helping -- one more reason for me to find a new one ASAP. My hearing was never all that good, and I think the tinnitus is making that worse.

Does anyone have any recommendations to make?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Shoulder Well

Every time I press my hands into the shoulders of another person (usually seated behind me while I stand, but I am adaptable) and find those knots of tension in the well between the collarbones and the shoulderblades (and that is, alas, very, very common), I always think of the story of Saint Christopher. If you don't know it, it has to do with a group of people who were walking from one town to another (as people did in the old days, if they couldn't afford a horse) in a group to be safer from bandits. As was usual at the time, they stepped over or splashed through any brook that was too small to be worth bridging, when they came to a stream which was swollen by spring rains to the point that it was a potential hazard. The largest member of the group said cheerfully, "Not to worry: anyone who is unsure about this stream may ride across on my shoulders." He carried several members of the party, the last of them being a small boy. "Whoa! Little boy!" he said with a groan, "I carried your mother. I carried your father. Why are you the hardest one to carry?" The boy said softly, "I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders." And that's how he came to be known as Christopher: the one who carried the Christ. And that is also how he came to be the patron saint of travellers, and of tall people. We are all Christophers at least part of the time, carrying the weight of the world. And we feel it as a weight on our shoulders because just as surely as the pressure points between the shoulderblades are connected with breathing and the pressure points above the eyes are connected with headaches, the pressure points in the shoulder well are connected with stress and anxiety. The good news is that a trained acupressurist can quickly relieve the pain of that burden by pressing into the shoulder wells, especially if one hand pushes into the well while the other presses the distal points down the arm (at the bottom of the deltoid muscle, on the outside of the elbow joint and just above the back of the wrist, between the forearm bones) one at a time. Better still, you can relieve your own shoulder well by curving the fingertips of one hand into a hook, resting them in the space between the clavicle and the scapula on the opposite shoulder, and letting your arm hang freely so the weight of your arm presses your fingertips into the pressure point. One more thing: if you have any sort of injury to your shoulders, neck or upper arms, that can reduce your ability to deal with stress. So if you feel especially harried by everyday issues, you might have a problem in that area. Either way, you'll feel better if you get your shoulders released.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tools For Touch

Today I am taking part in an all-day "webinar" with At Peace Media, called Tools For Touch.

It's interesting, so far.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Christmas Mutiny, Now Available

My novel, The Christmas Mutiny, is now available for download at Amazon.

I hope people will read it, and like it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hey, People: Buy My Book

I think you will like it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boy, Does My Back Hurt

It started hurting on Friday afternoon, and it hasn't stopped yet.

At times it has been really, really bad. Naproxen helped. So did Cyclobenzaprine. A shot of Toradol at Immediate Care helped a whole lot. Also an electric heating pad and frequent hot soaks in the tub.

Kathe is taking good care of me.

Mostly, though, I'm just waiting for it to get better.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

OMTA Meeting

Kathe and I just got back from the Eugene edition of the annual meeting of the Oregon Massage Therapy Association. The theme of the meeting was keeping your business afloat during the current difficult times.

I noticed that in addition to the meeting being divided into Eugene and Portland editions, almost everything else at the meeting was oriented to either Portland or Eugene. No big surprise, since those are the largest centers of massage activity, but as Kathe put it, there was a distinct lacuna, and we were in it.

So now I am thinking about setting up a mid-Valley chapter covering the Philomath-Corvallis-Albany-Lebanon area, extending maybe as far as Salem and Sweet Home. I will be contacting local LMTs to see what they think of the idea.