Memory Loss  –  Learning the lines or improvisation, or neither?

by Joan Calder, retired/volunteer work, Frome, UK 

It is a known fact among actors that there are moments on stage when you cannot remember how you arrived at the point you have reached, but more terrifyingly, you just cannot remember your lines. The mind goes blank and panic sets in. This can happen more frequently as they age until some have to give up their profession entirely. It is not only actors who suffer this in older life, all those who develop some form of dementia follow the same pattern.

Often in life we hear people confessing they find themselves somewhere and have no idea how they arrived there, or they can’t remember names, or what they were going to do next. Perhaps not so surprising, if as per Shakespeare, “All the world’s a stage” and we are all transient actors entering and leaving.

Recently there was a research project with a group of older actors which came out with some surprising results. The research team followed a group of older actors as they took part in a course of improvisation classes at the National Theatre. Many actors who have been used to learning their lines and having to remember them find it difficult to improvise, the same with musicians, especially those older actors who were trained in the old way of learning lines by rote or memory and did not experience the newer style theatre training with lots of free form improvisation.

Continue reading “Memory Loss  –  Learning the lines or improvisation, or neither?”

Cancer and the three amigos!

by Rosie Bason, Australia. 

Let me introduce you to Susan, Nick and Ingrid, three dear friends of mine who are all friends and have a few things in common. Nick is my Dad, so he really is family, and Susan and Ingrid are family too but we are not related by blood in any way, but the love is there all the same. We often get together and have shared meals and support each other in whatever way we can.

Have a look at these three elders who are all around the same age and what do you see? To me, when I see them, I see the wisdom of their life, I see the glow in them, like something is radiating out of them and I see a joy that is infectious. Continue reading “Cancer and the three amigos!”

Illness and Disease – How Should You Look?

By Nicole Serafin, Tintenbar, NSW

How should we look when we are ill, sick and or in disease? Is there a specific way we should be, or is it that as a society we have become so used to living in a quality that is less than vital on a daily basis that when we do become sick, ill or in disease, our health often plummets considerably and we have nothing left in reserve to sustain or support us?

I recently experienced an illness and made an appointment to see my local GP, presenting with body aches and pains, cold shivers, sweats and a piercing pain in my right lung, which at the time was diagnosed as a viral infection. It was suggested I get some blood tests done in a few days once the acute infection had passed, as I had had similar symptoms a few months before, and the doctor wanted to make sure there was no other underlying disease.

So off I went on my family holiday with my supply of Nurofen and Panadol, thinking the infection would pass in a few days, as it was supposedly just viral – but boy was I wrong. Continue reading “Illness and Disease – How Should You Look?”

Eating humble pie – taking antibiotics for the first time in over 20 years

by Matilda Bathurst, Midwife & Primary School Teacher, UK

I have been beautifully, tenderly and gently humbled this week following a visit to my GP on Monday. For over 3 weeks I had had a cough and was feeling various degrees of unwell, resisting, as is my tendency, really taking care of myself and allowing support from others.

Prompted by a beautiful man in my life, I made the appointment and was guided by my GP to take some antibiotics, in that a cough that persists for over 3 weeks is significant and he could hear a ‘slight crackle’ in the base of my left lung.

For a long time, I have had a disdainful relationship with mainstream medicine, avidly exploring alternative modalities and building an arrogance in myself about mainstream medicine being ‘less’ and below me. So it was with some discomfort and unfamiliarity that I collected my prescription and actually committed to take the tablets. Continue reading “Eating humble pie – taking antibiotics for the first time in over 20 years”

The Body Doesn’t Lie – Being Diagnosed with Osteoporosis

By Inmaculada Cobo Soler, Spain. 

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with very advanced osteoporosis, which led me to enquire honestly about the relationship I had with my body.

I come from a family which fundamentally values two things: a person’s capacity to accomplish great academic achievements or, in the case of not having higher education, the ability to be acclaimed by a natural intelligence and work capacity. The body was a mere instrument to this end, and it could be subjected to sleepless days and nights if needed, sustaining itself with the help of coffee like my father did or, as I used to do, living off my nervous system.

After finishing my higher education and starting work, I did what I thought was taking care of my health by doing road cycling and running half-marathons. Also in the name of health I dedicated many years of my life to learn and practise different kinds of nutrition.

The common denominator of this path has been my body being tyrannised by the demands and wishes of my mind. From the moment I decided what I wanted to do with my body, and left no room for feeling and listening to what my body actually needed, what was supposed to be “healthy” stands as an external imposition, based on ideals and beliefs, and therefore becomes unhealthy.

Continue reading “The Body Doesn’t Lie – Being Diagnosed with Osteoporosis”

Are we sicker than we look?

By Joshua Campbell, Ghent, Belgium

Are we sicker than our eyes would have us believe? Are we very good at band aiding our ill conditions and making it seem like all is ok? These are questions I have been pondering on ever since I moved to Belgium from a small town in New Zealand.

When I was growing up in NZ it was common to see only one hospital in each city, with the exception of a few bigger cities like Auckland which has three and this makes sense given its population is over one million. However, in Ghent, the city I now live in, a city of only 300,000 people, there are a whopping four large hospitals each with the full catalogue of services and specialists that you would expect in any large hospital.

In addition, Ghent also has 6 health centres, each with numerous doctors and other specialists on top of the already large number of general doctors and other specialists practising in their own clinics around the city. And if that was not enough, there are also night doctors, dentists and pharmacies and if you really are stuck, it is only a short trip to another city close by, which like Ghent has yet more hospitals and specialists there.

This as you can imagine was vastly different from what I experienced growing up, yet is the norm for people here in Europe. Most do not even seem to question that such access to health care is a warning sign for humanity. The healthcare here is fantastic, no question, in fact it is excellent and I am not criticising this in any way, but what I am asking is: why do we need such a large range of healthcare services just to function as a society? Continue reading “Are we sicker than we look?”

Health and Life Today and through the Ages

By Johanna Smith B.Ed, Cert Early Childhood, Teacher, Rockingham, Perth WA.

I recently attended a Universal Medicine event day, where a photo from the 1960’s/70’s was presented alongside a discussion forum around health. This photo was of a group of young people who looked at ease with each other, had genuine smiles on their faces, were of a healthy weight range and their bodies reflected an openness and naturalness. The photo was really pleasant to see and reminded me of the feeling of being free in my body that I had when I was very young – something that could not be faked.

As a whole, we looked at the photo and shared what we saw before us. There was pretty much a consensus that this photo was sharing something that was not commonly seen in today’s society. It was not only showing how the individuals were, but it also revealed how they were with each other, how they felt and more importantly what they were reflecting about life back then. A way of life that, from this photo, seemed to support bodies to look and feel vital, engaged, open and ‘healthy.

Serge Benhayon then presented and facilitated us through a valuable workshop around the word ‘Health’. Much was discussed that was clear and made complete sense, yet some of it I had not really considered before. Continue reading “Health and Life Today and through the Ages”