The past few weeks have been very educational for me in defining my life’s work.On the surface I am a mother, a wife, a chiropractor, a teacher, a dancer and the list goes on. But this list is driven by something deeper. My intention is driven by our inherent right to be free to move.

If you’ve met me, you’ll know that I speak with analogy, I take my time to make sure that you understand what’s going on with your body and that you feel connected with the healing process.  It is this patient-centred approach that creates results. In treatment, patients speak to me about personal things that they may feel are unrelated to their injury. They have emotional releases when muscle tension is effectively loosened. From there they depart from their muscular holding patterns (ie. grinding teeth, clenching hands, gripping hips) and move forward to better alignment and improved quality of life.

Teaching and healing others to be free to move is my life’s work.

This is why being a dancer and a healer go hand in hand. I move when I work. There is a rhythmic movement that I do when I treat each patient. I am basically “dancing” and breathing as I heal others. The meticulous body awareness that I developed as a dancer was an important milestone for teaching others to reconnect with their bodies and to understand the importance to get return them to freedom of movement.

ImageIf you don’t know what I’m talking about with regards to freedom and movement, observe a horse running freely with no rider. The horse’s hair falls gracefully to rhythm of its bounding legs. The horse’s speed is exhilarating to watch and I am reminded of the wind that hits its face and a child running barefoot outdoors.

As humans, it is our inherent right to be free to move.  As we get older, we get stuck behind computers, become sedentary and frown upon running in the rain.  Our inner child is repressed and that is a shame. This inherent desire to move knows no socioeconomic class which is why children all over the world do not need expensive toys to be happy. They find ways to use their bodies and find that freedom.

It is very powerful to know your life’s purpose. It is when you discover that your ability to reach out is enhanced.

I am very grateful to have known my intention at a young age and through my journey I’ve met many passionate and talented people who inspire me and help me to navigate the path that I design on my own.

 I hope this strikes a chord with you.

Be young, Be free. Move.

Butterfly Delivery

Here is a butterfly delivery from a kind patient of mine who has had a positive experience with butterflies and knows about my connection to them. They signal positive transformation and manifestation. I wonder what is to come?

This red pointe shoe, interrupted my walk on Queen Street West in Toronto. It was a blazing sign that dance was my passion.

Tonight, I watched a childhood friend of mine dance in Geometrix’s show called ” Work Vs. Passion:  The Dynamic Struggle between necessity and desire”. And the theme of the show was loaded with the message: “listen to your heart “. It featured a student and a doctor who repressed their desire to dance because of the practical and necessary pursuit of a career which they believed would help them to survive in this crazy world.

I cried during this show. Firstly, because I was so happy to watch my friend and secondly, because the show represented my life. I started dancing when I was four and met my friend at this age. I am inherently a shy person, but on stage, forget it, I was in my element. But in school, I always excelled and envisioned myself as a speaker, a teacher and a healer and was intrigued with the human body. So the tension between dance and school was very present at an early age.

Yet, despite my efforts to repress my artistic passion, dance always chased me. In university, my childhood dreams of professional dance came true when I got scouted at a dance show. And in my fourth year, my wildest dreams manifested when I auditioned for the musical “The Lion King” after submitting my application to chiropractic college. I was progressing further and further in the audition and I was ready to push back my admission to chiropractic college, but ultimately, it wasn’t meant to be. Heart broken, I left the studio wondering, “what if”.

back in the day…

During chiropractic college, I threw away the dream of dancing again to focus on school, but a friend of mine encouraged me to go to a casting and that spiraled into commercial and television dance gigs which were practical for me because the contracts were short and I didn’t need to take time off school. From that, I became a member of ACTRA and met and worked with talented Toronto dancers who are well established choreographers today.

My last dance contract was back in 2007. I was pregnant with my first child, but I didn’t tell the director. They were all wondering why my wardrobe never fit and my little baby kept dancing in my tummy every time the music played. Today, she’s my little ballerina at 4 years old.

Now, I am a chiropractor, a pilates instructor and a mom. I love my job and am proud to say that I had complete control on how I designed my life to this point.  I still love to dance.

You’ll still see me in the dance studio training in hopes that one day I’ll make it back on the stage. I miss the lights beaming on my face. I miss the feeling of weightlessness in a jump. I miss performing.

Sigh, life goes on. I have no regrets.

Dance always finds me. I have faith.

If you haven’t heard of this already, this will be an eye opener. With more people renovating their kitchens here is something to keep in mind with your design. If you work in a kitchen, observe if your work area follows this rule:

In the traditional kitchen the three main work sites are: the refrigerator, the sink and the stove.

These represent the three points of the kitchen work triangle. If  these points are positioned too far apart, you inefficiently travel to do each task.  If they are too close, your work will be crowded especially if you are sharing the kitchen space with an “assistant”.

When creating a kitchen work triangle, use the following as a guide:

  • Each leg of the triangle should be between 4 and 9 feet
  • The total of all three legs should be between 12 and 26 feet
  • No obstructions (cabinets, islands, etc.) should intersect a leg of the work triangle
  • Household traffic should not flow through the work triangle

If you have the power to design your own kitchen, this guide is really important to keep your work efficient and less straining.

Cooking doesn’t have to be tiring.

The perfect example of something that totally wasn't planned. When you are present, you notice the beauty in things. In my case, hearts show up in my food. This shot was taken as my husband and I went on a road trip for our 4 year wedding anniversary. A heart showed up in my take out burger.

If there is one thing that I can take away as a lesson from the year 2010, it would be that nothing is certain.  Every year I write a list of goals that I plan to achieve.  Well this year I’m not doing that. I’ve learned that in life, things will unfold at the rate that they should and no matter how prepared you are, what you envision will not manifest if it is not the right time.

This may sound a bit pessimistic at first glance, but in fact it is not. For as far back as I can remember I’ve written lists and I’ve pretty much ticked off a lot on those lists with great efficiency. Some would say that my list is quite extensive, but my “A-type” personality disagrees. Nevertheless, I’ve evolved from a rigid list maker to one that throws her hands in the air and says, “Just let it be”.

Within the past five years, I’ve experienced many transitions in my personal, family, academic and career life. That’s just how I am. Life is not stagnant and I am grateful for that. During each transition, the degree of uncertainty can overwhelm myself and the lists fly out.

Well, no more lists for me! I vow to relinquish control so that life is much more enjoyable and meaningful.

I will be present, be grateful and take a leap of faith. (I guess I just made another list).

The season of spring not only wakes up hibernating animals from their slumber, but hibernating athletes as well.  The rise in temperature brings out more people being physically active outdoors.  This is a wonderful thing, but please take this word of advice:  Although your mind may feel that your body is as fit as it was in its “Heyday”, it may not be.  If you haven’t been consistent with your training, the reality is that your muscles atrophy (shrink) and your flexibility reduces.  The same thing applies to your cardio. Your heart is a muscle and if you don’t do endurance training regularly, your ability to exercise for longer periods of time will reduce.

In a nutshell, take the following steps so that your Spring enthusiasm doesn’t lead you to injury:

  1. Be realistic with your goals. If you ran 10K regularly in November, you may not be able to do that today.  Find a training book that will give you a program to gradually increase your mileage safely.
  2. Mind your posture. Your back, abdominals and gluts stabilize your spine and pelvis and maintain proper alignment in any activity.  If these muscles are not well conditioned, you can develop injuries such as low back pain, I-T band syndrome, etc.
  3. Cross Train. Your body adapts to the stimuli that you give it.  If you sit most of the year, your body has adapted to this and will not be able to handle a new burst of activity.   Engage in full body resistance training, dance, pilates/yoga and cardio to give yourself a strong and leaner body.
  4. Get new shoes. Those kicks from the ’80s are not going to cut it.  Find a good shoe that provides cushioning and support and that is SPORT SPECIFIC to your activity.
  5. Enjoy! Don’t be too hard on yourself if your body doesn’t seem to be as strong as it was before.  Realize that the body adapts and will improve with consistent training.  Enjoy the wind and sun on your face as you play outdoors!  Re-awaken your senses.

Historically, the Philippines was ravaged by many years of colonialism from Spain and Japan. Despite this, Filipinos are master survivors whose culture has family at its nucleus.  I am a first generation Canadian Filipino brought up to value family, yet I didn’t realize how true to nature family is to Filipinos until I visited the Philippines for the first time in 31 years.

Filipino folk dancing in Bohol, Philippines

In Makati, there are so many shopping malls it makes Toronto look barren.  Moreover, they are FULL of people….eating.   I was shocked to see how many eateries there were and all of them were full of customers.  Initially my thoughts were, “Gosh, Filipinos are gaining weight here. They are so indulgent.” (Side note: I had a preconceived notion that all Filipinos were skinny and ate lots of vegetables and fruits as in the days of my parents).  But if one takes a closer look, one will notice that every restaurant is full of families.  Food is one ingredient that brings family together.

Now what happens when you don’t have food?  The Philippines has a distinct separation between the poor and the rich.  Shanty towns line any available pocket in the city. These people don’t go to the malls. They don’t have plumbing. They don’t have jobs.  Food is scarce and not readily available. So how do they survive? Once again, family. They beg as a family and they suffer as a family. Yet even though they don’t have much, they are content.  Their family bond is what helps them to get through the day and counters the negative effects of poverty like exploitation, sickness and lack of education.

It also shocked me that both male and female employees in Customs at the airport would forget about their stern faces and “coo” at my 23 month old daughter.  Even in restaurants male and female servers would love to talk to my daughter as if I was at a family reunion!

Filipinos prove that rich or poor, happiness is achieved by nurturing relationships. In a world of materialism, wealth is misconceived as the accumulation of things.  However, true wealth is the balance of material goods, family, spirituality and personal fulfillment.  Wealth equals Health.    A positive environment filled with a positive support system make life’s struggles short-lived so that life can go on. Evaluate your relationships and relate them to your wealth quotient. Make the adjustments necessary to bring your life into balance and happiness will come to you.

by Dr. Blessyl Buan, Chiropractor & Pilates Expert

copyright Dr. Blessyl Buan
copyright Dr. Blessyl Buan

 

They say that you can’t truly give love to another or to your work until you love yourself.  Inner peace, joy, health and true happiness will not unfold until you make the steps to live a healthy lifestyle. As a treat for Valentine’s Day,  I’d like to share with you two personal images that have definitely opened my eyes.

Whenever I feel balanced in my life, hearts show up in my food. The above pictures are two examples of this and are NOT products of photo post production! It started when I was pregnant with my daughter 2 years ago and ever since, they show up in waves.  Now, they even show up in my surroundings.

We all have personal signs that resonate inner happiness.  For me they are hearts. 

Take care of your body. Slow down, BREATHE, take a moment to journal, DE-CLUTTER your mind and surroundings, EXERCISE, stretch, and receive BODY WORK like massage, chiropractic or acupuncture that will help you to get IN TUNE with your body.

BALANCE the mind, body and soul.

Dr. Blessyl Buan, DC

If you feel like you never have energy to go work out, then ask yourself what time of the day you have the most energy.

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Fitness for breakfast (roll out of bed and jump into your running shoes)

If you are morning person like myself, then going for a quick run or resistance training before a big breakfast is a great way to start the day. Not only that, you’ve already ticked off fitness off your list, so you no longer have to deal with the guilt when you get home from a busy day.

Fitness for lunch

If you have a long commute to work or school, morning workouts will cut into your sleep time! So the lunch hour is a great time to squeeze in some physical activity. Pop into your local gym for a class, take a nice walk or run around the block! You can probably eat your lunch at your desk afterwards…

Fitness for dessert

If you have more energy in the late afternoon or evening, working out is a great way to blow off some steam from work, school or taking care of the house or kids.

Once you find out your prime time for activity, you can get rid of the excuses!

Start moving!

http://www.drblessyl.com