Thursday, October 12, 2017

Our Medicine Way

The Earth is Unci Maka
Our Sacred Grandmother
All of our bodies are made
from the nourishing foods
from her
All of our blood connected
from the rivers
and lakes
from her
We must treat her always in a sacred manner
Walk Upon her with Gratitude & Prayer

We must honor each other as we honor 
Unci Maka and Mni Wiconi
We must see each other in a sacred manner
so that all the Universe might heal.

These are the teachings of our Ancestors
The Lakota Way and the White Mountain Way of the 
White Buffalo People given to us
in our Traditions of Healing

-Clark Rae

Ba'Cho of the Apache

Ba'Cho of the Apache 
Friend and Family
The teacher of the hunt
The teacher of the pack
I hear your howls as
I rise for my prayers
in the beauty
where night
meets the light
of the sun
rising in Grandfather Sky 
Above Grandmother Earth 
Amongst the Star Beings
My Ancestors
They watch over us
and in prayer
as our smudge
and carries our gratitude
to all beings connected
Ba'Cho of the Apache 
Hear my howl with yours
our Rising Prayers 
of the People

Saturday, July 23, 2016

What is Stress and How do Modern Societalists Cause their own Stress Responses?

Stress is manifested through perceptions, knowledge or lack thereof, and external environmental causes in Modern Society.

                                                            Written by N. Rae Clark, Community Healthcare Educator


 Prior to modernization acculturation shifts stressors in comparison were ones of encountering predators, contagious diseases, and hunger. Specifically, the stress mechanisms were designed to adjust our physiology to respond to the stressor or as the author refers to this way as a response to a “short-term crisis” (Sapolsky, 2004) (pgs. 2, 6).The time-frame and ability to project thought into anticipation of the future events in the human contrasts with the stress-response of the Zebra to go from one moment of homeostasis to the awareness of the need to generate a hormonal sequence of events to generate movement to safety (Sapolsky, 2004) (pgs. 6, 7). 

Sapolsky states that the “stress-related disease emerges” as a result that the human activates a physiological response in their systems that originated as a response mechanism to protect continuity of the life force within the human due to an acute or crisis situation (Sapolsky, 2004)(pg. 6). Thus the repetitive behavior of the Modern Societalist triggers the hormone cascade at the manifestation of the human being’s “worry” or overwhelming focus and generates a chronic response presenting itself as dis-ease and can eventually lead to system failures as a result of their internal thought process.

Homeostatic balance is defined as an optimal level of the varying mechanisms within the body and their responses to keep an ideal operating system to maintain the life force (Sapolsky, 2004) (pg. 6). A stressor is defined as any external influence that causes an imbalance of the beings homeostatic (optimal balance) maintenance (Sapolsky, 2004) (pg 6). The stress response is the mechanism by which the body works to return to a state of balance (homeostasis) (Sapolsky, 2004) (pg 6).


The projection of expectation known as anticipation is related to stress. This is what is experienced by Modern Societalists when they “overthink.” In other words, when someone believes a stressful outcome might exist they dwell (spend their time in contemplation) sending the energy of their projected negative response into their physiology, the human body responds to the negative surge of hormones released from the endocrine organs such as the adrenals (cortisol, endorphins) as though the situation was occurring in that present moment (Sapolsky, 2004)(pg. 9).

The body adapts to an acute stressor by redirecting the energy of the homeostatic bodily processes through the endocrine system, and halts or inhibits the immune system (Sapolsky, 2004)(pg. 8). Sapolsky states on page 13 of “Why Don’t Zebra’s Get Ulcers?” that the stress-response is more damaging than the stressor itself (Sapolsky, 2004).


To learn how to relax and restore the body breathing practices (pranayama, ni, ni'lchi) and yoga (body movements) are important in addition to a spiritual practice of prayer and meditation.

Procrastination by Unity


Written by Unity 


            Procrastination is resistance to something that one has to do.  Procrastination is self-defeating and can be a result/cause of low self-efficacy and self-esteem.   When someone is in a consistent state of procrastination they are in a state of resistance to life.   Procrastination leads to unnecessary stress.  When we procrastinate, we are putting more pressure on ourselves.  Life can catch up with you pretty quick and soon enough you are having to procrastinate on the next thing that comes your way before completing last week's procrastination.  The habit and thought pattern of procrastination is a direct manifestation of following and becoming a slave to egoic desires.


            When we procrastinate, we are toeing the line of respect and character.  Setting ourself up for failure.  The quality of work is poor because it is completed from a place of stress.  It is not given the proper amount of time necessary to do with integrity.  Procrastination is playing with fire; linear man made time.  It is binds you and makes you a slave to deadlines and the clock.  A farmer who procrastinates is not a good farmer.  He is putting himself before the food he is depended upon to produce.  When you are depended upon by your family and community you cannot procrastinate.  You lose respect. You lose character.   


            When you take things as they come you free yourself from the self-inflicted wounds that are a result of procrastinating.  By dealing with your life and what arises directly and promptly you are showing that you are response-able.  This is mindfulness.  Being totally in the present moment, accepting what is happening and dealing with it.   You are able to respond to what comes your way.  Thoughts, emotions, desires, responsibilities. 


            Through acceptance of what we need to do, whether pleasant or not, we can overcome the habit of procrastination.  There is always a choice in how we respond to our responsibilities.  Our attitude towards what we are doing (or procrastinating doing) and the environment.  We can approach it with resistance and fear or we can approach it with acceptance and love.  Love lies in our actions.  Love is expressing yourself when needed.


            By practicing mindfulness you are showing up to your precious life and your community.  Responsibility, discipline, honesty are ways of showing respect to the community you live in and the world around you.  Without them there is no respect for life including your own.  Procrastination can be overcome by being proactive with your life.  Not waiting for things to come to you or deadlines, but rather seeing things before they come and choosing to deal with them with acceptance.  Taking action when it needs to be done as opposed to when it absolutely has to be done.  Understanding who you are and who you aspire to be helps to organize and prioritize your life to the point where procrastination does not exist.  This is freedom and a deep joy comes from action instead of stress.  We can calmly deal with what arises because we are freed from the stress of procrastination.  Training yourself into a consistent, responsible, proactive person shows love and respect for your community.  Life on Earth is facing a major crisis.  Life needs our attention.  We do not have time to procr

Friday, June 24, 2016

Servitude-Volunteering for the Lakota Healing Way Center's Father's Day Fundraiser

Respect. Service. Gratitude.  All beings deserve to be loved and served.  To love and serve others is to love and serve Creator; God.  Elders, teachers, and children deserve special respect.  An elder's spirit and a child's joyful dance are profound teachings.  It is an honor to be in the presence of an elder.  It is a blessing to listen to their heart and wisdom.  My body and mind are healthy.  It is my responsibility to care for elders and those who not in perfect health.  I am committed to putting the needs of others before my own. 

I am blessed to have been introduced to Native ways and wisdom.  I do not take this lightly.  I feel a deep responsibility to the land and the people of this land.  I am humbled by this space and sense of place.  I have much to learn and much to give.  I come in respect, in service, and in gratitude.  


Unity is a member of the Sferrazza family and has an older sister who teaches yoga.

A Sophomore at MSU Denver, he has chosen a journey to discover his own unique ability to help others.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yoga During Pregnancy

Yoga can be very beneficial for pregnant women — it helps you breathe and relax, which in turn can help you adjust to the physical demands of pregnancy, labor, birth, and motherhood. It calms both mind and body, providing the physical and emotional stress relief your body needs throughout the experience of pregnancy. Taking a prenatal yoga class is also a great way to meet other moms-to-be and embark on this journey together.
You do need to take a few precautions, though:  check with your midwife before you begin any program.
* If you're attending a regular yoga class (one not specifically geared to pregnant women), be sure to tell the instructor you're pregnant, and which trimester you're in.  There are specific poses pregnant women should avoid, and they need to be aware so they can modify poses for you.
* Don't do any asanas (poses) on your back after the first trimester — it can reduce blood flow to the uterus.
* Avoid poses that stretch the abdominals too muchYou're more at risk for strains, pulls, and other injuries right now because the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which allows the uterus to expand, also softens connective tissue.  Also, round ligament pain is more frequent during the second trimester.  You may begin to feel pain in your side as the ligament that goes from the top of the uterus down to the groin stretches, this happens when the uterus tilts and pulls on the muscle.    Side lying stretches can help alleviate this.  
* From the second trimester on — when your center of gravity really starts to shift — do any standing poses with your heel to the wall or use a chair for support, to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to yourself or your baby.
* When bending forward, hinge from the hips, leading with the breastbone and extending the spine from the crown of the head down to the tailbone. This allows more space for the ribs to move, which makes breathing easier.
* Keep the pelvis in a neutral position during poses by engaging the abdominals and slightly tucking the tailbone down and in. This helps relax the muscles of your buttocks (your gluteus) and the hip flexors, which can help reduce or prevent sciatic pain down the back of the leg, a common side effect of pregnancy. It also helps prevent injury to the connective tissue that stabilizes your pelvis.
* If you're bending forward while seated, place a towel or yoga strap behind your feet and hold both ends. Bend from the hips and lift the chest, to avoid compressing your abdomen. If your belly is too big for this movement, try placing a rolled-up towel under your buttocks to elevate the body, and open the legs about hip-width apart, to give your belly more room to come forward.

* When practicing twisting poses, twist more from the shoulders and back than from the waist, to avoid putting any pressure on your abdomen. Go only so far in the twist as feels comfortable — deep twists are not advisable in pregnancy.  
* Listen carefully to your body. If you feel any discomfort, stop. You will probably need to modify each pose as your body changes. A good instructor can help you customize your yoga to suit the stage of pregnancy you're in.

Written by Ashley Turner Morrow



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yoga as Alternative Health Therapy for ADHD

 There are many school aged children in the United States that are currently diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyper-Activity Disorder with governmental and educational reports stating that “5 out of 100 children” in the classroom exhibit various signs including “excessive” movement ((NIHCHY), 2004)(p. 1). We are sharing this information so that the public will have the opportunity to research martial arts, yoga, and other forms of disciplined exercise programs. We have researched the following studies and have included the reference information as a basis of further understanding the alternatives to Ritalin and other amphetamine type drugs.  It was interesting to learn from Chris Streeter M.D.’s scientific findings that yoga practitioners will increase the natural and internal GABA production in the body by 27% naturally by training the body for one hour of yoga practice using asana (held poses) and pranayama (practiced rhythmic breathing) (Streeter, 2010) (p.1145). This is a demonstration that the body on its own through routine practice of breathing and focused concentration is able to produce the necessary hormones to assist the ADHD patient. The effects of Yoga are a longer lasting and less intrusive treatment to the child.  The patient with ADHD is then able to help themselves during times where they begin to experience the symptomology of hyperactivity or attention deficit.  Parents will be assured with our confident recommendation to provide their children the opportunity to learn the practice of yoga, martial arts, and cycling exercises on a weekly basis with a recommendation that yoga is a practice completed daily.  The studies listed below document how the internal chemistry within the body will begin to function with stability as a result of yoga practice. We have also included studies that further document that pharmaceutical amphetamines are not a guarantee of behavior modification (Jensen, 2004)(p. 205) and (Maddigan, 2003) (p. 40). Yoga practice as a recommended CAM intervention will benefit the child as a treatment plan that is effective and long lasting that truly assists them in a healthy and balanced wellness plan.

                We also recommend the practice of yoga for anxiety and stress relief. The body internally builds core strength through the daily routine of asanas and pranayama in addition to the ability to produce an increase of GABA.  Please contact us for further information regarding this article.

Disclosure:  Integrative Therapeutic Medicine is a recommended practice in addition to the advice given to you by your traditional western medical physician. We encourage our clients to research their prescribed medications and require that you speak with your individual western trained health practitioner about any complementary and alternative medical practice.  We encourage you to practice your own research and independent thinking as we believe that our clients know their health needs and are their own best advocate.

Colorado Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
References and Suggested Reading:
(NIHCHY), N. D. (2004). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder fact sheet. [On-line]. Retrieved from NIHCHY: National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NIHCHY), (2004). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder fact sheet. Retrieved from ID Online:
Bluebelly. (2013). Amphetamines. Retrieved from Bluebelly :
Colorado University at Denver, Regents of the School of Medicine (2013, April 23). School of Medicine MD Degree curriculum overview. Retrieved from CU School of Medicine:
Jensen, P. K. (2004). The effects of yoga on the attention and behavior of boys with Attention-Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Journal of Attention Disorders, 7, 205-216.
Kirk, M. B. (2006). Hatha Yoga, Illustrated. Champaign: Human Kinetics.
Maddigan, B. H.-B. (2003). The effects of massage therapy & exercise therapy on children/adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Canadian Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Review, 40-43.
Roach, M. (2004). The Tibetan Book of Yoga. United States, United States: Doubleday.
Silver, L. M. (2010). Why are there so many different medications to treat ADHD? Retrieved from LD Online:
Streeter, C. M. (2010). Effects of yoga versus walking on mood, anxiety, and brain GABA levels; A randomized controlled MRS study. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 1145-1152.
U.S. Department of Human Services, N. I. (2011, July). CAM Basics. USA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.