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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Winter 18

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WHAT IS WELLNESS? SARAH

WHAT IS WELLNESS? SARAH LORRIMAR, MSWA COORDINATOR OF HEALTH EDUCATION AND PEER SUPPORT Living with MS often means changes and new perspectives on the way you see yourself, your expectations in life, as well as your values and beliefs. Although there are a number of things out of your control when living with MS, it is important to take control of what you can influence. Wellness encompasses a proactive lifestyle which involves taking steps to achieve your best possible mental and physical health. This includes accessing information and resources to make informed choices about your health and wellbeing, as well as acting on them. Taking steps such as stress management, incorporating healthy lifestyle choices into your daily life and finding ways you, yourself can best manage your health are all aspects of wellness. In this new section of the Bulletin we will be including information to help you keep physically and mentally active – expect tips on managing stress, brain health, physical activity, healthy eating, and updates on what’s on at MSWA! What’s been happening At MSWA we have a variety of workshops and sessions available to our Members and those supporting them. These sessions focus on providing people with experiences and strategies to improve their wellbeing, as well as an opportunity to engage with MSWA staff, and others living with MS. Some of our recent sessions include wellness days, sound healing and mindfulness meditation. Wellness Days The Wellness Days are a restorative day of deeper listening, to gain a better awareness to the mind/body connection through meditation, mindfulness, gentle yoga and sound healing. Each of these experiences are facilitated by different members of the MSWA Counselling team and hope to provide attendees with a day of nourishment, restoration and learning. Two days have been held so far, with 15 attendees in Bunbury and 16 in Rockingham. The spaces at each location were thoughtfully prepared with essential oils, fabrics, flowers, cushions, salt lamps, music and sound instruments. The sessions began with Jeorge and a meditation exercise aimed to deepen awareness and allow people to connect to their inner resources. Following this, Simon explored mindfulnessbased skills to assist people in making choices and acting more effectively. After a delicious vegetarian lunch, Monique in Bunbury and Cathy in Rockingham led the group through gentle yoga with movement to soothe, restore and gently move the body. Closing the session was Cherry’s sound healing which uses sound waves to help restore one’s mind, body and spirit back to a state of balance. Whilst sharing tea, the groups closed with reflections on their experiences. There was some lovely feedback including; “The day in general was superb and the lead up to Cherry’s sound meditation session was essential to the total ‘out of body’ experience which she provided - thank you so much to all the counsellors and organisers for this event.” “Each session provided something that I can use in my daily life. I had the best sleep last night that I have had in many months.” “The thought that went into making it special, the decorations in the room, the lunch and all the staff made everything come together for a very relaxing, health improving day. I look forward to our next one. I can’t speak highly enough of it all.” “I got to experience new things and learnt new techniques that I can benefit from on a day to day basis.” “It was a truly wonderful mind/body experience.” There are two more sessions scheduled for later in the year at Mundaring and Currambine. Although registrations for these sessions are full, please get in touch if you would like to attend and we can place you on a waitlist. Sound Healing Cherry Chapman, MSWA Counsellor The first stand-alone sound session took place on an early Thursday evening in Bentley. The meeting room at Catherine Street was quickly converted with the aroma of lavender, percussion instruments, yoga mats, colourful materials, pillows and warm lights. There was not an inch to spare! Quiet descended upon the room as Cherry weaved a narrative with the Tibetan and crystal bowls. A guided, deep relaxation ensured the sounds and vibrations resonated through the body, bringing about a deeper relaxation, calm and moment of stillness. Keep posted for the next sound experience, by the ocean. Mindfulness Meditation Jeorge Chambers and Simon Rolph, MSWA Counsellors In April, facilitators from the Counselling Team held a workshop on mindfulness skills. This was held in the lovely setting of a yoga studio in Wangara. Members who attended were both new to mindfulness as well as experienced meditators. The workshop focused on developing and deepening selfawareness through guided mindfulness skills and how to integrate them into daily life. What’s on next... • Yoga Bunbury | June - July Our popular yoga classes are back with new techniques from yoga instructor Mo Ramsay • Fatigue Management Program Beechboro | August Wilson | October • Wellness Day Mundaring | August Currambine | October Experience a restorative day of deeper listening. Gain a greater awareness to your mind/body connection through mindfulness, meditation, gentle yoga and sound healing • Sound Healing by the Ocean September Cherry invites you to experience a moment of stillness by the ocean.Tibetan and crystal bowls will weave a narrative to help rebalance the body’s energy, increase feelings of calm and quieten a busy mind • Mindfulness Meditation Nedlands | September A session of guided meditations, relaxation and mindfulness techniques For more information, please contact Sarah Lorrimar Coordinator of Health Education and Peer Support on 9365 4858 or sarah.lorrimar@mswa.org.au Keeping Your Brain Active Maintaining brain health is important for everyone but particularly so for people living with MS. Good brain health means greater ability of the brain to compensate for damage which may occur from MS. The brain does this by adapting healthy areas of the brain to take on new functions. Research shows that keeping your brain active strengthens and builds new brain cells, helping maintain and improve brain health. Learn new things, read, be creative or take up a new hobby – all these activities can improve your memory and boost brain activity. Did you know? Challenging your brain with games and puzzles is a simple way to exercise your brain and thought processes. Try out this word puzzle! Eating Well Eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet is an important element of general wellbeing, maintaining health and reducing risk of chronic diseases. Achieving and maintaining long-term healthy eating habits can have a positive impact on a number of things including self-esteem, energy levels, immune health, reduced risk of falls, strength and concentration. A nourishing, healthy diet includes a variety of foods from the five food groups: vegetables, fruits, grain/cereal foods (particularly wholegrains), lean meat/poultry/fish and alternatives such as eggs/tofu/nuts/seeds/beans/legumes, and dairy foods and calcium-fortified alternatives such as soy and milk. For a healthy diet it is also recommended to reduce consumption of foods and drinks high in saturated fat, salt and added sugar, and to limit alcoholic beverages to no more than two standard drinks per day. Easy risotto recipe Ingredients • 1 brown onion, chopped • 2 tsp olive oil • 1 cup Arborio rice • 2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock • 1 cup reduced salt corn kernels, fresh or canned • 1 cup frozen peas • 1 cup skinless chicken breast – cooked and diced • 1 tbs grated Parmesan cheese Variation: Substitute 2 cups cooked, cubed butternut pumpkin for corn Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 25 mins | Serves: 4 Method 1. Combine onion and oil in a microwave-safe container. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 3 minutes. 2. Add rice and stock, and microwave, covered, for 12 minutes on HIGH (100%). Stir well then add corn, peas and cooked chicken. 3. Cover and microwave on HIGH (100%) for 8 minutes. 4. Allow to stand for 2 minutes. 5. Stir and sprinkle with cheese. Recipe from Livelighter.com Find as many words as possible using the letters in the wheel. Each word must use the letter R in the centre and be at least four letters long. Letters may only be used once. You may not use proper nouns. 16 | MSWA BULLETIN WINTER 2018 MSWA BULLETIN WINTER 2018 | 17

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