Vinyasa Yoga

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Unable to attend a group yoga class tonight due to a little case of the flu I picked up at work, I decided to explore YouTube videos and settled on a “Yoga for Healing and Meditation 30 Day” option which provided me with a Vinyasa experience. The description of Vinyasa per Wikipedia is “Sequential movement that interlinks postures to form a continuous flow. It creates a movement meditation that reveals all forms as being impermanent and for this reason are not held on to”. Since I am in the process of letting go and creating space within, this Yoga option appealed to me. I was challenged by some movements, and actually a little relieved no one was watching! The instructor focused the participant’s attention on deep breathing to relieve anxiety, and I did experience my mood transitioning from anxious to calm. My favorite part of the session was the closing meditation (so relaxing!). I still have the flu, but feel better about it……

Warriors! You are the sky. Everything else is the weather….like the flu….

What’s the weather like in your “neck of the woods”? How do you “weather” life’s storms?

All is well. Peace, brothers and sisters. Kat

Thanking Our Providers

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This weekend I attended the Citizen’s University, a conference to explore community-building and to teach leadership in civic life. Hosted in my home City of Seattle, I joined the conference as a representative of the University of Washington Husky Leadership Initiative. At the conference catalysts and activists from around the US gathered to listen, learn, share, and grow. Diverse professional leaders and social activists shared the podium to express their passions and calls for action for a variety of social causes. Closing the conference was a panel that included Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the new executive director of Detroit Department of Health & Wellness Promotion. On stage Dr. El-Sayed reported a mortality rate in Detroit of 15 per 1,000 infants who do not make it to their 1st birthday; a far worse mortality rate than the US National average of 4 infant deaths per 1,000 by age one. An innovative Public Health Administrator, Dr. El-Sayed acknowledges the issue of infant mortality as a top priority in his community and he is working to understand why marginalized populations suffer worse health than their counterparts, especially in relation to preterm birth and infant mortality. As you may see in the picture, it was my pleasure to meet Dr. El-Sayed, a compelling preterm birth advocate and NICU community partner.

Sending a shout out to Dr. El-Sayed! Thank you for your efforts to serve the NICU community.

Neonatal Womb Warriors – who impacted your NICU journey?

Please consider taking the time to thank them whether it be in your heart, through a note, an email or a social media message!We are powerful and grateful warriors!

What are your passions and “calls for action”?

We are #NICUStrong!

Hatha Yoga 101-

 

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In the spirit of empowerment and self-healing I participated in a Hatha yoga class last night. The room was packed with eclectic community members of LA Fitness most of whom attend the class on a regular basis. The instructor was engaging, funny, kind, and motivating.  As a fitness instructor myself with some experience engaging in yoga, I felt comfortable yet challenged attempting the various yoga poses during the class. I cherished each moment during class when a muscle would reach out and say “here I am!” My relationship with deep breathing is a mixed one; often resulting in feelings of significant anxiety. However, during the yoga class I noticed though I was breathing deeply I was not experiencing anxiety. It seems that for me the combination of deep breathing with movement was comforting. I find that quite intriguing. As I explore healing modalities and build a safe internal haven for my soul, I will be exploring a few different types of yoga over the next few weeks and sharing my experiences with you.

Please share with yourself and perhaps with your kindred Neonatal Womb Warriors your secrets for bringing a full and integrated soul along for the ride!

PTSD RESEARCH & NICU GRADS

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Growing up I was aware of the medical history of my NICU journey.  I am curious as to what impact my NICU experience as a patient has had on my life today. I recently came across an article from the Journal of Perinatology titled “Recognizing the Potential Effect of Stress and Trauma on Premature Infants in the NICU: How are outcomes affected?”

The study suggest that researchers are developing an increased understanding of the risk premature infants have related to developing psychological, emotional, and behavioral disturbances as a result of the trauma they endure as patients. The article abstract states, “Extensive research of the long term outcomes of premature infants has shown significant risk for emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems.”

Researchers Barker and Rutter discovered that during the average Neonatal ICU(NICU) stay an infant may undergo an average of 60 procedures many which may be painful and/or invasive. In addition it is noted that the persistent stress and/or traumatic events in the NICU during brain development is occurring at a profound rate, a factor researchers are taking seriously into account related to PTSD present within the NICU Infant/NICU Grad population. In the article Dr.Perry states that “It is important for us to abandon the myth that infants and children can get over it because they didn’t even know what was happening”.

As a NICU Grad I am grateful for the visibility researchers like Dr.Perry are shining onto this important matter. In my personal experience as an adult volunteering and serving in the  NICU I have often been questioned by the “myth” that I couldn’t possibly be aware of the trauma that I faced as a patient.

Personally upon returning to the NICU I have become increasingly aware of my own subconscious understanding and cellular knowledge of the trauma I survived as well as the self-healing journey I am currently on.I believe increasing the dialogue surrounding this topic holds great value for our current NICU community and future generations to come.

Sending a big thank you to all the researchers,health-care providers  and NICU Community members advocating for this topic!

As a NICU survivor have you ever been curious about the trauma you experienced as a NICU patient and/or NICU related PTSD?

Works Cited:

Maroney, D. (2003). Recognizing the Potential Effect of Stress and Trauma on Premature Infants in the NICU: How are Outcomes Affected? Recognizing the Potential Effect of Stress and Trauma on Premature Infants in the NICU: How Are Outcomes Affected?, EISSN: 1476-5543, 679-683. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.nature.com/jp/journal/v23/n8/full/7211010a.html