As the first blog post for the website, I suggested that Jana allow me to talk about my own experience working with Jana for the first time. I knew Jana through a friend and I have always been open to working with alternative health. As a Public Health officer in Africa, I saw first hand that a healthy life-style came from what I like to call “Western Medicine +” as its not only about understanding how to diagnose and treat illness, but also making preventive choices, addressing mental, spiritual and physical health, and being part of a social group that supports you. I also did extensive work with US AID, WHO and the UNDP in community home-based care in resource limited settings, including building local support and awareness for home remedies.
Needless to say I had the background that would lend itself to be at ease with Integrated Awareness (TM), Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture. And as I set the time and date for my first appointment, I was still scared. I was nervous all the way to her home office, all the way up the stone path and pretty much until I opened the front door.
Jana greeted me, we sat down and she asked me the normal entry questions for a health practitioner – medical history, medications that I am taking, anything bothering me. Gradually she asked about what I would like to set as my intention… “Like what?” I asked, not really sure what to say or how much I wanted to admit… Jana, open and honest said that we can have all kinds of intentions, some that we don’t want to address right now and some that we do.
She said her work was not drive setting the intention, judge or keep it a static thing. We have intentions that change from day to day and others that are more long term. We could have things that we want to address and some that we could choose not to. And the practice was to work together to address whatever intention was set and for however long we decided we wanted to as client and practitioner.
The visit left me feeling better about myself and in a completely different mindset. Every time I go back, I am reminded that health, and life in general, usually isn’t “either – or”, we can choose “and“. So I choose setting intentions that are long term and changing my mind; and those intentions are spread across my mental health (dealing with feeling overwhelmed), spiritual health (taking time for meditation) and healthy living (taking herbs to better my circulation), all of which have helped me feel better every day.