My first Chiropractic experience

I have been practicing yoga for approximately 12 years.  Those who have been on the journey with me know – I have never truly enjoyed Shoulderstand.

Initially I thought it was because I was not doing it correctly so I sought out guidance about how to align my body in the posture.  Well, that didn’t help.  I still didn’t like it – at all.  So, I began to eliminate it from my practice.  During recent years I would say to myself and others – I have neck ‘issues’.  I really wanted to be cautious with any postures that might strain my neck or shoulders.  So, when I went to Dr. Jilian Stogniew at Awakening Chiropractic in Tilton, she was not surprised with the results of my spinal x-rays.  In fact, she said it was a good thing I was cautious with my neck and that I should not practice Shoulderstand or Headstand variations that were not supported by the forearms.  Well, that certainly resonated with me – though I will miss the unsupported headstand variations.

So, about my first chiropractic adjustment – let me tell you my story about my visit with Dr. Jilian.  To start off I should say that I was one of those people who was uncertain about chiropractic services.  In the past few years my daughter started getting adjusted by a chiropractor in Asheville and she shared her wonderful experiences with me.  She also has taken my granddaughter, Sage (aka Sweetie), to be adjusted since she was born.  So, in my daughters’ words, “Mom, if Sage can do it, so can you”.

In my first appointment Jilian and her office staff had such a nice way of welcoming me by showing me around the space and explaining what would happen next.  They took x-rays and I scheduled an appointment to return in 2 days so Dr. Jilian could explain the results.  I was super psyched to view the ‘pictures’ of my spine.

Jilian explained that my cervical spine was in need of some corrective alignment as well as parts of my thorasic and lumbar spine.  After thoughtful, careful explanation of my results, she said “So, do you want to get adjusted?”  My reply – hmmm – I have some questions about how this will happen.  Can you walk me through what will happen – step…. by…. step…..?  She suggested she adjust her assistant, Angel, so I could observe and know what to expect.  As she did, I was surprised by the noise of the table and remained uncertain.  When she demonstrated the neck adjustment as Angel was sitting in the chair and I said ‘oh no, I can’t do that.’  My fear of the unknown was getting in the way of my ability to agree to services to agree to work toward healing.  Jilian said “I will not hurt you.”  I know and love Jilian like she is my daughter.  I looked at her and said “please, don’t take this personally, it’s about me and my fear”.  Angel said  “Oh, we should have set an hour appointment for you, Maureen”.  I laughed.  It was true – I was taking more time than the average patient.

In her wise, gentle way Jilian eased my mind and I agreed to be adjusted on the table, but would hold off for a few weeks for the neck adjustment.  The adjustment was fantastic…. It didn’t hurt a bit, in fact – after my second appointment I was quite euphoric as I left ‘well adjusted’.

I am a firm believer in the ability for the body to heal itself and I was unaware how chiropractic services worked.  The chiropractic adjustment makes space for the body to heal by sending the proper nerve messages to flow from the brain to the spine and out to all the organs.  Yup – that sounds good to me and with all I know about yoga and other holistic treatments, it makes perfect sense to me now.  I’ll let you know how it feels when I finally let go and agree to the neck adjustment – everyone who has had that done says it’s the best!



FYI….85% of the US population will have back pain sometime in their life.

It goes without saying that a lack of mobility can lead to both mental and physical problems. Your emotional state, immune system, sleep, blood pressure and bone density are all at risk. To keep your spine in good health takes work and regular exercise is key. But you can also benefit from spinal alignment adjustments to correct posture. That means entering into the care off a chiropractor.

FYI….85% of the US population will have back pain sometime in their life.

Over ten years ago I had my first episode with back pain. We had just moved into our home and I am sure I did waaaaay too much lifting. Pay professional movers??? Never thought of it at the time. I am not kidding you when I say I could not move, I still remember the pain. And it got me emotionally as well, all I could think was “How can I live the rest of my life like this” Well, I never really thought of going to the hospital, thinking all they would do was give me meds and maybe suggest surgery. I know that is an extreme thought process but if you know me you know that is how I really do think. I asked my daughter to drive me to Franson Chiropractic in Beverly. I happened to work with Dr. Stephen Franson’s mom at the time and I trusted him. His wife Camilla became my heroine. After several visits she had my back in pretty good condition. She educated me on good spinal health care and convinced me to maintain my spinal care with regular monthly visits-that was 10 years ago.

FYI….85% of the US population will have back pain sometime in their life.

I have moved on to another practice, but that is for convenience only and I still would recommend Franson Chiropractic. But now my monthly visits are to North Shore Spine and Rehabilitation Center in Woburn. Dr. Pendalino and Lisa are great!!!! Lisa is friendly and very knowledgeable with insurance benefits. Dr. Pendalino takes time to explain the different treatment approaches available, there are many causes of back pain, and each patient’s treatment is unique. You may be treated for relief, corrective or wellness.

FYI….85% of the US population will have back pain sometime in their life.

Some of the causes of back pain include: fractures, degenerative disk disease, herniated disk, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, sprains and stains (most common), cancer, kyphosis, lordosis and scoliosis. Diagnosis is made with a physical examination and maybe x-rays, Ct scan, MRI, myleogram, disography, EMG(nerve conduction study), bone density or bone scans.

FYI….85% of the US population will have back pain sometime in their life.

Because the spine can compress on nerves that “feed” certain areas of the body chiropractic adjustments can help with many day to day ailments (ADHD, allergies and asthma included). Dr. Pendalino’s overflowing with information including an interactive spine that illustrates each disk and the organs/nerves that are affected. So keeping theses disks from compressing or spinal adjustments to correct posture can help.

Chiropractic therapy is not a new concept, Hippocrates suggested we “get knowledge of the spine for it is the requisite for many illnesses.”

To continue taking the preventative “wellness” approach to maintain good spinal health once a month I take a few minutes and get adjusted!!!!

Did I mention that 85% of the US population will have back pain sometime in their life?



Yes, it grabbed me too!

While reading this months issue of Natural Health Magazine I saw this article and I knew I had to get more information as soon as possible. Yes, I would love the benefits of Botox but I just can not submit to injecting botulism into my body. So this sounds like a great alternative.

I called my chiropractor-they have an acupuncturist located in their office- I spoke with her and she proceeded to tell me “yes it does work.”  It is a specialty and they use very tiny needles that you do not feel and it takes several visits to see results.

To quote Natural Health Magazine it works like this “every time a needle is inserted into your body, it causes a micro-trauma in the skin, which in turn increases blood flow and the production of collagen.”

Can it be this simple????

I am researching to locate some local offices  and to get more details including cost, I will keep you POSTED!!!


More Core Values

Here are a few more you may find of interest…

United States Air Force

  • Integrity First
  • Service Before Self
  • Respect For Others
  • Discipline and Self Control
  • Excellence In All We Do

Apple Computer

  • Innovation
  • Design

Seventh Generation (non Toxic Household Products)

  • Leadership
  • Inspiration
  • Positive Change
  • Make the World a Better Place
  • Sustainability


  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Teamwork
  • Balance
  • Community
  • Integrity
  • Respect


  • Integrity
  • Respect for People

Marriot International

  • Service to Associates, Customers and Community


  • Profitable Growth
  • Positive Change
  • Involved Employees
  • Confident Share Holders Responsible Citizenship


  • Diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Accessibility

And I need to add here, you can take it for what it’s worth…. Bad times for BP


  • Progressive
  • Responsible
  • Innovative
  • Performance
  • Driven


It is challenging to take all of the values that are important to you and choose your top 3-5.  I’ll start right off the bat and tell you with what my top 3 core values are – integrity, intuition and peace.  The other 2 that round out my top 5 are – responsibility and justice/fairness.  Where is love?  Where is compassion?  Those are certainly things I value and care about and for me if I live a life of integrity – it inherently implies I care and have compassion. Many values go hand-in-hand.  So, when we are choosing our top 3, we need to be able to explore/explain why they are so important.


Integrity – ethical, honest, moral – acting in a way that is respectful.  Integrity is very important to me because it includes honesty and respect.  Sharon already touched upon the importance of honesty in our household when we were growing up.  It was not negotiable and I, like Sharon, have carried this to my adulthood.  Sharon and I were talking about this the other day and she said ‘Maureen, you are bare-naked honest.  Someone knows if they ask you something, they will get the truth.”  In the past I was WAY bare-naked honest and was not as concerned about how it came across.  Thanks to my yoga practice on and off the mat, I have softened how I deliver the truth.  I think when people know they can be honest with you, they trust you.  I can’t imagine a relationship that is not built on trust.


Intuition – ever since my children were small they trusted my intuition.  If I said, I do not want you to do this because I have a ‘feeling’, they would not do it – even as teenagers!  They, in turn, have learned to tap into their own intuition and I am so appreciate of that because I have a strong belief that when we are the most whole, the most grounded people that we can be, we know what we need to do.  When we live from that place it is easy to make decisions because we tap into the inner Self and ‘know’.  This helps us live a more peaceful life, full of integrity.


Peace – oh, my favorite word in any language.  To me this is about tranquility, serenity, equanimity.  It is the reason I practice yoga.  For the peaceful feeling the practice leaves me with the intention that it will carry me through the rest of my day.  I grew up Catholic and though I do not regularly attend Mass, many of the principles of the religion are ingrained in who I am.  And when it comes to the part of the Mass where we wish each other Peace, I enjoy it when we say to one another – peace be with you.  It connects us, it tells the people around us – I want you to experience peace and thank you for offering that to me.  It reminds me of Namaste – which we say at the end of yoga class – honoring the light in one another.

Part of my yoga/coaching bio summarizes my values succinctly:
My favorite  mantra is:
Sat.  Chit.  Ananda.
In Sanskrit translating to:
Love.  Knowingness.  Bliss.

It is my hope to inspire friends, family, yoga students and coachees to:
– live a fulfilled life, with love and honesty
– trust our intuition, our inner knowing
– examine what feeds our souls, to live a blissful life

Please share your core values with us.  If you want to learn more about how to identify your top core values, I will be leading an exercise related to Core Values in a Yoga & Wellness Workshop in Tilton NH at The Yoga Center at Awakening Chiropractic on September 25th from 10am-4pm.  Email me if you are interested in attending –

Corporate Social Responsibility

Sharon’s post about Core Values led me to think about business mission and value statements.  In the biz world when a company wants to demonstrate they care about the world they do business in, they include what is important in their Mission or Core Values Statement.  If they want to take it a step further they will inform us if abide by the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) tenets.  Mallen Baker, a writer, speaker and strategic advisor on corporate social responsibility and Founding Director of Business Respect, defines CSR as ‘how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society’.
Below are core values of some businesses we might define as those that have CSR.
Patagonia – quality, integrity, environmentalism, not bound by convention
Eileen Fisher – inspire creativity, cultivate connection, instill confidence
Tom’s of Maine – respect, innovation/creativity, accountability
Ben & Jerry’s – innovative, quality, respect

As with people, corporations cannot merely state core values, they must demonstrate them by way of how they practice business.  According to these business websites:  Patagonia donates time, services and at least 1% of our sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide.  Eileen Fisher states that creativity is as integral to soulful living as eating well and laughing like hell. Tom’s of Maine believes that both human beings and nature have inherent worth and deserve our respect.  Ben & Jerry’s submit an annual Social & Environmental Assessment Report to demonstrate how they are socially responsible.

As consumers we can match our values with companies we do business with or buy products from by educating ourselves about what is important to them.  The more meaningful we are with how we spend our money, the more responsible businesses will become because of the value of our purchasing power.  Therefore, it would be worth our time to reflect and identify what is important to us so that we can make decisions that are in alignment with our personal values.  We can make a difference in the corporate, business world!

My next post will include my own personal values as well as some information on a yoga and wellness workshop I will be leading in September.  In the workshop we will examine how to identify our top 3 personal values and consider how we might live those values on and off the mat.


So maybe you are wondering…What are Sharon’s core values?

Well, if one were to ask me what are my best qualities, off the top of my head I would answer honesty, compassion/kindness, and authenticity.

Honesty is my #1 Core Value.  To be honest is to be sincere, trustworthy and truthful.

There are many quotes on honesty and you probably recall some of these.

  • One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.  ~African Proverb

  • “Honesty is the best policy, if I lose mine honor, I lose myself”  ~Shakespere

  • No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.  ~Abraham Lincoln

  • Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. ~ Thomas Jefferson

But my favorite by far……

O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive! ~Walter Scott

Give this some thought. I was taught at an early age (thanks mom and dad) that it takes too much energy to lie. You tell a lie, then another to cover it up, then you want to tell another but forget what the truth is and actually sometimes what the lie that you told even was in the first place. Eventually you look like a fool and people will lose faith in you and your spoken word.

So it just makes better sense to tell the truth. Now I am not saying that I never told a white lie, I have. If someone asks an opinion I am usually truthful but I will not hurt any ones feelings if it can be helped, unless the outcome is better for the truth. Benefit vs risk!. Sometimes the truth hurts and does not have to.

And to steal never! When I was young I once took a pack of gum (Redstone Shopping Center, I think it was an A & P, the store gave out stamps with purchase that you saved in a book) and opened the pack before I approached the register. They thought I was stealing, locked me in a back room and called my parents. I actually should thank them, scared the pants off me. Then I remember when I was in junior high school. I went to the mall (I think Burlington had just opened) and some of my friends, one decided to steal some makeup (we did not even wear any), got caught and they called her parents. I again was horrified.  So, when I tell you I never took a tooth brush from my dental office without telling someone I mean that!! Postage, I paid for it. Maybe I took a manila envelope, but it was when it was about to be thrown out. Free samples from suppliers, that was okay. Give me too much change, I give it back to the clerk.  Switch price tag..OMG!!!

If you are my friend, family member, past or present employer be assured I never stole anything from you!!

It feels great to be able to say that!

Well, there is another side to honesty; this can be a bit more complex.

What do you think I would do? What do you think I would do?

  • Your husband is having an affair, you ask. Should I tell you?
  • I am having an affair, you ask. Should I tell you?
  • Your child is doing drugs, you ask. Should I tell you?
  • My child is doing drugs, you ask. Should I tell you?
  • Your employee is stealing from you, you ask. Should I tell you?!
  • My employee is stealing from me, you ask. Should I tell you?
  • You buy a hot pink dress and it looks a bit silly on you, you ask. Should I tell you?
  • I have an appointment with you, need to cancel, Should I tell you the truth?
  • I am unhappy with your response to my question, Should I tell the truth?
  • I call in sick, Should I be sick?

Honesty shows good moral conscience and it feels good to say “I am an honest person!”