images-3Last week a new report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the number of children with autism and autism-related-disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome, is significantly higher than previously thought.  According to the report one in 50 children between the ages of 6 and 17 has been diagnosed with autism or an autism-related-disorder, with boys four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics gathered information from parents in a telephone survey of  96,000 households across the country.  In 2008, a report was released that showed one in 88 children has autism or an autism-related-disorder.  As stated by the report the increase largely seems to be due to older children who were previously undiagnosed being diagnosed with milder forms of autism, like Asperger’s syndrome.  These children often do well in the classroom but struggle with social skills and social interactions.

What does it all mean?  With the increase in numbers there will likely be more demand for autism and autism-related services then thought previously.  These children will need support with social skills and organization at school and support at home as well.

I am interested in your input into this growing problem. Please contact me:

Rebecca Alexander, MA, Asperger’s Specialist,




massage-therapy-typesDear MAx,

My husband was in a minor car accident. The insurance company allowed him to go to a massage therapist. This was his first time going for a massage. He said that he thought the massage lady was inappropriate. When he told me what happen I was angry and concerned. I often get massages as part of maintaining my health. What is going on in the world of massage?!


Dear Deb,

I am so sorry your husband’s first opportunity to use alternative healing turned out so poorly. Like you, I, too, use massage as preventative health care. And, massage therapy has gained acceptance by physicians and insurance companies over the past few decades.

 Massage therapy is a legitimate alternative for healing, and, is often combined with traditional Western modalities.

 Unfortunately, there is a shadow over the profession of massage therapy. Professional massage therapists often struggle to separate their legitimate practices from, let’s use the term: adult entertainment. The multi-million dollar business of “adult hands on entertainment” is commonly marketed under the guise of “massage therapy”.


There is debate about who is responsible for separating legitimate massage businesses and illegal activities. Is it the responsibility of massage therapists to create a distinction; or does massage need to be more regulated by local, state, and federal laws? This question is an ongoing debate in various States.

Massage therapy dates back over 5000 years. Many ancient countries used herbs and oils to treat pain by massaging muscles. Massage has been highly regarded in the Western medical community for at least 3000 years. These early practices believed that diet, exercise, and massage were the key to a healthy “whole” person. In the 1800’s Dr. Johann Mezger of Holland, applied medical terminology for the massage process; soon massage became a necessary part of rehabilitation through physical therapy. Physicians and nurses learned, and administered, massage to patients as routine medical care. Today, massage therapy is a central part of sports medicine.

Around the turn of the 19th century, c 1894, the history of massage therapy entered a dark time. The British Medical Association revealed abuse within the education and practice of massage; there was unethical recruiting and training methods for students. It brought the legitimacy and advancement of massage therapy almost to an abrupt stop.

The return of “bodywork” started returning in the 1940’s, restimulated by the work of various physicians around the world. Awareness of the benefits of massage therapy skyrocketed during the 1990’s with renewed interest in mind-body healing. Since then, massage therapy schools have been established nationwide, along with a National Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. As well as overseeing bodies such as State Board of Licensing and the Federation of Bodywork Organizations. These steps have added to the growth, respect, and trust of massage therapy as an intricate part of the healthcare community.

Massage therapy is a legitimate therapeutic mind-body healing method governed by a Code of Ethics.


Deb, I encourage your husband to report the inappropriate incident to your State Board of Licensing. If the person is a licensed massage therapist, they could lose the right to practice in your State. And, you could help maintain the integrity of the massage therapy community.

Enjoy a massage as part of your journey.

“Ask MAx” is originally published every Thursday in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can order home delivery at MAx Mar 2013

Have a question about addiction, recovery, or other life transitions:‘Ask MAx’. Send your questions to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR  97440; or, e-mail your questions to:

Aries, Sign of Action and New Beginnings

Welcoming the Spring Equinox

Wednesday March 20th the Sun will leave the empathetic and flowing emotional water sign of Pisces and enter the energetic and self-aware fire sign of Aries. This transition marks the beginning of Spring, the Vernal Equinox, and a new cycle of seasons.

We felt a bit adrift on the seas this last month due to several planets, including retrograde Mercury, moving through the sign of Pisces. We completed the astrological year, which culminates in Pisces. We can expect to move forward again this coming month. Aries will propel us into activity and new projects with its abundant energy, courage, sense of wonder and adventure.

“From the end spring new beginnings.”

– Pliny the Elder 


Aries, Sign of Action and New Beginnings

The outwardly directed force of this cardinal fire sign provides vitality and vigor for new life in the world as we move from winter into spring. Bulbs thrust their green shoots up through the cold, wet ground. Sap rises in trees and vines, and buds burst open on branches. Dormant animals begin to stir and migrating birds return to raise their young. The world is reborn anew.

The glyph for Aries resembles a ram’s head. Just like the ram, Aries charges ahead in a straight forward, courageous manner. He approaches life directly and with optimism. He is creative in adventurous ways.

The key phrase for Aries is “I Am.” He is self-aware, independent and self-reliant. Self-assured and self-motivated, Aries’ strong drive, confidence, and ambitious spirit make him a natural born leader. Yet Aries needs no followers and is satisfied with his own company.
Aries is physical, active and competitive. A risk-taker, Aries enthusiastically explores new territories and dives head first into new activities. Assertive and somewhat impulsive, Aries can be prone to accidents. Restrictions and boundaries frustrate Aries, and may cause his fiery temper to flare. With his “me first” attitude, Aries can tend to dominate others. He can get into conflict, become aggressive and explosive. At his worst, Aries is selfish, self-absorbed, vain and uncooperative.

Although Aries is attracted to new ideas and projects, he doesn’t necessarily follow them through to completion, as he easily becomes bored and impatient. Rather, his job is to sow the seeds which others can successfully cultivate and bring to fruition.

Archetypes for Aries include the warrior, the competitive athlete, the adventurer, and the pioneer. Fire fighters, soldiers, and practitioners of martial arts are contemporary Aries examples. The color for Aries is red. Iron is its metal. The gem for Aries is the diamond. Geraniums, honeysuckle, thistle and all thorn-bearing trees belong to Aries. Parts of the body governed by Aries include the head, eyes and face, muscles and red blood cells.

“Move and the way will open.”

 – Zen Proverb

Mars, Planetary Ruler of Aries

Aries is ruled by the planet Mars. The “Red Planet” is the first planet beyond earth in our solar system. Mars symbolizes the masculine, yang, or outwardly directed movement of our personal energy that propels us into action. The Roman god of war, Mars represents desire, physicality, action, force, assertion and conflict.

In the astrological chart, Mars represents the urge to take action and wield our life force and vitality in the world. The sign of the planet Mars and the house it occupies in your astrological chart shows the manner and ways you are inclined to take action.

This month the planet Mars transits its own sign of Aries, giving it added impetus for actively asserting itself in the world. Conjoining the Sun and Uranus, it adds its energy to our will to create needed change in ourselves and in the world.

Celestial Events

The Month Ahead

As the Sun moves into Aries Wednesday it conjoins Mars and Uranus, widely squares both the Moon in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn, and is inconjunct retrograde Saturn in Scorpio. The Sun illuminates and brings to consciousness our urge to take action and assert ourselves. Revolutionary acts of self-expression challenge old, established institutions of power and wealth. At the same time they challenge, even threaten our emotional need for personal and communal security. We are asked to be wise, responsible and exercise self-discipline as we transform societal structures.

A change in attitude is necessary to accommodate the stress of balancing our drive to take action, no matter how disruptive and unpredictable the results may be, with the need for accomplishing transformation wisely. In mutual reception, Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn are helping us uncover contamination and corruption that need to be eliminated or transformed. While Scorpio and its ruling planet Pluto tend towards extremes, and love chaos and suffering, Saturn places boundaries and limitations on emotional excess. It channels the passion of Scorpio responsibly with self-discipline towards a specific goal. Grounded and realistic, Saturn requires a practical reason for going into the murky depths to assess the damage. It asks what will be achieved? What new foundations can be laid? What new structures and organizations can we build for posterity?

The ingress chart has six planets in water forming a Grand Water Trine. We can easily become overwhelmed by feelings of vulnerability, hopelessness, and pessimism. Aries provides the antidote with its courage, confidence, and creativity. Go ahead and be direct, make decisions, and take action.

“You are the physical agent through which the power of the new creation will transform your circumstances.”

– Owen Waters 

Full Moon in Libra

A Full Moon is a planetary opposition between the Sun and the Moon. This represents our consciousness or intellect opposing our emotions. We feel tension, a tug between the energies of the Sun in its sign and the Moon in its sign.

The next Full Moon will be on Wednesday March 27th at 2:27 a.m. (PDT). This Full Moon will be in the sign of Libra at 6 degrees. The Moon is opposed by the Sun and three planets in Aries. We may feel an emotional need to merge with others and understand their point of view while at the same time asserting our self, expressing our unique individuality by taking action and moving ahead in ways that please us and satisfy our needs.

The Full Moon represents the culmination or resolution of what we started or seeded at the previous New Moon. The last New Moon in Pisces was an opportunity to create new beginnings that are spiritual, flowing, adaptable and forgiving. If we set our intention to do so at that time, we may realize more balance and harmony in our life and relationships at this Full Moon.

New Moon in Aries

A New Moon occurs when the Sun and the Moon conjoin overhead from our perspective on Earth. This represents the fusion of our outer consciousness and awareness, symbolized by the Sun, with our inner emotional and unconscious self, symbolized by the Moon. This is a fertile time for new beginnings, for sowing the seeds of your new projects and endeavors.

The next New Moon will be on Wednesday April 10th at 2:35 a.m. (PDT). The New Moon will be in the sign of Aries at 20 degrees. The area of your astrological chart where 20 degrees Aries falls signifies the area of your life where you can consciously create new beginnings that are energetic, original, and adventurous.

How can you be more self-motivated, enthusiastic and ambitious? How can you be more independent, pioneering, and demonstrate leadership? In what area of your life do you need to take action, be more assertive, competitive, and promote yourself? Set aside time to reflect on how you can create new beginnings.

You may wish to set some new goals or create Aries affirmations on March 22nd.  Examples are: “I initiate my projects and promote myself with consideration of others.” “I channel my energy into original, creative, healthy outlets for me.”  “I live my life with joy and enthusiasm.”  You will begin to see evidence of the seeds you sow on the New Moon as they come to fruition on the following Full Moon.

 “Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.”

– William Bridges




This is a Reading for Judith Conrad and for anyone who chooses to delve into the transformational spelunking of the soul. I love to share the information.

  1. VI-The Lovers Gemini
    1. Blessings on the dualities of life, the dark and the light, the creation and the death of ideas, dreams plus the stability of knowing and the unknowing.
    2. The unknown is a place that may frighten many. It is like being between stop and go. I am only to move forward when I have received the marching orders.
    3. With Gemini, be aware of the synchronicities of communication. As you speak to others and to yourself, be kind, be gentle and be loving.  This mantra has helped me a lot recently.
    4. The Lovers represents a royal blessing and marriage of me and God, Goddess, All That Is   because we are at one-ment.
    5. VIII-Adjustment Libra
      1. At this time, it is important to be in my truth and to take a stand of my at one-ment with Spirit. I am taking a stand that creative clients are ready to work with me to balance their right brain intuitive side with their left brain logical side.
      2. The Libra figure is balanced with a scale of the Alpha (New Beginnings) and the Omega (the completion of this new beginning.) If there is anyone who has an idea to be clarified and developed, this is the work I do best.
      3. The diamond clarity within assists in getting rid of those mind bunnies. Once I have clarity, all plans and roadmaps will emerge.
      4. XIX-The Sun
        1. Be like the Sun and radiate out your clarity. Feel the sun’s rays warming your heart and connection to everyone and everything. Remember that everything given to you is a lesson.  If you can’t handle it, consider that it might not be yours.

When all cards are Major Arcana (major life messages), this is a huge AHA to anyone reading this. I might ask what messages you are receiving through this blog. Please send your responses so I might further explore your


LISTENING – March 3, 2013  Sermon by Rev Sherry Lady

Listen for His voice

“I used to know an old man who could walk by any cornfield and hear the corn growing.

‘Teach me I’d say when we’d passed on by.  (I never said a word while he was listening).  Just tell me how you heard that corn’

And he’d say, ‘It takes a lot of practice.  You can’t be in a hurry’ And I’d say ‘I have the time.”

He was so good at listening – once he heard wildflower seeds burst open, beginning to grow underground.  That’s hard to do.  He said he was just lucky to have been by himself up there in the canyon after a rain.

He said it was the quietest place he’d ever been and he stayed there long enough to understand the quiet.  I said, ‘I bet you were surprised when you heard those seeds.’

But he said, ‘No, I wasn’t surprised at all.  It seemed like the most natural thing in the world.’  He just smiled, remembering”

                             From: “The Other Way To Listen: by Byrd Baylor

This illustrates the relationship between Desert People and their land – an expression of the intimate childlike feeling of owning something special.

I believe we all own something special, deep inside, but that we often don’t take the time to acknowledge, or stop long enough to listen what it is saying to us. When I went inside to listen this week, after reading these words, I found myself thinking:  I wonder what it would be like if,

Instead of watching things grow, we listened for the sound of their growing.  Like children. My children and I are anchored to each other.

As young children I watched their bodies grow – but did I ever listen to their growing? Could I have heard:

1) their bones stretching while they slept

2) the sound their fingers made as they wrapped around a spoon,

3) OR how their muscles sang when they ran a race.

4)  Listening to the sound their giggles made when they touched the bedroom wall.

5)  The sounds of expansion their minds-brains made when a new idea was planted and took root.

If it is in the song of the corn growing, or the wildflower seed bursting open, it must be in everything in the universe, if we will take time to listen for is.

For this we will have to get still more often than we are used to, but it would be worth it.  The sound of a heart expanding when it feels love, or an eyelid expanding when the eye sees something beautiful. They can measure the sound of that you know.  We are giant stethoscopes.

Mark Nepo, author of the best selling book “The Book of Awakening” titled his second book, “ Seven Thousand Ways of Listening.” (Quote)STW-cover

“Listening is a personal pilgrimage that takes time.  The practice of listening is one of the most mysterious and challenging art forms on earth.  Listening stitches the world together because listening is the doorway to everything that matters.  To awaken our hearts through the reverence of listening strengthens the fabric that knit us all together.”

Seven thousand ways to listen seems incomprehensible, until we realize that there are billions of people on the earth who listen every day in some way or another, and in each moment the listening may be experienced differently – individually – according to the need, or the grasp for understanding of what is happening in their lives.

Ways to Listen

The usual are:  with the ear and with the heart.  The Native cultures from around the world gave us the concept of listening with the skin – Deaf people listen this way.  Everything makes a sound.  Even our thoughts.  Thoughts have energy and we pick up vibrations from others thoughts, and our own.

Receiving is another way of listening. I quote again: “Only by receiving light can flowers grow in to their beauty…only be absorbing rain can the earth grow what feeds us.  Only by inhaling air can our bodies walk  us to each other.  Only by accepting each other’s pain and vulnerability can human strength grow between us or by receiving joy can we feel our burden lifted.  Receiving involves, like nature, the absorbing, inhaling and accepting of the life that flows through and between us.  This is listening at its deepest.”  With the whole of us we can practice deep listening.

Listening to our bodies as they talk to us.  Every cell is trying to tell us something each and every moment, and yet we ignore what it is saying and go to someone else to find out why it isn’t working and then we say “I should have paid attention to that symptom or that ache, but I just had to keep going.”  Cells talk, energy talks, neurons and cartiledge talk – to one another as well as to us.  Stethescopes can hear hearts, machine can measure sound waves coming from a finger or toe nail.  We can hear our breath and hear our stomachs.  Pay attention!

Listening to the elements.  (from the book) “Do this: get to know one thing as well as you can….don’t start with the whole Pacific Ocean.”  Try just one drop of water at a time and learn about it.  Inhale one breath of wind until you can understand the power and majesty of the whole wind that covers the earth and how it moves.


Of course, listening has become the subject of some great humor.

  • Congress is so strange.  A man gets up  to speak and says nothing, nobody listens and then everyone disagrees. (Will R.)
  • One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.
  • History repeats itself because no one listens the first time.
  • I’ll defend to the death your right to say that, but I never said I’d listen to it.
  • If you want your spouse to listen and pay attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.
  • What women want is to be loved and listened to.  What men want is tickets to the world series or bowl games.
  • You were so intent .  I so appreciate that.  What was it that you were listening for?  The end of the conversation.

Listening to learn.  If you think you are better than a horned toad, you’ll never hear its voice.  Same with people  What would become possible is we each approached every conversation as an opportunity to learn?  Be fully present to each conversation you engage in and listen longer than usual – and with more patience. Give the other person your full, attention because nothing else really matters. Listen without thinking about other things.  You will be surprised at how much you learn.listening

Listening to receive spiritual nourishment:  The voice of God.

There’s a song we chant in Taize service and the children sing it during the music portion of their youth education lesson.  “Listen, listen, to my heart’s song, listen, listen, listen to my heart’s song.  I will never leave you, I will never forsake you, I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. Listen, listen to my heart’s song….”

Back to “The Other Way to Listen” – a metaphor for deep listening.

“We leaned against another rock.  A long time passed and then he said, “Did you hear that?”  They looked at each other.  I said :I didn’t hear a thing.”

He said ‘Sometimes everything being right makes a kind of sound.  Like just now.  It wasn’t much more than a good feeling that I heard from that old rock. ‘  “Were you surprised to hear it?’  (I always had to ask)

He said not a bit.  “It seemed like the most natural thing in the world.”  I told him I wished I’d heard it, too.  He said he thought I would some day.



As we feel the winds of change blowing around us, may we:

  1. listen with our hearts and not spend too much time in the realm of only the perceived logic that presents itself in our heads.
  2. May we listen with our skin so we can feel each other’s vibrations and syncopate our energies of discernment as to what would be good for all concerned.
  3. May we lean against the rock of our faith so that the message we send out into the world is that we, as a church, have paid attention to what is good and right for us to do at this time.
  4. May we focus on one thing—getting to know who and what we are as a spiritual community as deeply as we possibly can and make our decisions from that place.
  5. May we realize and appreciate the many ways our community listens:  Chaplains, meditation groups, Angel Network, prayer ministry, prayer shawl ministry, Taize healing prayer service, prayer request forms in your bulletin, our phone lines, etc.

From Mark Nepo:   “Listening beyond our own silhouette, each thing we encounter is alive—be it a stone, a dragonfly. a symphony, or a peach. And each thing in its aliveness encodes and mirrors the whole of life in its own way.  When we can listen, each particle of being, no matter how small, invites our presence and attention so that we might hear and feel the Universe through it.”  May this be true our spiritual community as we listen to each other and breathe in the winds of change and let ourselves be lifted higher than we thought possible.Gods voiceendless-possibilities-21557874


Rev. Sherry Lady is a member in good standing with She is a minister at Unity of Valley, Eugene, OR.  Learn more about Rev Sherry at:,



If the only prayer you ever say is “Thank you” – that is enough. ~ David Steindl-Rast

“Giving thanks after the fact is easy, but giving thanks before receiving took a little practice. As a result my prayer life has changed. With each prayer I give thanks in advance, knowing that my prayer was heard. I trust that my good is ready to manifest for me and for those whom I hold in prayer, although it may not unfold according to my plan, but at the right time and in the right way. My goal is to live my life with an attitude of gratitude.”

Read entire letter: go to




Pulsecheckcpr-logo_4TOP TEN CPR MYTHS

by Katrina Purdy

CPR can be a life saving skill that anyone can learn. As an instructor CPR/ AED (Cardio- Pulmonary Resuscitation / Automatic External Defibrillator) plus First Aid and BLS/ HCP (Basic Life Support / Healthcare Provider) to both medical and non-medical people, I have heard many different “myths” surrounding CPR. The problem with these myths is that they can prevent someone from taking a CPR class or using the life saving skills they have learned when an emergency occurs. In an effort to increase the number of people who learn CPR we have compiled this list.

10. “To relieve choking in a child you should lift the child up by the feet and shake”. What? Definitely not. I’ve heard this one twice this week during infant CPR classes for new parents. This is a great example of why you should take an American Heart Association CPR class. You will learn not only how to do CPR but also the proper way to relieve choking.

9. “Someone else will be able to help”. The key to surviving cardiac arrest is the quick response of someone trained in CPR. Someone who collapses and does not immediately receive CPR has almost no chance of survival.  

8. “You can learn CPR on-line”. While it is true that you can learn the steps of CPR from an on-line class it is absolutely ridiculous to think you could properly perform CPR on a real person after taking a computer based CPR cpr_27cxclass. Think about it like this; when you were sitting in driving class being taught how to handle a car on wet pavement was it anything like the first time you actually were driving on the highway in the rain??? Hands on practice are the key to developing muscle memory and proper technique. If you are looking for a CPR class make sure it includes hands-on practice and is approved by the AHA.

7. “CPR does more harm than good”. I am not sure where this one started but it is absolutely false. When you are performing CPR it is on someone who has no heartbeat. I hate to state the obvious here but, if someone has no heart beat it means they are DEAD. How can doing CPR possibly make being dead worse? It is true that you may possibly break some ribs while performing CPR but I know that if my heart stopped beating I would much rather wake up with broken ribs than not wake up at all.

6. “Too expensive” or “Too long”. CPR classes are very inexpensive when you consider the peace of mind they bring and the life changing effect a little knowledge can have. New parents spend 50 or 60 dollars on new baby stuff all the time. Many infant CPR classes, which cover CPR as well as choking, cost the same amount. CPR class times can run between 2- 6 hours. The information and skills learned can last a lifetime.

5. “CPR is only for Adults”. It is true cardiac arrest is very uncommon in children and kids. However, infant and child CPR classes also cover how to relieve choking and a good instructor can provide extremely helpful information on accident prevention.

4. “I already know CPR”. The American Heart Association is constantly researching and reviewing the best way to provide CPR. Every few years the guidelines change and it is always best to learn the most current guidelines. The American Heart Association recommends renewing your CPR certification every 2 years.

3. “I will never have to do CPR”. The chances that you will ever have to perform CPR are very small. However, choking is much more common an emergency and all AHA CPR classes also teach how to save someone who is choking.


2. “I could get sued”. All states now have some form of what is commonly called The Good Samaritan Law. These laws protect you, a Good Samaritan, from being sued, if in the course of trying to save someone, you cause injury.

1. “CPR always works”. Unfortunately this is not true and is a very common belief that has been perpetuated by T.V and movies. The actual adult survival rate from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is about 5-10%. Survival rates increase if there is an AED present and if it is able to deliver a shock. However, if your heart stops and no one starts CPR then your chance of survival is zero.

As you can see there is a lot of bad information out there regarding how, when, and why people should be performing CPR. The real issue with all these “myths” is that they could possibly stop someone from learning CPR or providing CPR to a victim of cardiac arrest. It is the belief of The Heart Center that everyone should take a CPR class and get involved in the safety of their family, friends, and community.

Get certified today and learn how to save a life today!



Learn more, and register for a class at:

Katrina Purdy

Oregon CPR


Katrina Purdy | Spotlight Member

Helping you keep the beat!