Parents and children had the unique opportunity to spend some quality time working on an art project over Christmas break. There were 14 parents and children who are impacted by cancer who came together on December 30 to create something special. The ages of children spanned from 7 to 16 years old and a great time was had by all. All participants felt it was a true gift to be able to spend time away from the stresses and challenges of daily life doing something fun and meaningful. The class was lead by our talented art teacher, Nancy Chapman.
In January 19, Ann’s Place was excited to welcome Peggy O’Shea, RN, as a guest speaker once again. The event, An Update on Wellness Practices, was hosted by our three breast cancer support groups and was open to all.
Peggy is a holistic practitioner and the Clinical Leader of the Complementary Medicine Program at Danbury Hospital. She has studied complementary medicine for decades, and has been trained in many different modalities.
Peggy’s background means that she is grounded in Western medicine, yet has a curiosity and openness to healing practices from many different traditions. It is always a delight to hear Peggy speak as we hear a variety of practices that have proven helpful for many.
Joe started the first Hatha Yoga class in October 1997, when Ann's Place was located in Peacock Alley. The Tuesday night Hatha Yoga class is still active today, additionally Joe now offers a Chair Yoga class (more suitable for seniors) on Fridays. Additionally he helped form the men's prostate cancer group in 1998.
Joe is a certified Integral Yoga Teacher. He has been teaching Hatha Yoga (Bodily Postures) and Raja Yoga (Yogic Philosophy) since the early seventies. His teaching experience includes a wide variety of volunteer classes, including those for mentally challenged adults, classes at Regional Hospice, and classes for both male and female inmates in the State and Federal Prison System. Joe has also taught yoga to young people of all ages up through the college level and several Adult Education Programs in the greater Danbury area. Through the years he has been invited to speak on the topics of Hatha Yoga (Yoga postures), Raja Yoga (Yoga Philosophy), Laughter Yoga and Yoga for stress management.
Joe's Yoga teaching philosophy is a simple combination of slow, steady, stress less and comfortable Hatha Yoga Poses, breath control, laughter yoga, deep relaxation and meditation practices. All of these yoga techniques, practiced over time, are designed to help people expand their practice, to build strength and steadiness, and to feel rejuvenated and calm. After learning these yoga practices, people are in a much better position to make comfortable positive lifestyle changes. When practiced sincerely, these yoga movements will help the practitioner change the way they think and feel, and help them move forward to maintain their natural condition of a healthier body. Finally, by practicing these movements, a person will eventually translate into getting control over, and creating, a much more peaceful mind.
Ann’s Place is so grateful to be the recipients of 50 Hearts of Hope, created for our clients by a kindergarten class from Newtown, CT. Hearts of Hope are beautiful hand painted ceramic hearts which are offered as “a token of caring and compassion”. We are so grateful that these gifts were given to Ann’s Place and we hope that those who painted them feel a special sense of fulfillment, knowing that these hearts will lift the spirits of many.
On Friday October 9 the Ann's Place clinical team invited local therapists and licensed mental health professionals to a lunch and learn event entitled "Living With Cancer." The program was designed to give these professionals an in-depth look at the clinical work we offer at Ann's Place. It was also a great opportunity to get to know them and their areas of expertise and specialties. Our clinical volunteer, Dr. Suz Brooks, PsyD, was the keynote speaker for the event. She eloquently shared her experience of living with cancer and offered tips and suggestions for therapists to assist clients with cancer. There was a great exchange of information that ensued after the presentation. The afternoon ended with a tour of our beautiful facility.
Ann’s Place is pleased to be able to offer to our clients the expertise of Dr. Jennifer Phelps in the form of an eight week workshop on Mind Body Skills. This is currently the second eight week session of this program in response to the popularity of the first. This workshop demonstrates to cancer survivors and caregivers how to utilize techniques such as autogenic training, meditation, breath work, movement and drawing as a way of coping with stress, anxiety and difficult emotions.
Jennifer Phelps, MD, is a medical doctor who is board certified in Family Practice. Dr. Phelps specializes in Integrative Medicine which combines mainstream medical therapies and complementary or alternative therapies that are backed by high quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness. Dr. Phelps has a strong interest in Oncology and utilizing Integrative medicine to help patients during and after treatment