My first Air B&B, Respecting your elders, I love grandmas

Linden Hills Home

I recently went to Minneapolis, Minnesota to learn more about eyes and acupuncture. As I talked about recently, I have opened up more space in my life for this new passion! (add hyper link to previous post) I had a fabulous seminar with Mats Sexton (“the pindoctor”) but funnily enough, my biggest takeaway from this trip weren’t the acupuncture techniques or the influx of new business ideas now percolating in my head. Instead, the highlight of my trip was the connection I made with two wonderful humans – Pam and Jane, my Airbnb hosts.

It was my first time trying Airbnb and I was blown away by the two amazing women who welcomed me into their home. It almost felt like they had adopted me and I was visiting my own grandmas.

It didn’t take long for Pam to break the ice with me. She was warm, we shared a similar style of twisted humor and she was just so inviting from the beginning that I felt like I could just be myself. Jane, the super intellectual/reserved type was witty, pleasant and warm in her own way. So picture this, me and two elderly women hanging out in a beautiful home and shooting the shit until all hours of the night. We talked about everything. They were so curious about my acupuncture, my family life, and lifestyle. By the time it came time for me to depart after two and half days, I think they knew me better than some of my closest friends. Totally strange and unexpected, but we totally bonded.

One of the reasons I believe we connected so quickly was because I offered to help in areas that were super easy for me but made a world of a difference for them. While I was there, I gave Jane acupuncture treatments every day for her back. I went up a ladder to change a battery of a smoke detector, I offered to walk their dogs (they didn’t take me up on that one), I cooked for another guest and did my best to keep the kitchen clean. These were simple things for me but to them – it was enormously helpful.

I was blessed that Pam chose to share some great life wisdom with me on our last night. We talked about love, passions, and relationships. She opened up to me and shared some really deep stories as she felt I would benefit from hearing. This heartfelt conversation was the most meaningful part of my trip and none of this would have happened if I would have skipped over these two grandmas. I could have easily hidden myself in my room and killed time on Facebook, but instead I connected with two amazing women who have enriched my life.

These days, we look at elderly people almost as a burden on our society. Like the older generation doesn’t have a purpose or a role to play in our world. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. True, Jane and Pam have a hard time getting up ladders and with some of the more physical tasks of life. But that doesn’t make them irrelevant! They have a wealth of knowledge and life experience to share. One of our biggest mistakes is that we aren’t willing to listen. Think that bone broth is this new trendy thing? Pffft! Jane and Pam would laugh and say they grew up making bone broth or stock their whole life. It’s almost funny to them how this basic thing has become so popular.

During my time with Jane and Pam, it really hit me. The more I research and study acupuncture, the more I understand that this is a field of medicine full of hidden secrets that are traditionally passed on from generation by generation. But we have lost this method of knowledge transfer and many acupuncturists guard their protocols because they are afraid of competition. But thankfully – there are also other acupuncturists, like John Boel from Denmark and Mats Sexton a.k.a (“pindoctor”) from Minneapolis who are on a mission to share their wisdom to help treat eye conditions. They are committed to sharing their knowledge with the next generation of acupuncturists. Can you imagine if you knew an acupuncture secret that had the power to give hope to people with very serious health conditions? To help them heal in a way they never thought was possible? That kind of knowledge can’t be hoarded! What a tremendous gift! Now take a minute and think – what knowledge do the elders in your life have to share with you… but you just haven’t taken the time to ask or listen? What incredible knowledge are you missing out on? Do you just do the bare minimum and make small talk? Do you see how they might really have something special to offer?

It is so funny, how we decide who we want to listen, respect and spend time with. We are often attracted to big flashy personality types. The extroverts. We may overlook that quietly wise person in the corner of our life who has wisdom to share.

So I come home from Minneapolis with new knowledge of how to help people with glaucoma etc etc etc, but my trip was also a powerful reminder that I need to slow down and look for wisdom in quieter places. I am left with a deep renewed respect and faith in how much I have to learn from those who have come before us. Thank you, Pam and Jane!

P.S. I actually have a pretty spectacular grandma of my own… take a look at my podcast I did last year with her.

Let it Go!

Martin Perras

If you have kids, you can probably empathize. The Frozen sound track has become the sound track of my life. Particularly, the theme song “Let It Go!”

Because I’m funny like that… listening to Elsa sing prompted me to ponder letting go of something that I’ve really been holding on to. This might sound stupid to you, but for me this is very real. I am referring to my beard. Many of you know that this winter I grew my first official beard and wow let me tell you the impact it has made on my life. For the past 3 months, my facial hair strangely become a constant topic of conversation in my daily life. It was like I grew a third arm. Everywhere I went people talked about it. Some loved the beard, some pretended to love the beard and some honestly and very bluntly disliked it. But most importantly – I loved it! I loved playing with it, I love brushing it, I love how suddenly I didn’t have to shave everyday.

But as much as I loved it, I have realized that it’s time for me to… let it go. Don’t worry. I’m not here to talk about my beard… I want to share with you how it can be KEY to your health, healing and happiness to let go of what you are most attached to. Often times we end up investing our time and energy in things that aren’t serving us well. In truth, I was addicted to my beard. Addicted to how it made me feel and that attachment crowded out other possibilities in my life!

It’s a hard thing to come to terms with. Addiction is an uncomfortable word.

So many of us end up scrolling Facebook or zoning out watching Netflix at the end of the day. But the hard truth is, where we spend our time and energy determines what our life is like. So my first question to you is, what do you spend your time and energy doing?

Then, I encourage you to ask yourself, what is most important to you? If you could have an extraordinary life, what you do every day? What would you learn? Do you see any contradictions in your answers?

Letting go of my beard was tough but it has also made me feel free. It has made more room in my conversations with my friends and family for new and amazing things. It has made room in my mental world for new knowledge… like continuing my learning about needles in eyeballs! The joy of acquiring new ways to help my patients with eye conditions like macular degneration, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, and more will FAR outweigh the enjoyment I experience from having my beard. But it was still tough to let it go.

So take a moment and really think. What are you addicted to? What do you need to let go of? What are you holding on so tightly. I can’t say that I’m a pro at letting go but starting with small things can help. If you can’t even let go the small things how are you going to let go the big things.

Alive again!! Newfound love… Needles for eye-balls?

Martin & John Jr

I know that I haven’t posted for a long time. The truth is that I have been in deep reflective mode for a good 6 months. Reflecting on life, practice and much more. Now, fair warning! This post is going to be a little inspirational and corny. That’s a lot of who I am – just a corny, inspirational guy. I want to introduce you to a recent discovery that has rocked my world.

A month ago, I went on a trip to Copenhagen to study under two great Acupuncturists – John Boel Jr. and John Boel Sr. I actually got to spend time with them both. John Sr. was awarded the prize of Acupuncturist of the Century and he has been in practice for over 35 years specializing in eye disorders. John Sr. became famous when he restored the vision of a child. He’s a big deal in the acupuncture world! As is John Jr. People have travelled from all over the world to receive treatments from them both. John Jr. has treated royalty, professional athletes, and many regular Joes like you and I. Together, their clinics have treated over 8,000 eye patients most of whom could not be helped by other eye-specialists. Over time, John Sr developed a new system of acupuncture called Acunova and he now trains acupuncturists from all over world.

Yes it’s true! Acupuncture can help with the eyes and vision. Every time I start sharing how acupuncture can be very effective for the eyes, people automatically go to… needles in eye-balls. Before visions of this start flashing through your mind – I want to reassure you that there are no needles in eye-balls! The acupuncture needles are placed in the hands, feet and a few around the eyes but nothing even close to the eye-ball. I know – big sigh of relief!

I went to the seminar with John Sr and Jr with very few expectations. Mostly, I was curious and also eager to hang out with an old acupuncture friend (Ryan Longenecker who is also specializing in eyes in Toronto). I wasn’t even sure how I felt about specializing in eyes. For one, I have a busy fulfilling practice specializing in pain, metabolic disorders, weight loss, stress and hormonal disorders. Getting away from that comfy practice isn’t something that appealed to me. Now, I love my clinic and I know that I am making a difference in my patients’ lives. But, I also know that I have a newfound love. When there is something inside of you that grips you so deeply, you need to take the time to listen. That’s not easy and this is where running comes in for me. I have been on many runs lately reflecting on if I want to change how I do things and begin the eye journey.

Don’t worry for those of you who are currently under acupuncture care with me! I am not leaving this world. I will never leave the style of acupuncture I practice. I am simply enhancing my practice with a new focus and I want everyone to know!

I am so excited about becoming an acupuncturist offering help with macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), Retinitis Pigmentosa and many other eye disorders. Many eye diseases have no symptoms in the early stages. For example, Macular degeneration comes on very suddenly, but with time this can make it difficult to drive, read and many other activities. As the disease progresses, anxiety and depression often occurs as people can no longer do the things they love to do. Yes, macular degeneration can be slowed down or managed with drugs and medication but these solutions aren’t very successful.

If you or someone you love suffers from an eye disorder, you should definitely come and talk to me because I can help! The truth is – it’s a little known fact that acupuncture can be successful in treating eye disorders. Until now! Ottawa and the rest of the world: watch out! I’m on a mission to get the word out!

Acupuncture treatments for eye disorders start over two weeks and the success rate can be mind-blowing. If you’re not from Ottawa, there are other acupuncture clinics who also offer this type of treatments and I would be very happy to point you in the right direction. So far, I know that you can get access this type of treatment in Toronto, Chicago, New Jersey, Minneapolis, Vancouver, California and many more major cities. Or you could go on an adventure and make a trip to Denmark and visit the famous John Boel Sr. But you could also pick the phone and call me! I am confident that I can help and as always I promise to go full out with this because that is just the way I like my cookie to crumble. I know. So corny! I’m a corny man, but I am also deeply happy and passionate about this new phase in my life!

We’ll talk soon. Amazing things are coming!

Martin

Be Your Best Podcast – Alex the Gymnast

Be Your Best Podcast Episode 12

Episode #12 : “Alex Kazam the Gymnast”

Alex MacInnis is a former national level gymnast, teaching an adult gymnastics program that emphasizes movement, strength, mobility and basic gymnastics skills for all levels and abilities. Founder of “Alex Kazam Gymnastics”, Alex has combined his gymnastics skills and coaching experience to form a unique blend of gymnastics and crossfit.

Learn more about Alex on his website:
www.alexkazamgymnastics.com/about/vision/alex-macinnis

You can also view his upcoming programs or sign up here:
www.ottawagymnasticscentre.ca/adult–specialty-programs.


Watch the Episode:

See a tour of Alex’s Gym

Be Your Best Podcast – Pastor Ray Koprowski

Be Your Best Podcast Episode 11

Episode #11 : “Pastor Ray Koprowski”

Martin speaks with his Pastor Ray Koprowski of Ottawa’s upcoming Harvest Bible Chapel. This podcast speaks directly about Christianity and how it impacts the daily life and values of Martin and Pastor Ray. You can learn more about Harvest Bible Chapel and Pastor Ray Koprowski by visiting www.harvestottawa.ca.


Watch the episode:

Increase your mental toughness

Do you sometimes feel like your mental toughness isn’t quite there? Are you struggling with maintaining your will-power? Below is my list of some suggestions that can help you gain better mental toughness. If you haven’t yet watched my video, I help explain how some of these tips have helped me and how you can benefit from taking them on as well.

  • Wake up early
  • Try intermittent fasting
  • Run some sprints
  • Stop drinking alcohol
  • Pick a treat you like, maybe bread, ice cream, chips and avoid eating them for 30 days
  • Take a cold shower
  • Cancel your cable or Netflix
  • Practice being 10 minutes early for every appointments
  • Make your bed every day
  • Lift some heavy weights
  • Read 15 minutes per day from an actual book
  • Take a nap in the afternoon
  • Stretch for 15-20 minutes
  • Keep track of your daily expenses
  • Try 10 minutes of prayer or meditation


Don’t forget to subscribe above to receive more tips, videos and inspiration!

Be Your Best Podcast – You are just as important as a heart surgeon

Be Your Best Podcast Episode 10

Episode #10 : “You are just as important as a heart surgeon”

You are just as important as a heart surgeon. Every day we each have the power to change lives – if only we choose to be mentally and emotionally available to those who are struggling. When you wake up each morning, take a moment to recognize the difference you can make in someone’s life and make sure you are ‘on’.

As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person. ~ Paul Shane Spear


Listen to the episode:

Be Your Best Podcast – Yves Fortin: The Fast Guy

Be Your Best Podcast Episode 9

Episode #9 : “Yves Fortin: The Fast Guy”

Yves Fortin is an amazing athlete and one of Ottawa’s top competitive runners. When ever I hear someone say “I must be getting old”, I think of Yves and all amazing things he is doing at his age. He is 20 years Martin’s senior, yet faster still! Yves serves as an incredible role model for athletes and endurance sports.


Watch the episode:

Cancelling my Ironman Race

Last week, I decided to cancel my upcoming Ironman race. If you haven’t watched my video talking about why I cancelled, take a look now.. This might not seem like a big deal, but it was for me. I had such a hard time making the decision because my ego kept telling me:

“You CAN do this!”

On top of that, finance is a very compelling argument at times. I had invested over $1000 in this race and there are no refunds. There it was, my financial reasoning also told me:

“You CAN do this, you ALREADY paid!”

I would like to share with you the simple steps I took to make my decision, and most importantly how I made peace with it.

1. I took some time.

Too often we rush into decisions based on our emotional state at that moment. Yes, most decisions, even the most important ones are often made rapidly and with little sound judgement. For this one, I took a good 2 weeks to finally decide. I was itching to decide right away but I told myself that I was going to be patient. My intuition was telling me to take myself out of the race, but I wanted the time to confirm that.

2. I took myself out of the equation.

I tried my best to put things into perspective: if I was coaching this person, what would I say? If this was somebody else, and I could get an outside look at the situation, what would I say? Not the easiest thing to do, but the result can be super powerful. It’s about being honest with yourself.

3. I prayed over it.

Meditation, prayer, and reflection time can be incredibly valuable. With intention, I took time from my day to sit alone and really soak in all of the components around this decision.
I considered doing part of it. I considered just going for it, using my body, seeing if I could surprise myself. I considered so many scenarios!
My decision became the clearer and clearer in my time of prayer and reflection, until finally, I was not going to pursue this.

Now, when people ask me about Ironman I tell them that I have removed myself from the race (perhaps with slight frustration in my voice), but that I have made peace with this decision.

Next time you need to make a decision, consider these three tips. I hope you choose well.

Martin

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