Timeless Japan: A Photography Exhibit by Helen Rindsberg

Timeless Japan presents eight photos that capture Japanese landscapes; rural, urban and religious. They are bold color studies of cultural traditions from rice fields to shrine deities, subjects reaching back hundreds of years yet still vibrantly alive in the 21st century.

Drop by to see the opening on Friday, May 12, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Guitar music by Todd Juengling
Meet Helen Rindsberg and connect with new and old friends alike.
Wine, tea, and nibbles provided. Profits from sales to benefit the Cincinnati Asian Art Society

Show open: May 12 – July 28, 2017


Artist Statement:
My passions are teaching, photography and Japan. Photography is my means of personal expression and appreciation of what is beautiful and important. It’s a way for me to help people see the world in a new way. The photographs in this exhibit are part of my efforts to capture the enduring cultural traditions of Japan and share their energy with others.

Helen Rindsberg is the President of the Cincinnati Asian Art Society and in her own words “I’ve been crazy about Japan since I was nine years old.” She has been a teacher and administrator in Cincinnati since 1972, working with students from junior high school to college. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelors and Masters of Arts in Art Education and is currently an adjunct professor there.

In 1984 Helen won a fellowship to study the economy of Japan. That three-week trip began an amazing personal journey. She has traveled to Japan 16 more times, most recently as co-leader of a trip from the art museum. She and her husband have hosted 18 Japanese college students for anything from six months to five years. Their extended family now includes 21 “grandchildren” and has helped deepen her love and knowledge of the Japanese culture.

A docent at the Cincinnati Art Museum since 2004, Helen specializes in tours of the Asian art collection and helps with training for docents and teachers. Helen is also a gardener and Director of Cincinnati Dayton Taiko, a traditional Japanese drum group.

Maybe it IS your Grandmother’s Worst Nightmare

Ernest L. Rossi’s book The Psychobiology of Gene Expression is a pretty heavy read for the lay person, but it carries an important message for each of us. His basic hypothesis, in very simple terms, is that there is a connection between one’s psychology and physical health. More specifically, there is evidence that suggests that psychological processes such as hypnosis can be effective in switching off genes that express themselves as disease. Such may be an explanation for spontaneous remissions (that is diseases disappearing with no medical or scientific understanding as to how that happened). The fields of psychoneuroimmunology and psychophysiology have been around for at least 20 years and have ample evidence of the mind-body connection.

Recently, a student in the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work introduced me to something similar that sounded like psychological DNA to me. The term is transgenerational trauma. The understanding is that the effects of severe trauma is passed on to child and grandchild. Often parents who were traumatized as children had children who had symptoms of having been traumatized. It was thought that it was because of poor parenting skills. It is now believed that it may be epigenetically transmitted. That is, symptoms of trauma arise from nongenetic influences on gene expression. Think of the implications!

This could be an explanation for things like generalized anxiety disorder in which a person feels anxious for no apparent reason. A child is fearful, has nightmares and monsters under the bed. (The child is then actually traumatized by being scolded and sent back into the bedroom.) Is it possible that some parents have been suspected of child abuse because the child expresses symptoms of having been abused but had not themselves been abused?

So why do I write this when I have so little information or knowledge. It is because it calls me to have more compassion for those experiencing the symptoms, especially to have compassion for children who have explainable fears and terrors. Also, I would say, have compassion for yourself, since your fears may not be your own. There are processes for helping people overcome the effects of trauma, even if they don’t know what the trauma was. Some energy workers and body workers can help release the grip of symptoms. Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioners have skills in working to relieve such symptoms without requiring any information about their cause or genesis.

There is connectedness that exists not only within but among human beings. There is the mind-body connection within us. And now we are discovering that the connection is also among us. There is a line in a Native American chant that says, “What I am is holy, holy are we. Body, thoughts, emotions connecting you and me. Great Spirit circles all around me.” We are connected.

Pregnancy – Infertility and NLP

“Oh, you want to get pregnant; you should go see Larry.” Ba dum dum!infertility-pregnancy

Vince Lasorso, a friend and colleague recently told me this is his first response to women who request help in conceiving a child or carrying it to term. And then he says, “Maybe I should rephrase that. Larry has had success in helping women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive and have children.”

It started over 20 years ago, when a young woman confided to Vince that she had undergone several IVF treatments without successfully carrying to term. The doctors could find no physiological reason for this. Vince from Whatever Works Wellness Center and White Willow School of Tai Chi, knew of my NLP practice and suggested she call me for an appointment. We met for a few sessions in which we discovered a psychological issue that appeared significant and was easily addressed. She had another procedure, conceived and gave birth to a daughter, whom she and her husband named Grace.

Within weeks after the birth, mom referred another woman who she had met in a women’s support group. In the NLP sessions with this second woman, we discovered a very different kind of psychological barrier which again was as easily addressed. She gave birth to triplets.

And then yet another referral came from the mother of Grace. The next woman gave birth to twins. All of these women had struggled for some time trying to conceive with the best medicine of the day. I saw each of them for a small number of sessions and they each felt strongly that their work with me was the difference that made the difference in a successful pregnancy and birth.

Slow forward twenty-one years to when Grace is now a young adult. Her mom, the first woman who came to me for issues of infertility, called and brought me up to date on her life. And then mentioned that she had a friend who lives out of state but is having the same kind of problem around conceiving. Could I help? Absolutely. The friend called and it happened that the next weekend she was coming to Ohio, and so we were able to have a face-to-face session that included her husband. And we agreed to continue to meet via live video sessions. We had five sessions about a week apart and then off she went for another IVF procedure. I didn’t hear anything from her for some of time, but then an email arrived reporting that she was four weeks pregnant and she just knew she was carrying twins because she wanted twins. Two weeks later she called with the exciting news. She was indeed pregnant with twins.

Pregnancy factors other than fertility treatments

So, why am I reporting this? It is because each of these situations represent examples of how mind-body-spirit are intricately connected. For each of these women, there were internal thoughts or feelings that they (and I) believe were impacting their capacity to conceive and carry to term. I am not saying that this is true for all couples who have difficulty conceiving. But these four women are convinced that their work with mind and spirit was a big piece of the solution to having a healthy baby.

The evidence is mounting that thoughts, thought patterns, mental and spiritual states are involved in wellness and healing. We now know that trauma even changes DNA, and is handed down for two to three generations. More and more physicians are becoming aware that wellness and healing is a process that involves the whole person. Patient intuition and beliefs have an enormous impact on protocol outcomes. This became crystal clear to me in the 1990’s when I was facilitating a cancer support group. Those people used their intuition, imagination and beliefs to get the best possible treatment outcomes. Their physicians explained protocols but the person made choices. Many of them became experts on the nature of the disease and certainly of their bodies. Not all fully recovered, but all had fewer unwanted effects of treatment and all had a higher than normal quality of life during the course of treatment.

I should state that I am not saying that NLP will “cure” all physical difficulties. But I believe it can be an important part of being resilient not only in times of challenge, but also in times of opportunity.  One’s beliefs and attitudes influence health, illness, treatment, and the course of recovery.

My encouragement for you: Be aware of your mental and spiritual state, especially during times of physical distress. What do you believe about yourself, your physician and treatment? What do you believe about the physical problem itself? If those beliefs are limiting, if they create hopelessness or fear rather than hope and confidence, talk to someone who can help you change those beliefs.

Back Pain: What You Need to Know

If you don’t have back pain, someone close to you does. One half of all working Americans report back pain. And 80% of us will struggle with back pain at some point in their life.1 Most people will get better quickly, yet a few will develop into a chronic pain pattern.

As an individual who had her own significant back injury with a challenging recovery, I am motivated to spread the good news of how I got better. As a practitioner who sees people diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, which means the surgery didn’t work as well as planned, I have a passion for helping people return to healthy function, surgery or not. As someone who saw a friend paralyzed from the waist down after a spinal fusion surgery and with spinal fusion surgeries on the rise, I believe it is very important to prevent this surgery whenever possible. In my next article, I am going to dive into the keys for a healthy back. First, we need some important research-based fact finding.

Learn about the Better Back 12-week program

You have an amazing ability to get better. Most people “heal” themselves every day from all kinds of assaults to the system. A small percentage of people will struggle with back pain for more than twelve weeks and be classified with chronic back pain. In these cases, the body is overwhelmed and needs some help getting “back on track.” Even with severe back pain, I have seen significant improvements for the majority of people once the right approach is in place.

Causes are more unknown than known. It is popular to say the reason someone has back pain is poor core strength, bad alignment or suboptimal posture. See any rehab professional, personal trainer or body worker and you will likely get one of these reasons as the cause for your back pain. This makes little sense from a larger view. I see people with incredible core strength that have back pain. I see people with great posture who have back pain. And I see people with horrible alignment or poor alignment but no back pain. Working with a biomechanical lens is helpful, but when it is the only lens, the results may be limited.

MRI or x-ray results are misleading. “When it comes to diagnosing most back pain, MRI machines are at least as useless as Monty Python’s medical machinery that goes ‘bing.’” offers Paul Ingraham2 in a sentence I wish I had written. Studies show that structural deformities are poorly correlated with pain.3
A good percentage of people with herniated discs, bulging discs, scoliosis, and even stenosis walk around without pain. And not all people with back pain have a structural issue.4 That is enough to make many people scratch their head. Surely there must be a clear structural issue that causes back pain! To make matters worse, getting an MRI leads to more procedures and incorrect conclusions about next steps including ineffective or unnecessary surgeries.5

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider structural realities in the equation, but it does mean we should refrain from deciding we are doomed to have pain because of something found in the spine. This simply isn’t true.

Learn about the Better Back 12-week program

Surgery is not better.
In comparing spinal fusion as a treatment to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), CBT came out ahead. Research on physical therapy shows similar results.6 Given the potential side effects of surgery (which can include nerve damage, paralysis or more surgeries) it seems it should be avoided whenever possible. Is surgery sometimes mandatory? Yes. Is it a VASTLY overused as a solution? Yes.

Your Brain Has a Lot to Do With Your Pain
Any approach to chronic back pain that doesn’t include how your brain is producing pain is missing something. This deserves an entire article all of its own. And I can’t recommend enough the first couple of chapters of The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge, M.D. to get a good understanding of this topic without blaming yourself or thinking anyone is saying it is all in your head if you have chronic pain.

A multidisciplinary approach including biopsychosocial interventions has been shown to be most promising.7 Chronic back pain can be quite debilitating. And still, the majority of people that I see do get better even when the problem has been present for many years. There is ample reason to have hope that you can live with more comfort and less pain. Maybe you feel you have tried everything there is to try. I don’t think so. So do read the next article coming soon: Mysteries to a Healthy Back Revealed.


1 2. Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985; 11: 1-98.

2 Ingraham, P. MRI and X-Ray Often Worse than Useless for Back Pain, updated October 17 2016 (first published 2007), accessed 12/08/16.

3 Deyo RA, Weinstein DO. Low Back Pain. N Engl J Med. 2001 Feb;344(5):363–70.

4 Brinjikji W, Luetmer PH, Comstock B, et al. Systematic Literature Review of Imaging Features of Spinal Degeneration in Asymptomatic Populations. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015 Apr;36(4):811–6.

5 Webster BS, Bauer AZ, Choi Y, Cifuentes M, Pransky GS. Iatrogenic consequences of early magnetic resonance imaging in acute, work-related, disabling low back pain. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Oct;38(22):1939–

6 Mirza, S, Deyo, R, et al. Systematic Review of Randomized Trials Comparing Lumbar Fusion Surgery to Nonoperative Care for Treatment of Chronic Back Pain Spine 2007 Apr 1:32(7):816-823.

7 Guzmán J, Esmail R, Karjalainen K, Malmivaara A et al. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation for chronic low back pain: systematic review BMJ 2001; 322:1511

7 Haiku and a Couplet for a Feldenkrais Gathering


Guest post by Lawrence R K Becker

Feldenkrais Party:

I’ll pretend I’m a poet

With talent to burn.


Julie made some prints.

One, stones stacked like vertebrae:

Just had to buy it!


Website photo shoot.

Camera scrutinizes,

But Arlene just smiles.


Other bourbon friends

Can’t get me to do as much

Good as Larry can.


Years of Feldenkrais.

Learning to trust Cynthia

Has been a good choice.


Counselor Carol,

On Wednesdays, watches the fish

Keep clients’ secrets.


Football playoff time.

How kind, our hosts, to schedule

On Pro Bowl Sunday.


The rest of you, watch what you say,

Or you’ll be in a poem some day.


Behavior: What Do You Presuppose?

By Larry Wells

A branch director once lamented that her group was not doing very well and that she spent most of her time addressing problems and “putting out fires”.  Shebehavior explained that this was “Because those people (her team) are lazy!” (Note: this is called a Fundamental Attribution Error.) I suspect that the employees were not lazy but insufficiently motivated.  This leader, like many others, sometimes forgets that in business/work environments one must attend to two arenas: Task and Relationship. The first relates to activity and the second impacts motivation; the first to “what” and the second to “why”.

In days gone by, management meant getting things done through other people. In today’s world one manages projects but leads people. The bygone system created an “us vs them” atmosphere whereas today the goal is to create only a “we” atmosphere. There is only “us”. Both task and relationship matter.

This concept has been around for a while but is not always implemented, perhaps because leaders are trained only to be managers.  Promoting excellent frontline workers to supervisory positions without providing adequate training may be one of greatest problem creators of any business. The distinction between managing and leading became much clearer to me when I began training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). When I understood and began to incorporate some of the basic presuppositions of NLP, the way I functioned in the world changed.

Presuppositions and Truth

Presuppositions do not claim to be true. They are useful and effective. There may be exceptions to their validity, but it is much more beneficial to assume from the beginning that they are true than to not do so. What follows are a few presuppositions that have proved to be very useful, effective and beneficial in interacting with others.

  • The map is not the territory. I have an internal map of reality, but it is not reality. For example: My map says that the chair in which I am sitting is solid, yet an electron microscope will show that there is more empty space in the chair than there are particles. My map has been shaped by my history and my culture and experience. It is different from yours, especially if you have come from a different culture. One is no more correct than the other. One is more useful in a particular setting than in others.
  • People act in compliance with their own internal map of reality. Another way of saying this is that people’s behavior makes sense in their map of reality. Robinson Crusoe’s Man Friday could not hear God’s voice in the Bible (the word of God) but could hear messages in trees and stones. When someone behaves in what I consider to be an unusual way, I suspect they have a different internal map than I do.
  • Every behavior is appropriate in some context. This really is another way of saying the previous presupposition. However, I make this distinction: A person may have learned a behavior that worked in a specific context but is no longer useful because the context has changed. We might expect a three-year-old to throw temper tantrums. Three-year-olds do that. But it is inappropriate for a 33-year-old to throw a temper tantrum. It may not be useful or advisable to angrily respond to one’s boss or, perhaps, even to a stranger.  Of course, anti-social or psychotic behavior may be “appropriate” for some people’s map, however, the destructive nature of such behavior renders the positive intent that may be there null.
  • People tend to make the best choice available to them at the time. Not every behavioral choice is the best. But sometimes the best choice is not available. Something gets in the way of my making that choice. It may be that I don’t even know about that choice or it requires skills I do not have. Sometimes the potential consequences of the best choice seem to be more threatening than those of the second-best choice (peer pressure is an example).
  • Every behavior has some positive intent in its origin. Frequently clients come to see me to get help in changing or eliminating an unwanted or no longer useful behavior. During those sessions, they discover that the current behavior has served a once upon a time useful purpose. Often, they discover that the behavior has protected them from something. If they find a new way of being protected, giving up the unwanted behavior becomes very easy. A common experience is that many people began smoking in order to fit in with the crowd. Twenty-years later, when they no longer need to smoke to fit in, they are still smoking. By finding a more appropriate behavior for fitting in, they can much more easily become a non-smoker.
  • There are no failures, only feedback. If my behavior does not achieve the outcome I had desired, I at least discovered what that behavior did achieve. And I know that I need to try a different behavior to accomplish the desired outcome. If those I am leading are not producing the desired outcome, it may very well be that I need to change my behavior, give clearer instructions, and demonstrate the behavior. Before I learned this, if my children didn’t follow directions, I assumed they had suddenly developed a hearing problem so I said the same thing only much louder, often to no avail!

These presuppositions have proven to be exceedingly useful and effective in professional and personal relationships. I have learned that so long as “you/they” are my problem, I don’t have a solution. They have helped me to be more of a leader and less of a driver, which, in the long run is much more efficient and effective. There is much less time spent on dealing with problems and putting out fires.

An Art Show by Kate Spencer

Art Opening
Friday, February 17th

6:30 P.M. TO 8:30 P.M.

Show runs from February 17 to May 5th , 2017

Artist’s Statement:

All my life, I have loved fabric and the feel of a needle in my hand. Inspired and instructed by my maternal grandmother, I learned to embroider at age 11 and began sewing my own clothes at 20. Since 2009, I have delighted in designing and constructing the historical costumes (19th and early 20th century) my husband and I wear as we perform with a local vintage dance group, Forget-Me-Not Historical Dancers.

But quilting is a new passion for me, dating back only a couple of years. Partly it grew out of a desire to find some use for all the leftover fabric scraps I’ve accumulated, and partly from my grand-mother’s example (she did not begin quilting until her early 50s). All of my pieces are traditional patchwork patterns, pieced by machine but quilted by hand: for me, machine quilting feels like cheating, while quilting by hand gives me a deep satisfaction and a sense of real accomplishment. I prefer to create small pieces rather than full-sized quilts, a choice which gives me the time to experiment with many different patterns and colors. My favorite pieces typically combine geometrical precision with a touch of asymmetry: total regularity is a little boring, right? I love running variations on a classic pattern like Log Cabin to see how the effect alters with a change in colors or a different size and configuration of the blocks. I also strive to find exactly the right template for the quilting stitches, to enhance and complement the patterns of the patchwork design.

If you like the general style of my work but are looking for different colors or a specific size, or if you have a favorite patchwork pattern, I would be happy to work with you to create a custom quilt.

About Kate:

I have been a proud resident of Northside since 1995, when I accepted a job as a full-time faculty member at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, teaching writing, literature (Drama, Shakespeare, Women Writers, and African American Writers), and theatre, a position I retired from in 2007. Before arriving in Cincinnati, I was a lifelong rolling stone, first as an Air Force dependent and then as a college student and professor, having lived in 20 different cities in 11 different states. Now I’m firmly planted in Northside with my husband, Doug Morriss, in a 100+-year-old house I love, and a community (Cincinnati) whose people and cultural institutions I value greatly. I devoutly hope I will NEVER move again, thank you.

All my life, I have had more passionate interests than time to pursue them all. That can be frustrating (too many hard choices!) but is also a great advantage. The older I get, the more vital it seems to exercise all the different parts of my brain, body, and spirit every day, to keep stretching and growing. These days, in addition to my quilting and other sewing, my most compelling projects include:

1) Researching and writing a family history that stretches back to colonial times, in partnership with my 90-year-old mother.

2) Keeping physically active: I do water aerobics three times a week, I do tai chi every night, and–best of all–I dance twice a week with my husband and other friends: 19th century social dance with the Forget-Me-Not Historical Dancers, and International Folk Dancing at Twin Towers every Saturday night. Music is an important element in most of these activities!

3) Attending lots of theatre, 30+ shows per season: we are long-term subscribers to three different local theater companies, and also pick up individual shows from a variety of other Cincinnati theaters during the season. We also have begun an annual trek to Stratford, Ontario to see shows there.

4) Studying history and society–any period, any region, any topic–through nonfiction, historical fiction, and film. One of my favorite ways to do this is reading mysteries. I have taught college-level classes in detective fiction, and still love finding new authors who set their stories in locales and communities that are new to me.

The moral of the story:

Keep moving, Keep learning. Keep loving.