Happy Halloween! Happy Thanksgiving!
Stop! Don’t Use That Elevator
Climb up a few steps instead. British researchers confirmed that a little exercise is better than nothing. The studies show that if you are sedentary, even a few minutes of stair-climbing can improve your health.
A few steps done daily can improve your heart rate, oxygen intake, and HDL (good cholesterol) levels. So, look around before you punch that elevator button and take at least 2-3 flights of stairs up by walking instead of riding.
A little goes a long way!
Source: Preventive Medicine, 2000
Reference: American Council on Exercise
The Great Pumpkin
October is Halloween time and along with Halloween comes pumpkins. Just so happens that pumpkin is very rich in beta-carotene which may help reduce the risk of cancer. So when you carve that pumpkin, save the seeds, wash them off and put them on a thin cookie sheet. Brush them with a little olive oil ad sprinkle with tamari. Bake at 325 degrees until crisp.
If you ever have a chance, get some pumpkin oil. A dark, rich, reddish-brown oil with a slightly sweet taste, it is excellent for salads. It is a specialty oil from Austria. Make homemade pumpkin pies or pumpkin jam also from your carved pumpkins.
Healing Recipe: Old-Fashioned Root Beer
For a delicious cooling drink, try this “old-fashioned” recipe. Sarsaparilla is great blood purifier. It is said to be helpful in cases of rheumatism, skin disorders, general weakness, and to detoxify the body.
7 cups honey
2 oz. (1/4 cup) Sarsaparilla extract
4 ½ cups warm water
To make the syrup, dissolve honey and sarsaparilla in very warm water and stir until thoroughly blended. Add 2 tablespoons of the syrup to sparkling water and drink.
Reference: Food for the Health and Healing Based on the teachings of Yogi Bhajan
The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
According to the American Council on Exercise, many people are ditching their desk chairs and sitting on the big exercise balls instead. Some advocates call it “active sitting.” Some benefits of sitting on the ball may be improving posture and working core muscle groups. Sitting on the ball also requires people to change positions frequently which may help alleviate the discomfort of prolonged sitting.
One side benefit for ball sitters is that they can actively bounce a little on the ball while sitting and create some good lymphatic movement throughout the body. But researchers remain skeptical of ball sitting at work as opposed to sitting in a conventional chair. So don’t pitch that old desk chair yet. Using the ball, however, could be a novel way to escape boredom and add something new to a daily routine.
Reference: American Council on Exercise
Why Are We Depressed?
Robert Leichtman, M.D. believes that depression is one of the leading causes of disabilities, which can include cancer, heart disease, sluggish hormones and aging.
Dr. Leichtman feels that depression is caused by obsessive concerns, a rigid sense of our role and priorities, and unrealistically high or low expectations of ourselves. He explains a couple things we can adjust in ourselves that would help:
- Stop focusing on the worst aspects of our past, present and future
- Stop fussing about what is wrong, missing or unfair in our lives
In essence, he feels that we can have relief from depression when we minimize low expectations and high demands of ourselves, and stop blaming ourselves for things that should be, could be or would be.
Reference: Youthful Aging-Health Newsletter, Dr. Norm Shealy
Beware of Inflammation
Inflammation seems to be at the heart of many diseases and dysfunctions. For all practical purposes, inflammation is the culprit in many pain-related problems like arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, and joint issues, such as knees and shoulders. Counter drugs such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen are normally prescribed for inflammation problems but all of them including most aspirin can have some serious side-effects. Try switching to a more natural approach to dealing with inflammation.
First, allow yourself some time to try the more natural approaches to alleviating inflammation. Do not rush the process. Second, be consistent with these natural therapies and do not expect a quick fix. Many of the natural therapies actually support the healing process while controlling the inflammation.
Reference: Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD
See the “Ask Charoula” section of this newsletter for natural approaches for alleviating inflammation.
Mind, Body, Spirit
This section of our newsletter “Mind, Body, Spirit” will focus on a meditation or visualization per month. It is intended to give the reader a choice of meditation techniques to help with stress reduction and disease prevention. Please try these meditations daily to see how they work for you. Always start with some controlled breathing. Please remember how healing it is to meditate. For more information on meditation and visualization classes email Mary Jo Ruggieri
NOVEMBER MEDITATION: Meditation to Prepare for Earth Traumas
What It Will Do For You
This meditation is for sensitizing yourself to predict and prepare for changes of the earth, such as earthquakes, climatic changes, tidal waves, or any kind of natural phenomenon. Additional benefits are: a) to maintain youthfulness of mind and body; b) to bring health and healing ability; c) to fertilize the brain so you can’t sink into depression; d) to eliminate fatigue and give a constant flow of energy; and e) to make you intuitive and universally sensitive.
How To Do It
Sit straight. Hold your hands near the ribs at the solar plexus level in fists, except for the index fingers, which are straight. Hold the right hand palm down, left hand palm up. Put the right index finger on top of the left index finger, with fingers crossing on the second segment (joint).
Inhale deeply and very slowly (15 seconds) through the nose. Exhale through the puckered mouth (not whistling) forcefully and completely, directing the breath at the tips of the index fingers. (Never do this with a quick breath.) Feel the fingertips getting cold or vibrating.
You may yawn or stretch but keep breathing. Meditate on your own prana carried by your breath. Continue for a maximum of 11 minutes. When you finish meditating, lock the fingers and stretch, as if to pull the fingers apart but keeping them locked.
Reference: Survival kit, Meditations and Exercise for Stress and Pressure of the Times by Yogi Bhajan, complied by S.S. Vekram Kaur Khalsa, edited by Mary Jo Ruggieri, (Hari Kaur)
Essential Herbs: Inflammation
What to do about inflammation is a question that is often asked by many people who suffer from the pain that is associated with its effect. Here are some proven natural approaches that really do help:
- Arnica Gel: a clear gel that can be used frequently on affected areas. Rub generously and repeat as often as needed.
- Castor Oil: a thick oil that should be generously applied to the affected area. After applying the oil, cover area with plastic. A heating pad may be used to help absorption.
- Bio-Freeze: an excellent substitute for ice. It lasts a long time and has a hot/cold interaction.
General Herbs and Enzymes
- Digestive Enzymes: best to get a brand that has a mixture of enzymes
- Bromelain: also a digestive enzyme from pineapple; extremely effective; take as recommended on bottle
- Ginger: helps with osteoarthritis inflammation and may be taken as a tea
- Tumeric: also very effective; can be sprinkled over salads, soups, and/or taken as a tablet
- Boswellia: one of the most effective for inflammation; has been extensively studied and can also be effective for asthma
- Licorice: may be taken as a tea
HiCalcium Tonic Puts calcium, magnesium, iron, and other minerals into your bones the natural way—the way the body can absorb it! Ingredients: Chamomile, Peppermint, Horsetail, Nettles, Alfalfa, Mullein Leaf, Oatstraw, Dandelion Leaves, Chickweed, Red Raspberry, Plantain Leaves, Kelp
Bone & Joint Soother For arthritic joints, aching bones—greater ease of movement. Ingredients: Devil’s Claw, Sarsaparilla, Yucca, White Willow, Meadowsweet, Prickly Ash, Black Cohosh, Barberry, Parsley, Nettles, Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root, Burdock, Red Clover, Siberian Ginseng
Digestive Aid Soothes the lining of the digestive system, feeds the organs which control the process: liver, gallbladder, etc. Ingredients: Marshmallow Root, Licorice, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Fennel, Meadowsweet, Slippery Elm, Chamomile, Peppermint, Valerian, Catnip, Ginger, Alfalfa
For sinus, and general lymphatic clog ups. Ingredients: Cleavers, Calendula, Echinacea, Golden Seal
Cleansing Tonic As the liver is the body’s Master Detoxifier, responsible for the condition of the blood and the function of most other organs, we must keep it in tip-top shape! These herbs are roots or seeds, and get to the bottom of the problem. They nourish and detoxify the liver. Ingredients: Oregon Grape/Dandelion/Burdock and Yellow Dock Roots, Red Clover blossoms, Astragalus, Milk Thistle, Plaintain Seeds, Garlic Cloves, Alfalfa
THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER/PRACTITIONER! INFORMATION IN ANY PART OF THIS NEWSLETTER IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
Health Quotes Of The Day
“Unless we change directions, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” –Chinese Proverb
“When in doubt—breathe.”
The Elemental Cook
The Fall equinox is upon us. Time for gathering the harvest and making our homes warm and comfortable. The nesting experience is at its peak this time of year.
Let’s start with smells (aromatherapy – if you will). Keeping a simmering pan of water with cloves, cinnamon sticks, and orange peels is a wonderful way to make all “the travelers” feel welcome and warm. A teaspoon or two of pure vanilla extract in some water will also do the trick.
Brewing up a “kettle” of warm apple cider is a true winner. Mulling spices are available in most stores – try to stay organic with the cider and the spices. You can also become very creative and make your own mulling spices. I use the peels of 3 oranges, the peels of 2 lemons, 3-4 cinnamon sticks, fresh grated nutmeg (about1/8 of a teaspoon), cloves and allspice. Everybody has a different palate – so rely on your own taste buds for approval.
Put that delicious cider into a thermos and take a beautiful walk through the Metro Parks or the Cuyahoga County National Park. Nothing vibrates the senses more than experiencing this remarkable earth during this wonderful season of transformation. Your ability to awake all of the elements is right outside your door this time of year. Allow yourself this precious gift. Find a beautiful changing oak tree, sit underneath it and mediate. You will find it is very powerful. Here is to the stars of the fall season – The Trees!!!!!
Antonia Rankin, APP
Health Freedom Comes to Ohio
Protect your rights as a consumer to choose the type of healthcare you want. For more information please visit our website at www.ohiohealthfreedom.org, call 614-841-7700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Pam Popper
Gardasil is the new cervical cancer vaccine being touted as the solution for preventing cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer kills about 240,000 women worldwide every year. However, the disease has been sharply reduced since the introduction of the PAP test, which detects pre-cancerous changes in cervical cells, a condition called dysplasia.
Those pre-cancerous lesions are treated in a variety of ways. Women with mild dysplasia are subjected to a procedure in which the cells are “frozen,” while those with moderate dysplasia are subjected to a LEEP conization (loop electrosurigical excision procedure).
Merck’s vaccine works by preventing infection by four of the almost 100 strains of human papilloma virus (HPV), which many medical professionals continue to insist is the cause of cervical cancer.
However, women develop dysplasia for a variety of reasons, and even when HPV is involved, it is not the only factor.
- Elevated levels of estrogen are a causative factor. This can be the result of not consuming enough fiber in the diet (fiber removes estrogen from the body and when the diet does not contain enough of it, estrogen is reabsorbed through the intestinal walls and re-circulated throughout the body); carrying too much body fat; inadequate exercise and too much fat in the diet.
- Taking birth control pills – this causes exposure to synthetic hormones, including estrogen, and also destroys gut flora, which affects immune function and the body’s ability to effectively deal with viruses. This destruction of gut flora can also facilitate the reabsorption of estrogen through the gastrointestinal tract, stimulate the overgrowth of yeasts and other unfriendly organisms, and inhibit absorption of protective nutrients from food.
- Alcohol consumption, which can increase estrogen levels and disturb estrogen metabolism
- Consumption of refined sugar and other processed foods, which can interfere with estrogen metabolism.
So, to buy into the need for this vaccine, one has to accept the idea that the principal reason women develop cervical cancer is HPV, which is not true. And, you have to put aside the fact that even if a woman contracts cervical dysplasia as a result of the factors listed above, with or without HPV, it can generally be reversed through dietary change within a few months. Only a small percentage of women require traditional treatments such as those I’ve described. Women should look at an abnormal PAP test as a sign that their diet and lifestyle are in need of serious adjustment, not a need for more pharmaceutical intervention.
There has been considerable media hype over this vaccine, and no one is paying attention to some of the statements being made that indicate that this may not be the panacea it is being represented to be. On the one hand, Carolyn Runowicz, president of the American Cancer Society, says, “FDA approval of the HPV vaccine, the first vaccine targeted specifically to preventing cancer, is one of the most important advances in women’s health in recent years.” However, she also says, “If women decide to skip screening (for dysplasia) once vaccinated, in 10-20 years we’d actually see an increase in cervical cancer.”
The vaccine is being recommended for girls as young as 9 and women as old as 26. Of course, after approval, the vaccine can be recommended by physicians for women and children of any age.
The panel convened by the Centers for Disease Control will meet June 29 (2006) to decide who will get the vaccine, in part to determine which groups the government will be required to provide vaccines for. The expected recommendation is that all girls between 11 and 13 get the vaccine, and also that the panel will recommend that states make it mandatory.
The vaccine is not recommended for women with bleeding disorders, pregnant women or women who may become pregnant. And, no one who is taking, or who plans to take medication, including over-the-counter medications, should take the vaccine. This is a problem since the vaccine is given in three doses – the second one 2 months after the first and the third 6 months after the first. Merck is establishing a registry to track outcomes of pregnancies since there is no way of knowing if the vaccine ultimately will result in an increase in birth defects.
Side effects include pain, swelling, and itching at the injection site; fever, difficulty breathing, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, myalgia, cough, toothache, malaise, insomnia and nasal congestion.
Merck has no idea how long the vaccine lasts and whether or not a booster shot will be required. The FDA concurs that it cannot vouch for how long the vaccine will remain effective.
Merck has a lot riding on this vaccine – at $120 per injection for a total of $360, it is the most expensive vaccine ever developed. Sales are expected to reach $4 billion by 2010, so I’m sure the company will pull out all of the stops in marketing this product as a must-have for all girls and women under 26. Merck is already working on developing more vaccines for the other types of HPV for which Gardasil is not effective.
So, as you might imagine, I do not recommend the use of this vaccine. Its benefits are dubious, its side effects, particularly in the long term are not well understood, it is expensive, and certainly should not be mandated for young girls. I do recommend the following:
- Conversion to a Wellness Forum-style diet. This includes adequate fiber (45+ grams per day), which will assist in removing estrogen from the body; reduced fat consumption; elimination of dairy products, which will reduce the intake of non-human hormones; consumption of organic animal foods; and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are particularly important since they contain indole-3-carbinole and other phytochemicals that assist in detoxification of estrogen and production of glutathione.
- Inclusion of flax seeds in the diet, which promotes the production of enterolactones, which reduce hormone-dependent cancer risk
- Reduction or elimination of consumption of alcohol
- Exercise – assists in lowering estrogen levels
- Discontinuation of birth control pills
- Restoration of glut flora if damaged by birth control pill use or antibiotic use
- Achieving and maintaining optimal weight and body composition
HPV is a common virus and most women will have some exposure to it. However, a healthy body and well-functioning immune system are the best ways to deal with it; not vaccines, pharmaceutical and surgical intervention.
The Healing Secrets of Homeopathy:
Promoting your body’s internal system of curing itself
by Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP
It is non-toxic, inexpensive, has no side effects and promotes your own body’s internal system of healing. Traditional drugs suppress the symptoms of an illness. But homeopathy, on the assumption that the symptoms are good signs that the body is trying to heal itself, allows these symptoms to help in actually fighting the illness. Is it so strange to believe that if the body is adequately supported it can and will heal itself?
So let’s get this straight–homeopathy will enhance the symptoms of an illness and even put a very diluted dose of the symptoms into your body. How can this possibly be good? Well, remember the polio vaccine added a little of the polio virus into a person’s system to create an immune response to polio. Think of it as like curing like.
In an interview with New Age magazine, George Vithoulkas, the father of modern homeopathy, explained that the similar energy of the homeopathic remedy produces what is called “aggravation.” That means, in the case of a headache or an upset stomach treated with homeopathics, the symptoms get worse before they get better, but by the next day they are finished. Your body in the meantime has built up immunity around the illness and prevents recurring symptoms. Symptoms are a sign that the body is trying to heal.
One population that responds well to homeopathic remedies are children. Dr. Kathleen Jones, a Columbus-based naturopathic medical doctor and chiropractor who specializes in homeopathic healthcare, concurs. She believes that giving strong chemically made drugs to children is unnatural. Children, she says, respond so quickly to every passing influence that using a more gentle approach is needed. This is where homeopathic remedies can help.
Homeopathics, related Jones, often bring a quick response to symptoms with no side effects or interactions and are safe and effective for dealing with childhood illnesses. Children usually display a simple set of symptoms, she continued, which are easy to recognize and easy to treat by choosing the correct remedy. Remedies are used that effectively treat a variety of childhood complaints, including teething, cold and flu, and allergies.
The question of the day would be why are we not using homeopathics more? Why are our pediatricians not aware of the potential benefits, especially for children, of homeopathic remedies? Every major healthcare center in Europe uses homeopathics; they are as popular as they were 100 years ago. There are homeopathic centers and hospitals in Greece, France, Germany, England, Belgium and India. Even the Queen of England and Prince Charles use homeopathics in their primary healthcare. The royal family has a full-time homeopathic physician on staff. This could be the reason for the Queen Mum’s longevity–she lived well past 100 years of age!
Money, I am sure, is the primary motivation behind our “pharmaceutical” approach to even the simplest healthcare problem in this country. Homeopathics, on the other hand, are inexpensive and lend themselves very well to self-care for problems like colds, cough, flu, sinus congestion and sore throats. You see, we can empower ourselves to treat our own minor problems and catch them early before they need medical intervention.
Our medical community is slowly moving toward a broader understanding of herbs, but is still in the dark about homeopathics. The other side of the coin would also include a slight elitist attitude that homeopathics are inferior to drugs or have not been tested enough. But our drug world is only 60 to 70 years old, whereas natural remedies such as homeopathics are hundreds of years old. I don’t believe we have ever had a homeopathic recall!
A quote for today, from R. Leiner’s Affirmations for the Inner Child: “The choices I consider today give me possibilities for tomorrow.” Truly.
May the longtime sun shine upon you.
Reference: Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD
Disclaimer: The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat illness or prescribe any type of medication or treatment. For medical needs, consult your Medical Doctor, Dietitian, or Mental Health Practitioner.