Article of the Month


Using an Integrated and Complementary Approach to Cancer Rehabilitation: Models for a New Millenium (Part II)


Presented by Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP, Director of Ohio Institute of Energetic Studies & Bodywork at the JD Breast Cancer Foundation Benefit, April 2007
Written Material Edited by Fran Kerg, APP, Cranial Sacral Practitioner

Part II – Important Information (see the September 2007 Newsletter for Part I: How to Use CAM)

Researching CAM: Tips from the Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Mark sure you know as much as possible about a particular case of cancer
  • Be fully familiar with the conventional diagnosis and treatment options
  • Evaluate alternative treatments from a number of perspectives
  • Check out personal histories and anecdotal evidence of alternatives
  • Discuss your assessment and decision with your physician
  • Contact a Holistic Health Practitioner who can work with you and your physician

In the case, of cancer, as with other medical problems, it is difficult to obtain advice, referrals or simple information outside of mainstream medicine. Increasingly, patients and caregivers have to do much of the research for themselves. The Internet is an invaluable resource for conduction research. You will find:

  • High quality information resources and databases where you can check out information and perform searches of the literature
  • Lists of publications, professional associations, referral and other services
  • Discussion groups where people swap experiences and anecdotes, much as you might seek the advice of a friend, colleague or family member
  • Advertising pages, where you can find out how to obtain products or the address of specialist clinics

WARNING: Most of the web sites you visit will have disclaimers, warning you to check the information or consult a health care provider. If a site you visit does not have a disclaimer or makes extravagant claims then be very wary of the information given.

Alternative Cancer Therapy websites: These sites are both promotional and informational. Check out the information against a variety of opinions.

Alternative Medicine Digest
Burzynski Research Institute
C.O.S.E: Naessens Home Page
One Peaceful World: Cancer & Diet Information Center
The Max Gerson Memorial Cancer Center

Additional online information

Natural Standard at

Natural Standard is an international research collaboration that aggregates and synthesizes data on complementary and alternative therapies. Using a comprehensive methodology and reproducible grading scales, information is created that is evidence-based, consensus-based, and peer-reviewed, tapping into the collective expertise of a multidisciplinary Editorial Board. The mission of this collaboration is to provide objective, reliable information that aids clinicians, patients, and healthcare institutions to make more informed and safer therapeutic decisions. Natural Standard is widely recognized as one of the world’s premier sources of information in this area.

From the Ohio State University Medical Center website:

Despite the failure to positively prove the efficacy or the presence of subtle energy, the weight of such a huge body of anecdotal and historical evidence is driving continued research into the nature of subtle energies with some interesting results. An extremely sensitive magnetometer called a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) has been claimed to measure large frequency-pulsing biomagnetic fields emanating from the hands of practitioners. In another study, a simple magnetometer measured and quantified similar magnetic fields from the hands of meditators and practitioners of yoga and qi gong. These fields were 1,000 times greater than the strongest human biomagnetic field.

However, there are considerable technical problems in such research. For example, SQUID measurement must be conducted under a special shielded environment. And the connection between electromagnetic field increases and observed healing benefits reported in the current literature is still missing.

Other studies of subtle energies suggested that energy fields from one person can overlap and interact with energy fields of other people. For example, when individuals touch, one person’s electrocardiographic signal is registered in the other person’s electroencephalogram (EEG) and elsewhere on the other person’s body. In addition, one individual’s cardiac signal can be registered in another’s EEG recording when two people sit quietly opposite one another.


Currently, there are eight general CAM journals written for medical practitioners who include clinical trial results. These are available to the public, also and most can be found at public libraries: Complementary Therapies in Medicine (CTM), Complementary therapies in nursing & midwifery, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies from UK; Alternative Medicine Reviews, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine (ATHM), Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) from USA; and Complementary Medicine (CMR) from Switzerland. Of these eight, only two are electronic journals.

Information on results of clinical trials of CAM can be found at the PubMed website.

May the longtime sun shine upon you.

Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP, is the Director of the Ohio Institute of Energetic Studies (Cleveland and Columbus Polarity Schools), which is a state registered school for Polarity Therapy training and Energy Science studies.

Healthy Tidbits


Healthy Eating on a Budget


Believe it or not-it is possible to buy healthy foods and not break your budget. In fact, with these helpful tips, buying healthy foods can actually be less expensive than buying junk food and will save you money:

  • Buy your foods whole – prepared and pre-cut foods cost more
  • Plan ahead – planning and preparing meals ahead of time (freezing some for later) will save you time and money and keep you from high-priced & unhealthy fast food
  • Say “NO” to junk foods – leave the chips, cookies, soda & other snacks in the aisle where they belong
  • Buy fresh – fresh fruits and veggies are usually cheaper than canned, and many can be frozen
  • Buy only what you need – knowing what’s already in the cupboard & fridge, will prevent you from overbuying and also from waste


Safe and Effective Remedies

Facial Scrub
1/2 cup almond meal
Mix to form a thick paste. Scrub face with paste, paying close attention to oily areas where black heads or blemishes occur and being careful to avoid the eye area. Leave on for a few minutes. Remove with warm water and a soft cloth. Leaves skin soft and refreshed.

Facial Softening
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Blend together and spread liberally over the face. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse off with tepid water. Pat dry.

Face Lotion
1 tbsp sweet almond oil
2 tbsp honey
Blend together. This lotion should be used after skin has been thoroughly cleansed. It should be permitted to remain on the skin for about 1/2 hour. Remove it with a soft cloth and tepid water. Following this, apply milk astringent to tone skin.

Reference: Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS. Amazing Honey, Garlic, & Vinegar Home Remedies & Recipes: The People’s Guide to Nature’s Wonder Medicines. The Leader Co., Inc., 1985

The Benefits of Red Tea

Move over, Green tea, there’s a new tea in town. With no calories, no caffeine, vitamin C, 50% more antioxidants than Green tea and better-tasting to boot, Red tea is moving into the spotlight. In some rather exciting studies, Red tea, or Rooibos (Asplathus linearis), has shown strong evidence for positive effects on health.

Several studies have shown that Rooibos:

  • reduces nervousness, allergies, colic in babies
  • has potential benefits to those with cancer, AIDS, allergies and infections
  • reduced signs of aging in the brains of rats
  • helps protect the liver

Rooibos is also non-astringent and does not increase iron absorption as black tea does. With so many health benefits, what more reason do we need to drink Red tea? So, put on the kettle and brew yourself a pot of Red tea!

Reference: C. Norman Shealy, M.D., PhD, Youthful Aging-Health News

Beware of the Smart Spot

In an attempt to jump on the health food bandwagon, PepsiCo has created the Smart SpotTM symbol, branding over 100 foods and beverages as “smart choices” and claiming that this symbol provides a TMquick way to be sure that the products [consumers] are choosing contributing to a healthier lifestyle. (

Colored in a healthy-looking green and surrounded by the phrase “Smart Choices Made Easy,” the official-looking symbol has been placed on products such as Diet Pepsi®, Gatorade®, & Baked! Lay’s®. Many of the products PepsiCo is branding as healthy contain harmful additives such as aspartame, linked to over 90 recorded health problems, and the cancer-causing chemical, acrylamide, according to an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola.

Be an informed consumer. Read package labeling. Do your own research. And most importantly, do not rely on ‘multi-national food giants’, whose responsibility is to shareholders, to tell you what is good for you.


Mind, Body, Spirit

Let’s Meditate


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.


October Meditation: Miracle Bend


What Will It Do For You

This exercise is called “Miracle Bend.” It adjusts the navel point and helps bring an emotional and angry person to calmness. If the spine were bent to 90° and the breath were four times per minute, it would also totally calm you, but it would take a very long time, whereas this exercise takes only a short while. There will be a strong automatic tendency to shake in the posture.

How To Do It

In a standing position with knees and heels together, feet are flat on the ground and angling out to the sides for balance, arms are raised straight overhead close to the ears with the palms facing forward. The thumbs can be locked together.

Keeping the legs straight, bend back from the base of the spine 20°. The head, spine, and arms form an unbroken curve with the arms remaining in a line with the ears.

Hold the posture and keep the breath long, deep and gentle. Continue for 2 minutes. (Look up with eyes and head tipped back)

From this position, very slowly bend forward to the maximum extent keeping the arms straight and close to the ears. (Hands dangle towards floor. Go down as far as you are comfortable.) Inhale and with the breath held in as long as possible, pump the navel point. Then exhale and do the same on the held exhale. Continue this process for 2 minutes.

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


Back-to-School Colds


Ask Charoula

Question:   As soon as my children go back to school, they begin to catch viruses, especially in the upper respiratory tract. They are sneezing and coughing; they get sore throats, headaches, etc. How can we prevent this and what do we do for it herbally speaking?

Answer:  I’d say that part of the problem is a somewhat weakened immune system. It is hard to think of going back to school and the risk of catching germs and viruses when it is hot outside and it is play and vacation time. But the wise thing to do is precisely to look ahead and start building up the system about a month ahead of time.

A tincture of Astralagus and Reishi Mushroom with some Elder Flowers or Berries in it would be a good thing for children. These are understood to be very safe herbs, and they are meant for long-term use. I would suggest starting this regime even at this belated date. Get either a tincture that contains the above herbs or three separate tinctures and mix them together. Give the child about fifteen to twenty drops twice a day, depending on their age.

If a cold or virus has set in already, below is some suggestion of how to confront this situation.

At the very beginning of symptoms, begin giving them Echinacea.

Note: The adult dose is 40 drops every three hours of so for twenty-four hours, reducing after the first day to 40 drops three times a day.

For a child from six to twelve years old, I generally reduce the dosage a little, although the metabolism of a child that age is very fast and whatever they take in usually goes through their system pretty fast. Fifteen to twenty drops is a good dosage for children, but more can be given depending on the weight of the child. The more the weight, the higher you can go with the dose. After 12 years of age, they can go on the adult dosage.

The following tea is good for the Upper Respiratory Tract:
Equal amounts of
Elder flowers
Chamomile flowers
Licorice root
Peppermint leaf

You can purchase the herbs from a reputable health food store, mix equal amounts together ahead of time, and boil 8 oz. Of water and pour over a tablespoon of the mixture, let it sit for half an hour, drain and keep in a glass jar in the refrigerator, Have the child drink half a cup every four hours.

For sore throats, the following is a very good gargle:
1-cup sage tea (prepared as the tea above) with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, pinch of cayenne, some sea salt.
Do this every 1/2 hour, followed by Throat Coat Tea.

You can buy this tea ready made from Traditional Medicinal. Or you can purchase the herbs below and mix them together in the proportions given. Because these are roots and it is harder to get the proprieties out of them, we need to do a different type of preparation: place two tablespoons of the mixture in two cups of cold water in a saucepan, heat and immerse for half an hour, strain, and serve a quarter of a cup at a time.
1 part wild cherry bark
1 part slippery elm
1 part marshmallow root
3-part fennel
1 part ginger
2 parts licorice
Sweeten with cinnamon, orange peel

Try feeding the children some warm Miso soup to warm up their system. Be sure to give lots of Vitamin C.

For sinus problems, try having them cleanse their noses with a Neti Pot, available at our own shop and other health food stores. It is a fun thing to do and it works like a miracle. Follow the instructions on the box.

Also, get some essential oils of Eucalyptus and Tea Tree boil some water on the stove, drop four or five drops of each in it, and have the child do some deep inhalations. Eucalyptus clears the passages and Tea Tress has strong antiviral and antibiotic properties.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Hope this is of help.

– Charoula, Herbalist



Health Quotes Of The Day

“Expectation is a powerful attractive force. Expect the things you want, and don’t expect the things you don’t want.”
–  The Secret

Elemental Foods: The Fire Element

Walnut Beet Salad
My quest to eat live and raw foods continues.

Fortunately this time of year makes this journey very easy and quite fun. The local farmers’ market is a bounty of organic produce. I have noticed that these local farmers are very conscious of how they grow their vegetables and fruits. They use no harmful sprays or insecticides and rotate crops routinely. The whole process of organic farming really intrigues me. I will endeavor to continue to educate myself on this perfect process.

Meanwhile I am giving you another great recipe from my new favorite cookbook – Dining in the Raw. For those of you who live on the west side of Cleveland, take a trip to the new Web of Life, in Westlake, Ohio. They are by far the Mecca for live, raw and vegan foods.

See Athmo or Tom. Tell them Toni sent you!!!

Walnut Beet Salad
1 cup walnuts, chopped (always soak your walnuts before eating them)
4 organic beets, peeled and diced
1 red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh dill, minced
2 stalks organic celery, minced
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
Braggs to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve on a bed of organic sprouts.

Soaking nuts: Simply fill a container with distilled water and place the nut of your choice into that container. Put into the refrigerator and soak overnight. In the morning, drain out the excess water and simply enjoy the nuts. Keep the nuts in the refrigerator.

Antonia Rankin, APP – Energetic Food Awareness

Feldenkrais Method®

The Feldenkrais Method® is an educational system utilizing movement as a vehicle for learning. Specified movement sequences are performed while careful observations are made relating to your sensory-motor experience.

Feldenkrais helps to improve function by developing your sensory-motor intelligence. As you become aware of how you organize your body; graceful, refined patterns of movement emerge. Self-imposed limitations gradually fade and new alternatives in thinking, moving, and acting become available. Subsequently you begin to experience improved posture, effortless movement, and greater freedom and capacity for action.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education?

The Feldenkrais Method is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. With this Method, you can increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. By expanding the self- image through movement sequences, the Method enables you to include more of yourself in your movements. Students become aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities, and learn to move in new ways.

Who Benefits from the Feldenkrais Method?

Everyone can benefit from the Method. The Feldenkrais Method helps those experiencing chronic or acute pain of the back, neck, shoulders, hips, legs, or knees, as well as healthy individuals who wish to enhance their movement abilities. The Method has been very helpful in dealing with central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and stroke. Musicians, actors, and artists can extend their abilities and enhance their creativity. Seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort.

What Happens in a Feldenkrais Method session?

In group Awareness Through Movement® lessons, the Feldenkrais® teacher verbally leads you through a sequence of movements in basic positions: sitting or lying on the floor, standing or sitting in a chair. These precisely structured movement explorations involve thinking, sensing, moving, feeling, and imagining. By increasing awareness, you will learn to abandon habitual patterns of movement and develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility and coordination. Many lessons are based on developmental movements and ordinary functional activities (reaching, standing, lying to sitting, looking behind yourself, etc.). Some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle, and postural relationships. There are hundreds of ATM lessons, varying in difficulty and complexity, for all levels of movement ability. A lesson generally lasts from 30 to 60 minutes.

Private Feldenkrais lessons, called Functional Integration® lessons, are tailored to each student’s individual learning needs. The teacher guides your movements through gentle non-invasive touching and words. The student is fully clothed, lying on a table, or in a sitting or standing position. At times, various props (pillows, rollers, blankets) are used in an effort to support the student, or to facilitate certain movements. The learning process is carried out without the use of any invasive or forceful procedure.

Visit for more information.

Reference: This list of Frequently Asked Questions was originally compiled by Richard Ehrman and the Feldenweb Committee, 1996.

News on Health Freedom

Health Freedom Comes to Ohio

Protect your rights as a consumer to choose the type of healthcare you want. For more information please visit the website at Ohio Sunshine Health Freedom.

PHONE: 937-981-2924

Educate others about this topic: Brochure

Heidi’s Fact Finders

Coping with Fall Allergies

Sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and sniffling. Allergies aren’t just limited to springtime and these days just about everybody, it seems, suffers from some sort of allergy. Common triggers of fall allergy symptoms can include mold, ragweed and dust mites. According to Konrad Kail, N.D. in the book Allergy Free these agents only function as catalysts. For underlying causes we need to examine “dietary and lifestyle factors that break down [the] immune system and barrier defenses.” Specifically he refers to “genetic susceptibility, some child-rearing practices, barrier function default, and toxic overload” as important factors responsible for both the development and continuation of allergies, intolerance and sensitivities. He also points out that some experts believe allergies are a last-ditch effort by the body to eliminate toxins.

Getting to the root of allergies and sensitivities requires a bit of detective work, a thorough patient history, testing for triggers and testing for causes. Allergy Free does an excellent job of summarizing the testing process and covers conventional, alternative and self-administered tests.

Treatments may include conventional drug treatment, environmental control, therapeutic diets, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathic and physical therapies. The NAET system, based on kinesiology, chiropractic and acupuncture/acupressure, receives mention in numerous articles and books. Mind/body approaches to allergies are also very important because of the role stress plays in weakening the body’s immune system. Results of a 2002 study, (Kennedy, Morris and Schwab) indicate a correlation between panic disorder and allergies, with 72 % of the panic disorder subjects also testing positive for allergies.

Self care therapies such as yoga, guided imagery, aromatherapy or juice therapy may also be helpful. Consult with your doctor or licensed health care professional to develop a personalized plan for allergy relief. The resources listed below can help you find practitioners specializing in the treatment of allergies.

Resources and References

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

American Academy of Environmental Medicine

American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Gormley, James J. (May 1999) An Ayurvedic approach to allergies Better Nutrition.
Accessed Sept. 6, 2007.

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (some articles available online)

Kail, Konrad, N.D. and Bobbi Lawrence. (2000). Allergy Free: An alternative medicine definitive guide. Tiburon, CA. Books.

Kennedy, B., Morris, R., & Schwab, J. J. (2002). Allergy in panic disorder patients: a preliminary report(1). General Hospital Psychiatry, 24(4), 265-268.

Miller, Sheryl B. IgG Food Allergy Testing by ELISA/EIA What do they really tell us? Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. Accessed Sept. 6, 2007 BetterHealth USA.

NAET. Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique

National Center for Homeopathy

Sears, Malcolm R. and Johnston, Neil W. (2007) Understanding the September asthma epidemic. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 120(3), 526-529. – An Ayurvedic approach to allergies

Contact me if you would like to read any of these articles and don’t have access to them. And don’t forget to send me your research questions. What health-related stumpers are you running into or what would you like to know more about?

Heidi Beke-Harrigan is an APP and an academic librarian specializing in nursing, counseling and consumer health research. She teaches workshops, conducts research and provides individualized coaching. She can be reached at or

The Hearts of Women

The heart is an organ of equal, if not greater importance than the brain. The heart’s electro-magnetic currents is actually much stronger than that of the brain. Traditional Chinese Medicine, suggests that the heart is the organ where Shen, our psychospiritual being, resides. The heart stores spirit.

Orthodox medicine is finding that the heart is an intricate network of neurons and neurotransmitters similar to those found in the brain. This makes the heart able to act independently of the brain, to learn, remember, feet and sense. More importantly, the heart has its own hormone, oxytocin, which we know as the “love” or bonding hormone.

A recent study has shown that women deal with stress differently then men. Women’s heart s also act differently than men’s hearts. Slowly the medical community is beginning to respond to this difference by designing specific research applicable to women.

While women pay attention to statistics telling us that breast cancer is the number one killer of women, few realize that the overall number one killer of women is heart disease. This happens because most women’s heart attacks are “silent.” The symptoms are not acute chest pain as in men, but a dull, aching discomfort which comes and goes with no apparent explanation, which is often misdiagnosed as gastrointestinal problems. It is vital that women, especially post-menopausal women, be aware of the uniqueness of their heart and of the hidden dangers surrounding its health.

According to Dr. Christine Northrup, there is much a woman can do to decrease her risk of a heart attack. “I’ve come to believe,” she says, “that the best way to protect the heart is to live with passion and joy. Being involved with others’ keeps our hearts youthful and strong.

The theory that reduced estrogen levels are the cause of heart disease in women has never been adequately proven. Recent studies show that estrogen replacement not only does not protect the heart but may also endanger it. Dr. Northrup tells us that heart disease is associated with eating refined foods and high fat diet, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Avoiding the Risk of Serious Heart Conditions

– Avoid foods high in saturated fats. Eat a variety of foods and in moderation.
– Increase intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, flaxseed oil. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce triglycerides.
800 IU of Vitamin E. Low levels of vitamin E have been implicated in heart attacks.
5,000 IU of Beta Carotene and 1500 mg (in 3 doses) of Vitamin C, both excellent antioxidants.
Do not smoke or inhale second-hand smoke.
Minimize stress. Avoid chronic stress. Meditate daily. Chronic stress may elevate blood pressure levels.
Get plenty of sleep…8 hours or more nightly. Maintain a consistent schedule for bedtime.
Engage in a total of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, most days of the week. Activity can be split into 10 minute increments.
Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.<br> – Maintain an ideal body weight.
Control your blood glucose level, especially if you have diabetes.
60 mg of CoEnzyme Q10. This antioxidant enhances the heart’s pumping and electrical functioning and improves its energy production.
– Add 400 mcg of Folic Acid & B vitamins to your diet.
400-800 mg Magnesium is essential to the proper functioning of the heart muscle.
2,000-5,000 mg of Potassium may help to control high blood pressure.
Calcium may help to lower stress and high blood pressure. It is nature’s own tranquilizer.
– To avoid conflicts with medications prescribed by your personal physician or adverse reactions, always check with your physician.

Reference: Charoula Dontopoulos, RPP

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.