Cold and Flu Prevention It Never Hurts To State The Obvious

sick-in-bed-man     sick-in-bed-child   foot-soak-thermometer

 

 

 

 

 

 

No one is immune to the misery of a bad cold or flu, once caught. So the best defense is prevention. Everything about cold and flu prevention is quite simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to do, because it takes vigilance. You have to stay on it.We tend to run on automatic pilot for most of our day and are often unconscious of the little things we do that invite those pesky germs to set up shop. What follows is something I found online at lifescript.com that may help you stay healthy this season.

In my opinion, #9-Sound Sleep is way too far down on the list. Sleep is so much more important than our culture realizes. To my mind, you can’t value it highly enough. It is THE thing that restores our energy.

Also, stay hydrated (#4). It makes a big difference. And there are two  tips they left out that are very important. I added them at the bottom.

Top 10 Cold and Flu Busters – How to Stay Well Through Winter

The common cold or the flu can run you down for weeks. And the worst part is that life doesn’t stop while you’re home sipping chicken soup. Chores, errands and work pile up, and playing catch-up is the last thing you’ll want to do once you feel better. Upward of one billion colds plague Americans from October to March each year. But you don’t have to be one of them. Keep yourself out of the infirmary with these 10 tips for the cold and flu season…

1. Don’t Touch
Keep your hands off any possible germ-infested surface (which accounts for just about everything), and off your face. Direct contact with a sick person, such as touching or kissing, is the #1 way germs are transmitted. Eighty percent of colds are spread by direct contact.

Indirect contact, such as handling a doorknob that a sick person has touched (unbeknownst to you), and then spreading it to your face by touching your mouth, nose or eyes, is another common way germs travel from person to person.

It’s impossible to stop touching everything, but you should be mindful of where your hands have been. Wash your hands regularly and don’t touch your own mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) after handling people or objects.

natural-prevention2. Wash Up
Proper hand-washing is especially important during the cold and flu season. But according to a 2007 study by the American Society for Microbiology and The Soap and Detergent Association, only 77% of men and women wash their hands in public bathrooms. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that hand-washing is the single most important prevention step for reducing disease transmission.

Any time you use the bathroom, wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 15 seconds (the time it takes to sing the ABCs).

After washing, don’t touch the faucet, paper towel dispenser knob or door handle on the way out. Use your forearms or elbows to turn off the faucet and to dispense paper. Carry your used paper towel to the bathroom exit and use it to open the door, throwing the towel into the garbage afterward.

3. Stop Stressing
You’ve heard it once, you’ll hear it twice: Stress not only negatively affects your mental health, but it affects your physical health, too.

Stress raises cortisol levels, which weakens the immune system. And to compound that stress, people tend to make poor choices when it comes to eating, exercising and sleeping when they feel strained, further weakening the immune system. Add that to the fact that two stressful holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas – fall during the cold and flu season, and it’s no wonder you get sick.

Stress is an inevitable fact of life, but you can counteract it by finding a balance and learning to unwind. Whether it’s exercising, journaling, repeating positive affirmations, or hanging out with family and friends, whatever helps you de-stress, do it often. Incorporate some peace and relaxation into every day.

4. Fundamental Fluids
Drink up! Downing eight 8-ounce glasses of water should be part of your regular routine every day, but especially during cold and flu season. Water is used by every cell in your body and is essential for flushing out toxins and germs.

If water isn’t your beverage of choice, find ways to make it more appealing and flavorful. Have fresh-cut lemon or lime wedges on hand, or purchase flavored or sparkling water at the grocery store. Always have a reusable container of water with you, too.

Hot tea is also a good way to take in more water. Not only is it soothing in the cold winter months, but hot tea (especially peppermint flavors) can help clear nasal congestion and open your airways.

balanced-diet5. Eat Well
Now isn’t the time to indulge in the heavier, hearty meals we gravitate to during fall and winter. Your food choices impact your immune system, and nutrient-rich foods will keep it healthy and happy.

A healthy immune system is your best defense against pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and carcinogens that make you ill. Immune cells are found throughout your body – in your tonsils, lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow. By focusing on nutrient-rich foods instead of high-calorie, sugary or fatty foods such as cookies, fried chicken, or donuts, you can help ward off illness.

The best foods to include in your diet are:

•    Omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon, herring and mackerel
•    Low-fat yogurt
•    Nuts and seeds
•    Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit
•    Vitamin-rich vegetables, such as leafy greens, tomatoes, broccoli, and sweet potatoes
•    Lean protein,  found in chicken, fish, tofu, eggs and low-fat dairy foods
•    Garlic and onion

6. Antioxidants
Some of the best antioxidants for keeping you healthy are vitamin A, C and E.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a disease-fighting antioxidant and immune-system booster. It helps prevent and fight infections by regulating the immune system that makes white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. Vitamin A may help lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell that fights infections) function more effectively. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 4,000 IU daily for women and 5,000 IU daily for men.

Preformed vitamin A is found in animal foods such as eggs, whole milk and liver, and in fortified foods such as breakfast cereals. Provitamin A carotenoids, like beta-carotene, are abundant in dark-colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, leafy greens, cantaloupe, broccoli, squash, sweet potatoes, and peas.

Vitamin C
Your immune system relies heavily on this vitamin for proper functioning. Studies have shown that vitamin C helps shorten the duration and intensity of colds, as well as help fight respiratory infections.

The RDA for vitamin C is 60 mg a day for both men and women. Many experts believe that taking up to 200 mg a day is most beneficial. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, dark greens, kiwi, red peppers, and strawberries.

Vitamin E
While not as well-known an immune booster as vitamin C, Vitamin E promotes the production of B-cells that produce antibodies and destroy harmful bacteria. The RDA for women is 8 mg or 12 IU per day, and 10mg or 15 IU daily for men. Higher doses, in the 400-800 IU per day range, are used for full antioxidant effects. Taking vitamin C along with vitamin E may enhance its antioxidant power.

7. Minerals
One of the most important and popular minerals in beating the cold and flu season is zinc. This mineral is required for the production and activation of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that is involved in battling infections. Without these T-cells, the immune system can become overwhelmed with bacteria or viruses that it cannot fight off.

Zinc empowers the immune system to wipe out infections and can help shorten a cold’s duration by destroying the virus that is at the back of the throat. Most effective is sucking on sugar-free zinc lozenges every two hours from the very start of the cold.

The RDA for zinc is 12 mg for women and 15 mg for men. Protein-rich foods are high in zinc. These include red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, whole grains, and fortified breakfast cereals. Almonds are also a terrific vegetarian source of zinc; just four ounces can supply half the RDA for women. However, don’t overload on too much of a good thing. Excess amounts of zinc (80 mg or more per day) can actually make women more susceptible to urinary tract infections.

8. Get Fit
It’s true: People who exercise regularly are less likely to get sick. In fact, studies have shown that exercising daily and maintaining a healthy body weight bolsters your immune system and helps your body fight infection.

Daily exercise, whether a walk after dinner or a kickboxing class at the gym, also keeps your stress levels in check and promotes a better night’s rest. However, too much exercise can have the opposite effect. If you’re a serious athlete, don’t forget to include rest days in your fitness routine to give your body a break.

Cold weather is no reason to take up residence on your sofa. Try indoor activities like lifting free weights or doing an exercise video in your living room. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

zzz-cartoon-moon9. Sound Sleep
The days get shorter, but it’s still difficult to get the eight hours of sleep a night that experts recommend. However, during the cold and flu season, getting enough zzzs is especially important. If you’re sleep-deprived, you’re more susceptible to getting sick. You need the strength you get from rest to help you fight off a cold or flu. Plus, a lack of sleep makes you tired, cranky and unproductive. As a result, you get stressed out, further breaking down your immune system.

Develop an evening routine to help you bed down easier. Turn off all distractions like TV and the computer long before you’re ready to fall asleep. Avoid late-night exercise, caffeinated drinks and food close to bedtime. Keep your room dark and at a comfortably cool temperature.

10. Get Vaccinated
If you really want to maximize your odds of avoiding the flu, get vaccinated. The CDC reports that the U.S. has produced the most doses of the vaccine ever this year.

Flu season begins in October and can last through May. While experts recommend getting vaccinated in October or November, you can still do it in December or later. The flu vaccine is recommended for people at high risk of developing serious flu complications: children under 5 years old, pregnant women, people over the age of 50, and people in contact with those who are at high risk. Of course, anyone can get vaccinated.

The vaccine is available as a shot or a nasal-spray. Its effectiveness depends on the age and health status of the person, as well as the similarity between the virus strains and the strains in circulation.

The other two things that greatly enhance your cold and flu prevention efforts are:

  • Close the lid before you flush the toilet. You would not believe the amount of spray that goes out into the bathroom when you flush a toilet. That spray is loaded with germs. Loaded! So close the lid first, then flush.
  • Get regular shiatsu. It boosts your immune system in a major way. That’s not a plug. It’s a legitimately researched and documented fact. Check it out.

http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2004/may/05amaro.html

http://www.acupressure.com/articles/colds_and_flu.htm

http://www.chinesefootreflexology.com/how-to-get-rid-of-a-cold-fast-with-chinese-reflexology-points/

 

My Favorite Pumpkin Bread From Downeast Maine

loaf-a-pumpkin

I was a little surprised at how many more people clicked on the recipes I included in my last newsletter – and how many took the time to email and let me know how much they liked them – so I decided to do one more. Enjoy!

As a rule, I don’t really enjoy baking. Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at it. I rarely have an urge for bread, cake or pie, but when I do, I’ll buy it rather than bake it. But one day I did have an urge – for pumpkin bread, in particular. I have no idea why I wanted to make it, but I found myself searching recipes on the web, and one of them sounded really good to me. I even ended up reading the comments of people who had tried it and had added this and that.

I chose the measurements and ingredients that appealed to me and went to work. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily it came together. [I am notoriously slow in the kitchen, so this made a big impression]. And it turned out great. This pumpkin bread always turns out great. I’ve given it to many friends and it’s always a hit.

One of the extra added treats of making pumpkin bread in your own kitchen is how good it smells. It fills the whole house and you get the pleasure of that exquisite aroma for hours afterwards. And let’s not forget your taste buds. They get their full measure of delight, as well!

golden-raisins

According to Laurie Bennett: “This is a great old Maine recipe, moist and spicy. The bread actually tastes even better the day after it is baked. Great for holiday gift giving!”

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I prefer 1/2 veg oil, 1/2 apple sauce)
  • 2/3 cup water (I like to substitute orange juice for the water)
  • 3 cups white sugar (I use 1C brown sugar, and a little less than 2C white sugar)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • may add 1 tsp vanilla (if you like, but, honestly, it is just as good without it)
  • pecans (they’re optional, but for me, they are what really make this pumpkin bread so good)

Directions
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3, or two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
2.    In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
3.    Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

This was my first attempt at pumpkin bread, and I love this recipe! The combination and measurements of the spices are perfect. I have used 2 (8×4) pans, instead of the 3 (7×3), and both sizes work. You may need a little extra baking time with the larger pans.

I brought the extra loaf to a neighbor, and they finished it in one day. Yeah. It’s GOOD!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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May you find it easy to count your blessings this year, and always.

I want to say a big THANK YOU for being a blessing to me!

 

How Shiatsu Can Positively Enhance Your Life About Shiatsu & A Case Study Explored

lindy1Shiatsu, meaning “finger pressure,” is the practice of applying thumbs, fingers, palms or feet to pressure points, or meridians, as they’re called in ancient Asian medicine. Aside from the pressing, this type of treatment also focuses on stretching limbs and opening joints. As a type of healing therapy, it produces an effect of deep relaxation, increases energy levels and brings a state of balance to the body, among many other things. As several clients say, it helps them feel more “grounded, centered and self-aware.”

Shiatsu is a practice based on the traditions of ancient Asian medicine. The theory behind Shiatsu is that our bodies are made up of energy, called Qi, and this energy can get blocked and cause suffering within the body and mind. Shiatsu helps to remove blockages by clearing channels and acupoints, which balances the Qi and eases the body and mind. When Qi is balanced, healing occurs. The applied pressure stimulates both the nervous and immune systems, providing relief, while also restoring the circulatory system, improving blood flow.

lindy2A current client, named Christina G., has been receiving Shiatsu for approximately 18 months, at a rate of once every two to four weeks. At the start of her treatments, Christina was seeking the following:

  • Regularity in her menstrual cycle,
  • An increase in energy and stamina,
  • A decrease in daily anxiety and stress, and
  • An improved awareness and connection to her intuition.

Here are the results she experienced over the course of the first few months working together and then ongoing over the last 18 months:

  • Menstrual Cycle: Christina experienced better regularity and less blood clotting in the first few months of treatment. Within four months, she experienced a brighter, healthier color of blood and better flow in general, which she hadn’t experienced in years.
  • Energy and Stamina: Christina experienced more energy immediately following each treatment along with a “sense of calm and strength” that would endure for several days following treatment. In conjunction with her bi-weekly meditation and daily supplementation, she has experienced an increase in energy and stamina over the last 18 months and “it continues to improve everyday.”
  • Anxiety and Stress: Within the first few treatments, Christina experienced less anxiety and stress in her daily life. She also worked to manage her anxiety and stress on her own based on suggested exercises and regular reassessments, including identifying areas for
  • Intuition: After the first year of treatment, Christina wanted to connect to and be more aware of her intuition. In each session we reviewed progress she made, and feedback in the form of exercises was given for further improvement. She now says she “feels more connected to her intuition and is now able to look inside for answers to questions and for direction.”

lindy6Christina G. experienced the benefits of Shiatsu in every area that she was seeking assistance and vitality. It is through client experiences like these that Shiatsu proves time and time again to be a viable and effective treatment for those experiencing many types of mental or physical suffering. What once began as a treatment for simple muscular tension when it was first introduced to Western medicine has become something much more integrative. The benefits of Shiatsu have become more apparent, and it is now used for treating a variety of ailments and issues. These include the following:

  • Overall Weakness & Fatigue: Shiatsu can restore and maintain the body’s energy, helping those who suffer from overall weakness and fatigue.
  • Muscle Pain and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Shiatsu is frequently used to alleviate the muscle and joint pain associated with arthritis.
  • Injury Recovery: Shiatsu can aid in the recovery from sprains, fractures and other injuries.
  • Migraine Headaches: Shiatsu helps relieve headaches and migraines by relaxing the body and increasing blood flow and circulation throughout.
  • A Stiff Neck & Back: Shiatsu can reduce problems with the neck, shoulders and back, including sciatica.
  • Stress: Shiatsu can do wonders for a body and mind that is stressed. It can reduce stress and tension as well as anxiety and depression.
  • Reproductive Issues: Shiatsu can be used to aid women during their monthly cycles, especially to alleviate menstrual cramps and regulate blood flow.
  • Pregnancy: Shiatsu has been known to help women in labor and also to help babies turn in the womb. It can also help ease morning sickness and swelling.
  • Circulatory System: Shiatsu can help to improve circulation throughout the body, improving blood flow.
  • Digestive Disorders: By allowing food to digest more easily and aid in the elimination of waste, Shiatsu can benefit and improve your digestive system.
  • Skin: Shiatsu can stimulate circulation in the soft tissues of the skin, helping to keep skin soft and moist. This can in turn can give the skin a glow and prevent wrinkling.
  • Immune Support: Shiatsu can reduce the severity and frequency of coughs and colds, along with other sinus and respiratory problems.
  • Combines with other treatments: Shiatsu works well with other treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, chemotherapy, herbs and supplements.

lindy4A shiatsu treatment can last anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. It can be administered on a padded mat on the floor or on a massage table. Typically, the treatment begins with gentle stretching and pressing to relax the muscles and stimulate the flow of energy. Depending on the needs of the person receiving the massage, it can be very gentle and calming or used with high pressure. However, it should never be painful. For more information regarding Shiatsu and to receive a treatment, contact Lindy Ferrigno here.

PEARS – THE SUPER FRUIT Prevent Colds & Flus

3-in-a-blue-bowl

Pears are the super fruit of Asia and around the world. They have been called the “gift of the gods” and were presented as a delicacy at some points in history. They are rich in Vitamins C and K, and hold powerful nutrients and minerals. They are known to have healing attributes for many ailments, especially coughs, colds and flus.

According to Cheryl Murphy, “Pears add approximately 3 grams of water, non-soluble fiber to the diet. The fiber binds to unwanted toxins and bacterium in the colon and leads the way out of the body, reducing the onset of heart disease, cancer and Type-2 Diabetes. Pears reduce cholesterol due to the fiber involved.

 

9-benefits

“The pear works as an anti-inflammatory in the respiratory system. The pear helps maintain moisture in the lungs. Pears, due to their sour properties, help eliminate phlegm. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, when the lungs take in dry, pathogenic factors, then the intestines, plus other areas of the body, get involved. The pear is a cooling food that prevents lung damage and adds moisture to the lungs and prevents bacteria.

“Colds and coughs usually find their way into the body from August through April when humidity levels drop in the air. A cold or cough within the body is usually the body’s way of saying that it needs to rid excess toxins, waste and bacteria overgrowth. Over 66 million Americans catch colds per year and catching a cold in the Fall usually signifies the lungs are being challenged. If a cough is present, the body is trying to release unwanted toxins to cleanse itself. There is usually an energy imbalance or stagnation, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is better to harmonize with the body than to fight it. You can help the body to bring harmony and balance on its own, and speed the recovery process, with diet and natural remedies. Adding pears to the diet, especially in the Fall, can boost immunity, release toxins and deliver all that is needed to keep colds and coughs away.”

 

Here are some easy recipes that you can enjoy this season and boost your immune system in the process!

 

PEAR REMEDY
Pears hold precious cooling compounds to energize the lungs, keeping the area moist and free of bacteria.

cored-peeled-halvedStewed Sweet Pears
2 pears, peeled and sliced                                        4 cups water
1 tablespoon honey

Boil the pears and honey in water for about 30 minutes. Drink while hot.

 

EASY PEAR SAUCE
Pear Sauce is easy to make and is delicious served plain. It is also great as a topping for pancakes, waffles, and toast (for a real treat, spread the toast with almond butter under the pear sauce and top with blueberries). Try spooning it over ice cream for desert.
This recipe yields about 4 cups.

Ingredients:
8-10 pears; peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces (I use Bartlett)
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pear-sauceDirections:
1. Combine pears, water, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pears have softened, about 25-30 minutes.
2. Use an immersion blender to process the pear sauce until smooth. If you prefer a chunky pear sauce, mash with a potato masher. You can also transfer the cooked pear mixture to a food processor or blender to process, just make sure the pear sauce has cooled down.
3. Once the pear sauce has cooled down, pour into glass or plastic containers. Cover and store in the refrigerator. The pear sauce will keep in the fridge for one week. You can also freeze or can the pear sauce.

 

Here’s one from Chef Nick Stellino that’s a little more elegant, but still uncomplicated. 

PEARS IN RED WINE SAUCE – Pere al Vino Rosso
Serves 4
Ingredients:
4 large pears, peeled and cored
2 cups red wine
1 cup sugar

poached-in-wine

Instructions:
Cut a small slice from the bottom of each of the pears so they will stand up straight in the saucepan without falling over. In a saucepan large enough to hold the pears, bring the wine and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring well. Once the mixture reaches a boil, cook for 3 more minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and gently place the pears, standing up, into the saucepan, being careful not to splash yourself with the hot wine-and-sugar mixture.

Place the pan back on the stove and cook the pears over medium-low heat—15 to 20 minutes for a firm texture or 30 to 40 minutes for a softer texture—braising the pears with the wine-and-sugar mixture every 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the pears stand in the wine sauce until they reach room temperature. Use a slotted spoon to transfer each of the pears to a dessert dish, and top with plenty of the wine sauce.

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CHEF’S NOTE: For an elegant presentation, serve the pears with sweet whipped cream or whipped mascarpone cheese, and top with toasted chopped pistachio nuts.

MEDICINES ARE IN YOUR KITCHEN Cooking With Antibiotic Culinary Herbs

cooking-herbs

Autumn has arrived with its promise of beauty. Oh, those amazing colorful leaves against exquisitely clear blue skies! But the change of seasons also comes with health challenges. Changes in the weather cause some measure of difficulty for our immune systems. Plus, the kids are back in school. That means exposure to germs and illness. And we become more vulnerable to catching a cold or flu. What can we do to protect ourselves and our families?

 

health-benenfits

One thing that makes a lot of sense is to eat foods and herbs that have natural antibiotic qualities. We know that people have an increased resistance to pharmaceutical antibiotics these days. There is a wise response to this fact. And it is such an easy course of action to take. All we have to do is use foods and herbs as medicines when we cook. They can act as remedies when we are sick. And, more importantly, they promote the prevention of our most common health conditions.

 

healing-herbs

Many herbs have antibiotic properties and other health benefits. Below, you will find a list of herbs that you can use on a daily or weekly basis. They taste good. They support and strengthen your immune function. You will enjoy both the added flavor and better health. So go ahead and cook with them this Fall!

Here are some excellent herbs to use, in no special order. BON APPETIT!

  • allspice
  • ginger
  • thyme
  • various mints
  • basil
  • cinnamon
  • sage
  • chervil
  • rosemary
  • lemon balm
  • oregano
  • cumin
  • tarragon
  • cloves
  • bay leaf
  • chili peppers
  • marjoram
  • caraway seed
  • coriander
  • dill, nutmeg
  • cardamom
  • pepper
  • anise
  • fennel
  • mustard
  • parsley
  • turmeric

For a couple of good seasonal recipes, one sweet and one savory, click here.

 

AN APPLE A DAY ~ YUM! IT KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY, TOO

a-painting

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We all know this saying from childhood. So what exactly are those benefits? Research has come up with quite a few interesting facts. What they have discovered just may inspire you to eat more apples!

 

apple-benefits

  1. An apple is high in fiber, pectin, flavonoids and antioxidants, which fight disease.
  2. Fiber regulates the water balance in your colon. This balance prevents constipation and diarrhea. Fiber pulls water out to keep things moving when you’re backed up. And it absorbs excess water from your stool when you need to slow your bowels down. Added benefits are prevention of hemorrhoids and neutralization of  irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  3. The pectin in an apple lowers LDL cholesterol (the “bad” one). Eating 2 apples a day could lower your cholesterol by as much as 16%.
  4. Many cancers are helped by apples. In a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50% lower risk of developing lung cancer. A study on rats at Cornell University showed that rats that ate an apple a day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17%. Three apples a day reduced their risk by 39%. And six apples a day reduced it by 44%. One study showed that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 43% lower risk of colon cancer. Other research shows that the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. Still other studies found that rats fed an extract from apple skins showed a 57% reduced risk of liver cancer.
  5. Weight loss – A Brazilian study showed that women who ate three apples or pears a day lost more weight while dieting than those who did not eat fruit while dieting.

sliced-stacked

 

SO! . . . ADD AN APPLE A DAY TO YOUR DIET!!!

Here are a couple of delicious recipes for you to try.                         Bon Appetit!

 

APPLES WITH PINE NUTS AND GOLDEN RAISINS

  • INGREDIENTS                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • 9 apples, peeled and cut in bite-size chunks                                                                                                                                          
  • 2 packages pine nuts                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • 1 package golden raisins
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  •  sugar to taste                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • fresh cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

    DIRECTIONS

    • Place cubed apples in saucepan in approximately 1 inch water. Bring to boil. 
    • Reduce heat and add all other ingredients except pine nuts.
    • Simmer approximately 30-45 minutes. 
    • Remove from heat. Toss in pine nuts.
    • May be served hot, warm or chilled.

 

w-cinnamon-in-bowl

SOME OF MY PERSONAL TOUCHES

~ Try a variety of apples, like Pink Lady, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, cooked together etc.

~ To me, it tastes better when you don’t peel the apples.

~ Honey, instead of sugar, is a delicious alternative.

~ Include cloves and allspice with the spices. Remove them before serving.

~ This dish makes a tasty desert – either alone, over ice cream, or with certain cakes (like sponge, pound, lemon, etc.).

~ I love it on toast for breakfast – sometimes with mascarpone or cream cheese, sometimes with banana slices, but mostly just alone. It’s wonderful mixed into a bowl of oatmeal, too. I’m sure you’ll find your own new favorite ways to serve it to friends and family.

 

APPLE ONION SAUTE 

This is a quick savory-sweet accompaniment for your favorite meat. If you are in the mood for a bit of a twist, use Bermuda onions and Idared apples for an attractive pink presentation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium firm New York State (or similar) apples, cored and sliced
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. marjoram
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat the butter in large skillet. Add the onions and apples.
  • Saute over medium heat until tender.
  • Season with marjoram, salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon juice.

 

SERVE HOT WITH CHICKEN BREASTS,

PORK CHOPS, AND OTHER MEATS.

 

                                                                                                                                 

 

 

Here’s a short video: 4 Ways To Add Apples To Your Diet

CHAKRAS 101

Chakras are vibrational wheels, or globes, of energy located within and without various areas of the body.  Their purpose is to organize and regulate your energy.  Chakras receive, assimilate and transmit the life force that is in you.  When you increase the power of your chakras’ vibrations, you upgrade the quality of your cellular intelligence.  You amplify the energy that improves health and happiness, and you build mental strength and spiritual fitnessChakra Development usually results in a renewed zest for life and a sense of inner sturdiness.  You acquire an elegant map for revitalizing your body and mind and making them compatible.  It is a way to enjoy your reality and blend it with your developing spiritual nature.  It prepares the way for a gentle opening of consciousness and gives you a new view of your life and world.

The 1st, or Root Chakra is located at the floor of the pelvis, which is at the base of the tailbone, and is associated with the adrenals.  It represents stability, life, and existence itself.  It helps ground our spiritual nature onto the material plane.  The more you ground yourself, the greater your chance of developing into the person you would like to become, and of making your dreams real.  This first level of personal and spiritual development bestows the right ‘to be’ and ‘to have.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of loving and taking care of yourself, your body and your physical needs.  It spins clockwise.

The 2nd, or Navel Chakra is located all around the navel, and is associated with the gonads (ovaries and testicles).  It develops your sense of boundary and enables you to understand what will enhance and enrich your life. It represents love, perception, sensitivity and protection.  At this level, extra-sensory awareness begins to develop, and you learn how to feel the world from the viewpoint of another.  This second level of development bestows the right ‘to feel’ and to pursue gratification.  It entrusts you with the responsibility of caring about others as yourself (see First Chakra responsibility).  It spins counterclockwise.

The 3rd, or Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the solar plexus, just below the ribs, and is associated with the pancreas.  It represents hope, justice and fairness.  It gives you your self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, decision-making ability and personal power.  Developing this chakra allows you to make satisfying and healthy relationships.  This chakra bestows the right to act.  The responsibility of the Third Chakra is self-acceptance and the duty to love not only another, but to have best wishes for your associations, societies and communities.  It spins in the direction of a wheel rolling backwards.

The 4th, or Heart Chakra is located in the center of the chest at the heart area, and is associated with the thymus gland.  It represents peace, faith and compassion.  It brings you into unity and kinship with the entire universe.  It expands your love and understanding to the point of accepting the entire world.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to love and be loved.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of loving all of creation as though it were you (refer to the responsibility of the Root Chakra).  The Fourth Chakra spins in the same direction as the Third Chakra, like a wheel rolling backwards.

The 5th, or Throat Chakra is located at the level of the Adam’s Apple, and is associated with the thyroid gland.  It channels mental energy to your mind and heart, giving a voice to your feelings, thoughts and experiences.  It represents truth, communication, integrity, self-expression and creativity.  When you reach the potential of control and authority possible at the Fifth Chakra, you master the Law of Attraction.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to speak and be heard,’ as well as the ability ‘to listen deeply and to hear truly.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility to control yourself and your surroundings.  It spins at an oblique angle from the right ear, backward, toward the spine and the heart.

The 6th, or Third Eye Chakra is located at the forehead, just above and between the eyes, and is associated with the pituitary gland (some say the pineal gland).  It allows simultaneous awareness of your inner state and the world around you.  It represents wisdom, knowledge, intuition, discernment, imagination, goal and time.  A developed Brow Chakra gives the ability to clearly see what is important for your happiness and well-being, and connects you to your goal and purpose.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to see.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of self-reflection.  The Sixth Chakra does not exactly spin; rather, it beams out in two directions: from the forehead to the far horizon in front of you, and out the back of your head to the far horizon behind you.

The 7th, or Crown Chakra is located just above the top of the head, and is associated with the pineal gland (some say the pituitary gland).  It provides a point of connection to an abiding sense of peace and joy, based in the knowledge that you are one with Source.  It represents beauty, spirituality, connection with the Divine Source and existence in God.  This level bestows the right ‘to know.’  It gives the responsibility of self-knowledge and requires that you align your will with your divine guidance and inspiration.  It spins clockwise in some people, counterclockwise in others.

Usually, all the chakras are operating together, though some may function more or less optimally than others.  When they are weak or out of alignment, you will commonly experience physical and emotional symptoms.  Chakra Development diminishes these irregularities.  It promotes health and balance throughout the Chakra System.  You will notice some benefits: increased power and stamina in your mind and body, heart and soul; more energy reserves for the activities and challenges of everyday life; less reaction to stress; less fatigue; and an overall sense of well-being.

If you are interested in learning how to activate your Chakras, please consider taking a 7-week class or weekend workshop.  You will learn both simple and sophisticated methods to increase the vibrational strength and spin of your Chakras.  These practices remove blockages and cultivate the clear intelligent flow of healthy energy through your entire system.  You will learn about the Crystal Mountain, the Seven Chakras, Eight Directions, and you will experience them first-hand through specially-designed exercises.  Hand-outs are included.

 

 

MORE ABOUT SHIATSU

Shiatsu, a traditional healing art from Japan, has its roots in the ancient wisdom and principles of Chinese medicine. Shiatsu is often called“acupuncture without needles.”  “Shi” means finger and “atsu”means pressure. 

The shiatsu specialist uses thumb and finger pressure to stimulate the entire meridian pathway, rather than inserting needles into a few specific points along the channel.  The benefits include restoring vitality and healthy function to your body, and harmony and clarity to your mind. 

Clients are fully clothed during treatment.  Shiatsu is non-invasive and profoundly effective for a range of common complaints, injuries and illnesses.

A BRIEF HISTORY

Shiatsu is based on the same system as acupuncture, but with shiatsu, no needles are used.  Chinese medicine dates from the 1st century B.C.E. with the oldest written medical text still in existence –  The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.  This text documents the sphere of bodywork in Asian medicine and states that “finger pressure is used to promote digestive function and restore vigor.”  Asian medicine was brought to Japan by a Buddhist priest, Gan Jin Osho, in 552 C.E.

In Japan, it is believed to this day that no instrument will ever surpass the precision and sensitivity of the human hand for assessing energy and being able to determine the condition of a person’s health.  For this reason, examination and diagnosis by palpation has been developed to an extraordinary degree in Japan. 

The Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare defines shiatsu therapy as “a form of manipulation administered by the thumbs, fingers and palms, without the use of any instrument, mechanical or otherwise, to apply pressure to the human skin, correct internal malfunctioning, promote and maintain health, and treat specific diseases.”  The ministry lists over 200 health concerns for which shiatsu is considered a primary treatment. In the United States, the National Institute of Health (NIH) has come to concur.  The research on acupuncture and massage shows agreement. 

WHAT SHIATSU OFFERS

Shiatsu addresses a wide variety of complaints.  Some of the benefits are:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Pain relief from backache, headache, muscle tension or injury
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Improved digestion
  • Better sleep
  • Clearer mind

Shiatsu is used to assist recovery from mild to severe injuries from accidents or sports. Shiatsu relieves pain due to backache, headache, arthritis, and sore muscles caused by too much or too little exercise or repetitive motion. Shiatsu boosts the immune system and is effective in the treatment of fatigue, low energy, insomnia and quality of sleep.

Shiatsu has proven successful in treating digestive complaints such as heartburn, constipation, abdominal discomfort and general sluggishness. Shiatsu is commonly used for women’s health, menstrual and menopausal complaints,and  all stages of pregnancy, including fertility and birthing.

Shiatsu is very helpful for respiratory problems such as shortness of breath, asthma, allergies, and sinuses. Shiatsu combines successfully with other forms of treatment.  It strengthens and increases the actions of acupuncture and naturopathy and aids the digestion and absorption of herbs.  It combines very well with chiropractic in two ways:  if received beforehand, it makes manipulations easier; if afterwards, it helps keep adjustments longer. 

Clients report that Shiatsu enhances personal and spiritual development.  They experience feeling grounded and centered and having a heightened awareness of being in the body.  They comment on the added strength, stability and awareness they gain as an extra advantage for their personal and spiritual development. Shiatsu relaxes the mind and strengthens the body.  It promotes health and helps create a positive outlook on life.  It empowers a grounded assessment and interpretation of life’s events, and the ability to respond from the heart. 

WHEN TO SEEK TREATMENT

You can seek out shiatsu treatments for many diverse reasons. You may want to remedy the physical symptoms of acute or chronic pain and discomfort.  You may need some relief from stress, anxiety or tension.  Perhaps you are not really sick but you don’t feel quite up to par. Maybe your brain is a bit “foggy” and you would like to have better clarity and focus or feel more grounded. You could be facing the “empty nest” and need a stronger sense of self and of purpose. 

Shiatsu has proven effective for treating a variety of mild to severe complaints in categories such as:

Injury –  auto accidents, sports injuries, repetitive motion
Pain – backache, headache, muscle tension, joint pain, chronic pain, neck & shoulders, low back & hips

Digestion – heartburn, constipation/sluggishness, bloating,loose stool/diarrhea
Immune System – fatigue, low energy, sleep problems, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
Respiratory – allergies, sinusitis, asthma, shortness of breath
Women’s Health – menstrual, menopausal, pregnancy, fertility

Shiatsu also combines successfully with other forms of treatment:

Acupuncture – integrates treatment, assists digestion of herbs
Naturopathy – helps absorb remedies, stimulates detoxification
Chiropractic – makes manipulations easier, sustains adjustments longer

Shiatsu enhances personal and spiritual development. Clients report:
~ Increased vitality and vigor
~ Feeling grounded and centered
~ Awareness of “being in the body”
~ Tuning in to their inner knowing
~ Developing a desire to connect with Spirit
BLUEPRINT OF A SHIATSU SESSION
Before the first treatment I talk with you about your needs and goals and email you some basic information and directions to the office.  When you arrive you fill out a brief health history form, and I will probably have a few more questions based on the information you provide.  When that is complete, you move into the treatment room and change into loose, comfortable clothing.  You lie on the table fully clothed and I come in.
I apply palms, fingers and thumbs to the entire meridian system (the lines you see on an acupuncture chart that connect the points).  I work through the clothing, so no oils or lotions are used.
  • The amount of pressure can vary from gentle to firm, depending on your needs and comfort
  • A session lasts approximately 45-60 minutes, determined by the condition of your health at the time of treatment
  • Your whole body is addressed, even if your only reason for treatment is a stiff neck (the meridians that treat a stiff neck will run from head to foot)
  • After the treatment, you typically feel very calm, relaxed and clear-headed
  • Your complaints will often be either gone, or at least noticeably reduced
  • The results tend to last longer than a regular massage for most people. There is a cumulative effect after  several treatments that lasts even longer – for some clients, as long as months; a few have even said years

In traditional Asian medicine a typical course of Shiatsu treatment for one complaint begins with 10 sessions, 30-50 minutes each, one to three times a week.  These days, in America, we usually see clients less frequently – once a week, once a month, or anything in between.  It depends on the desired results, the severity of the condition, and whether the condition is acute or chronic.  For a strong and healthy person with little or no stress in life, quarterly treatments are recommended at the change of seasons.

We evaluate the effectiveness of treatments every two or three sessions to determine whether the best strategy is to continue with the treatment plan, refine or modify it, or, if resolved, conclude the course of treatment. One fact to keep in mind is that all forms of natural medicine show best results with a cumulative build up. To determine how Shiatsu will work for you, consider an initial series of three consecutive weekly treatments to get a sense of its cumulative effect.

WHAT I PROVIDE AS A SPECIALIST

Since 1975, I have trained extensively with Shiatsu masters, European osteopaths, Asian acupuncturists, American chiropractors and shamanic healers from five cultures.  These, combined with many years of treatment experience, form my personal technique.  I love my work! 

What I bring to the table:

  • I have 35+ yrs of experience treating everything from stress and fatigue to backache and headache, from digestion and PMS to accidents and injuries, from depression and insomnia to allergies and sinuses
  • I listen intently to what you say as well as to what your body tells me
  • I give specific attention to your areas of complaint and pay attention to any additional areas of disharmony
  • I track your progress, answer your questions, and help you connect the dots when you can’t make sense of what is going on in your body
  • I will always tell you when I think a different treatment will help you, and I will recommend someone whose skills and integrity I trust
My wish for you is that you be happy and healthy!

ANIMAL TOTEMS: THE OLD WAYS ARE NEW AGAIN

Fox Totem

You hear people mention Animal Totems more and more frequently these days. You may also have heard them called Spirit Animals or Power Animals. Certainly, the influence of the animal world on the human psyche is undeniable. It has been with us since the earliest of times. We can observe it in the prominence of paintings on ancient cave walls. We can note the recurrence of animals in fairy tales of all cultures since recorded history. They often talk and give help and advice to humans, occasionally even delivering hard lessons by outsmarting people. Our fascination with animals is so innate that we even have a television channel called the Animal Planet where we can watch them anytime, day or night.  And other channels, like Discovery and National Geographic, are filled with documentaries of many of the animals we find most captivating.

Before modern industrialization we were more in tune with the natural world. We were more connected to animals and their wisdom. We learned lessons about life by observing them, and we saw in them a mirror of our own qualities, both good and bad, so that we could improve ourselves and discover how to live in harmony. This lost awareness is reemerging today. It is, indeed, very accessible through any ancestral roots – European, Asian, African, etc. – but the most common view in our culture at this time is through Native American traditions.

Within these traditions, there are variations from nation to nation, and from tribe to tribe within one nation, but some beliefs are generally held in common. For instance, a common view is that when you are born, you enter this life at a certain place on the Medicine Wheel.  You will traverse the Wheel many times during your life, as the Wheel encompasses all the virtues and imperfections, all the ups and downs that a lifetime entails. However, your particular placement at the time of your birth indicates which life lessons will be most important for you to learn during your lifetime.  Creator gives you help to succeed in mastering these lessons. One such aid is your Personal Animal Totem (or totems, in some cases). In one Cherokee tradition, Creator gives each person seven totems in each of seven categories, for a total of forty-nine. You become familiar with your totems and begin working with them.  You then start paring them down until you discover which totem is your strongest ally. This totem is the most influential helper on your path to becoming a “true human being,” someone who who leads your life “in a good way” by developing your gifts and talents to benefit the people for several generations.

Deer Totem

So how does your Animal Totem help you do this? Well, at the most base level, your Totem helps you muddle through your life with a little more grace and peace of mind. But it can do more than that if you work closely with it. It strengthens and deepens your sense of connection – to family, friends, yourself, your purpose, and to the Great Mystery of life. Your Personal Totem shows you where you belong in the great scheme of things. Creator gives you this gift and asks you to cultivate the bond between yourself and your Totem because, as you begin to integrate it into your daily life, you discover how to use its wisdom to remove barriers to your personal and spiritual development. Unfolding your relationship with your Totems brings self-knowledge, healing and purpose. It deepens your intuition and awareness.  It improves the stamina in your mind and body, and promotes peace and power in your heart and soul. You arrive at a place where you are contributing to the balance and harmony of all things on earth just by being you. Your Personal Totem takes you there.

So, how do you know what your personal animal totem is? And how do you make its acquaintance? Sometimes an animal enters your awareness because it startles you by flying across your windshield or darting in front of your car as you are driving down the road.  Or maybe you just begin seeing a particular kind of animal everywhere you look. People can mistakenly assume that this is their personal animal totem. Usually it is not. Often this is an animal that has come to give you a message for a particular time or circumstance in your life. But your true personal animal totem is there with you throughout your life, all the time, even if you don’t notice it.  The way to discover it is through a traditional method called “journeying.”

A journey is a very deep meditative state arrived at by traditional grounding methods and calling on the assistance of the Four Directions, Mother Earth and Father Sky or Great Spirit. Usually  you have a guide to lead you, accompany you through the Journey, and bring you safely back. The guide does this through guided visualization, which may or may not be accompanied by drumming.  Once you are in the receptive state that Journeying induces, your guide gives you the traditional suggestions that lead to recognizing your Totem, both within you and as a separate being who will assist you. You will be able to ask questions of your Totem, and it will give you insights and answers to what’s been on your mind.  You can see your circumstances from a previously unimagined perspective, and new information is offered for considering whatever is at hand.

Horse Totem.

Meeting your Personal Totems is a profound experience. It connects you deeply to yourself and to the Great Mystery – Creator, Spirit, God, Goddess, or however you conceive and call the awe-inspiring wonder of creation. Developing your relationship with your Totems brings self-knowledge, healing and purpose.It deepens your intuition and awareness.  It improves stamina in your mind and body, and promotes peace and power in your heart and soul. Its value is timeless – as uplifting and meaningful today as it has ever been.

It has been my great good fortune to have met and studied with some amazing teachers and healers over the years. Medicine people of four cultural traditions have graciously put enough trust in me to give their endorsements so that I might guide others on traditional Journeys to meet their Totems and Spirit Guides, open their Energy Centers (Chakras), find their missing soul pieces (Soul Retrieval), and other such Old Ways of healing. It is a blessing to have received this knowledge ~ and even more so to be able to share this beautiful Medicine with others.

MY STORY: FROM BEGINNING TO NOW (‘END’ IS YET TO COME)

All the practitioners I know in the field of healing say that, when they look at how they got to where they are, they can trace their choice of profession back to their childhoods.  I am no exception.  In my case, it showed up in the way I welcomed taking care of my four younger siblings, or how I would find a baby bird who had fallen out of its nest and bring it home to nurse into a fledgling.  I would feel so proud and joyful as I watched it fly away, sure that it would have a wonderful life.

My natural inclinations were undeniably influenced by being brought up Catholic (being half Irish and half Italian, was there any other option?).  As a child, I loved the incense, Gregorian chant and the ceremony of mass.  It was all in Latin then, so no words got in the way of my experience.  I absolutely loved Jesus.  I wanted to be a healer like him.  Even as young as 6 or 7, I was impressed by the way he could talk to people and have them realize that they could think and do things differently, that they could be loving and helpful . . . to themselves and to the others around them.  His laying on of hands, healing lepers and bringing back the dead, touched me in a profound way that went beyond the awe of the miracles.  I went to mass and communion daily throughout junior high and high school and prayed to be of service.

I went to a catholic college and chose a major that was called Speech Correction because I wanted to help people express themselves.  However, the nuns there were so nasty that I stopped being Catholic.  I decided to find out what spirituality had been like before it was institutionalized.  That was very enlightening because I discovered that indigenous cultures honored allof God’s creation, not just a hierarchy of church officials.  They did look up to their elders and leaders, but all their voices were heard.  And, unlike churches, women had the trust and respect of their tribes and clans, and were just as likely to be the leaders as men were.  This gave me a new sense of possibility.  I understood that even a woman could make a significant contribution to society.  [That might seem strange to say, but it was quite a revelation for a young woman coming to adulthood in the mid -1960’s. Afterall, I had grown up in the 1950’s, and the movement for Equal Rights for Women didn’t even start until after the Equal Rights Amendment passed in 1972.]  I was inspired!

My inspiration was put on hold, however, because I married a pretty macho guy at the age of 21.  The Women’s Liberation movement hadn’t happened yet.  Several years later I marched for women’s rights, divorced, and moved to New York City to study Shiatsu.  Now I was living a life of my own choosing . . . and it was fantastic!  I was an enthusiastic and dedicated student.  I organized study groups so that I could be “in it” day and night, and I practiced on people all the time.  The school I was enrolled in was so pleased with my attitude and aptitude that they hired me to teach the beginning levels before I graduated!  They also hired me to work in their clinic after graduation.

I met fascinating people and worked on stars from the movies, the ballet, modern dance and Broadway.  I learned yoga.  I became a Buddhist monk for a short time (or, as I like to say, a “monkette”).  I was sent to Canada and to several European countries to teach shiatsu.  Some amazing healers from Japan came to our school.  I found one of them to be so astounding that I moved to Germany to apprentice with him for two years.  Besides being an internationally reknown healer in the shiatsu world, he was a Shinto priest.  Shinto is the ancient indigenous spirituality of Japan.  He taught me much of what I know about healing, both on the physical and esoteric levels. Just being being in his presence was an uplifting experience for everyone around him.  He worked “miracles” on those of us who studied with him.

By this time, my own reputation was growing internationally.  I was recruited back to the United States to design nationally certified shiatsu programs in massage schools, community colleges and acupuncture colleges.  I did this over a period of 18 years in five states and many institutions, and loved spreading this beautiful work from coast to coast.  During this period, four national certifying agencies hired me as their subject matter expert (SME) for on-site visits at various schools to assess the eligibility of their programs.

This was a very exciting and prolific time in my career.  From all across the country, twelve other practitioners and I envisioned a national professional organization for Asian bodywork that was distinct from European and American style massage.  We realized our dream in 1989 with the formation of the AOBTA (American Organization for the Bodywork Therapies of Asia).  I wrote the initial draft of the educational requirements for student clinic, and chaired the committee that brought it to completion.  Next, in the mid-1990’s, several of us worked with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) to develop a national exam.  It took over a year and was a BIG accomplishment for our profession . . . and so satisfying.

Throughout all these  years, there remained a continual inner drive to increase my understanding and skill set.  I wanted to know everything about what it means to be human, and how we become happy, healthy and wise.  I studyied with American chiropractors, European osteopaths and Asian acupuncturists.  I furthered my knowledge and practice of Asian medicine by on-going  personal, professional and tutorial relationships with my most influential teachers.  Sadly, they have passed on.  I miss them.

Some of my most gratifying and fulfilling courses of study and apprenticeships have been those with native healers of different cultures.  I feel so fortunate to have been taken into such magnificent worlds of wonder – and to have been shown how to lead others there.  These are the realms within the human potential where spontaneous realizations and unexplainable remissions happen, where the mind is at peace and the soul rests in the silence of deep joy.

Yes, I have been lucky.  I have visited these worlds . . . admittedly, only for moments . . . but repeatedly.  My inner drive to sustain the stillness, the peace, persists.  And it is my sincere and heartfelt desire to share that space with those who want to know that experience for themselves.