An Alkaline Body – The BEST Preventative Health Care

There is a lot of buzz these days about alkalinity vs acidity, and how to maintain a balanced pH.  It’s not a simple question, and there are many, many layers of answers.  It’s not only about what you eat, but as much about how you feel, what you think, how you react to stressors in your environment, be they physical, emotional, or spiritual.  This series of articles (maybe ten!) will attempt to tease apart some of the facts and fallacies of this very important subject, and give practical suggestions as to how to maintain optimum health.  Alkalinity is a life-style, and not one that can be taken lightly if one desires to live a long and healthy life.

INTRODUCTION:

image004Our body is like a garden. This analogy offers an excellent illustration of holistic health, of what we can do to prevent disease and stay healthy.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there is a theory called “the root vs. the branch.” When we treat the soil and the root it will also affect the leaves and the branch. An avid gardener knows the importance of supporting the roots by maintaining the integrity of the soil, because the soil is the biologic terrain as well as the heart and soul of the garden.  Having the proper kinds of microorganisms, the right acidity and alkalinity balance, water, minerals, sunlight, and many other elements are considered equally essential to the overall success of the bounty of the harvest.   If the soil environment is not in balance, mold, bugs, and weeds will invade the garden, and eventually the plants will become more susceptible to disease. So it is the soil, the biological terrain of the garden that ultimately determines the health of the plant, not the plant itself.

image006In the same manner this process mirrors our body.  The human body is not just matter, chemicals and electrochemical reactions.  It is also a complex, integrated life-energy system. Just like the garden, our cells needs to grow in a biological terrain / pH balance, mineral balance, with proper hydration levels, and other elements of importance to maintain homeostasis.  Over acidity can become a dangerous condition that weakens all body systems. It gives rise to an internal environment conducive to disease, as opposed to a pH-balanced environment which allows normal body function necessary for disease prevention.

A healthy body maintains adequate alkaline reserves to meet emergency demands. When excess acids must be neutralized, our alkaline reserves are depleted, leaving the body in a weakened condition.

There is a strong and growing acceptance among doctors and biologists that we are generally over acidic and that excess acidity is the root cause of many diseases. Diseases are not caused only by germs, chemical toxins and physical trauma but also by chronic dysfunctional emotional-energy patterns, poor diet, and over-acidification of the blood, and tissues.image008

In my practice, when considering a patient’s health, I never look at pH in isolation, as I would fail to take into account the complex role the emotional body has on the balance of pH.

Monitoring pH is relatively new to people, so let’s understand that pH is not a diagnostic test, or about curing diseases.  It is simply a useful tool in evaluation overall health as an active participant.  The objective is to provide a fairly accurate picture of body chemistry, and to find out if our diet and lifestyle are giving our body a chance to be, and stay healthy.

So let’s take a look at pH imbalance, how it affects us, and what we can do to correct it.                                              

UNDERSTANDING  pH:

image010What does pH mean?

pH is an abbreviation for potential hydrogen. Whether a substance is alkaline or acid the pH scale measures the number of hydroxyl (OH-) ions which are negative and alkaline forming as opposed to the amount of hydrogen (H+) ions that are positive and acid forming. A solution is acidic when it has more free hydrogen activity, and alkaline when there is a lack of free hydrogen activity.

The lower the pH reading, the more acidic and oxygen deprived the fluid is. The higher the pH reading, the more alkaline and oxygen rich the fluid is. Readings from 0–7 are considered acidic, and numbers from 7.0–14 are considered alkaline. A pH od 7 in the middle of the (logarithmic) pH scale is considered neutral.

The pH balance of the human blood stream is recognized by all medical physiology texts as one of the most important biochemical balances in all of human body chemistry.  All biochemical reactions and electrical (life) energy are under pH control.

The body has an acid-alkaline (or acid-base) ratio called the pH which is a balance between positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The body continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur.

pH of the Body:

The pH in the human digestive tract varies greatlyimage013

The pH of saliva is usually between 6.5 – 7.5. After we chew and swallow food it enters the upper portion of the stomach which has a pH between 4.0 – 6.5. This is where “predigestion” occurs while the lower portion of the stomach is secreting hydrochloric acid (HCI) and pepsin until it reaches a pH between 1.5 – 4.0.

After the food mixes with these juices it then enters the duodenum (small intestine) where the pH changes to 7.0 – 8.5. This is where 90% of the absorption of nutrients occurs while the waste products are passed out through the colon (pH 4.0 – 7.0).

The blood, urine, saliva, digestive juices, mucus, and the fluids inside and outside the body’s cells each have an optimum pH level – each require a different acid–alkaline environment for optimum function.

Healthy human skin has an approximate pH of 5.5 (slightly acidic)

Saliva, on the other hand, has a pH of around 6.5–7.4 (Slightly alkaline)

– Urine should be around 6.6 (slightly acidic)

Healthy blood reveals a narrow pH window of about 7.35–7.45 (slightly alkaline). Our blood pH must stay within a very narrow range or serious illness and even death can result.

Digestive tracts can range from 1.5 to 7.0, depending on what stage of digestion is underway (See diagram above)

image014The pH paper provides an instant method of determining acid/ alkaline pH.  The pHydrion test paper is designed for immediate reading. If you wait 30 seconds, the value will change due to evaporation. Don’t even wait 5 seconds; read immediately.

image016pH of Foods:  

Many people become confused regarding  alkaline and acid diets because they think that it refers to the pH level of the food itself. This is not the case, as some foods which are highly acidic in their natural form, such as lemons and limes, actually have an alkaline effect on the body. Foods can have a one pH and have a different metabolic action on pH in the body.  The alkaline diet is based on how foods express their metabolic action on pH in the body – acid forming foods or alkaline forming foods.  For example lemons have a pH of 2.2 while meats are non-acidic, with a pH of about 7.0. Yet lemons metabolic action is alkaline- forming in the body while meats are acidic forming.

The pH level of our tissues and internal fluids affect every cell in our bodies

From the time we are conceived until the time we die, the community of about 50 trillion cells in our bodies is endlessly working to maintain a natural state of homeostasis or balance. Our body is fully equipped to heal everything from a cut to cancer and everything in between. That is, of course, as long as there is no interference.

The body is alkaline by design, and acid by function.  Acid production is a standard procedure for our body.  A healthy body maintains alkaline reserves to meet emergency demands. This is like our bank account.  When our marvelous body encounters an increase of acidity, our bodies’ natural buffers respond immediately to bring the blood to a stable pH.  Some of these buffers include plasma bicarbonate, hemoglobin (from red blood cells), calcium (from bones), magnesium (from muscles), and an increased production of cholesterol in the liver.

Unfortunately the body does not have an endless quantity of alkaline reserves to neutralize the overindulgence of acidic food .  So we deplete our mineral alkaline reserves: calcium specifically is leached first from blood and tissues, and after then from bones, teeth, cartilage (hypocalcaemia, osteoporosis). As a mechanism of defense to protect our vital organs against damaging acids, our body will start producing fat cells and packing acid wastes in those cells (cellulite/obesity build up).

To replenish and sustain the alkaline reserves it would be wise to adhere to the alkaline life style.

pH-Food-Chart

Stay tuned for the next article

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Where Do You Live?

light-color-wallpaper-11408     In this unfolding time of our human story many of us seem to be pulled to transform ourselves into radically new ways of thinking and being.  For me, Coming Home to the Wisdom of the Body provides an entrance point for remembering who we are, and for creating new pathways to a more joyful future.

A quantum leap in consciousness is required for ending suffering. The movement from ego-attachment to heart consciousness has to be a primary focus in order to heal our physical, emotional bodies, and to soar into the freedom of our soul/spirit.

This weekend is designed especially to:

  • Reconnect to our soul’s guidance
  • Awaken us to an intuitive source of wisdom beyond the mind
  • Cultivate a deeper experience of our true and infinite nature
  • Venture deep into cellular memories – cleansing what no longer serves us (false beliefs, attachments, distortion, agendas…) and reconnecting with the Ah yes, this is how I was meant to be!
  • Cultivate awareness and presence beyond the meditation cushion.
  • Learn the O’Ring Testing Modality. Based on the concept of internal energy fundamental to traditional Chinese medicine, this simple muscle testing is a noninvasive way of evaluating the body’s imbalances, assessing its needs, and as a way to make informed, healthy decisions in any area of life.

The mind/soul consciousness of the body’ s cells can give us reassuring feedback that we are already a living consciousness in motion, and that we are part of the eternal field of creation. When we free our self from the illusion of separation we can then live from our deepest truth and freedom.

Through inquiries, silence, movement, breathing, deep sharing, visual input, and meditation we will invite the innate intelligence that already lives inside of us to become more accessible.

The conditions for suffering and the conditions to end suffering are found in our body/mind. The body can either become an ally with all its mysteries or an adversary to overcome and conquer, which one are we choosing?

Indeed, our body with its pain and pleasure is what we have; fully awake, fully alive, and rooted in the ceaseless flow of love. It is up to us to reclaim our connection to our body through deep listening, and mindful awareness of its messages.  If your cells could talk, what would be there message to you?

We welcome you to join us in this discovery.  Seminar scheduled for Sat/Sun, November 15-16 from 10 am to 6pm.  Read more and Register here

Alvita Soleil

                                          You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees

                                          For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

                                          You only have to let the soft animal of your body

                                          Love what it loves.

                                                                                – Mary Oliver

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Solar ROADWAYS? Can you imagine? Check this OUT!

solar roadwaysI’m very excited about this new concept, and even more excited to see that the initial funding is underway!  According to the latest info on the website, now that their INDIGOGO campaign was 220% funded, they have lined up their first projects in their Sagle, Idaho hometown.   Click the photo, or here to see the video.

Here’s more information from their website:

“The implementation of our Solar Roadways project on a grand scale would change the world as we know it in significant ways. Imagine the possibilities of a post Solar Roadways world: Your home could be all or nearly off grid thanks to your solar driveway (which you no longer have to shovel or plow if you live in the north), patio, or walkways etc.

When you leave home, you’ll be driving on Solar Roadways which are snow and ice free, pothole free, and the LEDs help you see the lines clearly and easily, especially at night when many people suffer night blindness.  A study in the UK showed that LED markers on road lines reduced nighttime accidents by 70-percent.

If there is danger ahead from a deer in the road or a sudden accident, the intelligent road can sense this and warn you to “Slow Down”. This will save the lives of countless animals and keep people safer too.

If you go somewhere new, the intelligent road can direct you with an LED-lit arrow that you follow to your destination. If you have an EV, you can stop and charge at a solar parking lot while you work, shop or eat, using clean energy from the sun. Eventually, you’ll be able to charge while you drive via mutual induction panels. Solar Roadways will provide the infrastructure to make this possible.”

Finis

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Navigating the New Year

At the beginning of the year, many of us take time to reassess our life, and establish New Year’s resolutions. As the year starts anew, we have a chance to make changes in our lives and an opportunity to put the troubles of the past behind us. This intention is honorable, but we all know that amnesia can settle in after a few months of optimism, and we end up with a good dose of self –loathing from failing our commitments. Image

In this New Year, I would like to offer a new approach that may go beyond the will power of losing ten pounds, quitting smoking, paying off credit cards, or finding the perfect mate.

We all know we are living in a time of great significance where humanity is facing unprecedented challenges, and unprecedented opportunities for inner and outer transformation. The new cosmologies are giving us a view of the world, and of ourselves that we never had before. For the first time, we understand that we don’t just live in the universe, but the universe lives in us. Therefore the approach of becoming conscious of all that is unconscious can be an important theme that weaves this transformational journey.

The complexity of the planetary crises requires that we wake up to our spirituality, to our heart/soul. The journey of discovering who we are and what we are, is essential as a co-creator of our future.

Indeed, we have come to a stage where the real work of humanity begins. Every moment is a choice, a choice to love or to turn away from love.  May love inspire us to wake up even more to the beauty and responsibility of our interconnectedness where all beings are honored, and peace is a priority.

I will return to this juicy topic again throughout 2014. But for now, let me offer some specific advice for the current season:

My favorite tip for 2014

Whenever you find yourself confused, unsure of what step to take next, breathe deep, and exhale deeply.Image

Remember that the universe lives inside of you. Pause, and relax for a moment. Put your bare feet on the ground, you will be amazed at how centered you will feel after a few minutes connecting with the electromagnetic field of Mother Earth.

Chinese Medicine and Winter Time

Winter is upon us even in Hawaii.  Each season presents opportunities for healing and growth. This is the time of year to reflect on our health, replenish our energy, and conserve our strength.  The winter season is about introspection, allowing us to slow down to a more reflective pace, to take a look at what we want to let go of, ways we can keep ourselves balanced, and build our energy reserves.  It is also the time to nourish the gestation of seeds planted in the fall, and to prepare for the burst of new life in the spring.

Winter is the season to support the kidneys, urinary bladder, adrenal glands, ears, and hair through appropriate foods and herbal tonics.

It’s wise to reduce the amount of food we eat during the winter season. Eat locally grown, organic and chemical- free foods that grow in season. Emphasize soups and stews, root vegetables, plenty of dark greens, kidney and black beans, walnuts, black sesame seeds, whole grains, and seaweed, garlic, ginger, and plenty of dark leafy vegetables.  Sleep early, rest well, and do less vigorous exercise.

We also know, that during winter season we are more susceptible to colds and flu. If you are interested in a natural way to boost your immune system, you may want to consider an integrative treatment option like acupuncture and herbs.

My Wish for 2014

My wish in this coming year is for us to become conscious of all that is unconscious. As we do, we synchronize and unify our courage, compassion, creativity, resiliency, and joy. Let’s listen to our intuition, act upon it, and do more of what we love to do. Let us awaken dormant powers. Let us dream the highest dreams ever!

Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”

Have a great New YearImage

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The Gifts of Gratitude

Did you know that the first ever unofficial Thanksgiving took place in 1621? The Plymouth pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast of celebration and gratitude for their bountiful blessings.  But it was not until Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation that Thanksgiving became an official holiday.

Today millions of people celebrate the national Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. We indulge on turkey, stuffing and pumpkin bliss, eventually going for a walk to assuage the remorse for the quantity of food we inhaled. We may eventually watch the football game and give intentional thanks and thoughtful gratitude.

Is it possible to expand the warm, fuzzy feelings of thanksgiving to our daily life? Let’s explore the gifts of gratitude.

“It is not happiness that makes gratefulness, but gratefulness that makes happiness”.

When we look at indigenous people, we find that at the very heart of their life, the power of gratitude is deeply understood as a doorway to the wisdom of interrelatedness. I believe this is the foundation for compassion, forgiveness, trust, kindness, and love. I think of gratitude as the memory of the heart, it’s like an underlying stream of energy that links us to the divine source and to every part of creation.  It’s an affirmation of goodness that motivates us to appreciate all the amazing facets of life, creating a steady balance of peace, harmony, and happiness.

Gratitude is the Memory of the HeartScience over the past decade has documented the social, physical, and psychological benefits of gratitude.

Gratitude reduces anxiety and depression. Some studies suggest gratitude strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and reduces body aches and pains.  It seems that expressing gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to enhance health and well-being.

Have you noticed people who regularly demonstrate gratitude tend to be happier, more joyful, optimistic? They seem to live a fulfilling and meaningful life, and they are also more likely to help others in need.

Sometimes in the midst of struggling with health, financial, or emotional issues, we may find ourselves focusing on problems with an attitude of righteousness, confusion, fear and anger toward life. It can be challenging to feel grateful during these difficult times. It takes a courageous and powerful mind shift to choose not to dwell on unhappy feelings. Changing old thoughts and beliefs takes effort and discipline. When we remember to wake up, and shake off the cloak of victimhood and martyrdom and see life in a larger context, we allow a new frequency of awareness into our reality.

GRATITUDE AS A WAY OF LIFE

There are endless ways to express gratitude. Find what resonates with you and cultivate your capacity for feeling thankful this holiday season and throughout your life. Below are some ways that I find helpful to cultivate gratefulness.

Slow down and enjoy lifeSlow down long enough to listen and to feel the amazing sensuous earth that we live on.– This practice is fundamental to gratefulness. Gratitude is not just for material comforts, or having your survival needs met. It needs to expand to all relationships of life, including nature.

As we become awake to the beauty that surrounds us, and in us, we open our senses and let our bodies register the flow of blessings: the warm sun on our skin, the generosity of the rains, the texture of the ocean, the bird songs, the fragrance of roses, the warm sand of the  beach on our bare feet – so much is being offered to us freely.  In the ecology of the sacred, nature is our most precious gift, and it is our responsibility to humbly receive her blessings.

Contemplate mindfully. When we take time to acknowledge, and appreciate the little and big events that happen throughout our day that make us feel lighter, special, cared for, and even loved, we may be able to open our heart a bit wider to receive what is being offered in this present moment.

Express gratitude through self-love.   Finding ways to nourish ourselves in a loving and caring way is not being selfish, it is a necessity. By honoring our gifts, quirks and uniqueness we may find ways to give ourselves what we truly need. When we develop authentic feelings of thankfulness, self-esteem, and creativity begin spiking upward.

Live in the present time, practice contentment.  While negativity fuels diseases, gratitude nurtures recovery by helping to discard what we feel is lacking in our life. We can allow ourselves to be content right here, right now with all we are, and all we have, knowing that the struggles and the joys of life are only experiences that helps us to awaken and to grow

Even in the midst of chaos and suffering life, is a most precious gift, a reason for celebration and appreciation. Gratitude creates an open field of possibilities to see, and to feel the majesty of our interrelatedness that is woven with all things and all beings. The more passionately we express authentic gratitude, the more loving and happy we become. This is the gift of gratitude.

I am grateful to have you as a reader and for having the opportunity to share these thoughts with you. Thank you.

Gratitude is a way of life.

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The Art of Muscle Testing – Part 1

There’s a simple test you can do yourself to answer questions about your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health – muscle testing. There are many names to describe muscle testing (MT) in clinical practice; kinesiology, applied kinesiology (AK), muscle energy response technique (MERT), and digital O’ring test.

When I do a health evaluation on a patient with muscle testing, most of them are skeptical and amazed at its application and effectiveness. Indeed, if you have never seen or experience muscle testing, you may think it is something out of a science fiction movie, or like a “truth” detector.  So let’s bring more clarity to this fascinating subject.

LeonardoBASIC PRINCIPLES

Our body is a powerful instrument for communication. Based on the concept of internal energy fundamental to TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), kinesiology responds andoperates through interactions among the mind, autonomic nervous system, muscles, and the subconscious mind. The soma and viscera communicate with the central nervous system both chemically and neurologically. Therefore many dysfunctions can be analyzed with muscle testing. Kinesiology is a technique by which the body’s involuntary response is measured when exposed to positive and negative stimuli.

Dr. Darren Weissman describes muscle testing in a straight forward way: “The body has an innate intelligence that can be assessed with this method to determine whether it’s maintaining balance. Just like the autonomic nervous system, muscle testing is a polarity-dependent mechanism where a muscle will maintain its strength as long as there’s a congruency with the function, adaptability, and the survival of the entire organism.

MORE THAN MEETS THE MUSCLES

While MRIs, CAT scans, blood and chemistry tests give us vital information, many alternative practitioners rely on kinesiology to evaluate the state of general and specific health issues. Muscle testing is a modality that can assess body dysfunctions and their underlying causes. It can identify nutritional status, and detect food and environmental allergies or sensitivities. Kinesiology can also establish dosage, compatibility, duration of treatment, and treatment priority in individuals.  As Kinesiology bypasses the conscious mind and therefore accesses the inner wisdom of the body, it can also be used for mental, emotional, spiritual issues, and to make healthier decisions in every aspect of a person’s life.

In clinical practice I apply this multi-faceted and comprehensive system in conjunction with other evaluation systems before prescribing a treatment plan.  It is a powerful, affordable, non- invasive approach to health care and for self-empowerment.

When there’s incongruence, an indicator muscle will test weak. When a muscle locks out (strong), it’s an indication that whatever is being evaluated is congruent with the overall balance of the body. When the muscle gives way, it’s a sign that what’s being tested is incongruent with this balance.”

Modem physics teaches that everything in the universe has its own vibrational rate of energy.  -The thoughts we think, the foods we eat, the supplements we take, the color, sounds and language we chose impact each of us differently. All matter comes from energy, and our body resonates to the positive or negative response of our own unique energy systems, and cellular memory.

The method I use in practice and personal use is the O-Ring is also known as the Omura bi-digital O-ring test.

O-Ring Muscle Test demoO-ring muscle test demo 2     This muscle testing is simple to learn, and it requires a strong foundation to get accurate result. Make an “O” ring with your thumb and middle finger and use two fingers from your other hand inserted into the “O” to try to open the finger connection. The involuntary muscle is labeled weak (no) or strong (yes) based on its ability to resist this force.  Ask a specific question. EX: Is this supplement the most appropriate to take at this time? The weak or strong response will reflect energetic information about the association to the substance tested. Anything possessing negative energy, such as a false statement or toxic substance, will result in a weak muscular response while a positive energy field will elicit a strong muscular response.

Because our nervous system is extremely sensitive to anything it is exposed to, any factor tested (physical, nutritional, energetic, emotional, mental or spiritual) is either causing stress (the indicator muscle weak, no matter how strong the person may be) or will show as a strong muscle, if no stress is involved. This innate ability to immediately distinguish between positive and negative energy has always existed within our bodies, but there are various factors to getting accurate results. Clear, specific questions and an open mind free of projections, judgments, and attachments are main keys to success. The impact of this incredible tool on humankind’s advancement physically, intellectually and spiritually is unlimited.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

You may already be listening to your body’s wisdom about the food you eat, actions you take, and even people you spend time with; keep on taking charge of your well- being. If you are looking for a way to communicate deeper with your body’s intelligence using kinesiology regarding health issues, personal growth, or simply want to go deeper into the hows and whys of this powerful tool, I am offering a workshop on Art of Muscle Testing on November 9th and 10thPlease contact me if you are interested.

Even though muscle testing can take the guess work and trial and error out of questions you may have, it is not a magic crystal ball. It is a skill. It supports healthy decisions about our health, increases our inner peace, enriches our relationships, expands our prosperity, and helps us to embrace life to the fullest.

Finis

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Thyroid Health, Part 2

THYROID OVERVIEW

Don’t let the size fool you; the amazing two inch butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in front of the neck orchestrates an intricate web of interactions for nearly every organ and function of the body. This tiny gland is the master center for the metabolic functions of every single cell in our body. It is intimately involved with regulating many key bodily functions such as energy production, the cardiovascular system, bone metabolism, hormone production, fat and glucose metabolism, red blood cell production, protein and cholesterol metabolism, gastrointestinal and liver function, brain function, nervous system, and more

Please check last month’s article where we began an exploration of thyroid health with hypothyroidism. Our focus this month is on holistic thyroid health, and a less common thyroid disorder called hyperthyroidism.

WESTERN MEDICAL VIEW of OVER-ACTIVE THYROID

ThyroidHyperthyroidism is characterized by an overactive thyroid gland and increased circulating levels of thyroid hormones.

Some of the many symptoms are increased heart rate, restlessness, heart palpitations, aversion to heat, nervousness, insomnia,  weakness, breathlessness, GI upset, increased appetite with weight loss, decreased menstrual periods, infertility, insomnia,  muscle deterioration, hair loss, bulging eyes, diarrhea, heightened anxiety, and  depression.

The most prevalent form of over-active thyroid is Graves’ disease in which the body’s autoimmune response causes the thyroid gland to produce too much T3 and T4. Optimal functioning of the thyroid gland depends on several factors: correct functioning of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, an adequate supply of iodine, and conversion of thyroxin (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3).

Blood Test:  For a positive diagnosis of hyperthyroidism to be made levels of T4 and/or T3 must be high, while a level of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is generally low. If you think you may have a thyroid imbalance, it’s a good idea to see a healthcare practitioner to request a full thyroid hormone panel, as well as testing for iodine, selenium, and vitamin D levels.

HOLISTIC VIEW

Thyroid dysfunction is a hidden epidemic with many theories.  It is never the thyroid alone but a combination of different factors.

Could it be my thyroid?According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the root of hyperthyroidism is deficiency of qi and yin and the symptoms considered excess. Treatment, therefore addresses both the cause and the symptoms with acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy. TCM offers consistent and reliable benefits in the treatment of hyper- and hypothyroidism. And of course, the sooner it is diagnosed, the easier it will be to bring it back under control with dietary therapy, supplements, and lifestyle changes.

Let’s look at some factors that may contribute to a thyroid condition

– Autoimmune disease:  In autoimmune disease, the immune system gets confused and begins attacking its own body. The causes of autoimmune problems may include chronic stress, endocrine stress and fatigue, viral infection, radiation, intestinal dysbiosis, hormone imbalances, autonomic nervous system imbalances, and more.

– Nutritional deficiency:  While some thyroid issues do have complicated underlying causes, you can help to maintain your thyroid health by making sure your diet includes the full spectrum of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals such as iodine, selenium, and zinc to function properly.  Many conventional foods are nutrient deficient due to soil depletion. Certain food such as soy, gluten, dairy, peanuts and sugar can also block nutrient absorption. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, and broccoli benefit overactive thyroid.

 Environmental toxins:  Heavy metals (lead, mercury and copper toxicity), pesticides, plastic residues and so many others cause immune system confusion and toxicity.

– Hormone imbalance: Women are more susceptible than men to thyroid disease. Hormonal changes such as pregnancy, post-partum, perimenopause and menopause can be key triggers for the development of thyroid problems.

– Emotional toxins : Mind-body-soul interaction is such a critical factor to optimal health. The body is a very complex system of organized intelligence that interacts with everything and seeks homeostasis.

It is important to understand that either hypo and hyperthyroidism, or any illness, does not just happen. While the above factors can be part of a perfect storm to create a thyroid condition, let’s not forget to address the emotional and spiritual aspect of the thyroid which is related to self-expression and the voice of our soul. It is there, in our throat chakra that thoughts and intentions transform words into action.

To heal your thyroid I suggest finding the right mind-body-soul approach that works for you to do your inner work. Empower yourself as you choose to speak out, and in finding your voice, abandon any feelings of being less than.

In addition, learn everything you can about your thyroid, find a doctor who truly understands thyroid dis-ease, get properly tested and treated, eat foods that support your health, manage stress, and get support from people who understand your condition.

Take good care of yourself, and of your precious thyroid gland.

Finis

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Thyroid Health, Part 1

Are you often feeling tired, cold, achy or depressed? Have you been gaining weight even though consuming fewer calories? If you’re not feeling quite right, you might want to take a closer look at your thyroid.

A person with hypothyroidism has a slow or underactive thyroid in which little or no hormones are produced. Thyroid

This condition affects millions of people. Many are asymptomatic while others may have a wide range of clinical and subclinical symptoms. Typical symptoms of hypothyroidism may include: fatigue, slowed speech; brittle and split nails, itchy dry skin, intolerance of cold, weight gain with inability to lose weight, dry hair, hair loss, low sex drive, depression, and more.

 FUNCTION OF THE THYROID

The bowtie shaped gland is located below the larynx at the level of the Adam’ apple. This amazing modest gland (weight about ½ to ¾ ounce) is a major gland of the endocrine system and affects nearly every organ in the body, including digestive and cardiovascular health. The thyroid hormones are important for energy production in every cell, and for the growth and maturation of body tissues. It regulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis, body weight, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle function, sleep and sexual functioning. The thyroid works in conjunction with the pituitary gland which produces thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH in turn stimulates the thyroid gland to produce the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. These thyroid hormones play a vital role in the body, influencing metabolism and all organs. 

TESTThyroid Test

Thyroid imbalance is often overlooked and may be difficult to diagnose due to many symptoms that are very general in nature. A TSH test alone doesn’t give you the full story. Ask your doctor to test your TSH, free T3 and free T4 levels, T3 and T4 uptake in addition to testing for TPO thyroid antibodies.

You may want also to take your basal temperature, before rising every day at the same time.

If your temperature is consistently below 97.6 this is considered a positive physical sign suggesting thyroid imbalance.  It is helpful to have wellness exams and your hormones levels monitored and to keep track of your records.

 THYROID CONNECTION

Chronic stress has powerful detrimental effects on the endocrine system as it affects hormonal changes in the body. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can inhibit both TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and the thyroid hormone T3.

Birth control, child bearing, perimenopause, and menopause make women more prone than men to thyroid disorders. Low thyroid functioning can be also associated with diabetes, autoimmune disorders, adrenal fatigue, elevated cholesterol, environmental exposures, and one’s genetic blue print.

WAYS TO IMPROVE THYROID FUNCTION

There is no single pill or diet for supporting thyroid function. What works is a holistic approach that combines targeted supplementation, diet, lifestyle changes, and exercise.

DIET: While some thyroid issues do have complicated underlying causes, a great way to improve your thyroid function is through nutrition. Eat foods rich in iodine such as sea vegetable, kelp, and seafood. Consume foods such as buckwheat, organ meat, legumes, lentils, cod liver oil, nuts, avocado and eggs. Avoid raw cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, peanuts, and soy, as they interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iodine. Too many carbs and too little protein can interfere with the conversion of T4 into T3.

SUPPLEMENTS:. Research shows us that the thyroid needs specific vitamins and minerals to manufacture and metabolize thyroid hormones. Iodine is the central ingredient in thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Selenium is also needed for the conversion of T4 to T3. If you are deficient, increasing dietary intake can make a big difference. Zinc and vitamins like A, B12, D, fish oil, zinc, manganese are also important.

HERBAL: Maca, Ashwangha, Kidney Yang Formulas, and Immune/Energy Tonic Formulas.

INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE:

Many of us know that the future of medicine is a combination of both Western and Eastern Medicine. Patients may improve by using Traditional Chinese Medicine and other cutting edges of healing science such as acupuncture, herbs, and stress relieving activities such as yoga, meditation, and regular physical exercise.

MEANING BEHIND PHYSICAL THYROID ISSUESFind your voice

According to many ancient traditions the thyroid gland is located at the level of the fifth energy center called the throat chakra. This center relates to self-expression, creativity and finding our voice in the world. Interestingly, I find in my practice that hypothyroidism is more severe in individuals who are having difficulty expressing themselves, or who feel suppressed in expressing their intuition, and creativity.  In fact, I believe there is a direct relationship between emotional and physical needs that are not expressed and most thyroid issues. The emotional root of fear and shame seems to contribute to the blockage of the throat chakra, and the inability to speak one’s truth.

Have you ever found yourself making a decision based on what you think you should do, rather than speaking from what you know is right for you? Indeed it takes courage to recognize our true feelings, and to express them appropriately. If you have an orientation toward a holistic view, consider ways you can strengthen and act upon the wisdom of the heart with a mindfulness approach to release emotional traumas.

The work to be done is to change the psychological beliefs behind the condition, and to come into alignment with a new emotional and spiritual perspective. Whatever you are doing, thinking, deciding, ask yourself: is this coming from me or is it someone else’s beliefs? What does this condition have to teach me?  image005

 We are now at the age of awakening of the soul and liberating the mind. The power and the profound presence of a healing force within can assist us in reclaiming our inner and outer voice as we dare to speak our truth. 

Finis

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Spring Cleansing

What is it about the spring season that makes it so appropriate for cleansing and rejuvenation?  New growth, transformation, and regeneration! We can use these forces of renewal, revitalization and rebirth to great benefit for the body, mind and spirit during a spring cleanse. The month of April according to many spiritual traditions is an invitation to release what does not serve us anymore, and to reconnect with the emergence of a new life.In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Spring and Fall seasons provide the best opportunities for deeply detoxifying and cleansing different harmful toxins that have accumulated in the physical, and emotional energetic body over the past months and years.

Why detoxify?

We live in a sea of toxins. Many of us have exposure to strong pollutants every day, even on the “paradise island” – we cannot avoid them. Toxicity is a serious concern for all of us. We are witnessing the increase in electromagnetic pollution, industrial chemicals, and pesticides, resulting in contamination of all types. It comes to us through our food, water, and the air we breathe.

Even breast milk from American women is contaminated with more than 100 industrial pollutants, and chemicals, including pesticides, brominated fire-retardant and heavy metals.

When the body is overburdened with external stressors and internal toxins, stagnant blood and/or excessive fats, drugs, and alcohol, symptoms may occur such as allergies, headaches, nausea, irritability, foggy thinking, estrogen dominance, muscle tension, skin eruptions, itching and fatigue. Additionally this increased toxic load puts a tremendous burden on the liver and other organs, and can lead to chronic disease over time.

Benefits of CleansingBenefits of cleansing:

Periodic physical cleansing creates a foundation for long-term health.  The benefits of cleansing are numerous:

  • weight loss
  • glowing skin
  • increase in energy and mental clarity
  • reduction of physical symptoms
  • revitalized organs
  • breaking unhealthy habits

The emotional and spiritual benefits of cleansing gives a new motivation and a clearer vision of values and priorities. 

How does the body detoxify?

Our bodies are already engaged in an automatic process of eliminating toxins. The lymph, the liver, gall bladder, kidneys, gastrointestinal track, skin and blood continually eliminate wastes.

In TCM, spring is related to the wood element and to the liver and gall bladder. As such, the liver is the focus of the spring cleanse, and is in need of a little help along the way. Your help!

The liver loves nourishing green food, and the body responds with vitality when fed with organic, vibrant food, filled with enzymes. Your body also knows when you feed it with “not so supportive” food. You know what they are – foods that have strong inflammatory potential such as processed foods, highly salted or sweetened foods, red meat, alcohol and stimulants, and let’s not forget dairy, and sugar to name a few. If you do not know the foods to which you might be sensitive, kinesiology testing, or lab work can assist you.

Spring Cleansing!Planning to cleanse?

There are many different ways to engage in cleansing. Make sure you choose a detox program that fits your constitution, and your needs.

A cleanse can be as short as 3 days, or as long as 21 days; 10-14 days is optimal for most individuals. Whatever detox program you choose, start with a preparation phase, followed by a middle segment that is more intense, and end your cleanse by repeating the preparation phase.

A clean diet is the most critical component of any detoxification program.  Increase fibrous, nutrient rich foods like fruit and green vegetables, and boost your liquid consumption. This can be in the form of water, herbal teas, vegetable soups, broth, and lemon sweetened with stevia.

In my clinic, I use supportive, detoxifying herbs or homeopathy to assist in the process of cleansing. The Liver/Gall Bladder flush is also done at the appropriate time during a program, maximizing the process of elimination.

Dry-brush exfoliation helps to promote circulation, and detox the lymphatic system. Exercise, saunas and Epsom salt baths can promote natural elimination of substances through the skin. Please refer to my website for a holistic detoxification program; I will be happy to answer questions.

Make your cleansing personal:  Lifestyle changes are vital. Read food labels, become familiar with food additives, buy organic if possible or even grow your own! Your diet should be clean and nutritious.

Nourish yourself by taking time to be in nature, smell the flowers, and breathe the sunshine.   Meditate again, get a massage! Find a friend that can support you in your cleansing journey. Clean your closet. Release emotional toxins by communicating, and expressing your feelings in an appropriate way. Start something new.

Benefits of CleansingJust as nature is reinventing itself, we can too. 

celtic triangle

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Anatomy of Fear – Part II

I last wrote about the biology of the human body’s response to fear, and the psychological fears as bi-products of our belief systems. This month we look at fear as a teacher, and how to free ourselves from our social conditioning and programming.

 WHAT IS THE ROOT OF FEAR?

 For thousands of years, our brain has been conditioned, and molded to accept fear as a way of being. Many of us have adapted to a life of competitiveness, and greed. The materialistic bias and limited principles/beliefs of the Newtonian classical physics shaped our culture to the belief that everything is separate from everything else. We have been led to think that we are separated from each other, our world, and everything that lives it in, and that we are a frail biochemical machine controlled by genes. 

Combined with our personal “emotional evaluation” of our daily experiences, this disempowering information creates beliefs about who we are as a person, and how we fit in the world. Many of us believed that someone or something outside of ourselves can harm us. Separation creates duality, duality promotes fear, and fear fosters isolation, anxiety, stress, powerlessness, and sickness.

Break the Chains of Fear!CAN WE DIRECTLY EXPERIENCE A REALITY BEYOND THE ILLUSION OF FEAR?  YES!

 With the incredible discoveries of the new research of quantum physics many of us are waking up to our identities. Western science is accepting the ancient idea that there is a unified field of consciousness that links all creation. It’s not “out there” somewhere. It is part of ourselves as well as part of all we perceive.

This discovery is relevant to fear. Knowing that the universe is an integration of interdependent energy fields entangled in a network of interactions, gives us a sense that separation does not exist. Therefore we cannot pretend we are alone anymore, and in this knowledge there is comfort, and safety. The scientist Gregg Braden said in his book The Divine Matrix; “We are connected not only with everything that we see in our daily lives, but also with everything that has ever been, and the things that have not happened yet.”  This statement has vast implications. Getting more familiar with the laws of quantum physics, inquiries, and meditation may inspire an experiences of Oneness.

Illusion of Separation

Knowledge of self provides self-empowerment.

Fear is an emotion that can be released. Fear does not have the power to rob us of our dreams and desires, unless we allow it. We have a choice either to feel separate from our self, our soul and nature, or to choose to take charge of our life.

In my practice, I address the emotions of fear with a unique blend of alternative methods that engage the whole person. Below are some of my recommendations that have worked for my patients.

FREEDOM FROM FEAR Freedom From Fear      

There are no magic pills for overcoming fear. Fear is a powerful teacher.

Become conscious of the unconscious. It is important to stay fully present with fear — notice everything about it — it’s color, texture, bodily sensation, how it arises, how it dissolves, what thoughts it generates, what actions we take, how we try to deny it. Avoiding the fear fosters more fear. Only awareness dispels it. You are not your fear.

With gentle awareness connect with your breath, your heart, and your essential self. Be willing to stop the chattering mind. Assess your safety. Separate the energy of fear from the content of your experience, and be willing to come back to the HERE NOW. In the Here and Now ask yourself; is this a true fear? How this fear serves me? Who would I be without that fear? Then, you may be able to let go of the “fear crisis” and understand your specific needs, and the demands of a particular situation.

Release the relentless pressure of the “doing” and “producing”. Give yourself permission to relax. Take the time necessary to nurture yourself and feel the safety in the beauty, and abundance of this sacred earth.

Spend time with people you enjoy and who have less fear than you.

– Notice your thought process. Your thoughts, beliefs and emotions shape your world. How does your mind move, and think? What occupies your thoughts most of the time? Be bold, curious, check if you are aligning with your own values and passions. Every thought can be life affirming or life denying. Are you giving power to fear or are you embracing your Divinity? Find comfort in knowing that we are all connected to each other and to the energy source that makes up the universe.

Plant seeds of trust by tending to the precious body. The body is in the here and now, while the mind is in the future or the past. This gap can create fear. Your body is an expression of the living Oneness. When you’re disconnected from it, you’re out of touch with your essence and true nature. This disconnection keeps you from enjoying the many blessings of life. Fall back in love with your body, celebrate it, give it space and permission to feel what it feels and needs. Open your senses, pause, breathe deep, connect and listen to the outer and inner universe, and trust the information that is being given.

Fear gives us a chance to explore our courage. Our future depends on our collective ability to evolve and embrace the fear and the love that is at the true core of our being. Love and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

           Choose, and Receive Love; say no to fear. We live in abundance and there is enough. We are enough.

Love - The Antidote for FearA dose of love overcomes all fear; give generously

Finis

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