Monday, June 22, 2015

How to Forgive - Meditation and Visualization Technique

Brown Bag by Jeffrey Beall

By Raven Gypsy

Forgiveness is a topic that comes up often.  But people often don't understand what it really means.  Forgiving someone is not about telling the person who wronged you that what they did is ok.  They wronged you, that's not ok.

Often we physically remove the problem person from our lives, but find that even years later the thought of them and what they did to us continues to haunt us.  It effects how we behave toward other people; how we expect others to behave toward us. It changes the way we think and it upsets us just to think about it. What more can we do to heal a hurt after the person hurting us can't hurt us anymore?  Forgive.

Forgiveness is the process of releasing your feelings about a person or situation.  Forgiveness is not excusing or condoning an act.  Forgiveness means to give up, release, let go of.

Forgiveness is a process that involves you and only you and here is one way to do it.

Close your eyes and see yourself.  Think of the thing they did to hurt you as a paper bag full of dog-doo that you are holding.  See yourself holding the bag as you go about your daily activities.  Everywhere you go, "Tra-La-La, I'm going to the grocery store with a bag of crap, Tra-La-Yuck!"  You don't want to carry this bag of crap anymore.

Visualize yourself, your bag of crap and the other person.  See yourself giving the bag back to the person.  Hear yourself say to the person, "You gave me 'x'.  I don't want it.  It's not mine. I'm giving it back. I am fine."

Here are a few examples:
Someone called you fat. So hand back the bag (in your head! not in real life!) and say (in your head) "You think I'm fat. I like my body just the way it is. That is your opinion.  It is not my opinion of myself."

Your ex spent years spending all your money and causing financial problems. Forgive them. "You have financial problems. I have a job. I pay my bills. I am financially stable.  That was your problem, not mine and I'm giving it back."

Your ex called you overly emotional, needy, always dismissed your feelings. Forgive them. "You do not value my emotions or think they are real. My emotions are my own. I feel them. It doesn't matter if you like them or not.  They are mine. They are real. And it is ok to feel them."

Do not continue to carry around baggage that is not yours. Forgive and move on. 
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Litha Lore (June 21)

Photo By: jason Jenkins

By Raven Gypsy
Alban Heruin also known as Litha is celebrated on June 21.

Although the name Litha is not well attested, it may come from Saxon tradition – the opposite of Yule. On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant. At mid-summer, the Sun God has reached the moment of his greatest strength. Seated on his greenwood throne, he is also lord of the forests, and his face is seen in church architecture peering from countless foliate masks.
The Christian religion converted this day of Jack-in-the-Green to the Feast of St. John the Baptist, often portraying him in rustic attire, sometimes with horns and cloven feet (like the Greek Demi-God Pan)

Midsummer Night’s Eve is also special for adherents of the Faerie faith. The alternative fixed calendar date of June 25 (Old Litha) is sometimes employed by Covens. The name Beltane is sometimes incorrectly assigned to this holiday by some modern traditions of Wicca, even though Beltane is the Gaelic word for May and typically celebrated on May 1.

Traditional Foods: Garden fresh fruits and vegetables are made into a variety of dishes and eaten by Pagan’s who choose to celebrate this day.

Herbs and Flowers: Mugwort, Vervain, Chamomile, Rose, Honeysuckle, Lily Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Fern, Elder, Wild Thyme, Daisy, Carnation.

Incense: Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Rose, Wisteria

Woods Burned: Oak

Sacred Gemstone: Emerald

Special Activities: An Ideal time to reaffirm your vows to the Lord and Lady or your dedication to following the old traditions.
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Signing with Author Rik Potter

By Raven Gypsy

Author, Rik Potter is coming to Wanderer to talk about and sell signed copies of his books:
~ Walking a Magic Path
~ The Noble Art of Divination:
A Journal for Tarot and Oracle Decks
~ The Boy Who Lived:
Magical Spirituality in the Harry Potter Universe

Rik Potter is a modern witch, author, teacher, healing practitioner and member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. He has served as high priest of three covens, and has taught classes on a variety of metaphysical subjects. Rik has lectured at colleges, conferences and occult shops about the mysteries of magic and witchcraft. Rik's personal journey follows the ancient paths of Witchcraft, Druidry and Celtic Paganism. Visit him online at

Join us on June 7th, 2015 from 11am - 2pm to speak with Rik about his books.

Quakertown Farmer's Market
201 Station Rd.
Quakertown, PA 18951

Directions: We are in the Quakertown Farmer's Market in "The Barn" which is a large building behind the main building and behind the water tower, surrounded by the outdoor fleamarket tables. If you walk in the front door nearest the water tower, you'll make the first left inside, and we are at the end of the row on the right.

To RSVP and for event updates, visit us on Facebook.


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Book Signing: I Don't Dwell with Author Sam Shelley

By Raven Gypsy

Author, Sam Shelley is coming to Wanderer to talk about and sell signed copies of his book, I Don't Dwell.

Sam’s life was filled with pain and suffering. From the age of 6 a van nearly took his life. As an adult, he was hospitalized several times due to suicidal tendencies as a bipolar, and then being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that left him disabled. In addition he had psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and migraines. One day things suddenly changed, and his health was miraculously restored. This healing could not be explained by his doctors. This is the story of his transformation which began with a five minute daily practice. In this book he shares all the practices and tools that he used for recovery.

Join us on May 30th, 2015 from 11am - 2pm to speak with Sam and learn how you too can heal yourself!


Quakertown Farmer's Market
201 Station Rd.
Quakertown, PA 18951

Directions: We are in the Quakertown Farmer's Market in "The Barn" which is a large building behind the main building and behind the water tower, surrounded by the outdoor fleamarket tables. If you walk in the front door nearest the water tower, you'll make the first left inside, and we are at the end of the row on the right.

To RSVP and for event updates, visit us on Facebook.

Read more ...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Treating Back Pain and More with the Alexander Technique

Photo By: Sarah Joy

By Raven Gypsy

Consider the Alexander Technique Therapy For

The goal of the Alexander Technique is to bring the body's muscles into natural harmony. Hence it can aid in the treatment of a wide variety of neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, including disorders of the neck, back and hip; traumatic and repetitive strain injuries; chronic pain; arthritis; breathing and coordination disorders; stress related disorders; and even migraine.

People with sciatica, scoliosis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and neck and low back syndrome may find the Alexander Technique useful in improving overall strength and mobility. Others with Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus or fibromyalgia may use it for pain management. It is also used to improve functioning in people with multiple sclerosis, stroke, or Parkinson's disease.

Because the technique requires active participation by the patient, it's impossible to test its effectiveness with customary scientific procedures, such as "placebo controls," in which some patients are given a fake remedy, and "double-blind trials," in which neither the patients nor the therapists know who's receiving genuine treatment. Nevertheless, many people who've undertaken this therapy, including the likes of John Dewey and Aldous Huxley, vouch for its benefits.

How the Alexander Technique Treatments Are Done

Alexander Technique sessions are most often conducted one-on-one with a teacher, but group classes may be available as well. Students wear comfortable clothing, and perform everyday actions, such as walking, bending, standing or sitting, while the teacher encourages the students to shed ingrained--and inappropriate--muscular reactions and allow healthy natural reflexes to take over. To encourage the release of natural reactions, the teacher will lead a student through various movements, occasionally touching the neck, back, or shoulder to help trigger the proper reflexes. Some sessions may have the student lying down most of the time, while others involve mostly sitting and standing. If there is a specific movement the student wishes to improve, such as working at a computer keyboard, holding a telephone, or driving a car, the teacher may work with the student on those as well. Teachers stress that the Alexander Technique is not a passive experience, such as a massage, However, the sessions are not strenuous or physically taxing. No machinery is used.

Treatment Time: The length of each session varies from teacher to teacher, but usually ranges from 30 to 45 minutes.

Treatment Frequency: Sessions may be weekly or more often, depending on the teacher and your needs. The recommended series is a set of 30 lessons.

What Treatment with the Alexander Technique Hopes to Accomplish

With advancing age, most people seem to fall into a variety of common, but unnatural, habits of movement and posture. Depending on the amount of energy and tension these habits commandeer, the results can range from subtle changes in mood to outright pain. The Alexander Technique attempts to remedy these problems by discouraging habitual, counterproductive muscular reactions and allowing efficient natural reflexes to take over.

When you begin training in the Alexander Technique, the goal is to inhibit your habitual muscular responses by deliberately and consciously "doing nothing" so that your body can revert to its inherent natural movements. This is not an exercise in relaxation, per se, but rather a way of reclaiming an efficiency and ease of movement lost through years of poor postures and unnatural muscular response. As you "unlearn" inappropriate habits in the formal sessions, you'll be encouraged to practice your new freedom of movement as you go about your normal activities.

Unlike other bodywork disciplines, such as the Feldenkrais Method, the Alexander Technique focuses on the relationship of head, neck and torso, which teachers call "primary control." Alexander Technique teachers believe that when these three are properly aligned, the head will lift upward and release the neck and spine, improving overall muscular function and allowing you to move your whole body in a harmonious way. Central to the technique are the four "Concepts of Good Use," which focus on freeing the muscles from unneeded tension:

Allow your neck to release so your head can balance forward and up;
Allow your torso to release into length and width;
Allow your legs to release away from your pelvis;
Allow your shoulders to release out to the sides.

The Alexander Technique was developed in the early 1900's by Australian actor F.M. Alexander, who felt that his own bad posture had caused his voice-loss problems. He began working on a system to teach simple, efficient movements that would help improve balance, posture, and coordination while relieving pain. The resulting technique became popular in the U.S. after the first World War, especially among artists, performers and intellectuals, and has been practiced successfully ever since.

Today, the Alexander Technique is used not only by those seeking pain relief, but also by many actors, dancers, athletes, and other performers who use their bodies intensively.

Who Should Avoid The Alexander Technique?

The Alexander Technique is generally considered safe for everyone. However, if you have any chronic health problems, it's wise to check with your doctor before undertaking any form of alternative therapy.

What Side Effects May Occur with the Alexander Technique?

With its emphasis on efficient release of natural muscular reflexes, the Alexander Technique has no known side effects.

How to Choose a Therapist

Make sure your teacher is certified by the North American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. This professional organization has well-established programs and requires members to take at least 1,600 hours of training over a three-year period, observe minimum teacher-to-student ratios, and follow set guidelines for conducting their classes. While no special background is required to become a teacher, many practitioners are dancers or other performers who have found the technique useful in their own lives.

When Should Treatment Stop?

You may continue the Alexander Technique classes as long as you wish.

See a Conventional Doctor If...

It is important to make all healthcare decisions and discuss all treatment options with the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.  In addition, because the scope of the Alexander Technique is limited to problems with movement and posture, you'll need to continue regular medical treatment for any nonmuscular disorders such as infection or inflammation. Check with your doctor, too, if you experience any new symptoms while participating in Alexander Technique sessions.

American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT)
129 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-799-0468
North American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (NASTAT)
3010 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: 800-473-0620

The Alexander Technique: How to Use Your Body Without Stress. Wilfred Barlow, M.D. Healing Arts Press, 1991.
Back Trouble. Deborah Caplan. Triad Publishing, 1987.
Body Learning. Michael J. Gelb. Henry Holt, 1996.
Your Guide to the Alexander Technique. John Gray. St.Martin's Press, 1991.
Read more ...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Meditation Technique: Alert Relaxation

Photo By: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho

By Raven Gypsy
Alert Relaxation is a meditation technique that enables your body to deeply relax while your mind stays acutely alert. When you become extremely relaxed, your body seems to recede into the back ground while the outside world draws most of your attention.

Imagine that warm currents of mental energy are very slowly moving up through your body. Proceed very slowly, allowing each muscle group to fully relax before sending the imaginary currents onto the next section of your body. Feel the muscles in your feet gradually warming and relaxing as you imagine the currents passing through them. Imagine that the currents very gradually continue moving up through your calves, into your thighs, through your hips and buttocks and into your lower back and abdomen.

Feel the muscles in your legs becoming heavy, warm, and relaxed as they sink down into the chair beneath you. When you feel your legs becoming deeply relaxed, imagine the currents moving in a clock wise motion around your abdomen, then up along your spine and through the front of your torso into your chest and shoulders. Feel the muscles in your stomach and lower back letting go of any tightness or tension as the current passes through them.

When the lower half of your body feels deeply relaxed, imagine the currents flowing upward through your ribs and shoulders, warming and relaxing the upper part of your body, leaving your back and chest, completely warm and free of any stress or tension. Imagine the currents turning around to move downward through your arms, toward your fingers and hands, then moving upward once more and back through your arms and neck toward the top of your head.

New feel the muscles in your neck and face gradually growing warm and relaxing as the imaginary currents pass through them. Then imagine the currents flowing out through the top of your head, leaving your entire body feeling comfortably warm, heavy, and relaxed.

Allow your body to sink down into the chair beneath you. As you do, you may notice some inner part of you becoming lighter as your body feels heavier and heavier. You may even begin to feel a slight sensation of floating above your body. If you find yourself having such feelings, don’t analyze or attempt to directly influence them. Just allow them to evolve on their own.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015


Photo By Stephanie Clifford

By Raven Gypsy

Adamite is a fragile crystaline mineral that is usually embedded in rusting, crumbly rock called Limonite matrix. It typically forms clusters of short, stubby crystals which are translucent. Adamite often grows with a variety of impurities such as copper and cobalt that give it colors ranging from pink and purple to blue and green.  Generally, Adamite crystals are fluorescent under UV light.

Varieties:   Most common varieties include Cobalt Adamite and Copper Adamite.

Deposits: Greece, Chile, UK, France, USA

Care and treatment: Adamite and the Limonite matrix it grows in breaks easily.  Use care when scrubing, as the Limonite matrix will crumble and fall away easily.

Hardness: 3.5

Magical Properties: Adamite help us to look to the resources within us find unique solutions to our problems.  It provides inspiration and confidence. 
It can help to balance our hearts desires with the wisdom of truth.  It can encourage emotional stability and harmony.

Keywords: guidance, solutions, confidence, emotional balance
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ostara Lore (March 21)

Photo By: Prairie Kittin License
By Raven Gypsy
Alban Eiler, also known as Lady Day or Ostara is on March 21.

As Spring starts reaching out with it's first tendrils of new growth, night and day stand in perfect balance, with light on the increase. The young Sun God now celebrates a hierogamy (sacred marriage) with the young Maiden Goddess, who conceives. In nine months, she will again become the Great Mother. It is a time of great fertility, new growth, and newborn animals.

The next full moon (a time of increased births) is called the Ostara and is sacred to Eostre the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility (from whence we get the word estrogen, whose two symbols were the egg and the rabbit.)

The Christian religion adopted these emblems for Easter which is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. The theme of the conception of the Goddess was adapted as the Feast of the Annunciation, occurring on the alternative fixed calendar date of March 25 Old Lady Day, the earlier date of the equinox. Lady Day may also refer to other goddesses (such as Venus and Aphrodite), many of whom have festivals celebrated at this time.

Traditional Foods: leafy green vegetables, dairy foods, seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, and pine. Flower dishes and sprouts.

Herbs and Flowers: Daffodil, Jonquils, Woodruff, Violet, Gorse, Olive, Peony, Iris, Narcissus and all spring flowers.

Incense: Jasmine, Rose, Strawberry, Floral of any type.

Sacred Gemstone: Jasper

Special Activities: Planting seeds or starting a Magickal Herb Garden. Taking a long walk in nature with no intent other than reflecting on the magick of nature and our Great Mother and her bounty.
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Monday, March 16, 2015


By Raven Gypsy
Agate is a crystalized type of silica.  They are often in volcanic rocks and are characterized by their bands of color.

Agate can be used to awaken & increase receptivity to the inner self. According to Edgar Cayce, Agate supplies strength during periods of great activity. They are also a good grounding stone.

AGATE, BLUE LACE: Opens, clears & soothes blockages in the throat chakra. Lace pattern and banding promotes expression of joy, beauty and lightness. Allows you to voice what you feel in your heart. Signifies the blending of energies for strength and protection.

AGATE, FIRE: Good protection stone. Dispels fear from the very depths of the inner being & provides a protective shield which reflects all threat of harm back to the source such that the source may personally understand the act. Grounding.

AGATE, MOSS: Eliminates or helps prevent colds & flu. Good grounding stone.
Australian Moss Agate Photo by: Zygzee
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Biological Dentistry

Consider Biological Dentristry For

The various therapies encompassed by biological dentistry all share a single basic premise: They are founded on the idea that the teeth can affect the general health of the body, and vice versa.

For example, the theory for which biological dentistry is best known asserts that the mercury in amalgam fillings can make you sick, leading to recurrent health problems, such as neurologic disorders, chronic fatigue, and arthritis. To remedy these ailments, proponents say, you need only have all your amalgam fillings removed and replaced with less toxic alternatives, such as non-metallic quartz-based fillings or porcelain inlays.

Many dentists and oral surgeons can and often do remove amalgam fillings at their patients' request. However, before you embark on what could become a very expensive and uncomfortable series of dental procedures, you should consider the fact that both the American Dental Association and the National Institutes of Health have specifically rejected the amalgam theory. There is no scientific evidence, they say, of any detrimental effects from amalgam.

Of course, the so-called amalgam problem is not the only reason that people seek out biological dentists. The various unconventional treatments outlined below seek to cure a broad spectrum of ailments--ranging from headache to heart disease--through operations on the teeth and mouth. Some people adopt these therapies as "natural" or "non-toxic" alternatives to mainstream treatment. However, none of them have been proven effective in scientific tests.

How Biological Dentistry Treatments Are Done

Many biological dentists work in conjunction with other alternative health care providers, such as homeopathic practitioners and holistic medical doctors. The dental procedures most commonly offered in the United States include neural therapy, oral acupuncture, cold laser therapy, and mouth balancing. To enhance the effectiveness of these therapies, the practitioner may prescribe homeopathic remedies and make recommendations concerning diet and nutrition.


According to practitioners of neural therapy, biological energy flows throughout the human body and enters each cell at a specified frequency range. If the energy flow stays within the appropriate range, it's believed that the individual will stay healthy. However, a breakdown of this flow can theoretically cause a disruption of cell function, eventually leading to a number of chronic disorders.

According to this theory, injury, inflammation, or infection in the mouth signals a blockage in the energy flow elsewhere in the body. Hence, it's thought that a problem in a distant organ can be remedied by restoring the normal flow of energy at the site of the dental problem. To accomplish this, biological dentists inject a local anesthetic, such as procaine, around the offending tooth.

Treatment Time: 2 to 3 seconds for the injection.
Treatment Frequency: Varies according to the body's response to the injection. If it's not clear which tooth is involved, the practitioner may experiment with 4 to 5 treatments over a period of 2 to 4 weeks to identify the location of the energy blockage.


Acupuncture seeks to balance the flow energy along 14 channels, or meridians, throughout the body. It's thought that the flow can be adjusted through application of needles at specific "acupoints" along the meridians. Oral acupuncture uses injections of saline water, weak local anesthetics, or homeopathic solutions at acupoints within the mouth. When the energy flow has been properly balanced at these points, practitioners believe, problems elsewhere on the meridian will be rectified. Hence, this form of therapy is used for problems ranging from sinusitis and allergies to digestive problems and neuralgia.

Treatment Time: 1 to 2 seconds for the injection.
Treatment Frequency: Varies depending upon the body's response to the injection. Patients typically undergo no more than 3 treatments over a period of 2 to 3 weeks.


Cold laser therapy is an alternative form of oral acupuncture available to patients who dislike needles. The low-power beam used in this procedure is incapable of causing any thermal damage to the body's tissues; hence the name "cold." The beam is typically aimed either directly at the teeth to prepare them for treatment or at an acupoint within the mouth. The therapy is usually recommended to reduce swelling and hasten healing.

Treatment Time: When used directly on the teeth, 30 seconds to 1 minute; when used on acupoints, 1 to 5 minutes.
Treatment Frequency: Depending upon the body's response, 2 to 3 applications may be recommended.


Homeopathic remedies are extremely weak herbal solutions given to stimulate the body's healing powers. Advocates regard them as a non-toxic alternative to drugs, although they have never been proven effective in standard clinical trials. Biological dental practitioners use them to temporarily alleviate pain or discomfort during dental emergencies. They are also used to aid the body in eliminating supposed mercury toxicity after the removal of amalgam fillings. Other dentists prefer to use them to enhance "detoxification" during the actual amalgam removal process.

Treatment Frequency: May be used every 15 minutes in dental emergencies. For amalgam detoxification, treatments range from 2 to 3 months up to 2 to 3 years or longer.


Often recommended as a remedy for painful temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), headaches, and eye problems, this form of therapy aims to bring the facial muscles, ligaments, and jaws into the proper relationship so that the muscles do not endure too much stress. The alignment of the teeth, jaws, and muscles undergo an initial evaluation, typically with the aid of a computer, as the practitioner looks for muscle dysfunction and jaw vibrations. If any deformities are identified, custom orthopedic braces are produced to be worn in the mouth and realign the jaw, thus eliminating associated pain. Note that although this procedure sounds similar to standard orthodontics, its claims are considerably more expansive.

Treatment Time: Depends upon the severity of the deformity, but can last up to 12 months, perhaps longer in severe cases.
Treatment Frequency: Appliance adjustments must be made on a regular basis. Between 5 and 20 appointments are typically required.


Most biological dentists recommend that you supplement their treatments with certain vitamins and foods. For example, patients who have undergone the removal of amalgam are told to include magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folic acid in their diets to promote the excretion of mercury from their system. (These ingredients can be found in a variety of popular multivitamin supplements.) Patients are also given a long list of things to avoid, often including sugar, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, soft drinks, refined carbohydrates, milk, cheese, margarine and fish. (Note, however, that none of these products, eaten in moderation, has been shown to have any adverse effect upon health.)

What Biological Dentistry Treatment Hopes to Accomplish

Two schools of thought run through biological dentistry. One asserts that the materials used in mainstream dentistry are toxic and can promote serious disorders elsewhere in the body. By weakening the immune system or attacking the nervous system, these materials are said to cause ailments ranging from Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis to kidney problems and heart disease. Removing the offending materials is therefore supposed to effect a cure. Although various case studies are advanced to demonstrate the validity of this theory, there is no scientific evidence to support it.

The second school of thought holds that the teeth and surrounding tissues are linked to other organs in the body through a network of energy channels. Although these channels--such as the meridians of acupuncture--have never been verified by modern science, clinical trials have shown that acupuncture-type techniques can in fact relieve certain types of pain. Claims for oral acupuncture include relief of toothaches, tooth sensitivities, jaw pain, gingivitis, neuralgia, sinusitis, and pain in distant parts of the body. In addition, the oral acupuncture points behind the last upper and lower molars have been used to treat shoulder and elbow pain, neck pain, restricted neck movement, low back pain, and TMJ. Although the jury is still out on the true value of acupuncture, it's possible that it could provide some relief.

Who Should Avoid Biological Dentistry?

Mainstream dentists regard amalgam removal and detoxification as an expensive scam, and the American Dental Association has declared it unethical.

Other forms of biological dentistry, such as oral acupuncture, are generally considered safe for anyone, although you may want to avoid the use of needles if you tend to bleed easily.

What Side Effects May Occur?

Proponents of biological dentistry point with pride to its lack of side effects. Occasionally a patient may experience nausea from the detoxification process during and after amalgam removal. However, biological dentists say that patients are more likely to experience tooth sensitivity and allergic reactions in traditional dentistry than in the biological variety.

How to Choose a Biological Dentist

There is no certification criteria for biological dentists. In fact, the treatments can be offered by any licensed dentist or oral surgeon. To locate a practitioner in your area, you can contact one of the several holistic, biological dental organizations that provide lists of biological dentists free of charge.
Before choosing a dentist, try to schedule a consultation visit with the leading contenders. Find out which ones offer the type of procedure you desire. Ask what other services they provide. Check on the safety precautions taken in the dental chair. If you are seeking amalgam removal, ask what measures the dentist uses to eliminate mercury from the body's tissues and what materials he uses in replacement fillings. Finally, ask for some patient references and see what they say.

When Should Treatment Stop?

Many biological dentists promote the technique as a process, not a definitive treatment. They point out that, like any sort of treatment, holistic therapies may not necessarily cure all problems completely--indeed, some can last a lifetime and may require constant monitoring. Many biological dental patients, for example, continue to see their dentists on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis for bite adjustments.

If you agree with this philosophy, the treatments--and your payments--can last indefinitely. To make sure continued therapy remains worthwhile, try skipping a treatment once in a while. If your problem remains in check, you may be able to cut back or eliminate the therapy entirely.

See a Conventional Dentist If...

In many cases, people turn to biological dentistry after mainstream treatments have failed.

Nevertheless, if any serious new symptoms arise, the only safe course is to return to your doctor for a professional medical diagnosis. Unfamiliar symptoms could signal new and unrelated problems that require a whole new course treatment.

American Academy of Biological Dentistry
P.O. Box 856
Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Phone: 408-659-5385
International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
P.O. Box 608531
Orlando, FL 32860-8531
Phone: 407-298-2450
Environmental Dental Association
9974 Scripps Ranch Blvd., Suite 36
San Diego, CA 92131
Phone: 800-388-8124; 619-586-7626
Are Your Dental Fillings Poisoning You? Guy S. Fasciana, DMD. Keats Publishing Inc., 1986.
The Complete Guide to Mercury Toxicity from Dental Fillings. Joyal Taylor, DDS. Scripps Publishing Co., 1988.
Dentistry Without Mercury. Sam Ziff and Michael Ziff. Bio-Probe Inc., 1993.
It's All in Your Head. Hal Huggins, DDS. Life Science Press, 1986.
Mercury Poisoning from Dental Amalgam--A Hazard to the Human
Brain. Patrick Stortebecker, MD, PhD. Bio-Probe, 1986.
Read more ...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Meaning of the Number of Claws on a Chinese Dragon
By Raven Gypsy

At one point in time, you could loose your head, in China, if the dragon on your shirt had too many claws!  The number of claws displayed by a dragon was an indication of rank within Chinese society.  The emperor's dragon had five claws.  Members of the imperial nobility and high ranking officials were permitted four claws.  Low ranking officials and the general public could depict their dragons with three claws.

Use of the wrong number of claws or color on a dragon was considered an act of treason and was punishable by death, not just for you but for your entire clan!
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Friday, March 6, 2015

Apitherapy as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

Photo By: tracywoolery

By Cheryl Hartzman

Apitherapy is the use of substances created by bees for the treatment of a variety of illnesses.  Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) utilizes the venom of the honeybee.  Physicians have long used bee venom therapy to treat patients worldwide.  There are claims that bee venom can be used to restore movement and mobility to people with multiple sclerosis by strengthening the body's natural defense mechanism, however, scientific studies have been unable to back up those claims.

A study, conducted by the Allegheny University of the Health Science in Philadelphia, on bee venom found that it did not have any positive effects at any dosage on mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the animal model for multiple sclerosis. Additionally many of the animals expressed worse symptoms than those in the placebo groups

The Multiple Sclerosis Aossiation of America (MSAA) funded a study at Georgetown University Medical Center to examine the safety of administering bee venom treatments for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.  Results of the study indicated "there was little evidence to support the use of honeybee venom in the treatment of MS".

The treatment of Multiple Sclerosis with been venom was investigated in another study at the University Medical Center Groningen.  This study used live bees to administer sting therapy to 26 patients over a period of 24 weeks. This was compared to a 24-week period with no treatment. In this trial, it was concluded that treatment with bee venom in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis did not reduce disease activity, disability, or fatigue and did not improve quality of life.

The latest research on Bee Venom Therapy has not yet proven a conclusive benefit to sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis.  Although, some of the studies were very small.  Perhaps some of the on-going research will yield better results.
Read more ...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Defining God

By Raven Gypsy
To put a name, a word, to the source of all life is to limit it.  To give it a picture is only slightly less limiting.  But to explain something without words, without pictures is to withhold from the world something great.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Verse 1- Tao is both Named and Nameless, As Nameless, it is the origin of all things, As Named, it is the mother of all things.

A Rose By Any Other Name is Still a Rose

A gentleman doing missionary work came to my door wanting to speak with me about the “One True God.”  I pointed to an object in the yard and asked “My dear sir, what do you call that rather large object out there?”  He looked very confused and answered “a tree.”

“What if a woman came along and said ‘No, that is an Oak and that over there is a Pine and that one over there is a Maple.’ Would that mean your answer is incorrect?”  The man just stared at me for a moment and then went back to his rehearsed speech, but I interrupted asking, “What if I tell you that, yes the large object out there is a tree but what is really important is that it is a living being?”  I, then having said all I felt needed to be said, bid the man a good day and closed the door.

Many have tried to explain it.  With many faces it has been seen, by many names it is known, God, Lord, Creator, Great Spirit, Allah, Jehovah, Tao, The All, etc.  But it is all the same.  It is the source from which we come, the place to which we return, it is the idea we never stop becoming.  It is limitless, unknown, unknowable.  To name is to limit. 

The Name of Tao

Me-You-The Tree
Emptiness that is Full
Unknown- Unknowable

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#mynameis Raven Gypsy - Facebook Lied!

By Raven Gypsy


Today, I found out that a performer I love has been kicked off of Facebook.  Her account, her communications, her photos, her contacts - business and personal - all GONE.  Last fall Facebook instituted a "real name" policy and began deleting accounts of anyone they thought was using a fake name.  They hit the drag queen community hard and saw a huge public outcry.  In response, they said they would stop.  Facebook lied! ( #facebooklied @MarkZuckerbergF )

Facebook's Real Name Policy is not protecting anyone.  It is hurting small businesses, performers, writers, and plain old people who are know by a nickname.  Your identity and your legal name are not always the same thing.  The "Pen Name" and the "Stage Name" have been around since people began writing and performing.  This is not something new.  This is not an anti-social aberration that puts the public at risk or endangers them in anyway.  It is a commonly accepted social convention.

Facebook: Get a grip.  Give Mab Just Mab back her account and stop harassing the beautiful, creative and unique individuals that make our social fabric fun and interesting.  We will not conform.  Love us or lose us.

Click for the full story about Mab.

#facebooklied @MarkZuckerbergF Reinstate @mabjustmab on facebook! #mynameis Mab, Just Mab! Please Retweet!

Sign the Petition:

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Monday, March 2, 2015


Consider Acupressure For

Clinical studies of this traditional Chinese therapy have yielded encouraging--though not conclusive--results in the treatment of post-surgical nausea and vomiting, including nausea after Cesarean section. The technique also shows promise for relief of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy ("morning sickness") and for prevention of motion sickness. Pressure at a special point on the inside of the wrist, from either the fingers or a small elastic band, has been shown to relieve nausea better than "sham" acupressure delivered elsewhere. Some doctors also regard acupressure as a reasonably effective remedy for headache pain, using points on the hands and feet as well as the neck. And there is general agreement that the technique can relieve muscle and joint aches and pains, promote deep relaxation and relief of tension, and improve general vitality.

On the other hand, although both acupressure and acupuncture have been proposed as weight-loss aids, neither has been found effective during clinical trials. Likewise, the contention that acupressure strengthens disease resistance has not been confirmed by any scientific evidence of improved immune function. Reports that the technique can ease breathing for patients with chronic obstructive lung disease also seem premature.

How Acupressure Treatments Are Done

Often called "acupuncture without needles" acupressure seeks to remedy illness through the application of deep finger pressure at points located along an invisible system of energy channels called meridians. Shiatsu is the Japanese version of acupressure. Tuina is a Chinese variation that involves more massage-like kneading motions.

Acupressure may be performed on a floor mat or massage table, and the person receiving the treatment usually wears light, loose clothing. Practitioners may administer pressure to various points using elbows and feet as well as thumbs and fingertips.

Treatment Time: A typical session lasts 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Treatment Frequency: Although Westerners typically seek out acupressure for a particular complaint, such as a stiff neck or aching back, traditional Oriental medicine views this therapy as a way to maintain health and keep vital energy in balance. For this purpose, acupressure may be administered on a regular basis; and pressure on many points can be self-administered as often as desired for relief of minor daily problems such as headache, tired eyes, and nervous tension.

What Acupressure Treatment Hopes to Accomplish

According to the principals of traditional Oriental medicine, the body's vital energy (called ch'i or qi in Chinese and ki in Japanese) flows along 14 meridians that connect vital organs throughout the body. Over the several thousand years that this system has been in use, Oriental physicians have mapped hundreds of sensitive "acupoints" along these meridians. A blockage in the flow of ch'i at one point on a meridian can, it's believed, cause disease and discomfort in an organ or tissue further down the line. Hence, an acupressurist may seek to relieve a problem in the head by using deep massage to break up a blockage of ch'i in the foot.

Western medical science has found no evidence that meridians exist, although some acupoints have been shown to coincide with nerve trigger points. However, as with any massage, acupressure can definitely be relaxing (although it may cause some transient discomfort in sensitive or tense areas). Some researchers also theorize that acupressure, like acupuncture, may work by prompting the body to release natural pain-killing compounds such as endorphins.

Who Should Avoid Acupressure?

Although treatments are administered in a slow, steady manner, they can involve very forceful pressure, and thus may not be a prudent choice for a person with brittle bones (osteoporosis) or a history of spinal or other orthopedic injury or easy bruising. They should also be avoided if you have a bleeding disorder, take anticoagulant drugs, or are undergoing long-term steroid therapy, which can make the tissues fragile.

Acupressure is traditionally recommended to ease discomforts of pregnancy and childbirth. However, as with any treatment during pregnancy, it's best to consult a doctor first, and to avoid any pressure near the abdominal area.
Acupressure in the legs and feet could prove damaging if you have circulation problems resulting from diabetes or varicose veins. It could also aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome, which is, at the outset, a result of pressure on a nerve. Caution should also be used near fragile or irritated skin, sores, and wounds.

What Side Effects May Occur?

After an acupressure session, some people report feeling light-headed or slightly groggy for a while. Lasting soreness is also a possibility. Usually attributed to "released energy" or "released toxins," it is more often the result of trauma to soft tissue or tendons that may already be inflamed. If treatments are painful, or result in extended discomfort, be sure to let the therapist know.

How to Choose an Acupressurist

Acupressure is administered by a wide variety of practitioners under many styles and guises. Elements of the technique are found in many types of bodywork and massage therapy. Some practitioners hew to a traditional Oriental style of practice, sometimes combined with other components of traditional Oriental medicine such as herbology. Other, more Westernized practitioners dismiss the philosophical angle and regard the meridians as a system of neurological trigger points.

There is currently no widely accepted, standard credentialing agency for acupressure. The National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine has recently begun a certification program for practitioners of "Oriental bodywork therapy," including acupressure and Shiatsu, but fewer than 100 practitioners have applied for and received certification thus far.

When Should Treatment Stop?

If you regard acupressure as a way of toning the body and tuning up your general health and well-being, then "treatment" is more like preventive maintenance, and may be continued indefinitely. For acute problems, several weeks of therapy is a reasonable time in which to expect some relief.

See a Conventional Doctor If...

Acupressure alone is not considered an effective form of therapy for any major or life-threatening ailments, although it can certainly be used to complement conventional Western medical regimens as a means of relieving tension and stress. If you have any symptoms that could signal an acute medical problem (such as chest pain) or symptoms that become worse (such as a headache that is unusually severe or won't go away), consult a physician.

Acupressure Institute
1533 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94709
Phone: 510-845-1059
This organization, which provides training in various styles of acupressure, also offers the public general information and a mail-order catalog of publications.
National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
1424 16th St., N.W., Suite 501
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-232-1404
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Religion of Love

By Raven Gypsy

Love seems to be a major theme that underscores any true path to enlightenment. To love all others equally and without judgment seems to be the ultimate lesson and ultimate challenge we all face.

Ibn al-‘Arabi declares that no religion is more sublime than a religion of love and longing for God. Love is the essence of all creeds: the true mystic welcomes it whatever guise it may assume. "My heart has become capable of every form: it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,
And a temple for idols, and the pilgrim's Ka‘ba, and the tables of the Tora and the book of the Koran.
I follow the religion of Love, whichever way his camels take.
My religion and my faith is the true religion.
We have a pattern in Bishr, the lover of Hind and her sister,
and in Qays and Lubna, and in Mayya and Ghaylan."

Commenting on the last verse, the poet writes:
"Love, quâ love, is one and the same reality to those Arab lovers and to me; but the objects of our love are different, for they loved a phenomenon, whereas I love the Real. They are a pattern to us, because God only afflicted them with love for human beings in order that He might show, by means of them, the falseness of those who pretend to love Him, and yet feel no such transport and rapture in loving Him as deprived those enamoured men of their reason, and made them unconscious of themselves."
(Nicholson, Reynold A. The Mystics of Islam. Routledge, Kegan Paul, London, 1914. Online version:

The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an anciet hatred has become a present love.
(A Course In Miracles, Text pg 562)

Love vanquishes all attackers
It is impregnable in defense
When Heaven wants to protect someone does it send an army?
No, it protects him with love
(Tzu, Lao. Tao Te Ching. Trans. Jonathan Star. Verse 67. page 80)

Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. (Bible, Proverbs 10:12)

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. (Bible, Leviticus 19:18)
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Why Good Girls Love Bad Boys

By Raven Gypsy
Girls: Give the Good Guy a Chance, You're not as Bad as you Think

MoonWillow WhiteStorm has written an awesome article about balance and how things are not all good or all bad called My Concept of Grey.  It has inspired me, along with some person issues, and talks with friends to encourage the Good Girls to give the Good Guys a chance.

I get upset sometimes when I encounter people who try to live to the extremes of black and white, good and bad.  I totally agree with MoonWillow, life is never that clear cut.  In fact, I really enjoyed Disney's recent movie Maleficent and the Once Upon Time TV series, where we get to see behind the villain and learn why they are so angry and that maybe the hero isn't quite as good as we have been told to believe.  I think we need more stories like that in our culture.  Maybe more romance movies and novels where the characters are less than perfect but they love each other anyway.

Why do good girls like bad boys?  Why do good guys finish last? It is because girls grow up thinking that to get Prince Charming, she needs to be Princess Perfect.  Beautiful, graceful, smart, funny, perfect.  And she knows, she isn't.  Sometimes she wakes up with her hair standing on end.  Sometimes she curves more here, and not enough there.  Sometimes, well, a lot of times, she is moody and fickle.  Sometimes, she gets mad.  Always, she is imperfect, and not good enough for Prince Charming.  Next to the bad boy, she can feel like Princess Perfect, or close to it.  In her eyes, he makes her look good.

Newsflash ladies, Prince Charming isn't perfect!  The good guy isn't perfect either. 

Bigger news flash, the good guy doesn't expect you to be perfect.  He sees lots of good things about you and feels like the not so perfect stuff are things he doesn't care about or can deal with.  If he is willing to take the risk on getting hurt because he sees you as someone he can love, then give yourself enough self respect and self confidence to take a chance on the good guy. 

I also recommend you read:  How to survive Dating Prince Charming
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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Truth Everywhere I Turn

One thing that bother's me a bit about A Course in Miracles (ACIM), and perhaps this is my mis-perception, is that it seems a bit exclusive. It seems to me it is saying this is the truth and there is no other for all else is of the world of form which is not real. However, it seems that very same "truth" of which it speaks is popping out at me at every turn from a wide variety of sources, confirming my long held belief that there are many truthful spiritual paths in this world, which if followed unerringly, will lead to enlightenment. My latest confirmation is a quote I ran across from a Muslim Mystic:

"Those who adore God in the sun" (says Ibn al-‘Arabi) "behold the sun, and those who adore Him in living things see a living thing, and those who adore Him in lifeless things see a lifeless thing, and those who adore Him as a Being unique and unparalleled see that which has no like. Do not attach yourself" (he continues) "to any particular creed exclusively, so that you disbelieve in all the rest; otherwise, you will lose much good, nay, you will fail to recognise the real truth of the matter. God, the omnipresent and omnipotent, is not limited by any one creed, for He says (Kor. 2.109), 'Wheresoever ye turn, there is the face of Allah.' Every one praises what he believes; his god is his own creature, and in praising it he praises himself. Consequently he blames the beliefs of others, which he would not do if he were just, but his dislike is based on ignorance. If he knew Junayd's saying, 'The water takes its colour from the vessel containing it,' he would not interfere with other men's beliefs, but would perceive God in every form of belief." (Nicholson, Reynold A. The Mystics of Islam. Routledge, Kegan Paul, London, 1914. Online version:
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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tongue Piercing Aftercare - Tips & Tricks

By Raven Gypsy
Your tongue is newly pierced and swollen and painful.  Now what?  Well, I have a few tips and tricks.  This is not meant to be a thorough guide to aftercare; your piercer will give you that.  But here are a few facts and helpful solutions that they may or may not tell you about.

1. Cold is your friend, hot is not.

     Cold foods are a good choice.  Even better is cold food that melts.  For example, you could eat a frozen waffle, still frozen.  It's cold and cold is nice, but you still have to chew it and get it to the back of your mouth to swallow.  Conversely, you will be more sensitive to hot than normal.  It is easier to burn yourself and the last thing you need is something else causing you pain and swelling and discomfort.  So make sure you let your food cool to almost room temperature.  Take it from a mom, eating room temperature food for a week will not kill you.

2.  Meal replacement shakes.

     Meal replacement shakes are also a good choice.  Trust me, a liquid diet gets old FAST.  Meal replacement shakes will at least leave you feeling full for a while.  It also helps to maintain your protein intake because, lets face it, most of us get our protein from meat.  Meat will not be high on your easy to eat list for at least a couple of days.  If you've never tried these shakes before, I found that the Special K dark chocolate ones were really, really yummy.  So are the Carnation Breakfast shakes.  They were akin to drinking melted chocolate ice cream.

3.  Pasta and Eggs

     While it might be a good idea to avoid tomato sauce while your tongue piercing is healing (acids are irritating), cold pasta salad can be made in a variety of flavors.  They are yummy, easy to chew, and slide down your throat, minimizing the amount of work for your tongue.  Eggs, especially, sunny side up or hard boiled are also a good slippery food choice.

4.  Foods that might seem like a good idea, but aren't.

     When your tongue piercing is fresh, you are looking for foods that do not require a lot of chewing but you also want foods that do not stick.  Mashed potatos, peanut butter, cookie dough, thick melted cheese, caramel, chocolate candies and perogies are all out.

5.  Food in a Tube

     No, I'm not talking about freeze dried astronaut food!  Our modern grocery stores carry really interesting snack options these days, like Go Yurt (yogurt in a tube), Fruit Chillers (fruit sorbet in a tube), Applesauce in a tube and good old fashion freeze pops.  All three of these choices (some healthier than others) can be frozen.  They become a nice frozen treat that is yummy, easy to eat and soothing to your swollen tongue piercing.  But you can also leave the tube in tact and they become an ice pack in the perfect size and shape for your mouth.

6.  Salt Water Rinse

     Any good piercer will tell you to do salt water rinses.  But it bears repeating.  The salt water will help to prevent any infection.  They may also tell you to rinse with mouth wash.  You want a non-alcoholic mouth wash.  Do not over use the mouth wash.  Alternating between the two types of rinses might be a good choice.

7.  My Mouth Turned Blue!

     Or yellow.  Yup it happens.  Let's talk yellow first.  You tongue will develop a film on top that is yellowish in color.  It's ok.  It is kind of like your tongue's version of a scab.  It will cover most of your tongue and will probably appear within 2-3 days of getting your tongue pierced.  Within 7-10 days, it will probably be mostly gone.  Do not try to brush or scrape it off!  It will go away on its own.

     Blue moon, oh, er, tongue.  That happens when the coloring in your mouth wash (which you might be using too much of - check with your piercer), dyes the yellow film that covers your healing tongue.  As long as your piercer confirms that you are using the right type and quantity of mouth wash, then don't worry about it.  The blue, or green, or purple - depending on the color of your mouth wash- will fade as the tongue piercing heals and the film disappears.

8.  Herbal Remedies

     Remember that your tongue piercing is a puncture wound!  Treatment of puncture wounds are generally very different than the treatment of other cuts and scrapes.  Things like hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, and lavender oil are commonly recommended for the external, let me repeat, external treatment of cuts, not puncture wounds, and especially not puncture wounds to muscles and/or mucous membranes.  On the whole, advil, ice, good hygiene and some time will be all you need. 

9.  Size Matters

     When your tongue is pierced, your piercer will use a longer bar to accomodate the swelling in your tongue.  Generally you will be instructed to return after 2-3 weeks and have a smaller bar put in.  However, some people are, as my piercer calls them, puffy.  If your tongue tries to heal over top of the ball at either end of your bar, your bar is too short.  You will need to go back and have a longer bar put in.

10.  Swish

     While your tongue is still swollen and your piercing is still healing, swish.  Eat a meal with a glass of water at hand.  Rather than struggling to clear the food particles from your mouth, swish your mouth with water and swallow.  It's just easier that way.
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Mis-guided Path of Ego

By Raven Gypsy
One of the core principles of A Cource In Miracles is that Ego has created this world and will try anything to keep you from finding out the truth because the truth is death to the Ego. So the obstacle to oneness with God is denying the ego and avoiding its tricks and distractions.

This idea is echoed by the Tao Te Ching

If I had the least bit of wisdom
I could follow the path of Tao quite well
My only fear would be trying to go my own way
The Great Path is simple and direct
yet people love to take the side-routes.
Read more ...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ayurvedic Medicine

Consider Ayurvedic Medicine for:

Strictly speaking, Ayurvedic Medicine is not a treatment. Rather, it is an entire medical system whose goal is the prevention of disease through the proper balance of three "irreducible principles" at work in the body.

Derived from philosophical theories propounded in India over 2,000 years ago, the principles of Ayurvedic Medicine have never been substantiated by contemporary medical science--and no medical conditions have been proven to respond to Ayurvedic treatments. Certain Ayurvedic exercises, such as the meditation and gentle stretching exercises of yoga, afford people relief from tension and stress. However, any impact these exercises have on chronic conditions such as high blood pressure appears to be momentary, and can't be considered a lasting remedy.

How Ayurvedic Treatments Are Done

Ayurvedic Medicine encompasses a wide range of treatments and lifestyle measures, including dietary recommendations, massage, medicinal herbs, and the meditation and breathing techniques of yoga. Some practitioners also recommend intestinal "cleansing" through the use of laxatives or enemas. Depending on your specific ailments and condition, you could be prescribed any or all of these various modes of therapy.

Ayurvedic practitioners generally begin by taking a comprehensive personal and medical history to determine your physical and spiritual "type," and then prescribe and treat accordingly. Expect detailed questions about your emotional temperament, skin type, food preferences, and other quirks. The practitioner is also likely to examine your tongue and spend a significant amount of time taking your pulse. (In the Ayurvedic view of medicine, the pulse is a critical diagnostic tool, revealing imbalances in the three basic principles at work in the body.)

Much like traditional Oriental medicine, the Ayurvedic system aims not just to treat diseases, but to maintain and balance the energy and health of both mind and body. It emphasizes avoidance of stress and a moderate, balanced lifestyle. The version of Ayurvedic medicine commercialized in the United States is a relatively recent "reconstruction" of ancient Indian medical practices, refined and tailored to meet Western expectations and tastes. In India itself, Western-style medicine is replacing many of the older practices.

The frequency and duration of Ayurvedic treatments vary widely. Many aspects of Ayurvedic practice, such as dietary choices and yoga, can be self-administered on a regular basis or as needed. Typical measures may include massage with warm sesame oil; avoidance of certain types of foods (based on flavor, not nutritional content) and emphasis on others; breathing exercises, such as breathing alternately through one nostril and then the other; and herbal saunas or enemas to "detoxify" the body. A comprehensive program of treatments, called panchakarma, aims at overall "purification" and rejuvenation, and may be offered at some Ayurvedic clinics, centers, or spas.

What Ayurvedic Treatment Hopes to Accomplish

The complex Indian system of healing called Ayurveda (from the Sanskrit words for "knowledge of life") has been around for millennia, but was first popularized in the United States by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation movement. Later, the physician-author Deepak Chopra, MD seized the baton, promoting the system in a string of books and lectures during the 1980's and 90s.

According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas, or basic metabolic types: kapha, pitta, and vata. Each dosha is rooted in specific organs of the body and associated with two of Ayurveda's elements (earth, water, fire, air, and space, or "ether"). Combinations of these doshas in various proportions are said to yield a total of 10 body types which determine each individual's physical and emotional makeup.
The Ayurvedic practitioner's job is to identify the individual's "tridosha," a unique combination of the three doshas, and prescribe dietary patterns, exercises, lifestyle changes, and therapies designed to bring the tridosha into balance. People described as predominantly "vata" are thought to be thin, quick, and energetic; "pitta" types are considered competitive and hot-tempered; "kapha" types are regarded as calm and stolid. Each type is considered prone to characteristic ailments (for example, "pitta" types are thought to be more vulnerable to ulcers, inflammation, or rashes).
Identification of one's tridosha determines an array of recommendations, ranging from dietary choices to the best types of exercise. Ayurvedic dietary advice is based on food's flavor rather than its nutritional content as defined by Western science. Increasing your intake of sweet, sour, and salty foods, for instance, is said to balance "vata." Herbal prescriptions are drawn from a vast selection of traditional Indian remedies, most of them unfamiliar to Westerners. (Don't make assumptions. Even familiar herbs may be used for different purposes than those documented by Western medical research.) Attempts to "purify" the body through excretion are also stressed, including herbal enemas and steam treatments. (Induced vomiting, a purgative technique used in Indian Ayurvedic practice, has--not surprisingly--been avoided by American practitioners.)

Who Should Avoid Ayurvedic Medicine?

Because none of the treatments endorsed by Ayurvedic Medicine have been tested and found effective in regular clinical trials, Western physicians rarely recommend them for anyone. At best, Ayurvedic techniques are seen as means of attaining balance and harmony in your physical and emotional life--certainly not as a cure for a specific disease.

In any event, it's wise to be especially wary of the purgative treatments sometimes recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners. Overuse of laxatives and enemas can lead to serious chemical imbalances within the body. Laxatives, in particular, should never be taken in the presence of abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting without first consulting a regular doctor.

Likewise, if you must follow dietary restrictions in order to manage a serious disorder such as diabetes or heart disease, it's advisable to consult a physician or registered dietitian before adopting an Ayurvedic diet plan. Because Ayurvedic recommendations are based mainly on the flavor of food, they may be at odds with the body's requirements as understood by contemporary medical science.

What Side Effects May Occur?

Meditation and the gentle stretching and breathing exercises of yoga are unlikely to have any adverse effects on most individuals. Likewise, gentle massage with warm oil, another mainstay of Ayurveda, is generally harmless. Ayurvedic herbal medicines, however, are a different matter. There's little published information on them, and many herbs have potent--and not necessarily desirable--effects when overused. If you develop any unforeseen symptoms while taking an Ayurvedic remedy, regard them as a signal to check with a mainstream doctor or pharmacist.

How to Choose an Ayurvedic Therapist

Ayurveda is not recognized as a medical discipline in the United States, and there is no licensure system in place for its practitioners. A few medical doctors and osteopaths combine Ayurvedic philosophy and practice with contemporary medicine and other types of alternative health care. For practitioners trained by the followers of the Marharishi Mahesh Yogi, contact the Ayur-Veda Health Center listed below.

When Should Treatment Stop?

If you are using Ayurvedic techniques such as meditation and yoga to combat stress and improve your general well-being, you can probably continue indefinitely. However, if a specific complaint fails to respond to Ayurvedic herbs or dietary adjustments within a matter of weeks, the wisest course is to discontinue the treatment and seek alternative therapy.

See a Conventional Doctor If...

Even if you find an Ayurvedic program to be a helpful tonic, it's best to regard it as an adjunct to other forms of medicine. If you develop any serious or alarming symptoms, seek diagnosis and treatment from a mainstream physician. Remember, even in India most health-care professionals now use at least some modern medical techniques.

The Raj, Maharishi Ayur-Veda Health Center
1734 Jasmine Avenue
Fairfield, IA 52556
Phone: 800-248-9050
This spa-like Ayurvedic health center is affiliated with a university founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian spiritual leader who devised Transcendental Meditation. The center provides general information on Ayurveda and referrals to graduates of their Ayurvedic training program.
Ayurvedic Secrets to Longevity and Total Health. Peter Anselmo with James S. Brooks, MD. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996.
Ayurveda: The A-Z Guide to Healing Techniques from Ancient India. Nancy Bruning and Helen Thomas. New York: Dell, 1997.
Maharishi Ayur-Ved: TM Goes Health Food. Stephen Barrett, MD and Victor Herbert, MD, JD, in The Vitamin Pushers. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 1994.
Perfect Health: The Complete Mind-Body Guide. Deepak Chopra, MD. New York: Harmony Books, 1991.
The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Vasant Lad. New York: Harmony Books, 1998.
The Book of Ayurveda. Judith H. Morrison. New York: Fireside, 1995.
Yoga and Ayurveda. J. Raso in "Alternative" Healthcare: A Comprehensive Guide. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 1994.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blessed are the Meek

By Cheryl Hartzman
Mathew 5:5

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

             In the song Blessed, by Simon and Garfunkle, the concept of the undeserving being blessed is graphically portrayed:  “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit. . Blessed are the sat upon, spat upon, ratted on, O lord, why have you forsaken me? . . . Blessed are the meth drinkers, pot sellers, illusion dwellers.  O lord, why have you forsaken me? . . . Blessed are the penny rookers, cheap hookers, groovy lookers.
O lord, why have you forsaken me?  I have tended my own garden, Much too long.”

            As a child, I never understood Mathew’s statement.  To me, like Simon and Garfunkle, the definition of meek is weak, frail, unable, incapable.  For the life of me, I could not understand why characteristics like that would be, not only desirable, but rewarded? 

            So now as an adult these thoughts are returning, and I’ve decided to investigate a little because my understanding of Mathew is probably more in error then Mathew’s delivery of divine information.  Allow me, if you will, to take you on a trip to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary where we will find a definition for meek.

Pronunciation: 'mEk
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse mjukr gentle; akin to Welsh mwyth soft
1 : enduring injury with patience and without resentment
2 : deficient in spirit and courage
3 : not violent or strong

Definition number two is certainly in keeping with what I thought meek meant.  But how can a word mean it’s opposite?  One can not be deficient in spirit and courage if one is to endure injury with patience and without resentment.  I would never dare call Martin Luther King, Jr. or Ghandi men who were lacking in spirit or courage!  To endure such things, you must be non-violent.  And to be non-violent certainly takes more strength than it does to simply release the energy of anger when ever and where ever you please.

I think I have finally reconciled this puzzle.  The definition of meek has over the centuries been altered by our culture to its extreme opposite.

Blessed are those strong enough to overcome violence for they shall inherit the earth or the land.

Blessed are those strong enough to overcome violence.  Overcome violence.  Matthew goes on to say in 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.

Return to your lives this day, and create peace in your heart, in your mind, in your home.  Become sons and daughters of God and practice conflict resolution in a calm and peaceful manner with communication, patience and compassion.  Next time you feel the urge to yell choose silence.  Next time you feel the urge to throw and hit, breathe and think on the meaning of meek.  You are all Blessed sons and daughters of God because I know, in your hearts is the strength to become meek. 
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Shit Doesn't Stink

By Raven Gypsy
Yup, I said it, My Shit doesn't stink.  Oh, but you think I'm lying?  Poop from a healthy individual actually doesn't have a strong odor, but due to our modern diet of fats, refined sugars, additives, preservatives, sterilization, and processing, our poop is now odoriferous, to say the least.  The good news is, there are a few things you can do about it.

Let's start with the easy solution - cover it up.  That's right, we love our junk food, admit it.  And if health and energy and weight loss and all those other good reasons to change your diet haven't worked, I'm not foolish enough to think that lessening the stink of your poop will really be the reason that pushes you over the edge.  However, commerical air freshing sprays and their ilk are ladden with toxic chemicals that really aren't safe to be inhaling and touching.  For some of us, the smells are more offensive then what they are covering up too.  In addition, did you know that many of the plug in air fresheners have been known to start house fires?  That is certainly one way to change the smell of your bathroom, but I wouldn't really call it an improvement!

Essential oils can provide a safe, natural and affordable solution.  A few drops of essential oil mixed with water in a spray bottle makes for a fantastic air freshing spray.  The best kept secret though, is to add a couple drops of oil directly to the toilet water, BEFORE, doing your business.  Sounds strange, I know!  But it really does work.  Just try it, it's the only way to believe me.

Bonus: Essential oil bottles are so small they can easily be carried in a purse or pocket or kept in a drawer at work.

Best Essential Oils to cover up the smell?  Strong ones, duh.  Eucalyptus, peppermint, wintergreen, and lemon are some good places to start.

TIP:  If you live somewhere with Mexican grocery stores, pure eucalyptus oil comes in huge bottles for way cheaper than the natural stores.

Strong odor in your stools is actually a sign of poorly digested food in a slow moving gut.  These factors lead to the growth of bacteria - smelly bacteria.

If you are one of those few people who are interested in preventative steps to improve the odor of your stool, then here are a few to get you started:
1. Chew your Food well.  Well chewed food is better digested.
2. RAW apple cider vinegar
3. Eat raw, unprocessed, natural foods
4. avoid liquids with meals
5. consume bitter herbs such as wormwood, fennel, or nettles infusions
6. avoid antacids
7. avoid artificial preservatives
8. avoid dairy and gluten (difficult to digest)
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

By Raven Gypsy

According to Chinese medicine, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be caused by general body imbalance- spleen vacuity, liver depression or energy deficiency- causing vital energy (chi) stagnation, water retention or blood stasis around the tunnel.  The treatment principle is to concurrently treat the general body condition and the local affected area.  Clinical research has verified that acupuncture works very well for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Using the traditional needling technique, certain acupuncture points, based on the general body condition, are picked to restore the body’s equilibrium.  The points to treat spleen vacuity, liver depression and energy deficiency are in the leg, the feet and the head.  A variety of local points around the hand and wrist are beneficial, depending on if the symptoms are limited to the hand and wrist or involve the forearm, shoulder or neck area.

While the patient is reclining on his back or side, the needles are carefully and painlessly inserted into the points and kept in position 15 to 30 minutes.  A case of carpal tunnel syndrome that has existed less then 6 months usually can be cured in 3 to 6 treatments.  The longer the condition, the more treatment needed.  There are no special restrictions after treatment, and patients are free to use their hands in normal ways.

For a great overview of Acupuncture we recommend:
Everything You Need to Know about Acupuncture
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