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The Cure Is in the Kitchen

By Aine McAteer Oprah.com | June 14, 2010

Chef Aine McAteer has long touted the connection between what we eat and how we feel. She now reveals her number one “kitchen medicine”—ginger—and shares some natural remedies using this tasty root.

When I was a young girl growing up in rural Ireland, one thing I knew for sure was that whatever ailed me, my granny had some sort of a concoction to cure it. This was often motivation for me not to get sick or to will myself well, as these “medicines” were not exactly culinary delights.

She had us eating boiled nettles to build our blood and drinking barley water to cure colds and coughs. Castor oil was administered for tummy upsets and constipation, and when there wasn’t a twig or a leaf to cure something, holy water to the rescue! Our warts were rubbed with black snails, our sprained ankles wrapped in leaves from the palm tree and our infections drawn out with hot bread poultices.

In more recent years, I seem to have regressed to the ways of days gone by. Being told at age 19 that I would be dependent on medication for the rest of my life was motivation enough for me to seek out natural alternatives. In the days before Google, I had to search far and wide only to be directed back toward the wisdom of my grandmother.

I discovered that I could cook my way to better health, and this was a very enlightening discovery. I became a girl on a mission and continued to discover every day the magical connection between what I ate and my health and vitality. Now, if I feel unwell, I look no further than my kitchen cupboards to find a remedy.

When it comes to kitchen medicine, my number one ally is fresh ginger. Here are just a few of its many benefits:

  • Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and can help reduce inflammation associated with conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism and ulcerative colitis. It can either be taken as a drink or combined with a few drops of fresh ginger juice or 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger with 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil and massaged into the affected area.
  • For a sore throat, make an infusion of grated ginger in lukewarm water to gargle.
  • Ginger is a natural decongestant and will loosen and expel phlegm in the lungs, so for a cough, cold or other chest conditions such as asthma and bronchitis, drink warm ginger tea. To increase the healing benefits, add a teaspoon of manuka honey, as it is said to have many health benefits, including antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. To make ginger tea, simply peel a 1- to 2-inch piece of ginger. Cut it into thin slices and simmer with 2 to 4 cups water for about 15 minutes. Strain and drink.
  • Ginger is a known digestive aid. It is said to have the ability to enhance fat and protein digestion and increase the production of healthy intestinal flora. The enzyme in ginger called zingibain is said to have similar properties to papain in papaya, known for its ability to help digest protein.
  • For lower backache or tension in the kidney area, there’s nothing more healing than a ginger compress. Grate a big knob of fresh ginger and tie it in a piece of cotton or muslin. Infuse it in a pot of hot water. Then, wring out hand towels and place them over the area of tension or pain and put a large towel on top to keep the heat in—you want to make sure it’s as hot as you can bear, but not burn. Change the towel several times until the area is red. It’s easier and more relaxing to have someone else administer the compress. You can also apply the compress to the chest area to treat a cold.
  • Sip on some warm ginger tea to calm an upset stomach. It’s also an excellent remedy for nausea or seasickness, so take along a flask of ginger tea if you’re taking to the water. You can also take it in tablet or capsule form.
  • Ginger tea or tablets can also be used to treat morning sickness, but take in moderation during pregnancy. It has been used medicinally to stimulate menstruation, so there is some concern in scientific circles that it could possibly cause miscarriage. There have been no documented cases of this happening, so most herbalists will recommend ginger in small doses to ease morning sickness.
  • Ginger is a natural breath freshener, so chew on a little piece to help relieve bad breath.
  • Ginger is an excellent dandruff remedy. Grate a knob of fresh ginger and squeeze out about 1 tablespoon juice (you can do this using a small strainer or squeeze between two spoons). Mix with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and massage into the scalp. Leave on for about 30 minutes before washing out. Repeat three times a week until the condition improves.
  • Take a ginger foot-soak to improve circulation throughout the body. It has antifungal properties, so is effective as a footbath for treating conditions like athlete’s foot.

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The Advantages of Integrative Medicine.

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Metabolism and the Throat Chakra

Donna Eden & David Feinstein, Ph.D.

Metabolism—necessary for all life—is the unceasing transformation of matter into energy (catabolism, a yin process) and energy into matter (anabolism, a yang process). Ideally there is a harmony between catabolic and anabolic processes, a yin-yang balance.

While metabolism takes place at all levels of the body, down to events in the cells, metabolism is governed by the throat chakra.

Beyond metabolism as we usually think of it—involving physical matter such as food—information carried by a more subtle form of energy is also metabolized. This is the job of the throat chakra. Information from the other six chakras passes through the throat chakra.

Seven different truths, different kinds of information, are represented in the seven chakras. Here is how information from each chakra is metabolized at the throat chakra. It is both broken down (catabolism) so it can be assimilated, and assimilated information is built up into new syntheses (anabolism). The value of having all this occur in one place is that the truths of all 7 chakras can be incorporated into the new synthesis.

Each of the 7 chambers of the throat chakra corresponds with one of the 7 chakras.

The 3 chambers on the left side correspond with the 2nd, 4th, and 6th chakras. These are a more receptive energy, more yin. These chakras are catabolic, more involved with breaking down and assimilating information, though this is not to say that any chakra is all yin or all catabolic. Each has both yin and yang energy, but the balance of these three is more toward yin, toward catabolic action. These three chakras happen to contain more layers that spin counter clockwise (which breaks down, catabolic) than clockwise (which stabilizes, anabolic).

The 3 chambers on the right side correspond with the 1st, 3rd, and 5th chakras. These are a more active energy, more yang. These chakras are anabolic, more involved with creating new information out of information that has already been assimilated. But again, every chakra carries out both processes–it is simply that the balance of these three is more toward yang, toward anabolic action. These three chakras contain more layers that spin clockwise (anabolic) than counter clockwise.

The energy of the 7th chakra comes through the central chamber, at least during the times in our life when we are enjoying harmony among all our chakras. When this harmony does not exist, however, because new information needs to be synthesized, or because of stress or other factors, the energy of the throat chakra comes through the central chamber. It does this to give a boost to the metabolizing and harmonizing of all the chakra energies it is managing. When the throat chakra energy comes through the central chamber, the energy of the 7th chakra will move through the far right chamber.

In case all of the above is too simple, some people are more yin and others more yang, which impacts the degree of anabolic or catabolic properties you will see on each side of the throat chakra. There are also figure 8 forces and spiralling layers of energy that move and blend the energies of all the chambers together, which are the final influences on the way the throat chakra metabolizes information from the other six chakras.

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A Stroke of Insight

A Stroke of Insight
by Amy Anderson

On December 10, 1996, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor woke up with a pounding, pulsating pain behind her left eye. She was hypersensitive to light, and her hands were curled up like claws. “It was as though I was witnessing myself having this experience rather than me being the person having this experience,” she says.

At 37, Taylor was having a stroke. And she thought it was amazing.

Every 45 seconds, someone suffers a stroke in the United States. But Taylor was a brain scientist, a neuroanatomist at Harvard’s Brain Tissue Resource Center. And so, over the next four hours, as a blood clot the size of a golf ball slowly hemorrhaged to the size of a fist in her brain’s left hemisphere, she observed herself not just as a stroke victim, but as an expert on the brain.

In 2006, Taylor published the New York Times best-selling My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. Today, she is a sought-after speaker, addressing medical and nursing schools, corporations and even spiritual organizations. She was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008, and her speech at the February 2008 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference became a viral video that was seen by more than 5 million viewers.

The stroke occurred in Taylor’s left hemisphere, which is the logical, sequential, organized side of the brain, concerned with numbers, words and time. The right hemisphere is the intuitive, kinesthetic side that views the world in pictures and sees everything in the present moment.

That morning, as Taylor’s left brain began to shut down, she tried to continue with her morning routine. But when she lost her balance in the bathtub, she had a startling realization: She could no longer perceive boundaries around solid objects. She couldn’t tell where her hand stopped and where the wall started. “And through the eyes of a scientist,” she says, “I was really thinking, This is totally cool, totally interesting. But what is wrong with my brain?”

Taylor was alone, and as she got out of the tub, her right arm became paralyzed. “As soon as that happened, that was when I realized, Oh my gosh, I’ve got paralysis. That’s a warning sign of stroke. I’m having a stroke. And then I thought, Wow, this is so cool. How many brain scientists have the opportunity to do this?”

She knew she needed to call for help but couldn’t remember any phone numbers. Words and symbols didn’t register with her deteriorating brain. She drifted back and forth between moments of brief clarity and moments of great peace. “When I wasn’t in my left brain attending to details and going through this process [of finding a phone number], I would drift off into my right hemisphere consciousness, which was very peaceful and very blissful. There was no sense of urgency and there was no sense of fear. There was just this overwhelming sense of love and openness and being as big as the universe.”

After managing to match the “squiggles” on a business card to the “squiggles” on the phone, she reached a co-worker. When he spoke to her, he sounded “like a golden retriever. And I realized I couldn’t understand language. And then I tried to speak and the same ‘roar-roar-roar’ comes out of me. And it was like, oh my gosh, I sound like a golden retriever.”

After being stabilized at Massachusetts General Hospital, she was completely disabled. “I could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of my life,” she says. “I was essentially an infant.”

She underwent surgery, and over the next eight years, Taylor, with help from her mother, relearned everything. She learned to sit up, to use a fork, to tie her shoes. But she made agonizingly slow process. For example, her mother would teach her to put on her socks and at another time to put on her shoes. “But if you laid my shoes and socks in front of me and said put them on, I would not know that you had to put the socks on before you put the shoes on because I had no linearity to my thinking. And because I had no linearity, I could not multitask.”

Later, she learned vocabulary and conversation. She learned to read. “That was a particularly difficult and painful process for me,” she says. “Very complicated.” Because the right hemisphere thinks in pictures instead of words, she retained images of anatomy and brain structure, but no words to go along with them, so she also relearned the language of her career.

But the brain is designed specifically to overcome such enormous obstacles, Taylor says. “You know, it’s amazing that we are programmed for the brain to change, to adapt, to recover. It’s an absolutely amazing thing we’ve got inside of our heads.”

She compiled most of what she learned during her recovery in her book, including 40 things she needed most as a stroke survivor, a list to aid caregivers.

So what’s different now? Today, she is more artistic, thanks to a heightened ability to see the world with her more visually oriented right hemisphere. Among her works are stained-glass replicas of the brain. And she can sing on key, a new development since the stroke.

“If we look at our anger as simply a form of brain circuitry, we can take steps to diffuse that circuitry.”

“It has fundamentally shifted me,” she says. “Before, I was very left-brain-driven. I was a high achiever. My whole focus was really on my career.” She still works as the national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, is an adjunct instructor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the consulting neuroanatomist on brain cancer for the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute. She also serves as president of the Bloomington, Ind., affiliate of NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is collaborating on Wii-like gaming tools for neurological rehabilitation from brain trauma. But she doesn’t stay so busy to boost her career.

“Now, I’m more concerned about having limited time in this body,” she says. “I have had an incredible experience and have incredible opportunities to apply what I have learned to the betterment of humanity. We are all essentially programmed for deep inner peace right there in the core of our right hemispheres.”

Taylor’s goal today is to share what she’s learned about how our brains affect our daily lives, which is the insight she refers to in her book. “We are circuitry. We are thinking circuitry, emotional circuitry and physiological circuitry.” She explains that it only takes 90 seconds for us to think a thought, have an emotional response, such as anger, and then a physiological response that fl ushes in and through us. “And I think that really has the power to change how we look at ourselves and how we look at others.”

Because if we look at our anger as simply a form of brain circuitry, we can take steps to diffuse that circuitry. “Instead of saying I’m mad, I’m madder than hell, say, I’m running my anger circuitry. Wow.” You observe the anger circuitry run its course instead of acting out. “And once that happens, then you have the power to just let it come and go,” she says. “You don’t have to rethink the thoughts that re-stimulate the feeling. You think about something else.” Redirecting your mind, as you would for a child throwing a tantrum, allows the circuitry to stop running and the anger to dissipate.

This insight also has the power to help curtail stress. The part of the brain that causes stress is mainly centered in the left hemisphere. “It’s the left brain that’s talking to us all the time,” Taylor says. “It’s telling us we’re behind; it’s telling us we’re late. It’s our worry circuitry.” So when we’re stressed and our mind is filled with what ifs, it’s important to remember that the left brain is just doing its job. And that we have a choice instead to use the right brain to bring us back into the present moment.

“The present moment is a great moment. I’m just grateful to be alive. I’m just grateful I have my health. I’m just grateful I have my eyes and can see. I’m just grateful I have bladder control because I’m caught in traffic. You know, we have alternative ways of looking at things. And the alternative is to bring my mind right here, right now, back to the present moment. It’s the little things,” she says. “And it’s a choice. That’s the point: It’s a choice.”

 

 

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a video to briefly introduce and demonstrate the use of energy healing using Reiki and Body Talk Access with a short reference to Inca Shamanic healing

See the article here:
Energy Healing

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Finally the Truth About Weight-Management and Weight-Loss Learn more about a serious approach to weight-management at http://www.medicorp.net There are two approaches toward weight-management. The first is the “magic-theory.” The second is the “Fitness or Lifestyle” approach.

Continue reading here:
Weight-Management 101 – Part 1

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