Shiatsu Cave
Massage & Bodywork for Women

Self Care and Caregiving

Beneath the water since I was a boy

I have dreamt of strange and dark treasures,

Not of gold or strange stones, but the true

Gift beneath the pale lakes of Minnesota.

 

This morning also drifting in the dawn wind,

                                                               Robert Bly  1960s

 

Self Care and Care giving - Beyond massage & bodywork. 

 

Self Care and Care giving go hand in hand. If you've been blessed with pretty good health, or have learned a lot about health care, you may eventually find yourself at the center of care giving in your family. Once you start on the path of practicing self care, you'll discover more care giving energy to go around.

Three important things to remember each day:

1. Breathing, a healthy immune system depends on oxygen.

2. Moving.  Creating differential along the vertebra (moving and doing) to allow space for nerves to flourish, also helped by circulation distribution of nutrients.  Exercise, or selective movement helps promote oxygen distribution, and helps to fire up brain circuitry involved in movement, also very important for health of the lymphatic/immune system which is influenced by movement. 

3. Meditation. Clear the deck to enhance fresh thinking, creative observation, introspection, engineering and application. 

The person who started Tai Chi got the idea by watching a snake fight a crane about 600 years ago.

 

If you can find a way to access the May/June 2017 edition of Massage & Bodywork - Self-Care Starts Here, this issue is filled with great articles on preserving work longevity through different ways of self care.  It's a subscription magazine, but might be accessed for a short time through one of these websites: www.massageandbodywork.com www.abmp.com www.massagetherapy.com or www.massageprofessionals.com

Before even worrying about what exercise to do, first think only of love, peace and loving kindness towards every person and all life, it changes body chemistry to a much more workable place.  My first massage instructor had a great saying for her students, Before entering leave the personal baggage outside of the door, and then when leaving pick it up again and take it with you. 

When building your self care tool box there are so many good choices, some websites are wonderfully informative and may include comment sections where people participate in discussion.

Such as:

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-selenium.php

A few other good nutrient look up sites:

http://bembu.com/iodine-rich-foods

 http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/iodine-supplements/

The link directly above includes a 60 minute video on iodine.

http://www.laughteryoga.org/english/club/home  Find a local laughter club to join or join by Skype.

www.nim.nih.gov

 

Shiatsu follows acupuncture meridian theory.  Consider including these meridian stretch exercises (Makka Ho - look straight ahead exercises  by HeartMindBodywork) in your daily self care routine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kdup24Sp2s 6:43 narrated

Another version:  Basic Yoga Meridian Stretch Sequence - Makka Ho (worded, not voice narrated):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kdup24Sp2s 6:55

Meridian tapping:  Tapping is a name for the many gentle striking forms like chopping, rolling hands, percussion, etc..  Here's a very chatty Russian Qi Gong tapping version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvjxCIEfxJk 9:26.  Note the sequence starts at 2:18.  At 7:26 tapping on ST 36 (longevity point) is demonstrated.   

 

The idea with shiatsu is to find the right combination of mental and physical exercises to wake up, tonify, inspire, rewire, or decompress the system as needed. 

Yoga works with everything and is an ancient lineage part of shiatsu technique.

Typically there are 4 paths of yoga and then others, but the main four are Jnana (breaking down walls of ignorance), Bhakti (emotion - forge path to god through prayer, worship and ritual), Karma (using the body, doing good works), Raja (energy - using meditation and encompassing other practices), and then key is to bring all 4 paths together into one super channel to allow the universe to flow in, or out. 

 

Meanwhile, if you have a tv antennae and can pick up local channels a free place to get started taking a look at yoga, or joining in at home:

3/17/2015 - Wai Lana Yoga (www.wailana.com) is currently running on channel 17 - KTCI (Public Television TPT Life, sponsored by Champion Juicer) Monday-Friday from 6:30am-7am.  

On the same channel from 6am-6:30 Tuesdays and Thursdays there is also Pricilla's Hatha Yoga Stretches (training for 30 years!).  Also Esmonde Technique on at least Fridays.

To get to Channel 17 if you have over the air digital (antenna) go to channel 2, then scroll up to 2.3.

 Let your imagination guide you.

 

Advanced instructors may spend upwards of the better part of each day conditioning and training, and for years.  So, you may not be able to do some of the exercises at first, or find you have the stamina to do them for long, but it's a good way to warm up to the idea of getting started somewhere.  

Sept, 2017  If you have Roku or something similar for your tv, I noticed the other day that the Great Courses are on there (also quite a bit of GC on youtube!), and I saw one for Qi Gong and Tai Chi.  You can browse and do a free trial, but the monthly membership is $14.99.

 

Try some new moves like this: Netflix, Monkey Thieves, season 3, episode 8, start watching at about 11:44 minutes into the episode. Watch the hand movements - very lymphatic system friendly.  There is movement all the way to the finger tips.

December 2016. Alma Duetcher is 11 years old.  She wrote a Cinderella opera that she has been working on for 2 years.  Her wish was to open at the Vienna Opera house - they found out about this and invited her. The opera opened December 2016.  Miss Duetcher doesn't use computer devices or watch a lot of tv.  She reads about 100 books a year and gets her musical inspiration from skipping along and twirling the fringed ends of a jumping rope. 

In her opera, the prince goes looking for her with a song - instead of a shoe.  Only she knows the rest of the song.

 

Lifestyle tips and diet advice from others and sources that have worked pretty well for me, and a few links to some good websites:

- Keep it simple, the self care exercises one learns in massage school usually include of a light - medium percussion with cupped, closed fists, light chopping all up and down the meridians or sides of arms and legs to wake up and tonify.    Practice some self massage, percussion and stretching daily. 

- Purposeful exercise, walking meditation, yoga everyday, no heavy meals after 4pm.

- Don't over do on wrong fats.  Too much fat gets in the way of bioelectrical energy movement, like the magnetism, or sense of direction in our cells being stuck in little faraday cages.  

Diet: 

- When in doubt, look to nature; the closer to the garden the better, and stay clear of overly processed and packaged foods. 

Cancer loves processed sugar, steer clear of it whenever possible.  Sugar isn't the end of the world though.  In one cancer remedy tumeric is stirred into honey and taken.  The idea is sugar is the delivery system to the cancer cells, tumeric is the cancer buster.  Another smoothie recipe similar to this idea is cactus and aloe smoothie made with a cup of fresh citrus juice, the sugar delivers the nutrients. 

Another single shot recipe might be a couple Tbsps of good quality olive oil, squeeze in a half of a lime, stir in 1/4 tsp of tumeric and dash of cayenne, make in a tall shot glass and drink as a gall bladder friendly tonic once in a while.  There is a theory out there that parasites are the accumulators of deposits that build around them into stones, so then in this case first do some tincture drops of black walnut hulls for about a week prior to using any stone busting remedies. 

- When considering any food that doesn't provide an important nutritional element to the immune system remember the words to the Hearse Song: "The worms crawl in the worms crawl out..." and just don't go there.  Love the wonderful microbial universe inside us where mysterious symbiotic relationships, secret wars and all kinds of crazy things take place.

 

Parasites are happy recyclers with no other thought than recycling.  When something is unhealthy, almost dead, parasites overwhelm friendly bacteria, take over and try to finish the job.  So, the idea here is keep parasites, or not so friendly bacteria at bay by giving the immune system a chance to allow good bacteria to flourish by being mindful of good nutrition, air-breathing, water and exercise. 

Speaking of little critters, spiders love parasites and really anything they can catch in their webs. They are fantastic little guys that work so hard.  There was research done in the 1960s on how spiders wove their webs on caffeine, alcohol and marijuana.  Each got their main frame up, but varied in how they filled in the sections.  Caffeine and alcohol were as expected erratic for caffeine and all over the place for alcohol, but with the spiders on marijuana there were whole sections missing that never got filled in at all! 

 

- Juicing: Plantain, the herb that grows wild in yards should be just about perfect by June and July before it develops seed stalk, to juice or saute.  To juice plantain and other wild greens like dandelion flowers and leaves, I start with a Magic bullet to break down the leaves after chopping it up a little, then add with carrot, celery, apple, cucumber, lime, orange, lemon, beet, aloe, Swiss chard, kale, cabbage, parsley, cilantro, fenugreek, fresh ginger root, tumeric root, burdock root, etc. 

 

Costco carries pretty good organic carrots (Earthbound Farms), 10 pounds for usually somewhere between $6-$8. Then put all into a larger juicer made for vegetables.  Sometimes the pulp (fiber) is good with a little juice added back to it. 

Breville made our latest juicer, but there are other fancier juicers out there.

ALOE 4/17 The Anoka Shopping Center (West End) across the parking lot from the 500  Main St W Building where my studio is, just discovered carries fresh aloe at Tienda El Rinconcito grocery store and restaurant!  Lydia there carries all kinds of great herbs and spices, fresh cillentro, limes, prickly pear cactus pads and flowers, good mangos, avacado, plantain also, on the ripe side is really good to eat, like a not so sweet banana, so the plantains that look like overripe bananas are ready to eat plantain (tipped off by a man from Peru in line at the counter), green tea and lots of other good teas .  The Anoka Shopping center is really blossoming with quite the eclectic mix of businesses, Desired Chiropractic clinic on the south end and a used/thrift shop doing a land office business on the north end.  Trophy shop is still there. E-cig shop. Swedish Bakery's sourdough bread on Thursdays and Fridays is not only really good, but I'd say absolutely healing, and their pastry called Winter in Sweden (or Summer) is way too good, very cinnamon loaded.  Someone in our family had breakfast at Jellybean & Julias BBQ the other day and said it was amazing. The full parking lot every day isn't the DMV anymore because they moved over to the strip mall where the old K-mart was!  Never mind Anoka Meat & Sausage across from the Anoka Shopping Center complex on Green Avenue and Main have taken their smoked salmon and white fish to perfection. Their grilled brats and burgers outside in the summer and ohh mercy their pepperoni beef sticks are way too good!  

Also, in the 500 building where my studio is, Celltronix up stairs is almost a one stop repair shop for cell phone and computers with beautiful hours, they really know what they are doing.  Then there's music lessons, sounds amazing from downstairs, family counseling upstairs who are good with PTSD (learn step-by-step ways to unravel mega-complicated stress), a home health care company (Avalon) next to me and on the other side a cell phone company Metro PC, and H & R Block.. 

 

Keeping stress down is probably more important than anything.  It might help to remember a couple of quotes by Jeanne Calment, known for her long life, liveliness, humor and tenderness, who died in Arles France at the age of 122.  "If you can't do anything about it, don't worry about it.", and on what it takes to stay interested in life: "I dream, I think, I go over my life.  I never get bored." Calment was known for eating a couple pounds of chocolate a week, drinking port wine, treating her skin with olive oil and didn't give up smoking 2 cigarettes a day until a few years before she died because it was getting too hard to see to light up!

Getting interested in the native plant world can be endlessly rewarding.

Sergei Boutenko has a good site for identifying wild edibles at www.sergeiboutenko.com

Good recipe variations and ingredients for protein/energy bars or balls:

http://www.superfoods-for-superhealth.com/oja-balls-recipe.html  

Wild edibles ap created by the Boutenkos at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wild-edibles/id430951647?mt=8

 

- Breathing exercises, mind over matter type visualization relaxation techniques and meditations, get 8-10 hours of sleep and don't let sleep debt build, and if so catch up whenever possible. 

- Lay off the lattes (coffee/caffeine) once in while, and this goes for anything that acts as a depressant or stimulant on the nervous system that tends to keep you zombied up long after your body's natural energy has been exhausted and is beyond crying for rest. Your eyesight will improve, you'll be calmer, think more clearly, joint health will improve, sleep better at night and your body will be able to store more solar energy and get back to relaxed normal breathing, which is an easy way to cure a whole litany of problems.  It really helps to get back to a base point once in a while for remembering what normal is.  One of the things I like most about massage is the way it can make one remember how to relax.

First, ramp up on nutrition because it will help through the dopey, uncoordinated, slowed down, head-achey and irritable stages of withdrawl, however subtle they may be, until natural energy is restored and all is nirvana once again.  Use any kind of stimulants or depressants - even chocolate and coffee -  carefully, ceremonially, keeping in mind what goes up must come down.  Enjoy occasionally, rather than constantly not to deplete yourself of too many essential nutrients, especially if they have a diuretic action like caffeine, so that when it is finally time for a landing the event is less Hindenburg-like. 

Maybe consider the quality of interstitial fluids, blood, lymph, etc. when doing too many diuretic like substances Imagine a lake, pond, river/creek that dries up to a mud hole, eventually drying up to where there is no movement.  Same in reverse, you also don't want a biblical flood type thing going on either with too much hydration.  It might help to also consider the lining of the delicate fluid passage ways of the body and what they are being subjected to coming in contact with.  Wormhole right down to the most micro of details like the ability of a cell to collect and store light and do some creative micro managing.

Have an exit plan before getting started. 

My exit plan is usually to leave a couple days off at the end of coffee adventures to rest, do a lot of deep breathing, drink a lot fresh citrus fruit followed by fresh carrot/greens/apple/beet, ginger, tumeric root etc juice, and get lost in a good book to redirect the brain until the withdrawl phase passes. 

 

In The Brain's Way of Healing by N Doidge, M.D. - Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity  (2015) there is a good story in Chapter 6 (A Blind Man  Learns to See) of a man who recovered his eyesight by using a meld of the old Buddhist eye exercises, Feldenkrais techniques and modern Neuroplastic methods).   

After reading this book I worked out a variation of Klondike solitaire (using suits instead of red/black) for eye exercises that I practiced outside summer of 2016 using the jokers as wild cards with one on either side of the layout (the joker to the left for faces, the joker to the right for numbers), and made up rules to make the game very busy and 97% winnable, and working both sides of the game with both hands. Klondike is laid out one card up and 6 to the right, next card up and 5 to the right like that until the top row is finished and then rows of upright cards beneath the 6 rows to the right until the cards are all laid out. The hand eye coordination, and looking and interacting with both sides of the game fairly equally, and then taking breaks to look up and around, also to infinity, in variable intervals rather than all at once, worked good for not only eyes but also seemed to be an engaging way to practice transitioning from central vision entrapment, also nice glial cell aerobics workout for strategy building and focus.

On Sound:  Tibetan monks can practice upwards of 20 years to get the harmonics and frequencies right when chanting OM.

More notes on a separate page:

https://www.abmp.com/members/webbuilder/page.php?id=461351

Posit Science (www.brainhq.comm - brainhq from Posit Science on Facebook) has exercises for memory of words and language, using FastForWord-like listening exercises and computer games for auditory memory designed for adults. These are the real guys.  Instead of giving people with fading memories lists of words to memorize, as many self-help books recommend, these exercises rebuild the brain's basic ability to process sound, by getting people to listen to slowed, refined speech sounds."  ....Adults do exercises that refine their ability to hear in a way they haven't since they were in the crib trying to separate out Mother's voice from background noise.  The exercises increase processing speed and make basic signals stronger, sharper, and more accurate, while stimulating the brain to produce the dopamine and acetycholine.

$96 annual subscription gives access to all tools, plenty of free exercises to try every week in the meantime.

http://heelspurs.com/led.html  See this sight/page for a $7-$11 recipe for making your own Lowe's version of expensive LED light therapy devices.  Really be careful to protect the eyes around LED lighting. 

 

On light, an old remedy to heal up pressure sores and alleviate rheumatism/arthritis was to use a 40 watt  incandescent light bulb at a safe distance from the affected area for 20 minutes.  A box could be made for feet to relieve pain of arthritis - same 20 minutes.

 

The more practice leaving some of these things alone (still on lattes!!!), the easier it gets to enjoy coffee once in a while and then leave it alone for weeks, months and even years at a time.  So, in my humble opinion anyway, while lifestyle, exercise and nutrition is really important, at the end of the day, the highway completion of being able to lay off (whatever it is) is definitely a brain thing. To me it seems the key is to begin to build more diversified brain road mapping elsewhere until other things diminish in importance.  One of my grandfather's had a great saying "Don't think about it and maybe it will go away".

 

For drug addiction including smoking might have to go the extra mile and gross yourself out on several things that appeal to the brain's better nature of being grossed out(being careful not to build up shock resistance) until you hit upon the right thing.  First of all, just never do some things.  And if you are lucky enough to be able to detach from whatever addiction, never but never think one day that you'll be able to just try it again, because what went dark like lights going out on a freeway system, lamp by lamp are still on the electronic grid and can boom, light up again like flipping the breaker switch for all the lights at once and that a person can be back up to speed!  

Maybe try reading Janet Amatuzio's books on her years as medical examiner for Anoka County.  One of her stories where she was called out to what neighbors thought was a crime scene because of all the blood everywhere and turned out to be a corroded spot in the lungs that had worked its way through the aorta behind it from smoking is one of my go-to reminders to don't even try one. 

- Drink 32 glasses of water to neutralize the acidic affects of drinking one soda (works for me!).

 Or, on eating meat, just keep thinking about eye balls and take a very humble respectful approach if at all.  In India where all life is held to be sacred there is generally no meat eating and cows are more treasured for their composting abilities (a 6 minute yt video by Vedic Way on using compost from cows  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oifWngdzwCg ).  Also, gross, but makes a good insect repellent. 

 

There is ghee making from milk in India, but ideally these cows are fed ground up fresh greens and roam free.  Ghee is very lymphatic system friendly. 

A milk product popular in Scandinavia is quark cheese, something like cottage cheese, or yogurt called Svarg with less sodium involved. 

Dr Johanna Budwig after many years of researching cancer had an easy cancer busting remedy:  mix together quark cheese, fresh ground flax and cayenne pepper.  I like adding nutritional yeast , black pepper and a little tumeric with sunflower seeds or walnuts on the side.  Tumeric is good taken with healthy fats/foods/milk.

One of my favorite don't-get-too-far-away-from-the-garden reminders: I heard a story a long time ago about a research done on alcohol.  Lab mice were turned into alcoholics and divided into two sets.  Each had access to food, water and alcohol, the only difference being the quality of food.  One set were given processed and poor quality food, the other fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and seeds etc.  The results showed the junk food clan continued to prefer alcohol over water.  The other closer to the garden clan gave up the alcohol for water.  This would suggest nothing else is needed but diet, but humans generally are not that lucky to have unlimited access to fresh, wholesome nutritious food and water and have so many choices to consider.

 

I like to use the lab mice story for myself. Not that I'd suggest, this, just saying this is generally how I go about building my brain mapping plan to make better food choices.  Along with keeping in mind a running list of anti inflammatory friendly foods including dark leafy greens, greens, grapes, apple including the peel (fall in MN  many good apples around that have not been treated to death), blueberries, and berries in general, fresh garlic, ginger and tumeric in everything possible, wild salmon and other wild fish, fresh cherries, sweet potatoes, ground flax, chia frescos, coconut water and hemp seeds (keep that old farm rope hemp wild going for the seeds - huge top of the list anti-inflammatory properties), yams and squash, making up own spices with cayenne and kelp/seaweeds and salts.

 

Can't wait to see what the Kelly Farm's new Farm Lab Garden facility develops into for students.. http://www.mnhs.org/kelleyfarm  

 

Not being under the influence of stimulants or depressants long enough reset the fight-or-flight program and given enough time to rest up, a person should have plenty of natural energy.

- Use olive oil, hemp seed oil, avocado oil or macadamia nut oil and butter in food prep. 

- Read labels carefully to check where produce is coming from.

- Read and follow portions, sodium.  Heart Healthy diets usually suggest normally not consuming over 1,500-2000mg per day.  Pay attention to carbs and fiber. 

- Be happy.  Remembering loving kindness towards all life every day helps a body to be more alkaline than acid.  Cancer thrives in acidity.  See the best in other people, after a while it will come natural. 

Check out Dr. Amit Sood on practicing gratitude (about starting the day by thinking of 5 people that you are grateful for and sending good wishes their way), compassion, acceptance, higher meaning and forgiveness (18 minutes): 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZIGekgoaz4

and one of his animated shorts on youtube (7 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZZ0zpUQhBQ

Sood has written a new book The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness.

 

- Some abdomenal massage daily is very practical.  Easy does it at first.  There are all kinds of fabulous approaches to ab massage, but just for instance here's a good 10 minute instruction video from youtube on an easy ab massage sequence for IBS, Colitis, Cronh's & other inflammatory bowl issues by Internal Garden Tai Chi (for every day):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZpJQgWw3Lk

A good companion video for intestinal health by Jordan Rubin who, when he was younger was experiencing some of what he is talking about didn't have any luck with 69 different experts before putting together his own plan from his own research, along with some help from finally an expert who had some real answers, defines his top 10 ways to stay healthy by limiting carbs, no  to gluten or AIBC dairy, yes to bone broth, fermented foods, healthy fats, blueberries, herbs including frankincense, spices including tumeric, cayenne, ginger, essential oils like lavender, peppermint, chamomile, supplements including probiotics, boswellian extract capsules (frankincense), digestive enzymes, is his 10 Keys to Conquer Crohn's & Colitis:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4UvrOXTnc4

 

http://saveyourself.ca Paul Ingraham on epsom salts:  While there may be little in the way of scientific proof that an epsom salts bath cures muscle aches and pains, it might feel good and can't hurt! 

 

- Outdoor adventures whenever possible, whether a day trip up to the north shore of Lake Superior, or a few days into the BWCA.  Outdoor adventures don't necessarily have to be a two week/+ vacation. Walk barefoot in the grass or ground and let static energy discharge.

 

Because I focus on women's health and feel the BWCA is one of Minnesota's natural healing treasures, I'm just going to mention one BWCA wilderness guide with a specific focus on outdoor wilderness adventures for women's groups and family groups:  Peta Barrett of Women's Wilderness Discovery, Ely MN 218-235-1994 www.womenswildernessdiscovery.com also on facebook.

Whether you are home schooling your children and want the out-of-doors wilderness classroom experience vs hot housing, or just want to take your group, or join a group on a well deserved wilderness break, without all the permit pulling, entry point requirements, equipment, food and kitchen packs, canoe rental, nightly bear free hassle kitchen details and other trip prep, using a professional guide is a really good way to go.  For large groups, reunions, get-togethers or special VIP arrangements guides can also shadow a group or groups by staying on a nearby site, otherwise guiding and setting up (limits on how many people can stay per site, so sometimes nearby sites need to be reserved for greater parties).  Women's Wilderness Discovery work with other guides and special resources if needed.  Pricing runs somewhere in the neighborhood of starting at about $130 a day per person.

BWCA  Reservation lines open Jan 28th.  Popular choices and times of year are snapped up pretty fast by guides and private parties, but you can always check for cancellations.  Good idea to start planning a year in advance, especially if there are special diet/allergen, handicap, and travel and/or lodging requirements (WWD have a bunkhouse in Ely), and remember your date is your date rain or shine. 

Nice article on Women's Wilderness Discovery in Startribune.com/thegoodlife (retirement guide) Oct 21, 2015 pg 44 Blazing a New Trail.

 

Exercise:

 Qi Gong and Tai Chi are fantastic for getting the day started in the right direction and beyond excellent for weight management - plenty of good instructional videos on youtube for basic qi gong and tai chi.  If you can afford a few good videos here's one good site: www.wudangdao.com.  It's the website of Zhong Xue Chao aka Master Bing, a young Taoist priest who practices and teaches in the Wudang Mountains in China - chill out central for ages, something like what the Himalayas are to yogis, or the BWCA, Lake of the Woods or Superior National Forest are to Minnesotans; to just be out there reflecting on the pure zen enjoyment of nature.    

Qi Gong is the real ancient practice of collecting natural energy and channeling this qi for healing, dating back to hundreds of years BC and were eventually formulated into a series of exercises recognized as qi gong.  Taijiquan or Tai Chi is the English name, was created by Chang San-Feng in the 14th century AD after watching a crane fighting with a snake (that's one version anyway).  Qi Gong and Tai Chi are similar, but there are differences in how each are practiced. 

On Other Martial Art and Exercise Forms and Spiritual Practices

Be careful not to get caught up too much in politics and religion associated with any forms of exercise.  Anytime anyone sitting under a tree works out a good idea, popularization can turn into embellishment, weird takeover wars, and especially if it has anything to do with profit structures where a whole bunch of glad handing is going on, even political turns and power grabs (as in information is power) watch out.  Just look at Tesla and Edison!

Capoeira (South American), called the dance of war is a music based martial arts form practiced in Brazil, originating in Africa. 

Many of the martial arts forms are simply beautiful art forms for self discipline taking a peaceful path, protecting peace and can be practiced for a lifetime.  

The three treasures of daoism are compassion or gentleness, economy and humility. 

The four foundations of mindfulness:  The Noble Truth of Suffering, Cause of Suffering, Cessation of Suffering and the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering (Buddhism).

The idea is to eventually develop your own way, but when starting out, if possible learning form from a master instructor is more economical in the sense that much of the guess work has been filtered out through trial and error over years.   For instance, the yoga asanas are positions that work to clear channel the system to help experience the blissfulness of dispersing walls of self consciousness and merging with infinite consciousness, especially important if you are practicing tantra yoga, an age old practice of dealing with chaotic energy.

 

Good article on moving and doing:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/23/vernikos-sitting-kills.aspx

 

Back to Diet:

Diets go along with all the above Tai Chi, Chi Kung and Qi Gong lifestyles, worth checking into. 

Our own Americas are loaded with ancient plant super-food recipes. Costco's July 2013 magazine included a story on the desert plant chia (of chia pet fame), or salvia hispanica, botanically related to mint, by Yael Grauer - a freelance writer in Minneapolis.  I always wondered what the Tarahumara of the Copper Canyons in Mexico, known for their long distance running, packed with them in the way of hydration (the guys that get up and run 30 miles just to get warmed up) - it's what they did before the run. 

More on chia:  http://www.nomeatathlete.com/tarahumara-pinole-chia-recipes/

Costco sells a 2lb bag of chia seeds for around $10.  Soak about 1/4-1/3 of a cup in about 1-1/2 qts of water (48oz, or 6 8oz glasses of water) for a couple hours.  

The actual serving size is 3 tablespoons and this is perfect for a glass quart jar.  Let soak for a little while, then shake and drink.  Good with a twist of lime, by itself though it's really not that bad, easy on the stomach and feels amazing in the way of energy efficiency and lasting hydration on a hot day working outside.  

 

 

Be kind to your skin.  Skin is where blood exchange takes place and the capillaries are so small at the point of exchange only a single cell may pass through, so no drastic action until you feel secure that your skin is well conditioned and warmed up for pressure and deeper work, especially around lymphatic areas, plus the whole network of lymphatic system starts at capillary level. 

 

Gentle work at the surface influences at a deeper level, so an easy does it approach can work just as nicely as more intense pressing, kneading and rolling.  There is no such thing as instance massage results. Try giving yourself a facial and neck massage (I use my olive oil concoction for facials as well as protecting hands - works good).  Run your fingers through your scalp and gently grab and tug the hair, trace out the trigeminal nerve at the sides of the face, work around and loosen up the muscles at the base of the skull.  Make sure the gypsy nerve, the vagus nerve is always free to wander.

Remember the cranial nerves, the 12 pairs of nerves originating from the brain stem are different from the cervical nerves originating from the cervical vertebrae.  Most nerves along the spinal cord are pretty local, but the vagus nerve wanders all the way from the brain stem down to the intestines, so throughout the day do a body scan and make sure the whole corridor from brain to intestines is free of stress. 

Also practice seated meditation and lifting the Bai Hui point (the crown chakara) often.  Locate by tracing up to the top of the skull from the back of the ears.  Straighten up your posture, move shoulder blades towards each, relax the shoulders and tilt the head slightly forward - without leaning forward - until you can imagine a beam of light shining straight up to the stars from GV-20 (Governing vessel meridian number 20, crown chakra or Bai Hui point are all the same - different language).  Hold the posture (this is the same posture for protecting the throat in martial arts, also the beginning of the exercise caterpillar curl, also called chicken neck), breathe into it and do a little bit of a relaxing meditation - chin level with the floor.  Seated meditations are a good way to strengthen the muscles that hold one upright in good postural form so that the central nervous system corridor is free.  

 

Trust that your body already knows how to unlock your pharmacy within and that all you need to do is relax and allow yourself to remember how. 

 

Care givers and massage:

If you are a care giver, going out for massage can really give you longevity.  If you are good at care giving, or have taken up care giving in the family because you were or are needed, as a career or sideline and have now found out you love care giving for its flexibility and maybe even alternative outlet for your care giving skills, going out for massage yourself can help you remember how to achieve calmness and focus better in critical situations, breathe through emergencies and above all decrease neck and shoulder tension resulting in pain.

 

I hesitate to ever give any recipes or advice on herbal remedies, but some are so well known and time tested that I might as well mention a few here. First of all, everyone is different wth allergies and maybe on prescription drugs, and have all kinds of conditions that require special diets. 

A couple of things that remain constant are: calm the mind, clean the system out by either fasting, juice fasting with citrus fruits (usually means no meat or dairy for a while, sometimes also no fish), enema is a faster way, or with a very simple diet, like all of one thing for a meal, or day, then start feeding the system proper nutrients. 

Clean water, air and rest are essentials also.  Relaxation naturally lets in more air, using visualization techniques, color therapy, meditation, sunbathing at least 10 minutes a day and massage are usually key elements. 

There is a good book that focuses on Ayurvedic style system cleansing called the the Colorado Cleanse, and they do an online group Spring and Fall cleanse!  Ayurvedic medicine is all about health of the lymphatic/immune system.

The thing is, a lot of these kinds of treatments are slow and easy does it wins the race, so not many fast results, but often at the very least slowing rapid decline.   

People go to Mexico clinics to get away from it all, the intense pressure to do chemo, radiation and surgery here in the states, and indulge in the time it takes to restore health with lots of encouragement, the right food/diet and supportive surroundings and people at a more affordable price - good health should not be expensive.  A three to four month winter season is a brilliant place to start where clinic personnel can help during the really wiped out feeling days in the beginning.  When your real appetite comes back it's amazing, real food tastes really good again.  Some people stay in Mexico, others stay near the border and go into Mexico for treatments.  Other people are going farther into places like Costa Rica, Honduras, South America, also the many of the Islands in the Atlantic ocean.  Now, people are going all over the world, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, China, anywhere but the US - so sad we are missing out on our own medical tourism!

One of the more famous herbal remedies for cancer is Essiac tea.  Rene Caisse was an RN that became famous for her tea that could cure cancer.  She had run across a Native American Ojibwe recipe and once she began to see real improvement and cures in people with cancer she never stopped helping people.  She ran a clinic in Canada from 1937-1942. Canada has always been a little more lenient when it comes to alternative medicine, but even they finally shut down Caisse.  That didn't stop her though and Essiac is still being made and becoming more easily available all the time.  The original recipe might have had 8 ingredients, but 4 ingredients were her mainstay; sheep sorrel, turkey rhubarb, burdock root and slippery elm.  I found it today (3-8-17) at the Tao, 2200 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls, mn 55405.  It's an almost powdered tea form and sells for $1.84oz. bulk - 4 ounces makes a gallon.   There are also directions on youtube for making Essiac tea, but here are the directions that were on the back of the jar of Essiac tea at the Tao:

Instructions

Boil 1 gallon of distilled water in a stainless steel pot

Add 4 ounces of tea, cover pot and boil for 10 minutes

Remove & Stir, cover and let sit for 12 hours at room temp

strain through a fine mesh colander (or use muslin - JS Harris on 169  not too far from Fleet Farm/81  fabric has a great selection of muslins)

funnel into glass container/s, refrigerate - good for 2-3 weeks

Directions

Shake well, add 2fluid ounces of tea to equal amounts (2floz) boiled fresh or distilled water

Drink 2-4 fluid ounces daily on an empty stomach before bedtime.

 

Care giving:

Some helpful care giving support websites:

www.caregiving.com

www.caregiver.va.gov

www.caregiverstress.com

 

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