Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions This Time!

Failing to keep your New Year’s Resolution can bring on a stressful guilt trip.

Here are some ways you can be successful in 2009:

1. Choose goals that are reasonable and attainable. Nothing is more self-defeating than setting a goal you know you can’t reach.

2. Plan specific ways to meet your goal. If weight loss is your goal, don’t say, “I’m going to lose weight,” state how you’re going to do it: “I’m going to lose weight by working out 15 minutes every day.”

3. Create an enjoyable way to meet your goal. No matter what the goal is, if you don’t enjoy moving toward it, you won’t move.

4. Set mini-goals within the larger goal or resolution, and give yourself a treat when you reach each mini-goal.

5. Find other people who share your goal(s) and work together to support each other toward success.

Good luck, and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Discover Your Natural Beauty Using Simple Ingredients In Homemade Recipes

With the onslaught of revelations in the news these days of increasing illness and danger from the toxic chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis, many of these found in your personal hygiene and beauty products and absorbed through your skin, it makes a lot of sense to get back to nature with our health and beauty products!

In case you need a reminder, here is an article listing just a few of the chemicals and the illnesses they can cause: "The Chemical Cocktail of Skin Care" By Ananda Mahony http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Chemical-Cocktail-of-Skin-Care&id=1571132

Not only are natural products better for your health, they are better for you wallet, too! For a facial mask, for example, you can buy a few pounds of oatmeal that will provide you with mask material for a long time and be much less expensive than the 8-ounce tube of cosmetic facial mask that lasts for a couple of weeks at best. Natural products are versatile, too! You can eat the oatmeal for breakfast and it will help lower your cholesterol. I'll bet your chemical cosmetic mask won't do that!

One thing I do is to use baking soda as toothpaste. It doesn't taste like much, but that is a momentary disadvantage. It has a long history as a toothpaste, and does a fantastic job of whitening teeth. I can add as a testimonial that both my 91 year old father and 89 year old aunt have used it lifelong, and they both still have most of their real teeth and have had fewer cavities than most of their counterparts who used the best and brightest of toothpastes!

Below is an article containing some great, easy, you-probably-already-have-the-ingredients-in-your-kitchen recipes for health and beauty products for hair and skin care. Though these are very basic, they will do an admiral job for you! If you are interested in something more exotic, but still all-natural and homemade, check the link at the end of this post.

For your health and beauty:

Homemade Beauty Products by Rachel Paxton Sept 24, 1999


Have you ever wondered what people used to use as beauty products before you could so readily buy them in the store? I also sometimes wonder what all of the complicated sounding ingredients are in a lot of the products I use. Everything from body cleansers to shampoos to facial scrubs--you can invest a small fortune in this personal part of your life. Sometimes it's fun to try something homemade. It's cheaper, you know what's in it, and if you don't like it you have nothing to lose. You might come up with your own combination of ingredients that you may prefer over the ones I have suggested. Many of these ideas are not new and have been around for a long time. Have fun with them and save yourself some money at the same time!

I have made every attempt to only include instructions that include easy to find, relatively inexpensive ingredients. Depending on your skin and hair type, different people may get different results with these home preparations. Please use a little caution and a lot of common sense when trying them out. Always test a little on a small area of your body first to check for allergic reactions. I hope you enjoy these beauty preparations as much as I have enjoyed trying them out for myself. These easy ideas are also included in The Creative Homemaking Guide to Skin and Hair Care, a make-it-yourself booklet that contains more than 50 beauty preparations you can make yourself at home. To order, send $3.95 to Creative Homemaking Beauty Guide, 6407 Haag St., W. Richland, WA 99353.


Beat 2 eggs in a chilled bowl. Continue to beat while slowly adding 1 cup of olive or vegetable oil. When the mixture begins to thicken, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Keep refrigerated. Use as you would a regular moisturizer.

Skin Cleanser

Sprinkle baking soda on a damp wash cloth and use it to gently scrub your body while showering. The baking soda will help neutralize odors and smooth and soften your skin.


Apple cider vinegar makes a great toner for your face. Just mix a little with warm water and store in a spray bottle and mist your face lightly with the mixture. The vinegar also helps restore your skin's natural pH-balance, and seems to have a positive effect for acne sufferers.

Facial Scrub

Make a paste from a little oatmeal and water. Apply to face and allow to dry. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.

Facial Mask

Grind 1 tablespoon almonds into a fine meal in a blender or food processor. Mix almond meal together with 1 tablespoon honey and 1 egg white. Apply to face and let set for about 15 minutes. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.


Place approximately 8 herbal tea bags of your choice into a small amount of very hot water in your bathtub. Steep about 10 minutes, then remove tea bags and add the remaining bath water.


In a blender, combine 1 ounce olive oil, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Use as regular shampoo.

Hair Setting Lotions

Try dissolving a teaspoon of gelatin in a cup of warm water and use this as a setting lotion before styling hair. You can use this as a liquid or chill it and use it as a gel.


Mayonnaise is a great conditioner for dry hair. Depending on the length of your hair, apply approximately 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to your dry hair. Work into hair really well and then cover your hair with a plastic bag, allowing to set for about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and then shampoo as usual. [Remember, mayonnaise is made from egg and olive oil! ~Michelle~]


There is also another website with some more fun and somewhat exotic homemade bath and beauty products, such as:

Cucumber Hair Drench
Aphrodite Apple Mask
Cucumber Honey Toner
Kiwi Facial Cleanser
Chamomile Lip Balm
Honey Almond Scrub
Lavender Honey Milk Bath

All of these, and more, can be found at:

Homemade Beauty Recipes
~ Hair / Skin / Body ~


Monday, December 15, 2008

Have a Green or White Holiday, not a Blue one!

I am one of those people who experience "holiday blues" so I thought I'd post this to let others know you aren't alone, and that there are some things you can do to help you cope with holiday stress and depression.

Though I found it on several internet sites, the article below is reprinted from MedicineNet.com because it appears to be the original. I have added a few of my own comments enclosed in brackets [ ].

Holiday Depression And Stress

The holiday season for most people is a fun time of the year filled with parties, celebrations and social gatherings with family and friends. For many people, it is a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety.

What causes holiday blues?

Sadness is a truly personal feeling. What makes one person feel sad may not affect another person. Typical sources of holiday sadness include:

  • stress,
  • fatigue,
  • unrealistic expectations [your own and others],
  • [feelings of guilt due to inability to accomplish unrealistic expectations]
  • over-commercialization,
  • financial stress, and
  • the inability to be with one's family and friends.
  • [holiday travel; being away from your own home if you pay an extended visit to others.]

Balancing the demands of shopping, parties, family obligations, and house guests may contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed and increased tension. People who do not view themselves as depressed may develop stress responses, such as:

  • headaches,
  • excessive drinking,
  • over-eating, and
  • insomnia.
  • [heartburn and indigestion – these can be independent stress responses unrelated to eating.]

Others may experience post-holiday sadness after New Year's/January 1st. This can result from built-up expectations, disappointments from the previous year, coupled with stress and fatigue.

Tips for coping with holiday stress and depression:

  • [Decide – yes, CHOOSE – to have a good holiday. The power of your mind and thoughts to affect your mood and determine your course is boundless….use it to create a good holiday!]
  • [Learn to graciously but firmly say NO]
  • [Self-assess and be aware of how you are feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically.]
  • [Take a break when you need one – this is not selfish, it's survival]
  • [Do something nice just for yourself.]
  • Make realistic expectations for the holiday season.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Pace yourself. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle.
  • Make a list and prioritize the important activities. This can help make holiday tasks more manageable.
  • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
  • Do not put all your energy into just one day (i.e., Thanksgiving Day, New Year's Eve). The holiday cheer can be spread from one holiday event to the next.
  • Live and enjoy the present.
  • Look to the future with optimism.
  • Don't set yourself up for disappointment and sadness by comparing today with the good old days of the past.
  • If you are lonely, try volunteering some time to help others.
  • Find holiday activities that are free, such as looking at holiday decorations; going window shopping without buying and watching the winter weather whether it's a snowflake, or a raindrop.
  • Limit your drinking, since excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression.
  • Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
  • Spend time with supportive and caring people.
  • Reach out and make new friends.
  • Make time to contact a long lost friend or relative and spread some holiday cheer.
  • Make time for yourself!
  • Let others share the responsibilities of holiday tasks.
  • Keep track of your holiday spending. Over-spending can lead to depression when the bills arrive after the holidays are over. Extra bills with little budget to pay them can lead to further stress and depression.

No matter what you celebrate at this time of year, have a Really Happy, Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reduce Stress By Nurturing Your Creative Mind

When you thing of "creative" people, you often thing of writers, artists, composers, inventors, but the fact is that you are creative every moment of every day! Your feelings, thoughts, and actions create the life you live, and what could be more important than that?!

Living with chronic stress can sink you into a pretty deep rut. A lot of what makes something stressful is how you perceive it. It's hard to change your point of view or see a way out when you are trying to cope with a seemingly endless stream of crisis after crisis whether the problems arise at the office, at home, or both.

The article below isn't exactly about stress relief, but shows you ways to change the way you think which can go a long way to help you shift your perception and finally get out of that rut. These excellent principles may be adapted to any situation, and will go a long way to reduce stress as well as empowering you to create the healthy, stress-free life you deserve!

The picture below is of a Mind Map. See the end of the article to learn how to use this effective tool. (Click on the picture for a larger version.)

Your Creative Genius Mindset: The Essential Qualities for “Outside the Box” Thinking

By Adam Sicinski, a qualified Life Coach whose areas of specialty include accelerated learning, cognitive psychology, NLP and mind mapping principles.

To be creative, is to have the capacity to think freely, openly, without limitations or constraints about problems and challenges confronting our life reality. When we are creative, we tend to see opportunities and possibilities that we would normally filter out of our personal experience. Creativity allows us to think outside of the box, around the box and through the box in an imaginative and free flowing manner.

In today’s day and age, our ability to think creatively about our life circumstances will help us to overcome the never ending problems and challenges that a “normal enriching” life throws our way. In retrospect, there are a plethora of strategies, techniques and tools that we could utilize to enhance our creative capacity, however for many people, these methods would be futile, because creativity first begins within the mind. If our mindset isn’t aligned and tuned into the “creative thinking channel”, than we will severely struggle to find the creative answers we are so desperately searching for.

The Mindset of a Creative Genius

A Creative Genius has a certain set of qualities, beliefs, methods of talking to themselves, asking the right kinds of questions and taking strategic actions that naturally cultivate creativity within the recesses of their minds. By consistently and persistently instilling these traits into your psyche, will help you to supercharge your mind and unlock your capacity for creative thought.

The Qualities of a Creative Genius Mind

Flexibility: A Creative Genius is flexible in thought, opinion and in the decisions they make on a daily basis. Flexibility naturally encourages “outside the box” thinking which expands possibilities and opportunities.

Possibility Thinker: A Creative Genius persistently thinks about the possibilities that are available to them at any one moment in time. They fully understand that focusing on “possibilities” will expand opportunities, conversely, paying attention to “limitations” will only attract a greater array of problems into their lives.

Risk Taker: A Creative Genius fully understands that without “risk” there can be no worthwhile rewards. They therefore take risks by thinking differently, by taking chances, and by utilizing creative techniques and strategies in a unique, untried and unorthadox manner.

Focused: A Creative Genius is fully focused and locked mentally on the goals they seek to achieve. They dare not break this lock until the moment their objectives are fully realized within their physical reality.

Imaginative: A Creative Genius utilizes the full capacity of their imagination to bend the laws of reality to find the answers and opportunities they need to overcome the challenges in their life.

Dedicated: A Creative Genius is fully committed and dedicated to the outcomes and objectives they seek to achieve. They simply will not allow distractions or circumstances to push them off course. If however they do get sidetracked, than they are quick to adjust their sails to the changing winds and alter their course accordingly.

Patient: A Creative Genius realizes that creativity is a process that involves patience and careful preparation. They don’t try to force answers, instead they proactively make slight adjustments in their approach to open up new perspectives and understandings that will unlock the solutions and opportunities they have been searching for.

Proactive: A Creative Genius is constantly moving forward towards their objectives. This doesn’t mean being “action oriented” 24/7. However, it does mean focusing your body and mind on tasks and activities that keep you moving forward towards your goals consistently every single day. They always ask themselves “Is this activity taking me closer to my goals, or is it pulling me away?” The answer redirects their thinking and actions towards their creative objectives.

Courageous: A Creative Genius is courageous in action and thought. They are always willing to try new things and break the rules and boundaries limiting the average mind. And it is for this reason that the impossible becomes possible within their perspective of reality.

Independent: A Creative Genius is an independent thinker and doer. Yes, they seek other perspectives, ideas and opinions, however in the end, it is their independence that allows for the flow of unique, insightful and creative ideas.

Intuitive: A Creative Genius is a very intuitive soul. They fully understand that some answers can only be realized when they have an intuitive understanding of the world and the problem they are facing.

Persistent: A Creative Genius is fully aware if they persistent long enough over a consistent period of time, that every problem can be solved in a surprising and creative way. For this reason they bring forth a resilient attitude to every challenge confronting their reality.

Curious & Playful Nature: A Creative Genius approaches every task or activity in a curiously playful manner. Reminiscent of a child learning something new for the very first time. A Creative Genius fully appreciates that only curiosity and playfulness is able to relax their mind and bring forth its fullest creative potential.

The Indispensable Beliefs of a Creative Genius

Belief in Self: A Creative Genius has full confidence and belief in themselves and their own ability. This confidence supports every aspect of their personality, helping them to approach problems with passion and excitement.

Belief in a Higher Power: A Creative Genius isn’t necessarily religious in nature (although they can be). However, they do believe that there exists a higher power - a collective consciousness or infinite intelligence of sorts - that helps spark the creative forces within their body and mind.

Belief in Learning from every Success & Failure: A Creative Genius essentially does not distinguish between success or failure. Instead, they only acknowledge the feedback they receive from personal experience, from the environment and from others. This feedback helps them to transform their creative approach when confronted with the same circumstances in the future.

The Strategic Self-Talk of a Creative Genius

Questions: A Creative Genius constantly and persistently asks questions that are focused on expanding the possibilities of reality and on solutions that will help them overcome the problems confronting their daily life experience.

Words: A Creative Genius speaks a language

that is optimistic and naturally reflective. They see the positives of every situation and approach it in a reflective manner that expands possibilities and moves them closer to solutions.

The Proactive Actions of a Creative Genius

Proactive Learning: A Creative Genius fully understands that life is a process of constant and never ending learning and self-improvement. They are aware that the more they know, the better they will be able to think about the challenges confronting their daily reality. As a result, they constantly and persistently seek out new knowledge, feedback and ideas about the world they live in.

Process Orientation: A Creative Genius always has an end goal in mind, however they are fully focused on the intricacies of their thoughts and actions within the present moment. They understand that within every moment lies the seed of opportunity that will help them expand the way they think and approach their life circumstances.

Journaling: A Creative Genius keeps a regular record of their life experiences, learnings and questions within a journal. The simple process of jotting their thoughts down on paper, helps to expand their understanding about themselves, others and the world around them. Moreover, the act of journaling progressively guides their thoughts gently down creative channels that naturally expand the possibilities of reality.

Mind Mapping: A Creative Genius consistently uses a set of accelerated learning tools that help to build strong associations between seemingly unrelated ideas within their minds. Mind Mapping is much like an “information process puzzle” that helps to piece together, organize and expand on thoughts in surprising ways - potentially leading to dramatic and life transforming creative ideas. [The picture is a Mind Map]

These Creative qualities are very much like muscles that must be trained and built over the course of days, weeks, months and years. The more time you spend flexing these muscles and utilizing them to expand the possibilities and your understanding of reality, the stronger, more creative, effective and efficient they will become. And it is only when you have these qualities ingrained deeply within your psyche, that your true Creative Genius Capacity will finally shine through.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Holistic Healing: How it works & Why it's better for You!

The excerpts below are from the book the Healing Power of Acupressure and Acupuncture by Matthew D. Bauer, L. Ac., The Penguin Group, NY, 2005, ISBN 1583332162

I am acquainted with Matthew; he and I belong to the same Yahoo!Group list. I heard a little about his book before it was published, and couldn't wait to get my copy when it finally arrived in my favorite book store. He wrote the book at the encouragement of his patients who wanted to know and understand more about the roots and the reasons behind the practice of acupuncture, the "how" and "why" it works. Matthew explains this in excellent detail in his book (which I am reading again – for the third or fourth time).

I happened to be reading the sections below at the time I ran into a person who thinks holistic medicine is quackery, herbal medicine belongs back in the Dark Ages, and hypnotherapy is a parlor game. People like this often demand to see the double-blind, scientific study that proves you, the believer in (or practitioner of) holistic practices, can make your case. Studies in the efficacy of holistic methods are being done all the time, but it can be a challenge to prove.

These excerpts from Matthew's book explain both why holistic medicine works, and why it works well! Heck, even the "side effects" are good instead of bad! He also explains why it's difficult to produce proof. Being an acupuncturist, he writes about Chinese medicine and acupuncture, but I believe his explanation of self-healing "Reaction Medicine" can apply to many holistic modalities, including stress relief.

Stress makes you look and feel old. I promise that the easy, safe, and effective stress-relief techniques that I teach you can help you look younger and feel great! Just fill out the contact form in the sidebar to get started with your free consultation!


Pages 98 – 103 Action Medicine vs. Reaction Medicine

Whenever a healer does something to a patient in an attempt to help the patient's health, the healer is, in effect, taking some sort of action. The healer is manipulating or changing the patient's status quo. When such action is taken, there will be two basic consequences. The first will be the direct consequence of that action, and the second will be the body's reaction to having its status quo changed. To put it simply: every action causes a reaction.

Modern medicine's use of drugs and surgery are examples of action medicine – the intervening approach. When a drug such as an antibiotic is introduced into the body, its direct consequence is to kill bacteria. It will do this in a laboratory petri dish as well as in the human body. Unlike a petri dish, however, when such a substance is introduced into a living system, including the human body, this will also cause some sort of reaction. If this reaction causes harm, it is called a side effect, also known as an adverse reaction. Whether or not the body's reaction to a drug such as an antibiotic causes enough noticeable harm to be called a side effect, there must be some sort of reaction as the body adjusts itself after having its status quo changed.

With action medicine such as drug therapy or surgery, the hope is that the direct consequence of the action will be to improve the patient's problem and that the body's reaction will be minor and of little or no consequence. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is a type of reaction medicine – the self-healing approach. In the case of reaction medicine, the goals are the opposite of those for action medicine – one now hopes the direct action is of little or no consequence and that the reaction will improve the patient's symptoms.

Researchers around the world have been discovering that acupuncture can cause the body to produce a wide array of natural substances, including those that reduce pain and inflammation, enhance immune function, balance hormones, and produce feelings of well-being. The brain imaging research being done by Hang-Zee Cho and others strongly suggests that these effects result from the stimulation of key brain centers that exert control on the body's ability to produce these and other body-regulating substances. This is how reaction medicine works – by stimulating the body to produce its own medicine, as opposed to intervening in place of the body's healing process, as it is done in action medicine. The possibility of stimulating healing reactions is almost completely unknown to modern medicine but actually provides an important complement to action medicine.

As an example of the difference between action and reaction medicine, consider the gardener who wants to control some pests, such as aphids, that are destroying a garden. One method would be to spray the garden with an insecticide that kills aphids. This is usually a pretty reliable way to get rid of the pests, but it can also cause some undesirable effects, such as damaging plants and leaving toxins on plants one may wish to eat. Another method to deal with the problem would be to release ladybugs within the garden or, better yet, grow plants such as dill, cilantro, or caraway that will attract ladybugs to the garden naturally. As aphids are a natural food for ladybugs, having ladybugs in one's garden is a natural way to deal with aphid infestation. The first approach, using insecticide, is similar to what is done in action medicine: employing a manmade agent to intervene on nature. Releasing or attracting ladybugs into the garden is similar to the reaction medicine approach: facilitating nature's own means to control a problem.

Think of the human body as a garden and the bacterial infection as the aphids. Introducing an insecticide into the garden to directly kill the aphids is essentially what happens when antibiotics are used to treat a bacterial infection. Some infections, however, can be successfully treated with acupuncture. In this case, however, the action taken – performing acupuncture on the body – does not directly kill the bacteria but rather stimulates the body's immune response, helping it to do a more effective job of fighting the bacteria itself. This is somewhat like using plants that attract ladybugs to an aphid-infested garden.

Another method that may be used to treat a bacterial infection in Chinese medicine is to use herbs. In the case of Chinese herbs, there is a very wide range of actions. Some herbs are potent substances similar to drugs and work as an action medicine that in this example would directly kill bacteria. Other herbs are very mild substances that work as a reaction medicine by stimulating the body to heal itself. This would be like introducing ladybugs into the garden to eat the aphids. The vast majority of Chinese herbs are of the very mild variety that stimulates the body to heal itself. Many of these herbs have been deemed ineffective when tested by modern researchers because they were tested as though they were action medicine drugs – for example, putting an herb extract in a petri dish with bacteria and them proclaiming it ineffective because the bacteria were not killed. Testing herbs this way is as senseless as placing some acupuncture needles in a petri dish filled with bacteria and then reaching the conclusion that acupuncture is ineffective after the bacteria survive. Reaction medicine works via the body's reaction to a mild stimulus and so can only be studied by observing its effects on real, live subjects.

Another example that can put reaction medicine, especially acupuncture, into perspective is to consider a group of people with mild sinus congestion. One way to treat these people would be to administer antihistamines, an action medicine drug that directly blocks the production of the body's histamine response. The histamine response is a natural function of the body that causes cells to react to allergens, such as sinus cells that produce mucus to flush allergens out of the body. Nature gave us the ability to flush out allergens with the histamine response for good reason. Many of the symptoms we suffer in health problems are part of our body's natural response to the cause of the problem – for example, when our bodies try to flush out an allergen with mucus. A good percentage of action medicine approaches simply short-circuit our body's natural response to a problem. This can make us more comfortable, but does nothing to get at the root of the problem.

Imagine, however, that this group with mild sinus congestion could clear it with a good sneeze (I know this is far-fetched, but please play along so that I might make my point). A sneeze is another response the human body has developed over countless generations of evolution to help clear the sinuses. If one were to take a feather and tickle each person in this group under the nostrils, some, perhaps 20 percent or so of this group, would respond by sneezing, thus clearing their congestion. Acupuncture works very much like the feather – it stimulates the body to initiate natural, self-healing responses that nature has endowed us with over millions of years of evolution. Sometimes, for countless reasons, the body is not able to make full use of all the healing resources nature endowed it with. Good reaction medicine helps the body to make better decisions about how to utilize its resources.

I hope these examples have helped to explain these two approaches to healing. Now I can go on to explain some of the characteristics of each approach, as understanding these will help answer many questions about how to utilize Chinese medicine.

In the foregoing example, those who used the action medicine approach of taking antihistamines would probably experience a high rate of relief for their symptoms. Perhaps 70-80 percent of those who took that medicine would experience a reduction in their congestion. However, every action will cause a reaction, and some who took antihistamines will end up with side effects – that is, adverse reactions. The most common of these adverse reactions would be minor things like dryness of the mouth, throat, or sinus. Although it is rare, some who took antihistamines could experience severe reactions such as hallucinations, convulsions, or even cardiovascular collapse.

The point I wish to make here is that the direct consequence of taking action is easy to predict, while the subsequent reactions are difficult to predict. The same will be true when using a feather to cause a sneeze. The direct affect of this action – a slight stimulation of the skin cells touched by the feather – would be largely the same for all the subjects. The number of those who react by sneezing would be much smaller. So here, as in the example of the use of antihistamines, the direct effect of the action was the same for a large percentage of the subjects and thus predictable, while the reaction was much more varied and difficult to predict. Who, exactly, will sneeze when tickled with the feather, and who, exactly, will get what side effect from the antihistamine? Such questions regarding reactions are difficult to answer and thus explain why so many people are seriously harmed by drug side effects; we cannot predict beforehand who will get reactions that are worse than the original problem. If we could predict this, we would not give that drug to those individuals, and drug side effects would not be killing tens of thousands of Americans, as is the case in the United States today.

As action medicine's desired therapeutic effect is a direct result of the action taken, this action must be relatively strong and will thus be relatively easy to predict. That is one of action' medicine's greatest strengths. One of its greatest weaknesses, however, is the high rate of undesirable side effects that are much more difficult to predict. In the case of reaction medicine, the desired therapeutic effect takes place as an indirect reaction to the healer's intervention. This intervention will be milder than that used in action medicine, and there will be few if any undesirable effects, but the desired therapeutic effect, being a reaction, will be difficult to predict. Thus, one of the strengths of reaction medicine is its safety, while one of its weaknesses is a relatively greater degree of unpredictability in obtaining the desired therapeutic effect.

Pages 110 – 111 Additional Benefits of Reaction Medicine

[These are a couple of brief quotes from this section]

One of the most important and often overlooked strengths of reaction medicine is the potential to provide benefits for problems other than those being treated; that is, to cause good side effects. Because of the nature of holistic interconnections and the fact that reaction medicine takes advantage of these connections in helping the body to help itself, helping one problem with reaction medicine often helps others as well. …

Finding that other health conditions improve in the process of treating the primary problem is common occurrence in the practice of Chinese medicine. Often these additional benefits go unnoticed by the patient at first. Because reaction medicine helps the body to better adjust and heal itself naturally, many people do not realize that the cause of their sleeping better, catching fewer colds, experiencing more energy, and so on is the treatment they have been having for other problems. If someone continues to be treated with reaction medicine approaches over long periods of time, the improvements in overall body balancing they experience can also help to prevent future health problems.


Get started with your holistic stress-relief today! Just send me a note through the contact form in the sidebar!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What drugs is your doctor REALLY giving you? (Placebos aren't harmless any more!)

The following story was a real shocker to me!

Doctors prescribing placebo pills is not anything new, and actually I'm all for it in instances where it might help.

The mind is the most powerful healing device you have, and if a tool, like a harmless pill, can nudge your mind into effecting a cure and creating good health, so much the better.

However, in my opinion, the article below shows just how over-the-top the medical community has become when it prescribes placebo pills that are not harmless, do-nothings, but are serious drugs like painkillers, antibiotics, and sedatives.

The overuse of antibiotis in the U. S. is already legendary, but here are doctors prescribing it as a placebo! I sure hope the sedative recipients are given the "do not drive" warning even though they don't know they are taking a sedative!

The worst part is that the do this without telling the patient what he or she is receiving! Not only that, the majority of doctors in the study believe this is "ethically permissible." When did it become "ethically permissible" to prescribe a potenitally harmful drug and lie to the patient?

The more I see, the more I say: Go holistic!

Here's the story:

Doctors Often Prescribe Placebo Treatments


By Ed Edelson HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 23 [2008] (HealthDay News) -- American doctors regularly prescribe placebo pills that are intended to have a psychological effect, a new survey finds.

However, the placebos reported by the 679 physicians in the survey often aren't the inactive substances used in controlled clinical trials, said Dr. Farr A. Curlin, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, and a member of the team reporting the finding in the Oct. 24 issue of the BMJ.

"Most people when they say 'placebo' think of something like a sugar pill," Curlin said. "But doctors can use a treatment that may have some effects but that they think will not have a direct effect on the patient except by the placebo effect."

The placebo effect, well-established in countless studies, is a benefit produced by assuring someone that whatever is being given will benefit whatever the problem happens to be -- "optimism or confidence that something is being done," as Curlin phrased it.

Only 3 percent of the doctors responding in the survey reported prescribing sugar pills. But 41 percent said they used over-the-counter painkillers as placebos, 38 percent used vitamins, 13 percent used antibiotics, and 13 percent used sedatives.

The survey also found that only 5 percent of the doctors who prescribe a placebo treatment describe it as such. The great majority, 68 percent, describe it as a potentially beneficial medicine or treatment not typically used for the condition.

And almost two-thirds of the doctors in the survey said they believed the practice to be ethically permissible.

"It's a gray zone," Curlin said. "It is not ethical to actively deceive patients. But when doctors give something which they think will help but don't think it helpful to explain the full reasoning about why it will help, that's a gray zone."

Placebo treatment "is pretty common in the practice of medicine," said Curlin, who acknowledged using it. "I give people the information I think a reasonable person would want to know, trying to be as candid as possible," he said. "There are times when I have said, 'Yes, I think it might be helpful, why don't you give it a try,' when I don't have confidence it will help their condition."

What matters is that the treatment can help, Curlin added. "The placebo effect is a real effect," he said. "People do feel better. To the extent that it can be mobilized in a way that is restful and not actively deceiving patients, I think it is acceptable."

Placebo treatment "is part of an old but good medical tradition," said Dr. David Spiegel, an assistant chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University. "The basic rule is: First, do no harm. If there is no toxicity, and it does some good, evidence supports its use," Spiegel said.

But straightforward lying about a prescription is wrong, said Dr. Andrew Leuchter, associate dean of the school of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"The cornerstone of what treatment is acceptable is full disclosure for the patient," Leuchter said. "If you explain to the patient what you are doing, and why you are doing it, that is right. If you mislead a patient, there is a serious problem with that."

The appropriate way to explain a placebo treatment, Leuchter added, is to say, "There is no reasonable medical evidence that this pill is effective for your condition, but some people who take this pill say it makes them feel better."

It is important to note that "deception is not a necessary part of the placebo effect," Spiegel said. "You can tell people that the treatment might benefit them, and that is not a lie."

And the placebo effect is often at work in medical practice, Spiegel noted. "A lot of factors go into the effect of therapy, some of which are specifically pharmaceutical, and some are not. You might feel better, because you feel you are doing something actively to treat the problem."

The argument about the ethics of placebo treatment can also be turned around, he added. "There are ways to present placebo treatment that do not involve deception," he said. "You are doing it because it can help a patient, and a certain percentage of patients will respond. Especially in conditions where we do not have a lot of treatments, is it ethical to withhold it?"

More information

The history of placebo treatments is described in the Skeptics Dictionary.


It's been proposed that as many as 90% of doctor visits are to relieve symptoms of stress!

Before you go there, here are several articles with stress-reducing techniches and information that can help you stay clear of costly, potentially harmful medications that you don't need anyway!

Progressive Relaxation Technique II

SAD or Depressed? Antidepressants Are Out, Sunlight Is In!

12 Ways to Stay on Top of Stress

Stressed and Depressed, or dehydrated?

Laughter - It does a body good!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Suicide Rates Rising Among Middle Age Women

This trend is pretty scary, but not as surprising nor as unfathomable as the researchers seem to think.

Here is the story; my own comments follow at the end.

Middle-aged women drive rise in U.S. suicides: study


By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor Maggie Fox, Health And Science Editor

October 21, 2008

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. suicide rates appear to be on the rise, driven mostly by middle-aged white women, researchers reported on Tuesday.

They found a disturbing increase in suicides between 1999 and 2005 and said the pattern had changed in an unmistakable way -- although the reasons behind the change are not clear.

The overall suicide rate rose 0.7 percent during this time, but the rate for white men aged 40 to 64 rose 2.7 percent and for middle-aged women 3.9 percent, the team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found.

"The biggest increase that we have seen between 1999 and 2005 was the increase in poisoning suicide in women -- that went up by 57 percent," said Susan Baker, a professor in injury prevention with a special expertise in suicide.

Writing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Baker, Guoqing Hu and colleagues said they analyzed publicly available death certificate data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The results underscore a change in the epidemiology of suicide, with middle-aged whites emerging as a new high-risk group," Baker said in a statement.

"Historically, suicide-prevention programs have focused on groups considered to be at highest risk -- teens and young adults of both genders as well as elderly white men. This research tells us we need to refocus our resources to develop prevention programs for men and women in their middle years."

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States and Baker said the changes are substantial.

"Definitely these are not just little blips," she said in a telephone interview. "We are looking at a big population change."

She hopes other researchers will study the reasons behind the shifts. "I certainly think we need research to look at the information that we have on people who have committed suicide," she said.

"Are these people living alone, with no major responsibility or others to take care of, or are they people overwhelmed with all of the jobs and responsibilities they have? We need to find out more about the conditions under which these people are living."

The middle-aged women and men used various methods to kill themselves -- poisons, prescription drugs, hanging or suffocation, and firearms, Baker said.

While firearms remain the most common method, the rate of gun suicides decreased while suicide by hanging or suffocation increased by 6.3 percent among men, and 2.3 percent among women.

In September researchers confirmed an 18 percent spike in youth suicides in the United States in 2004 persisted into 2005 after more than a decade of decreases.

And international research published in January found that the young, single, female, poorly educated and mentally ill are all at higher risk of suicide.

According to the World Health Organization, suicide rates have increased by 60 percent in the last 45 years. Depression is the leading cause of suicide.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Julie Steenhuysen)


Michelle here again. . .

Personally, I would like to know if the jump has been gradual since 1963, or if there has been a spike in the suicide rates more recently. I think that could give a lot of insight into what is behind this terrible trend.

Here are some reasons that I believe contribute to the rise in women committing suicide in record numbers:

Just being a woman means there is something wrong with you and you need to be fixed:

· Young girls must be medicated for a virus that the FDA has said "are short-lived and not associated with cervical cancer;"

· Young women must be medicated to reduce or eliminate the menstrual cycle;

· Middle-age women must be medicated to overcome menopause;

· Elderly women must be medicated to overcome osteoporosis.

· From 9 to 90, you spend your entire life on drugs!

Here is an eye-opener: a chart ranked by number of prescriptions filled for women by state showing prescriptions filled for both men and women in 2007. Overall, women are prescribed far more drugs than men.

"Retail Prescription Drugs Filled at Pharmacies (Annual per Capita by Gender) 2007"



United States















New Mexico



District of Columbia






























New Jersey












New York



South Dakota












New Hampshire









Rhode Island





















North Dakota












North Carolina






























South Carolina






West Virginia




You are paid less than a man doing the same work. This is a major source of stress, anxiety, fear, and depression.

You have wrinkles, and you are never thin enough. This is a major source of anxiety and depression.

You may be caring for children, spouse, and parents, but there is no one to take care of you! This is a major cause of stress, anxiety, and depression.

You don't eat right, and don't get enough sunlight so you are deficient in many nutrients, especially Vitamin D. This is a major cause of stress, anxiety, depression, and general illness.

You are expected to participate in the competitive business world and yet that is counter to all we know about women and how they work best, which is cooperatively not competitively. This is a major cause of stress, anxiety, and fear.

Your main source of support and stress-relief has virtually disappeared; hanging out with other women. This is a major source of stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression.

Women, you must break the cycle. You are the only ones who can.

Stop listening to the television tell you who you are and what you are supposed to be, do, and think.

Start listening to that most-ridiculed and yet most profound and relevant of womanly senses: Intuition.

And, for goodness sake, read the article about the Back Fence Network and then get out there and hang out with other women!