What Is Energy Healing?

Energy Healing is on the rise - partly due to people wanting a non- invasive, non-addictive, non-chemical solution for their aches and pains, but also because so many people see results. The ancient methods, treatments, and traditional herbal medicines that have been in use for thousands of years work very well when combined with our new technological advances for testing and repairing.

Modern medicine however, is designed to treat symptoms. You have to already be sick before a solution can be found. With energy medicine, distortions or blocks in your energy field, that eventually show up in your body as an ache, pain, or disease, can be discovered earlier. A skilled energy healer can sense blockages in your energy field before they show up as symptoms in your physical body. Those ancient shamans really knew what they were doing! An energy healer accesses the unified field, or source, or divine matrix, to help you heal your own energetic body.

Those of you who have been with me for a while know I believe very strongly that every body is different and there is no cookie cutter solution for any illness or pain. Therefore, I believe the best approach is to use any and all solutions available to us to find the one(s) that work best for our own body. When we are ill, we all deserve to have access to any and all effective treatments. East and West working together can more effectively heal our body, mind, and spirit. Include modern medicine, energy medicine, acupuncture, Ayurveda, homeopathic medicines, along with good nutrition and exercise in your health plan!

Want to try an energy healing session? Here’s a link to my Healing Touch (Reiki) page.

There are many simple energy healing techniques that you can use on a regular basis to improve your mood, or increase your energy when you feel tired in the middle of the day, and balance your chakra system.

Here's one to try for yourself with me right now:

Technology Not Making Life Easier?!

Well, technology is wonderful, when it works, but when it doesn't, it can be frustrating - IF You Let It Get To You! Tech glitches prevented me from publishing last week's newsletter. I didn't let it get to me, but I have to say that I have only recently mastered that skill. Even now, sometimes life's little glitches still get to me, but I am much better at taking them with a grain of salt these days. My own, "aha" moment came when I realized that I was working on several things at the same time and not getting ANY of them done. In fact, I was often forgetting what I went into a room for, because I would get into that room and see something that I'd started and not finished earlier, and auto pilot would have me start back on that task. Yikes! Time for a break!

Most of us have been consummate multi-taskers for much of our lives, but now that we know all this multi-tasking can cause Chronic Fatigue, Adrenal Depletion and more, we realize we have to take better care of our mind and body.

Here are some simple ways to begin to listen to our bodies, reconnect, and tune in with what's going on in the present moment. Remember - put your own oxygen mask on before you help someone with theirs!

  • Meditation is essential for the health of our mind and body. AND Meditation can be as simple as spending ten minutes each morning in silent prayer. Or, you can learn meditation techniques that help to clear your mind; then set aside 20 minutes each morning for your meditation practice. I cannot stress enough how important meditation is to our well being.
  • Journal your thoughts daily. Sitting down with pen and notebook and asking yourself - How Do I Feel Today? The answers will come and you will feel better after they are out of your mind and onto the paper.
  • Playtime is just as important as an adult, as it was when we were kids - maybe more so. Children naturally laugh at least 70% more than adults. Let's change that statistic. Find time to dance, sing, walk on a beach or in the woods, play catch with your dog, do any activity that brings you joy and makes you smile and/or laugh. Laughter reduces the stress hormones coursing through your body, so make time for some fun!

The concept of, "me time," is not an easy one to grasp. BUT, when we embrace the fact that we can't control everything, we begin to know the freedom of not having to try to control everything in our life. Be open to infinite possibilities, and life becomes more exciting, fun, and laughable!

Here's a quick eye massage that will help you get started on your, "me time!"

Best of Health,

Kathi

Is it just me or are meetings getting longer and longer?!

Or, maybe it's just that I am so used to moving all day that I find it difficult to sit for long periods.

Well, whatever the reason you may be having pain when sitting for long periods, here's a simple tip that will help you feel better right away!

Enjoy YOUR next meeting!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

My daughter was home over the weekend. We had such a great time. I love when she is around!

sun over waterWhen she arrived, she emptied out a bag with some items she had purchased for the weekend that include one of the most highly poisonous sunscreens on the market! I couldn't believe it! How do these companies get away with continuing to sell this stuff?! OK, I will try not to rant here, but it won't be easy for me.

I see the latest information when it becomes available, but I often forget that most other people aren't on e-mail lists from medical or government studies, so it's not as common knowledge as it should be.

First, we CANNOT trust the FDA! OK - I know I said I'd try not to rant so I'll stop there.

Secondly, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) takes all the latest studies into consideration when making it's ratings. They use solid, scientific information, not someone with an agenda's blog post. Take a look at the EWG's explanation of their sunscreen ratings.

Here's the bottom line:

Retinyl palmitate (a form of Vitamin A) has been shown in studies to increase the development of skin cancer tumors. The studies were done on animals, most of them more than five years ago. German and Norwegian authorities issued a caution against using retinyl palmitate in sunscreens in 2010 and 2012, based on these studies, and they also instituted regulations for reduced amounts allowed in skin care products. The FDA agreed that this was something that needed more study, and human trials, back in 2010. OK, so why has the FDA not done those studies and released new regulations? A good question, and one I will not speculate on because I promised not to rant. In addition, most of the commercial sunscreens include other toxic chemicals along with retinyl pamlate.

There are safe sunscreens available and when we all start buying those, instead of Coppertone, then the larger companies will jump on the bandwagon.

Alba Botanical and Aubrey Organics are available most places and they each make four good sunscreens.Ava Anderson founded her business on making safe cosmetics and other products for our homes and her sunscreens are also non-toxic. I'm sure you can find a representative in your area. If not, feel free to contact Ned's cousin who sells Ava Anderson products.

Enjoy the summer!

Kathi

Neck and Shoulder Injuries On The Rise

Countless people have come in to see me with shoulder problems lately.

knee push upSome have injured themselves doing push ups or plank, so let's look at the correct way to do those, as well as some exercises that can improve range of motion, strengthen shoulders, and release the tension that often causes those muscles to tighten up.

First, let's cover correct form. Most people know by now that you can't let your lower back sag down toward the floor without causing injury to your lower back. Keeping the body as straight as possible is the way to go. Unfortunately, there are many other incorrect ways to do a push up that are not so well known.

  • Do your push ups in front of a mirror, or have someone watch you, to make sure your shoulders are level. This is the most common problem that I see with my clients (mainly women). We usually have one arm that is stronger than the other and when we lower towards the floor, the shoulder of the stronger arm goes lower than the other, causing an imbalance. The action of pushing back up from this imbalance can cause injury. I recommend doing knee push ups, with your lower legs up off the floor, to begin with. This position uses the same muscles but it's a little easier to feel whether one arm is going lower than the other. Once you are stronger, and sure of your good form, you can go back to the military style.
  • Also, When doing a push up, make sure that your elbows do not flare out from the body. That is most likely how we learned to do them as kids, but it's really bad form as an adult when we are lifting over 100 lbs! This position puts a lot of stress on the rotator cuff, leading to injury. Keeping your elbows tucked closer into the body might make your push up a little more difficult, but it will most definitely help prevent rotator cuff injuries. One of the ways I teach people to remember to do that is through using a heavy hand barbell. Place the barbells on each side of the body so that when you grab the barbell your palms are facing each other. Complete all of your push ups with hands grabbing the barbells and this will make it easier to keep the elbows in while at the same time, saving your wrists from strain - A win-win solution. 
  • Another common bad habit is letting your body simply drop toward the floor. Don't use gravity, use your muscles in a controlled movement both down and up. Ignore all those TV shows where you see guys doing push-ups so fast, you can't even count them. For proper form, you need to go slow and concentrate on using all of your back, shoulder, abdominal and arm muscles. Keep those abs tight so that they can protect your lower back. 

Now, let's talk stress. Everyone has stress in their lives. It's where you send that stress that can cause you some real headaches. I see so many people automatically tensing their shoulders when they are concentrating on something or when they get a stressful phone call, etc. When those shoulder muscles remain tensed for long periods, it cuts off the circulation in the muscles, and sets you up for injury and pain. Here is a simple technique that you can do several times every day to keep from causing that "stress back pack."  

Lastly, one of my favorite exercises improves flexibilty and range of motion in the shoulders very quickly. I have given this exercise to many who have used it to avoid surgery on their shoulder. Some clients have called it a "miracle exercise." Truly, it's just a great exercise to keep in your daily routine to prevent injury.

The Alexander Shoulder Roll  

Best of Health,

Kathi

Organic PESTICIDES?!

Can that be true? I did some research and what I found was a surprise to me and will most likely be to you as well. Have a seat, because there is no simple answer here and I will do my best to inform you of my findings.

 

First, organic means that farmers cannot use synthetic pesticides, but they CAN AND DO use organic pesticides.grilled veggies

 

Secondly, some organic pesticides (rotenone), have been proven highly dangerous to humans. That's because rotenone kills by attacking mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of all living cells. And if you think that's the bad news, there's more... According to the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, the top two organic fungicides, copper and sulfur, were used at a rate of 4 and 34 pounds per acre. In contrast, the synthetic fungicides only required a rate of 1.6 lbs per acre, less than half the amount of the organic alternatives. My own feeling on this is that the less we impact our environment the better! Mother earth is dealing with enough toxins already.

 

So you're probably asking: What’s a person to do?:

There are choices, but you have to do some research. 

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) uses environmentally sound ways to keep pests from invading your home, damaging your plants, or annoying you.

I had no idea IPM existed, so I did some research on IPM and here is what I found. Successful IPM combines several methods to prevent and manage pest problems without harming you, your family, or the environment. In IPM, using pesticides may be an option, but when nonchemical methods are used first, pesticides are often not needed.

My recommendation to you is to look for LOCAL farms that use IPM or organic methods and ask them what pesticides they use. Do your own due diligence, and then you can rest assured that you are purchasing safe, healthy food for your family.

I found several farms who either use IPM or do not use any pesticides at all in the Berkshires. Check your area and see what you can find for yourself!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Biking, Hiking and Gardening?

I'm still outside working in my garden, planting more this week! Believe it or not, we had a frost last week here in good ol' New England! We hope Mother Nature is done with that now (fingers crossed...).

One thing I notice about gardening is that no matter how much I love it, the older I get, the more my back complains. After the cold dark winter cuddling by the fire, I'm not physically prepared for all the bending over, raking, etc., that gardening entails. To make sure I survive without pain, I start out slowly, a little at a time. When I'm done I make sure to come inside and relax my back with the exercise below, and then stretch. It helps until I get back into the swing of things.

Through The Hole followed by Down Dog are my favorite stretching exercises for gardening. They're also great for post bike ride, run, or tennis!  And speaking of bike rides, please keep in mind Ned's 100 mile fundraising bike ride for Bicycles Battling Cancer! He worked very hard riding his bike that day so others will some day be able to get back to their lives again. It's not too late to donate.

June is also known as The Great Outdoors month, so get outside and do some hiking, biking, or walking, and enjoy another healthy, joyful, summer!

Best of Health,

Kathi

 

Bicycles Are Battling Cancer Again!

Ned BBCBicycles Battling Cancer is an all day fundraising event in Massachusetts that's coming up on June 7th. If you like to ride, there are several options - you don't need to do the 100 miles that my friend Ned does. If you can add a donation, we appreciate your help. We all have lost relatives to cancer. And we'd all like to see an end to this terrible disease in all of it's forms. There is some promising gene research going on now and we are hoping this will see an end to cancer in the future. Please read Ned's story here. Thank you so much.

 

Since we are talking about cancer, let's see what you know about prevention. Are you eating enough fruits and veggies? By enough, I mean LOTS! Dr. Neil Barnard has just released some research with new dietary guidelines for cancer prevention. His report recommends that we Emphasize fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of several common forms of cancer. Fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, help reduce overall cancer risk. A high intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage, is associated with an 18 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer and reduced risk of lung and stomach cancers.

Women who consume the most carotenoid-rich vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, lower their risk of breast cancer by 19 percent. Overall, women who consume the highest quantities of any kind of fruit or vegetable reduce breast cancer risk by 11 percent. A high intake of tomato products has been shown to reduce risk of gastric cancer by 27 percent. Garlic and other allium vegetables, such as onions, significantly reduce risk for gastric cancer, while a Western diet (high amounts of meat and fat with minimal amounts of fruits and vegetables) doubles the risk.

Note: Some components in soybeans, green tea, turmeric, grapes, tomatoes, and other plant foods have the ability to regulate apoptosis (a natural process for destroying unhealthy cells), an important pathway for cancer prevention.


Here's a graphic showing how Dr. Barnard's recommends filling your plate.

Looks a lot different than those you've seen before, doesn't it? He recommends a vegetarian diet.

plate recommendations

The Kushi Institute here in the Berkshires has helped several friends of mine prevent re-occurrence of their throat or breast cancer. Their program is macrobiotics, which looks very similar to Dr. Barnard's except that it's a pyramid, and in the tiny little peak at the top recommends animal protein used sparingly. They do, however, recommend a little bit of fish. Their pyramid looks more like my own diet. What about you? What does your diet look like? Do you want to make some changes? Have you wondered about how to make any changes that don't feel like deprivation, starvation, or that you can continue for the rest of your life? If so, hire a health coach to help you design a diet that works for you! Give me a call and I'll explain how we can work together to find food and recipes that you love with healthier food choices. It's not as hard as you might think!

 

Best of Health,

Kathi

Are There Any Foods That Contain Vitamin D?

100_0227It's nice to know I'm not the only one who's been waiting for this sunshine and warmth! All living things need the sun to survive, and most humans also need sunshine to simply feel good. On a sunny day, we are much more likely to get outside in nature and enjoy all that Mother Nature offers us. There have been a few studies that show that mood improves when you get out in nature. This is very true for me. Spring awakens me from a winter's sleep; I must have been a bear in another life!

Here's a photo of me taking a selfie at sunset in Martha's Vineyard. Ahhhhhhh.

The "Sunshine Vitamin" is important for healthy bones and our immune function. Vitamin D is produced in our body with mild sun exposure. Adequate vitamin D intake is important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption, which means healthy bones and teeth, as well as improved immune function. Some smaller studies have demonstrated a protective effect against diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, and even flu prevention! Further research is being done, but you can see how, perhaps, getting your daily dose of sunshine can positively effect more than just your mood.

And a little can go a long way: just 10 minutes a day of midday sun exposure is plenty, especially if you're fair-skinned like me.

Did you know that some foods contain vitamin D? I didn't until I did this research. There aren't many, but here are a few:

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • egg yolk
  • shrimp

It's not easy getting enough vitamin D through sun exposure and foods, so supplementation is also suggested. Personally, I take 2000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. This is something I discussed with my doctor and I recommend asking yours about this supplement as well. Ask to be tested for vitamin D levels at you next visit.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Yummy Bean Salad For Extra Fiber

None of us get enough fiber in our diets these days.

Here's a delicious recipe to remedy that!

Easy Bean Salad

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups cooked or canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 ½ cups cooked or canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 ½ cups cooked or canned black eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 ½ cups cooked edamame (I get the frozen and lightly steam them)

1 cup frozen corn, thawed or fresh corn steamed and chilled

1 large red pepper, diced

1 small onion, chopped

4 large garlic cloves, smashed

Salt and pepper

For dressing, mix 6 Tblsp. Olive Oil with 4 Tblsp Lemon Juice

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Left-overs will keep for several days in the refrig.

Each serving (1 cup) contains: 183 calories, 3 grams fat, 9.9 grams protein, 31 grams carbs, 2.9 grams sugar, 8 grams fiber.

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