Back in the beginning of this year I had decided to start-up my blog again because four projects were incubating.
Well. What actually happened was a bad auto accidents on March 23rd in which a semi hit my little Honda on I 25. My car was spun across three lanes of traffic and ended up jammed into an embankment. The subsequent whiplash (yes I was wearing my seatbelt) broke my neck and sternum and bruised all my right side ribs.
So. After ten and a half weeks of being in a neck brace 24/7 I am now rebuilding mobility and strength and am launched upon this unexpected learning journey. Because I was in excellent health before the accident, my progress in the words of my neurosurgeon is “cautiously optimistic.” I have received a stupendous amount of help, food, prayers, support and love from numerous friends, neighbors and readers and I am deeply grateful to be alive. Who I was before the accident is not who I am becoming…the journey’s path unfolds before me…
Now about these four projects:
Two of them involving my greenhouse and garden are continuing in a very reduced manner as I heal. Hopefully with excellent help, they will manifest sometime next year.
The other two are Iris Herbal Projects; one involves pain relief and the second is a set of oils that are based upon Chinese Five Element Theory. My hope is to manifest these in the next year or so as well. Because I experienced some mild to moderate traumatic brain injury from the accident, I am now more dependent upon others in running my business. Where before I had almost boundless energy and drive, I now experience the steep learning curve of patience, persistence and delight in small steps.
It’s been a longish hiatus since I last wrote, and teaching and gardening are boiling away on the front burners.
So much of what we’ve been learning in our class on anatomy and physiology is the stupendously intricate complexity of the human body. And that science is still figuring us out. New hormones, proteins, enzymes, etc. are still being discovered. Ways everything interacts is still being parsed. Really intelligent people can read the same data and draw very different conclusions. Our own journey affects how we understand the concept of being a human…
In studying the digestive system and now adding nutrition, we are learning not just the basics, but the basics from a variety of viewpoints. The concept of a “calorie” turns out to be incredibly “loaded” with politics, belief systems and which scientists/studies you trust. Who knew!? And hardly anyone except “radical granola types” pay any attention to the primary basis of all health: the health of a country’s soil. And yet studies are showing up even in the mainstream that state that our food today is less nutritious that it was even 50 years ago. When we “mine” our soil, and don’t “put back” the minerals and organic matter and healthy microbes, then the plants don’t have the same nutritional content in their cells, because the soil is deficient. Add the GMO, herbicide and pesticide issues, not to mention processing whole foods to death, plus artificial chemicals….well, it becomes tremendously difficult to find quality food in an average supermarket.
And that, dear reader is the crux: quality of food is the basis of health.
If you live in New Mexico or southern Colorado, and want to learn more about traditional food preparation, including fermentation, please email me asap : email@example.com, and I’ll send you the color flier and ingredient list. This super hands-on “workshop” is Saturday April 26th from 1pm to 4pm in Questa, NM. Come experience adult learning at its best.
Even though those of you reading this are a variety of ages, I’ll bet most, if not all of you, never learned anatomy and physiology in Junior, Middle or Senior High School. I certainly didn’t. I knew how to do Algebra I and II and III, learned about Chemistry (a lot about the periodic table!), managed to skip Physics, and struggled through many years of French, of which I remember maybe a couple dozen words! But not how my body works…not how digestion begins before we even eat the first bite of food. Not how fats are emulsified or not and where, and what happens when they aren’t. Why some folks can eat fast food and don’t seem to be adversely affected (at least for awhile), and I throw up if I eat fried foods.
We are bombarded with “diets” and the “experts'” opinions (which seem to change drastically over time) and is it no wonder that so many of my clients don’t know what is healthy FOR THEM. And that is the key: what is healthy for each individual, not a one-size-fits-nobody approach to nutrition. There are many “ways” of eating, and many preachers and apostles of what is “correct.” I’m going to put some highlights of our classes here on anatomy and physiology, as well as Michael Moore’s approach, and walk everyone through the process of digestion and its sometimes discontents. And those “problems” or symptoms turn out to be keys to what is not functioning properly and why! what a concept…
and here’s a little graphic that says a lot….:
I just looked at my last blog posting, and realized I’ve taken a 2 month hiatus without planning to…Yes, there were holidays, and crazy weather everywhere, and inventory (my least favorite activity), and maybe a bit of fatigue: the attack on our food and health is unrelenting, and constantly pointing this out gets tiresome.
SO: this spring (in the Celtic calendar spring begins with Imbolc/Candlemas, as the days get longer and buds swell) I am going to take a break from gloom and doom and focus on positive steps we can all take towards reclaiming our authority and agency around our heath and healing process. As the old saying goes: the personal is political. And yes, systemic change means more than just our personal choices, and yet where we choose to spend our money and how we treat ourselves really does matter, for both our own healing journey and the planet’s.
I am currently teaching 5 students one morning a week, and have been (with some breaks) since last June. We’ve been going on plant identification field trips, learning how to make herbal medicine, and now we are studying anatomy and physiology for herbalists. We are having a great time as adult learners, and are amazed that we didn’t get this information about how our body works in school. Even those professionals who took A and P didn’t get the “big picture” with a paradigm that is health based (and the one we are studying comes from Michael Moore, southwest herbalist who died in 2009). There is much good info that I plan to share here from this ongoing course.
Here’s your first “assignment” (oh, and there are no tests, no grades, just an informative exploration into the mysteries on the body/mind): notice what you eat. Just pay attention. No judgments, no shaming self, no excuses. If you want extra credit, write what you eat (and I mean everything that goes in your mouth) for the next week. You will be amazed…
OK, enough with the politics! Let’s talk about 6 simple ways to help make this flu season more enjoyable because you did NOT get sick:
Wash your hands. Yes, we all know about this, and many times we just don’t so it at all, or we do it in such a way that it doesn’t work as well as it can. So, according to the latest research (yup, folks research hand-washing) here’s the deal: first you wet your hands (and how bout turning off the faucet to save water), then you lather up (how about using a locally made soap, or if you must have liquid, Dr. Bronner’s is still the best; DO NOT use anti-bacterial soap…it is breeding antibiotic resistance bacteria and isn’t necessary), and now you count 20 seconds of washing your hands. Then and only then do you rinse. This gets rid of 99% of the germs. Or you can use an alcohol-based cleanser; follow their directions.
Gargle. I love this one: every morning I gargle and if I’ve been exposed to folks who are sick I gargle when I get home. It really does work, and is rather fun…
Cut down on sugar. Notice that I didn’t yell at you to stop eating it….but seriously, when we eat sugar our immune system doesn’t work as well for several hours after ingestion. That’s kinda scary. So limit your serving numbers and sizes, and if exposed to sickness, don’t eat it at all. You can eat an apple, or a whole orange: the fructose is combined with fiber and other food chemicals and is good for us, especially if also eaten with a few soaked nuts and/or seeds.
Sleep. As in 7 hours MINIMUM. Every night. No excuses! If this is difficult, then get help. I’m not being facetious; all the research I’ve read is adamant about adults needing enough sleep. This is not just about evading the flu; adequate sleep helps us think and function better on all levels.
Take immune boosting herbs. Echinacea, astragalus, olive leaf, herbs and spices, tea tree essential oil, elder berry…there are many choices. Have on hand Vitamin C and any of various combinations from your local natural food store (or you can always call me for a tincture or supplements, especially Epicor, a favorite immune modulator).
Do something fun every day. This is the stress relief part of the list: relax, hang out, say no, say yes, put yourself first if you are tired. The light is waning, time to go inward, start a craft project, knit, amble, read for pleasure, go to a yoga class. You choose!
Happy Thanksgiving…and gratitude is healing.
The following article comes from a newsletter of Friends of the Trees, and contains valuable info about the current situation in Fukushima, as well as info on protecting yourself from radiation. The link to the health and radiation protection protocol is an infomercial for the guy’s products. That said, the info is still useful, though I may disagree with certain points made. It’s at least a place to start…and no, no one really wants to think about this. We really don’t want to know how close we are to a radiation disaster on top of what is already happening as amazing amounts of radiation are pouring into the Pacific Ocean. It is so much easier to just think about our Thanksgiving plans….
Within the next two weeks the workers at the Fukushima plant are going to try to remove spent fuel rods that are suspended on damaged racks. They weigh about 400 tons all together and contain radiation equivalent to 14,0000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. This is very dangerous work, not just for the workers, or Japan, but for the entire world. There’s a media blackout about the gravity of the situation (and has been for two years) but right now I believe that prayers are needed more than ever.
The seriousness of it extends far beyond the removal of the airborne fuel rods, but this one act of removal is extremely dangerous and could impact all of us within a rather short amount of time. I believe it needs out utmost attention and prayers. I would like to ask that we join together in daily prayers* for the next month focusing on stabilization of the plant, of the fuel rods, of the workers safety and fair working conditions, and for their utmost competence in facing this daunting global responsibility. A request that prayers focus on the world community coming together, encouraging the best nuclear specialists and global engineers to step forward in a unified manner, bringing their expertise and best plans in stabilizing and containing leaks and damage to the plant.
Lastly, may we pray for stabilization for the entire nuclear plant, including the end of radioactive leaking and contamination of the Waters, and for the renewed health of our Pacific Ocean, and all marine life there.
All thoughts on how to add or build onto this multi-faceted prayer for stabilization, safety, and protection – of the plant, workers, families, waters, marine life, and global community.
Amaji has asked us to pray for a successful conclusion of the removal of the fuel rods at Fukushima’s crippled reactor pools. There is a potential for a catastrophic explosion during this process which would cause a huge emission of radioactive elements into the whole world.
Here is one such prayer, which you can add to as you see fit.
Prayer to the Devas of Radioactive Elements
“I pray to the great devas of the radioactive elements, uranium, plutonium and others that they will closely oversee the removal of the Fukushima fuel rods without great release of radioactivity. Furthermore, I pray that they will closely oversee Fukushima and all the other nuclear power plants until they can be closed and safely dismantled. I include here all the nuclear weapons on the planet as well. I appreciate the natural role that the radioactive elements play on the Earth. It is humans that have concentrated the radioactive elements for their own ends. May you assume your natural roles and not be allowed to be used for evil purposes or to greatly harm the human race and other species.
I ask my guides to carry this prayer up to the highest levels they can reach and so on until this prayer reaches the ears of the highest devas of the radioactive elements and to the ears of the great deva which overlights all of humanity. I send this prayer also to the ears of the great Overlighting Logos of the planet Earth. Sanat Kumara, Gaia or whatever other names may be used for this great Being that ensouls our planet.
Thank you for hearing our prayers. So be it.”
Of course we should also be praying to all of the spiritual allies of the human race.
*Perhaps the prayers could begin everyday at 10:00 am Pacific time, 11:00 Colorado, 12:00 noon Chicago, 1:00 East Coast time. Other suggestions?
While researching nascent iodine for protection against radioactivity I came across the following article on protecting yourself from radiation and we should probably all read it closely at this time. Living With Radiation: Protection Starts Today by Hank Liers, PhD