Monday, September 20, 2010

Craniosacral Therapy

Having started medical school over 4 years ago, I have had plenty of time to appreciate the necessity of utilizing energetic medicine with patients. Most of us go to the doctor and talk about our physical ailments, are given a prescription and sent on our merry way. Some of us are lucky to have doctors that recognize the emotional body, yet their tools for addressing it are usually limited to medications.

So how would a student who aspires to be a naturopathic doctor prepare to help patients balance a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual body? Energetic medicine. Energetic medicine can be veeerrryyy vague. Some forms include: Reiki, crystal therapy, color and music therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, Feng Shui, etc. You may have heard of some of these modalities, and they are all great. I use many forms of energetic medicine myself, but my favorite by a long shot is Craniosacral Therapy.

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

The body, like all forms of creation, has rhythm. The sun, moon and planets, the seasons, music, our hormones... all have rhythm. Our body's physical structure has rhythm as well. Our bones, including the bones of the cranium, are constantly moving. Though the cranial bones are fused with sutures, a craniosacral therapist can palpate very subtle movements. Over 100 years ago, an osteopath named Dr. William Sutherland discovered that these rhythms were in direct connection with the rest of the rhythms of the body, and the "core" in particular. The "core" is t the center of our being, including but not limited to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the central nervous system (CNS) and surrounding tissues.

The intention of craniosacral therapy is to facilitate the "Breath of Life," the patterns from which our energetic body form due to physical, mental or emotional stress, trauma or toxicity. A craniosacral therapist simply lays his or her hands on the patient as they lay still and fully clothed. By monitoring the movements of the CSF, tissues and bones, the therapist is able to identify "energetic cysts" or "obstructions to cure" in the body. Through intention, the body is encouraged to heal thyself, clear blockages and re-sync its natural rhythms. No force or manipulation is used in this practice.

A skilled craniosacral therapist can even extend his or her palpatory skills to the energetic patterns formed by the mental and emotional body. Energetic centers such as the chakras are easily assessed and may be balanced. Some therapists have some shamanic training, helpful for spiritual attunement and harmonizing. But nothing is forced on a patient. The entire session is a process of addressing what the patient's body presents. As the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America says, "The practitioner's deep and clear quality of presence can become a reflective mirror for the patient and an invaluable cue for their potential for change."

This technique is also very safe and wonderful for children as they correct themselves very easily. Children, like animals, have a very strong vitality, where they can overcome physical and energetic dis-ease much stronger than adults. Craniosacral is also wonderful for pregnant women, helping to align the "core" of the fetus and mother. This can be very helpful for preparing for a healthy birth.

Some ailments that I've seen craniosacral therapy work wonders for:

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Migraines
  • Autism
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal misalignments, nerve impingements
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Neuro-endocrine imbalances
  • Sleep apnea
  • TMJ, dental problems
  • Trauma of all kinds: birth trauma, emotional trauma, PTSD, loss/grief, surgery, etc

Many patients appreciate having a hands-on approach to their health. The session is very relaxing and can be more efficient if the patient falls asleep. I've never had a patient that found that to be a problem. Most sessions are about 45 minutes, though it can be used for just seconds. Do not expect one session to address and correct everything. We are complex beings with many deep-seeded "misalignments." Craniosacral therapy's effects just BEGIN in office, and their effects continue to work days later. Therapists suggest setting appointments once a month to even once a week depending on how acute the condition is, or how much progress you made.


Craniosacral therapy is a wonderful tool to address the WHOLE body. Doctors need to address mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies in addition to the physical body. After all, we want to find the cause of a patient's ailment...and what if that cause is not physically related?

Wanna get trained?

Another tool for the medical box.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Get Organic with the Dirty Dozen

Okay, okay, eating all organic can be difficult financially. Trust me, I know. When I run out of my Organics to You delivery box, I usually have to shop at the grocery store or farmer's market for my produce...but I have to pinch pennies.

The "Dirty Dozen" is a list of the fruits and veggies you MUST buy organic. Why? Because these foods are heavily sprayed with pesticides. Ingestion of pesticides can lead to birth defects, nerve damage and cancer. Honestly, why would you want to eat food that can destroy you when it is supposed to be good for you?

Pesticides are VERY risky for children as their organs are still growing. Exposure can lead to inefficient maturation and higher risk for disease. Kids are like sponges. They will absorb so much more than adults. The amount of pesticide in comparison to their tiny bodies makes it much more toxic and difficult to eliminate. Who wants a toxic baby?!

DIRTY DOZEN- Eat these Organically!

1. CELERY!!!












Okay, so what CAN you buy non-organically, right? :)

THE CLEAN 15- Go 'head and BUY CHEAP
















(Obviously not a fruit or vegetable. I just love the Simpsons)

Print these lists off and put them on your refridgerator. Don't forget to wash your produce before preparing, organic or not!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Go Organic AND Local AND Lazy

I have been known to be a pretty lazy person when I want to be. Usually this does not apply to grocery shopping because it is my favorite thing to do. I always speed-walk the perimeter of the store then walk up and down every single aisle even if I only need a garlic bulb or bullion.

So why would I defeat my pleasures with produce delivery?

Because I go through so stinkin much!!! I enjoy shopping, but NOT EVERY DAY. And I really need to stop buying the same things every time I go to the store. The beauty of having a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery is that I don't have to think while at the store. I simply write down what I receive and think of how to use it all efficiently. What a way to force yourself to eat your veggies, no?

The other obvious benefits of a CSA box:

  • Super fresh food straight from the farmer
  • Certified Organic
  • Supporting Local
  • Cheaper (if you are good about using all of your produce)
  • You can usually receive more than fruits and veggies!! Organic, Cage-Free eggs, good organic meats, herbs, etc, OH MY!
  • Cuts out the middle man- Farmers can make more profits, allowing us to keep farms healhy and OPEN. Farmers are really struggling in these socioeconomic times as well. Which is bogus. We all need to eat real food still. Remember, NO FARMS NO FOOD.
  • Did I mention...easy? Yeah.

Here's my box for this week. I don't really like fruit so I specified that I like the "Box for One" with all veggies instead of fruit. I couldn't even fit everything in the picture. What a score for $27.
For you locals: Organics To You is just one distributer you can go through. Spud! is another one.
Trivers friends: Talk to Lynne Prucha at Waves Wellness Center- she organizes a local farmers drop-off site at her business on Washington Street. SO worth it!
Or you can talk directly to the farmers in town for an even better transaction. I would prefer to do it this way but a lot of veggies aren't in season yet.. Organics to You works with organic farmers locally but also in California during the off-season in order to fill the box. And I'm cool with that. Cali isn't that far and I have a lot of farmer friends down there I'd still like to support :)

Wanna be even more sustainable?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Throw a Juice Deuce

This time of year makes me giddy. Yeah, flowers, trees, bunnies, blah blah blah...and FRESH PRODUCE. The farmer's markets are boomin', local farmers are hopeful and conscious foodies are eating "whole foods" with less effort.
So I know my last post was forever ago, but not much has changed because I can't stop preaching the idea of "cleansing," or detoxing. One great way of accomplishing this without starving yourself or taking some shady pill from the Piggly Wiggly is to JUICE!

A great reference beyond this blog is the book called "Juice Alive" by (Larry Trivieri, Jr.) and Steven Bailey, a naturopathic physician here in Portland. He is incredibly successful with patients, helping them to detox gently and efficiently. This book not only gives an interesting look at the history of natural health and juicing, but it also addresses specific symptoms and ailments with recipes and ideas as to how to make a juice healthy and yumalicious.

I've been doing a very slow detox (with lots of re-toxes, thank you). But I am finally at a position where I can take myself a little more seriously. So with the help of smart anti-inflammatory food choices, bikram yoga and running, craniosacral treatments and massage, I am ready to go full force (along with all the fun ideas I've provided in the past, like skin brushing, castor oil packs, etc).

  • Concentrated vitamins and minerals- you can drink 3 beets in a cup!
  • Increased bioavailability of nutrients- best form of vitamins to absorb
  • Enzyme support for optimal digestion and absorption
  • Support the gut's normal, healthy flora
  • Fiber & Regularity
  • Intestinal cleansing
  • Increased energy
  • Support healthy alkalinity-acidity of the gut
  • TONS of antioxidants which protect against cancer, heart disease, etc.
  • No added sugars, preservatives, colors or creepy additives
  • Efficient light snack
  • Use those vegetables & fruits in the fridge before the go bad!
  • Soooo much more
The juice I made today includes:
3 organic red beets
bunch of organic parsley
3 organic garlic cloves
1 tsp organic lemon juice

Juicers come in a lot of different styles. They come cheap or super spendy. But they all work.

Look at that beautiful pulp!! Don't waste it! You can compost it for your garden or cook/bake with it! Alicia is going to make lentil-beet-parsley burgers tonight! Mmmmm..

Here is the juice just before mixin up in a martini shaker with ice and Green's first package (you can use wheat grass or whatever kind of powder supplement you like, or not).

As Hippocrates once said, "Let food be thy medicine, let medicine be thy food."

This is something that rings true with us all. Think of all the toxic medications you or a friend or family member have been on. Then think of all the benefits of a carrot...or a stick of celery...or sliver of ginger. We can take our healing into our own hands...and juicers.

Juice ON.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beet It


No one can deny the healing power of food. Beets, whether you like them or not, are one of the most powerful vegetables in the worrrrrrlllld.
  • High in folate (important B vitamin, especially for women of child-bearing age)
  • High in Fiber!
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Important Minerals- Iron, Copper, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese
  • Betacyanin- Cancer-fighting agent making them red/orange
  • Liver detoxification assistant- great for juicing during cleanses!!
Track your bowel transit time! This a great way of monitoring how your digestion is working. Simply eat beets and look down when you get up from the toilet for the next couple days (don't even pretend that you don't already). Ideally, you want between 8 and 14 hours for bowel transit but it can take a few days depending on your system. Some people tend to be constipated, well since beets are high in fiber, they help move things along quite nicely too!
You can bake 'em, boil 'em, steam 'em, juice 'em or eat 'em raw. Here's a great EASY and quick recipe to get your fill.

          2 Beet root bulbs- save the greens for a salad or juicing!
          2 Carrots (optional)
          1/4 cup Red Onion- diced

        1. Rinse the beets and carrots
        2. Peel veggies lightly (don't really have to if organic)
        3. Grate them with a cheese grater
        4. Throw it all together with onion in a small bowl.
        5. Add a tablespoon or two of rice vinegar.
        6. EAT.

        So many ways to incorporate beets into your life. Do not get stuck thinking those gross slimy, red canned balls are the only way to eat the delicious root of life.

        As mentioned, beets are great for helping the liver to detoxify. We are approaching the SPRING EQUINOX this weekend. Think about ways to help cleanse the mind and body whilst preparing for the change of seasons. See the these old posts for ideas on how to lightly cleanse the body...


        Broths, Charcoal, Showers, Skin Brushing, Hot Springs, Foot Baths, Warming Socks, Castor Oil Packs, Salt Glows, Garlic, and EMUNCTORIES


        Happy last few days of WINTER!


        Wednesday, February 24, 2010

        If you don't eat your GRASS-FED meat, you can't have any Pudding!

        Beef. It's what's for dinner. Whatever. What I want to know is, what was that beef's dinner before the slautering?


        There are many arguments to address when discussing meat health. We must consider the well-being of the animal being raised and eaten. We must think of the impact that this meat has on our physical health. We MUST remember that all of our farming and eating practices have a direct impact on the environment.

        1. Animal Well-Being: Animals who are raised on grass rather than corn, soy, wheat, etc. have a higher level of inflammation. Just as humans, other animals cannot digest these other forms of foodstuffs as well for they are mostly genetically modified. Their digestive systems become overwhelmed leading to acidosis and rumenitis. These leads to severe bloating, bacterial infections/abscesses and nutrient deficiencies. Thiamin (B1) deficiency leads to paralysis, for example. This cannot be a pleasant life for the animal.

        Since all these complications can arise, many raisers pump their animals full of ANTIBIOTICS and ionophors to reduce these risks, not to mention GROWTH hormones. These medications decrease the vitality of the animal, causing decreased immunity and other side effects. This is animal abuse, they are hanging on for dear life. If they cannot be free to mow on grass all day, they probably aren't moving very much either.

        Just think, if the food we eat is sick...

        2. Human Well-Being: As mentioned, food that has been pumped full of antibiotics can be very harmful to our bodies. Just as pesticides are used in fruits and vegetables, we must use caution and eat as much organic as possible.

        Grass-fed animals are leaner and healthier thus are lower in fat and calories. Lean animal fat is actually beneficial to the body in that it helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Lean meat is also known to be higher in Omega-3 fatty acids; omega-3s are important to brain, heart, digestive and skin health (everything really). They are vital fats that we tend to lack in our American diets. Naturopaths stress supplementing the diet with these fats in foods like walnuts, fresh WILD-caught fish, oils and seeds, but you can also get them from eating GRASS-FED meat and eggs!

        Other benefits of grass-fed animals to human health: increased B vitamins, Beta carotene, Vitamin E, higher CLA (fights cancer) and minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.

        3. Environmental Health

        Farm-raised animals cause more harm unto the environment than pasture-raised. When animals are able to graze the pastures, less fossil fuels are needed as they are harvesting their own food and organically fertiliizing the ground (and hence their own food) themselves. These fertilized pastures hold moisture and solar warmth, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and thus help to slow global warming. By allowing animals to take their natural course of feeding and exercise, crops such as GMO corn and soy are not needed. These crops are harmful to the animals as well as the environment due to the heavy pesticides and machines needed to harvest/process.

        OKAY... SO....

        When shopping for organic animal products, here are some things to keep in mind:
        • Be weary of the word "NATURAL." This term is not regulated by the FDA, or any group for that manner. Anything can be called natural. Organic standards, however, monitor all aspects of the animals life, death and processing.
        • EAT ONLY WILD-CAUGHT FISH. Do NOT eat farm-raised. Fish that are farmed are contained, contain high levels of Mercury (which is highly toxic to our brain and nervous system for example). People believe that farm-raised fish is lower in Mercury but in fact, they are wrong. The food served to these fish are pellets made from contaminated fish. A good way to avoid the biggest serving of mercury is to not eat the skin as it is stored in fat most efficiently. Farm raised also has higher levels of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)- no good. They also are pumped full of ANTIBIOTICS and PESTICIDES and synthetic pigments (so they LOOK healthier). GROSS!!
        • Chicken and Eggs are often available as "Cage Free/Free Range" or "Organic". Either is better than standard commercially farmed birds, but organic is ideal for they are fed organically without antibiotics and growth hormones.
        • DAIRY should also be organic. The milk which comes from animals is just as affected by their care and feeding practices as is the meat. I mean, would you want to breastfeed your child if you were smoking, sniffing Lysol, eating paint chips and crammed in a corner without the ability to move your whole life? No.
        • Get LOCAL- look up your local farms for beef, pork, chicken, eggs, dairy, etc. Not only could they use your help in these economic times, but they may be less allergenic to you as they are being raised in similar climates. Same with produce- ALWAYS shop local and organic.
        As an ex-vegetarian of nearly 10 years, I still live the life of a primarily plant-based diet. I do not order meat unless I know it is local and organic. Granted, life as a true flexitarian manifests BALANCE, MODERATION and FLEXIBILITY when necessary:)

        See this website for more information.

        Friday, February 12, 2010

        Be Good to Your Heart

        HAWTHORNE: Crataegus laevigata

        Hawthorne is my favorite tree (at least today it is). Not only does she grow beautifully with strong dancing branches, but she also produces a powerful medicine with the berries. Being a part of the Roseaceae family, Hawthorne adorns beautiful pink flowers in the spring. She is most reknowned as the heart herb, or cardiotonic.

        Hawthorne is high in flavoniods, anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins which have a stabilizing effect on capillaries/blood vessels. This makes it useful in hyper- and hypo-tension, elevated cholesterol, chest pain and arterioclerosis. She is a natural calcium channel blocker (ex. Verapamil) as well as ACE inhibitor (ex. Lisinopril) lowering blood pressure and strengthening heart muscle function. Hawthorne is also supplemented in circulatory disease, cardiac heart failure and dyspnea, inflammation of the heart and tachycardia.

        Can you sense the theme? With all its affinity for the heart, Hawthorne is also used emotionally/spiritually for depression of the heart chakra. She is a big hug for a sad soul. Many people with anxiety, insomnia and heart-break find it soothing and uplifting.

        The berries can be harvested when ripe in the early fall. They can be cooked or used raw or dry. Many people make strained jellies/jams from them. Hawthorne's flowers are harvested in the spring and make a delicious tea- infuse in hot water for a heart-warming diuretic (circulatory cleanser). The leaves are often picked and chewed for calming the stomach. Leaf-buds can also be stewed down and added to chilis or soups (tastes like lima bean).

        Portland is lucky to have Hawthorne trees growing everywhere, hence the popular Hawthorne Street in Southeast. Even though we get a lot of rain, I am grateful for every drop. Trees, shrubs, flowers and food. The abundance of green makes it all worth it.

        Thanks Chris Bucci!


        Love your heart, and above all, just love.

        Wednesday, February 3, 2010

        Get Stung by Stinging Nettle

        My favorite time of year! This week has brought signs of spring everywhere I go. Change is here, and it is welcomed!

        A few exciting sightings:
        • Daffodils in bloom
        • Glorious, aromatic Daphne flowers
        • Camelias everywhere in all colors
        • Robins attacking a giant holly tree while at clinic (all the berries were gone within 8 hours!)
        • More pregnant women showin their baby bumps

        I am a stinging nettle FREAK. Love it. I love seeing it, I love eating it, I love getting stung by it (well, not that much). It is a powerful, strong, abundant, nourishing herb.

        Have you ever gotten stung by it while running through fields Laura Ingalls style? It's not that pleasant. These stinging hairs on the leaves serve as protection, gaurding the edibility and medicinal value. Just THINK. It must be an amazing herb if it can make you react so strongly (stinging sensation represents incredible vitality)!!!

        Nettles are RICH in minerals (phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, iron), flavonoids and carotenoids. It is used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, diuretic and tonic. Many helpful uses include:

        1. Men with benign prostatic hypertrophy
        2. Diarrhea, making a strong syrup from the root
        3. Edema, Cardiac Heart Failure
        4. Migraines
        5. Colds, flus
        6. Allergies- reduces histamine-mediated allergic reactions!!!!
        7. Inflammation, swollen joints, ARTHRITIS
        8. Pain relief


        What can you do with it?

        • Harvest (WITH GLOVES) in the spring before they flower for they have more fiber. Here is a great video to show you how.
        • Steam or saute with a little bit of grapeseed oil, add some garlic and onions and MMMM!
        • Hang and dry, Infuse in hot water for a nourishing tea
        • Great alternative to spinach or kale in stews, lasagna, soups, pesto, etc.
        • Grow in your garden with other herbs and veggies. They help boost the nutrients in the soil (the above minerals and nitrogen, and is low in phosphates, encouraging beneficial insects).
        • Visit a naturopathic physician in your area. They may prescribe it in a tincture, tea or capsule form.

        Don't worry, the stingers are eliminated with light heat. You won't sting your mouth if you eat it after light cooking.

        • If you DO get stung by fresh Stinging Nettles either in harvesting or running through the fields- rub with Rosemary, Mint or Sage leaves.

        Happy Spring everyone!! (well, not fellow Sconnies- you have a bit to go yet...)

        Sunday, January 31, 2010

        Cycling with the Moon

        Many of you are already familiar with the nomadic tradition of the "Red Tent" or "Moon Lodge" when women gather during their "moon", or menses, to support each other . The connection between women and moon is so powerful, both physiologically and metaphorically.

        Everything that flows has rhythm. Music has rhythm, walking has rhythm, waves have rhythm, the planets have rhythm, etc. The moon's rhythms control Earth's water rhythms. She ebbs and flows just as we do. The tides, weather, plant and animal growth, and female reproductive cycles are all of her influence.
        The Mayan calendar is comprised of 13 lunar months of 28 day cycles, just as a woman's cycle averages 28 days. This Lunar calendar made way for the Roman Solar calendar used by most Western communities until recently when we changed to the Gregorian calendar, which ranges between 28-31 days.
        This makes it difficult for our moon cycle to fit neatly with our tracking system, and causes difficulties staying connected- ESPECIALLY if we live in a busy, flourescent-lit city. The more connected you are to your true lunar cycle, the more harmonious your menstrual cycle will be (ie, less cramping and PMS, more fertility and consciousness).

        Artemis- goddess of the moon, fertility, forests and hills. Associated with the waxing moon, she is the goddess of all things living and wild. She depicts the archer, the huntress, thus the bow and arrow.

        So how do we become more connected to our Moon?

        ***KEEP TRACK of your cycles. Put it in your calendar. Get a calendar with the moon cycles pictured in it. I LOVE We'Moon calendars and products.

        ***Celebrate with your fellow girlfriends for a Red Tent/Moon least biannually, if not at every full or new moon. Go camping. Get to the beach. My closest and dearest goddess friends get a bunch of yurts at the coast and embrace our womanhood. We have our next planned for April's full moon. It is necessary to bring ourselves together and celebrate our comradery, our blessings, our beautiful abilities!

        Miss Julie firedancing under the Full Libra Moon

        ***Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night. By keeping our circadian clocks in check, we are more able to regulate our hormones. Again, our cycles are all connected!

        ***SEED CYCLE! By consuming seeds that support the natural hormonal shifts in your body, you will be able to harmonize and balance them in a natural, safe and delicious way. Here's how you do it....

        1. Eat PUMPKIN and FLAX seeds day 1 (first day of menstruation, the NEW moon) through day 14 (ovulation, FULL moon). This supports the ESTROGEN dominant time of your cycle. Grind them up in a coffee grinder for about 3-4 days worth and keep them in the fridge. Add to salads, yogurt, smoothies, apple sauce, etc.
        2. Eat SESAME and SUNFLOWER seeds days 15-28 in the same manner as above. These seeds support the PROGESTERONE peaks of your cycle.

        Remember, BALANCING hormones = HAPPY minds and bodies
        Thank your moon, meditate with your moon, be your moon. Cycle happy!

        Wednesday, January 27, 2010

        Do the Truffle Shuffle!

        Kris and I have found our golden ticket to making millions. We are going to train our Kanna girl to be a "Truffle Snuffler". That's right. After seeing this video, I am sold. Kanna goes everywhere with us, including mushroom hunting. We may as well get her involved! Oh the hilarity...and convenience. Check this quick video out of a good ol boy. I think Kanna can do it.

        look at our little poopie! 15 months ago

        Speaking of truffles, this weekend is the Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene, OR. Kris and I have become very enthusiastic about mushroom culture. So much that we joined the Mycological Society. Now we can go on guided walks, receive newsletters and mushroom hunting secrets, and talk with local shroom heads.

        This weekend also happens to be Kris and my 3rd anniversary. It has been an interesting and blessed few years, learning and growing through so many stages. We will be celebrating over a nice dinner, a trip to Eugene for some hiking and mushroom festivities, and hopefully hittin up a vineyard or two in the valley.

        Here are a few pictures from over the years. SO many to pick from...

        Horning's Hideout with Matthew- String Cheese Incident, 07/07

        Chicago, 08/07

        Mt. Hood, 05/08

        Beach hiking, 04/09

        Got him in a tie! Drea's wedding, 06/08

        Santacon, 12/08

        Fox Hills, Mishicot 12/07

        The Dead show, 05/09

        Mushroom hunting on coast, 10/09

        Marc bday party, 03/09

        Victorianish NYE, Eoto show- 12/09

        Spring Break coastal road trip to Redwoods, 03/08

        Ocean visit with Gigi, 07/07

        A Packer Conversion- 08/07

        So much love.

        Tuesday, January 26, 2010

        Salt GLOW

        A SALT GLOW is an easy treatment you can do at home to enhance relaxation, detoxification and skin beauty. Massaging salt over the body removes the top dead layer of skin, stimulating circulation.

        I have mentioned using Epsom Salts in previous posts such as in foot baths* and when cleansing the emunctories* (eg skin). Epsom salt, or magneisum sulfate, is found in sea water. It's function in nature is to absorb sound, converting it into heat energy.
        When used on the body, epsom salts cause a friction similar to dry skin brushing* in that it is highly exfoliating. This friction causes vasodilation (dilating the blood vessels), increasing circulation of the blood and lymph, eliminating toxins in the skin more efficiently, and cleaning out the sweat/sebaceous glands.
        Indications where a salt glow would be appropriate:
        • Many chronic conditions/dis-eases that cause debility
        • Poor circulation especially when applications of hot and cold applications are not advised or tolerated
        • Low vital force, to enhance immunity
        • Local treatment for inflamed, painful joints (arthritis!)

        Here's a great idea: Lavender Salt Glow

        • 1 cup dried lavender buds
        • 3 cups Epsom Salts
        1. Grind lavender in a blender or food processor.
        2. Add 3 Epsom Salts, grind until fine
        3. Rinse yourself off in the shower, take a handful of salt mix and massage it onto your skin, avoiding your face as it may be too rough.
        4. Rinse with warm water then ending in cold*(!!!)
        5. Lightly pad yourself dry and moisturize with something that isn't loaded with preservatives and additives. (your body will absorb all of it)

        Another option: Oil Salt Glows

        • 2 cups fine sea salt
        • 4 cups grapeseed, apricot or almond oil
        • 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil*
        1. First put the salt in a mason jar.
        2. Pour the oil over the salt.
        3. Add the essential oil and shake well.
        4. Follow steps 3-5 as above.

        Just be careful over areas where the skin may be too friable (aging, Cushing's disease) or over skin lesions. Be advised that overdoing it can cause skin irritation as well!

        Moderation = Balance = Glow = Happiness

        Thank you to Dr. Jeanne of my excellent Nature Cure class!

        Sunday, January 17, 2010


        Enjoy this artistic display of the magnificent mushroom, thanks to Planet Earth.

        * * * * *

        And some eye candy- a few pictures from our shroom hunting adventures on the Oregon Coast this fall.

        I can't wait until spring! MMmmmmm....morels.......

        Friday, January 15, 2010


        I have had a lot of people ask me what I consider to be the most super of the superfoods. My answer has been and always will be Allium sativa, or GARLIC. This plant is the most universal healing food that one can aquire. It can be used as food, spice, supplement or remedy.

        Garlic has many medicinal functions:
        • Anti-bacterial- kills bacteria
        • Anti-viral- prevents viruses
        • Anti-fungal- great for fungi infections such as athlete's foot
        • Anti-flatulant- soothes the GI, no more farting!
        • Lowers atherosclerotic plaques- protects the heart and blood vessels
        • Lowers blood pressure
        • Anti-coagulant (prevents blood clots)
        • Protective from hyperlipidemia (high lipids and cholesterol)
        • Helps balance blood sugars, especially useful in Diabetics
        • High in minerals like Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Aluminum, Selenium
        • Aphrodesiac- sets the moood:)

        Some easy garlic treatments include:

        1. GARLIC SOCKS for colds, flu, chest congestion

        You will need-

        • cotton socks
        • 3 cloves of garlic (1.5 per foot)
        • olive oil (or any oil or petroleum)
        • plastic wrap or bags

        First warm your feet with a nice foot bath or soak. Dry feet and apply oil all over generously. Add minced garlic to soles of feet and slip into socks, then cover with plastic wrap or bag. Leave on overnight. Very similar to warming sock treatment.

        2. Eat it RAW for colds, digestive issues, etc.

        • Excellent for sore throats to help prevent and treat Strept infections.
        • PREVENTS and STOPS GAS!!! That's right, no more embarrassing farts. Just delicious breath.
        • Helps rebalance the gut flora.

        3. Apply Topically (minced) for skin infections, acne, athlete's foot, eczema, warts

        • In cases of infection, it is useful to mix powdered charcoal with minced garlic- apply to skin and cover with bandage for 4-6 hours.

        4. Roast and Eat!! Garlic makes a deLICIous food and spread.

        • Preheat oven to 400'F
        • Peel away outer layers of garlic skin
        • Cut 1/2 inch off the top of the bulb, exposing a bit of each clove
        • Put on a pan, drizzling a little olive oil over the top (1-2 tsp over each)
        • Cover with aluminum foil (or use a garlic cooker)
        • Cook for 35-40 min- it will be done when each clove is soft
        • Squeeze out of skin and pread on crackers or bread.


        Moderation = Balance = Happiness