Quick Neck Stretches

If you sit at a desk all day, or if you are bending down looking at small children all day, or if you just have a cranky, stiff neck, this is for you. Take a handful of your hair from the lower, back part of your head.  (Sorry, my beautiful, bald ones, you do kind of need at least some hair to do this, although if you have a good imagination you can still probably do it.  Below I’ll list another stretch that you don’t need hair for.)                       When you have a handful of hair, pull your hair slightly back and up.  As you do this you should feel a nice stretch through the vertebrae (spinal bones) of your neck.  Ideal neck posture is a straight spine all the way up to the top.  A J-shaped spine is the idea, not the S-shaped spine that we were taught years ago.   A few times throughout the day, do this exercise to remind yourself of proper neck posture. Another quick neck traction exercise you can do with a broom.  Lay down on the ground and place the broomstick perpendicular to your body and under your neck.  Place your hands on either side of the stick – on either side of your neck and pull the stick toward the top of your head.  When it reaches the occiput – the place where your skull meets your neck bones, you should feel a good stretch through your neck.  Hold it for a few seconds and repeat....

When Is It Your Last Treatment?

My reaction when people say to me, “So today’s my last treatment, right?” It’s like saying, “So today’s the last day I need to exercise, right?”  Or, “This is my last haircut, right?” Or, “This is the last time I need to eat broccoli, right?”   Your needs for acupuncture change over time.  Some problems go away, and your needed frequency and intensity of treatment reduces, but there’s always new stuff happening.  There’s always stress.  There’s always aches, pains, and head colds.   Acupuncture at its best is actually a preventative medicine.  You can prevent problems from happening by doing acupuncture.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to show people how that works because… you feel fine!  I can’t say, “Wow!  You see how you didn’t get sick for the last year?  If you hadn’t come in, you surely would have been sick at least 3 times.” There’s no way to prove that acupuncture can keep you well, so a lot of people choose to stop coming in when they feel better or when their treatment plan ends.   But if you think of acupuncture as a health maintenance tool, kind of like an oil change and tire rotation maintains your car’s well-being, I do think you can prevent many types of dis-eases from occurring in the first place with regularly scheduled acupuncture.  ...

The Value of Mindfulness in Healing

A health condition not getting better – not to be confused with getting better slowly – is the primary reason people try acupuncture in the first place.   When a health condition doesn’t get better with acupuncture and herbs, there’s something that is continually aggravating the condition either in the body or in the environment of the patient.  We need to ask ourselves, “Why is this happening?”   The problem with that, and probably the reason we seek healthcare providers in the first place, is that it’s hard to figure out what we’re doing or what’s going on that’s causing something.  We get used to living a certain way, and it’s hard to recognize that it’s causing harm.   Is there some kind of continual emotional stress I’m under (like a bad relationship or a stressful work environment)? Continual, even low-grade stress is the primary reason for all hormone imbalances, including thyroid dis-ease and adrenal fatigue.   We are accustomed to thinking that relationship tension is inevitable and normal, but it’s not.  These types of negative interactions do have an adverse impact on your health.  It can start to shut down natural body processes.  Sometimes quite literally, we get a “pain in the neck” or “pain in the a**.”  If we’re “walking on eggshells” around someone, our feet may hurt.  If we’re biting back our words, our throat chakras close off, which can lead to thyroid dis-ease.  If we’re doing all the work, we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders.  You’re constantly trying to please someone, and end up with knee pain (through your unconscious genuflecting)....

Nutrition for Fertility

In the 1930s, Francis Pottenger, MD conducted a ten-year-long study in which nearly a thousand cats were fed the same basic diet of milk, meat and a small dose of cod liver oil. “The healthiest cats were the ones who received raw meat and raw milk. This was the only group to produce generation after generation of healthy kittens with broad faces, adequate nasal cavities, broad dental arches, strong and correctly shaped teeth and bones, excellent tissue tone, good-quality fur with a minimum of shedding and an absence of gum disease. These cats were resistant to infections, fleas, and internal parasites. They showed no sign of allergies and were gregarious, friendly and predictable in their behavior patterns. Miscarriages were rare and litters averaged five kittens, which the mothers nursed without difficulty. Another group received raw milk and cooked meat. The cats in this group developed skeletal and dental deformities, heart problems, vision problems, thyroid imbalances, infections of the kidney, liver, testes, ovaries, and bladder, arthritis and inflammation of the joints, and inflammation of the nervous system with paralysis and meningitis. Their second and third generations had abnormal respiratory tissues. Cooked-meat cats were so irritable that some of the females were named Tiger, Cobra, and Rattlesnake, while the males were docile and passive, a sexual role reversal not seen in the raw-food cats. Vermin and intestinal parasites abounded and skin lesions and allergies appeared frequently. Adult cats died of pneumonia or infections of the bone while kittens died of pneumonia and diarrhea. The cooked-meat cats had serious reproductive problems including sterility, miscarriage, a lack of maternal instinct and difficult labors...

Kitchen Essentials for Eating Healthier

If a goal of yours is to eat healthier, eating at home is the way to do it.  Most restaurant food is of unknown origin (to you, anyway) and probably has many unsavory, not to mention unhealthy qualities (GMOs, MSG, hydrogenated oils, added and unnecessary sugars, etc.). Cooking healthy food at home is really the only way to ensure you’re getting the best quality food. Some myths about cooking at home are that it has to be expensive time-consuming difficult taste bad Quite the contrary!  Once you learn some go-to recipes and have the right tools for the job, you’ll be doing fine in no time. I’m going to assume you already have a kitchen equipped with a stovetop, oven, and a refrigerator.  If not, those should be a priority!  Or at least a nice campfire cooking kit and cooler. First, you need a set of nice knives.  This is a must.  I’ve bought cheap knives in the past, and similar to buying cheap shoes, you may as well save up your money to get the good ones.  You know what they say, “Buy cheap – buy twice (or 3 or 4 times…).”   Cheap knives dull fast, and trying to cut a tomato with a dull knife is not only frustrating but dangerous as well.  I use Cutco knives because they are a great quality, plus they have a lifetime guarantee.  They’ll even sharpen your knives for life for free!  Yes, they’re a little pricey, but just like a nice pair of shoes, well worth the extra effort. Next, you need a couple of nice pots and pans....
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