Tuesday, December 9, 2008
What is Reiki?
Reiki is an ancient Japanese type of energy healing which was brought to the United States by a man named Dr. Usui. Around the late 1800's he developed the type of Reiki my partner Corrine and I practice.
A Reiki practitioner must first receive what is called an attunement. This is a process involving symbols in which a Reiki Master opens the other person up to receive the flow of Rei (Universal) Ki (energy). Once this is done, they may transfer Reiki to others.
Reiki is a high vibrational energy, one might call Source, God, Creator, or Universal Life Energy. It allows the recipient's body to return to a state of balance in which it may heal itself. The Reiki practitioner only acts as a channel, as the Reiki flows through their crown chakra on the top of their head, down through the heart chakra, and out their hands.
What is it like to receive Reiki?
Each practitioner and receiver experience Reiki differently. Every session may be unique, and sometimes the effects can be very subtle, or sometimes very noticeable. Often, people notice that my hands become very hot during the Reiki session. This is common among people who give Reiki, but not necessary for it to work. I have also heard of people feeling a coldness during their session. Sometimes people feel like my hands are moving when I place them on their body, when in fact, I have been resting them perfectly still the whole time. I think this is just the sensation some get from the intense energy flowing at that place. Some people see colors (usually with eyes closed), which may or may not correspond to colors I send to their body with intention. Colors can be helpful during Reiki, since they are also a form of vibration. Sometimes one might see colors when the chakras (energy centers on the body) are clearing, since each one corresponds to a different color.
A Reiki session begins with the recipient laying on their back. I begin by scanning their aura with my hand to feel for any areas that might have blocked energy. Those areas get some extra Reiki attention. Then I start by laying my hands on or above the person's body at the head, and slowly work my way down towards the feet. Sometimes the recipient falls asleep, even as soon as 10 or 15 minutes into the session. It's that relaxing! Snoring is quite common. =)
Then I have the recipient turn over onto their stomach. I continue by starting on the back side of the head and work my way down to the feet again. At the end I smooth out the energy of the whole body, and then the session is over. This usually takes an hour altogether, but can be done more quickly or slowly depending on what the individual needs.
Most of the time it takes the recipient a while to come back from the deeply relaxed state they have entered during their Reiki session. They often seem somewhat spacey for a few minutes. This can be compared to how one might feel after a long massage.
Why is Reiki good for you?
Reiki can be beneficial in many different ways. Again, it is different for each unique person. Some effects may be pain reduction, relaxation, stress relief, peace, well-being, focus, clarity, creativity, and emotional release.
Every mental, emotional, physical and psychological problem has its roots in a blockage of the body's energy flow. Reiki helps to free these blockages, thereby helping to solve any type of problem one might encounter. The human body was equipped with everything it needs in order to maintain homeostasis, keeping you healthy. It is our job to learn how to treat it with respect, feed it the right nourishing foods, and give it the love and attention it requires. When these pieces are all in place, no disease or illness can take hold. Reiki can help get you back on track. Stress is a main factor in weakening the body which makes it vulnerable to problems. Reiki eliminates this stress so that you can feel healthy and centered.
How does distance Reiki work?
Reiki is great because it can be done in-person or over distances. "How can energy transfer to someone miles and miles away from another person?" you might ask. If you know anything about the concepts of quantum physics, you will understand that matter behaves differently as soon as someone begins to observe it. The observer influences the behavior of particles, simply through the act of observing.
Similarly, energy responds to the intention of people. Therefore, Reiki can be sent to the past, the future, or to someone located somewhere far away just by intending for it to do so. The recipient will usually ask for the Reiki to be sent, and the practitioner then uses ancient symbols, like the ones used in the attunement, to transfer this high, loving energy. It is best for the recipient to be aware of when the session will take place, so they may remain relaxed for the duration of it. Reiki will never go to anyone who does not want or need it. Most practitioners also know to ask for permission before sending Reiki. It is always to be used for the highest good of all involved.
Hopefully this has answered some of your questions about Reiki energy healing. Please see my website www.naturalfrequencywellness.com for more information on our services.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I had just about reached my wit's end when I happened to be shopping in a little Asian convenience store and randomly picked out a bottle of GT's cranberry flavored Kombucha tea to drink. I knew it had a very strong flavor, but also knew it was supposed to be super healthy. So I drank that entire bottle in one night and thought nothing of it. The next day I happened to be in a health food store and spotted another bottle, this time in a different flavor- ginger. So I decided to splurge again and get another one. (These drinks run about $4 a bottle. Normally, I wouldn't spend that much on a drink. But for some reason I didn't mind this time.) Despite their vinegary flavor, these drinks were almost addictive!
The day after that, I was ordering food at a nearby health food restaurant for an eco-friendly potluck I was going to and saw they were selling it too. So for the third day in a row, I drank Kombucha tea. And wouldn't you know it... my Candida symptoms were gone!!! I didn't even drink the whole bottle on day 3, since I noticed it said one serving was just half a bottle. I saved it for day 4, which was Friday and I decided that since I felt so awesome, I could ease up a little and eat some of the foods I normally wouldn't, and even have a few alcoholic drinks at a party. I continued to feel so good, I began telling everyone about this tea! I went online and researched it some more, finding out it's many benefits, including:
In short: it revitalizes the bowel flora, helps the circulation and helps to ease stress.
In more detail:
- Its regular consumption lengthens the lifespan.
- Reduces the formation of wrinkles, makes mottles (liver-spots) on skin less visible.
- Discourages the formation of cancer; combined with pawpaw it heals cancer.
- Heals the inflammations of the joints; reduces muscle pain.
- It is a remedy against high blood pressure as it stabilizes the blood pressure at a normal level. It provides a general good state of health and relieves sleeping disorders. It reduces stress.
- Heals constipation, stops contagious diarrhea, heals hemorrhoids, heals the inflammation of the large intestine, heals a nervous stomach, heals a disordered stomach and heals the inflammation of the small and large intestines.
- Purifies blood, helps the kidneys work more efficiently, helps the liver and the gall-bladder work more efficiently, dissolves gall bladder and kidney stones.
- Helps to pass uric acid, heals gout.
- Reduces the cholesterol level, makes the veins and arteries elastic, cures the blockage of arteries, reduces the pain of blood-vessel inflammation.
- Helps slimming, helps in fat burning, helps body builders and sportsmen increase their muscles and slim at the same time, and is highly recommended for those who are very active in doing sports.
- Heals prostate inflammation, enhances the sexual drive.
- Helps to stabilize the glucose level, slows down the dramatic fall of blood sugar.
- Heals illnesses that develop due to weakness of the immune system -- heals allergy for instance.
- Lengthens the life of AIDS sufferers.
- Heals sore throats and eases asthma.
- Reduces menopause, relieves heat flashes.
- Heals sweaty feet.
- Heals cataracts and other illnesses of the eye.
- Heals eczema, and is also a healthy remedy against chickenpox and shingles. It should be applied externally for rashes. Heals boils and infectious blisters.
- Has a natural antibiotic effect.
- It is a detoxifier. It dissolves and chemically binds toxins released from the liver and other body fluids.
- Enhances the resistance against chemicals.
- Heals edema and swollen legs.
- Heals and prevents candida albicans.
- Eradicates parasites from the body.
- Ensures a general good state of health, greater mental achievement and more physical power for healthy people.
- It has a surprising effect on the scalp: it improves baldness, helps the growth of stronger hair, helps restore the color to grey hair and makes hair grow faster.
- Helps bone formation, soothes the pain of fractures and bruises. As a side effect it increases the growth of nails and strengthens them.
Decreases the level of alcohol in the blood. Relieves hangovers, and helps cure alcohol addiction.
And here you can find info specifically about Candida and Kombucha yeast: http://www.kombu.de/candida.htm
Tons more general Info from Gunther Frank: http://www.kombu.de/english.htm
Needless to say, I'm fully sold on the benefits of drinking Kombucha tea. I want everyone to try it, since it seems to be helpful with sooooo many different problems. After my experience with it, I feel like a whole new person. I do think it will need to be an ongoing part of my health routine, however. I skipped drinking it for one day yesterday, and symptoms returned immediately, although they seemed less intense than before.
And the neat part is, not only was I somehow divinely guided to drink Kombucha, but I also met another nutrition coach at the potluck on Friday who is growing her own Kombucha cultures and wants to share them with me and teach me how to grow them myself! How cool is that!?!? I'm so excited! They're even the original pure strain from which GT's Kombucha brand sold in stores originally came.You can check GT's website for locations that sell Kombucha near you: http://www.gtskombucha.com/
(This is not an official endorsement of any particular brand... just wanna make sure everyone can access this miraculous health drink!)
Thursday, July 31, 2008
And depending on whom you ask, you will receive myriad answers to the same question. I have taken the various opinions and research-based ideas and synthesized them into a plan that resonates with my own intuition.
Here are some reasons one might possibly need extra vitamin and mineral supplementation:
1. Our soils have been depleted of their original minerals from over-farming. Even the best store-bought organic, non-genetically modified fruits and veggies are lacking in this department.
2. Medications like birth control pills and aspirin can cancel out nutrients.
3. The processing of food and storage time decreases the nutrient levels contained in foods.
4. Substances like alcohol, coffee, caffeinated sodas and other drinks, and sugar also have the effect of causing mineral loss (potassium for example.)
5. Most people do not eat a diet that provides everything the body needs.
6. Factors such as stress, smoking and environmental toxins can also cause a greater need for nutrients.
7. Certain groups of people such as children and the elderly, whose diet may not be adequate and may tend to have weaker immune systems can usually benefit from taking extra supplements.
After considering all of these factors, I decided that some supplementation is probably best. I have seen some people go way overboard with the pills and powders. I think finding the easiest way to get the most good stuff is important. You don't wanna be standing around the kitchen swallowing tablets all morning. Keep in mind too, that supplements are NEVER intended to replace a good diet.
A good regimen depends on your individual body and diet among other things, but would probably include something like the following:
- Multivitamin/ mineral- I find the liquid form easiest to take and easiest for the body to assimilate (certain brands of multivitamin pills have been known to remain undigested and simply pass through the body- what a waste!). It comes in a fruit juice sort of solution and tastes quite good. This can be found at your local health food store. Some even have minerals too.
- Probiotics and prebiotics (inulin)- These can be helpful for balancing the intestinal bacteria and yeast. Especially if you suffer from Candida. Sometimes just eating yogurt isn't enough.
- Omega-3 & -6 EFA's- Essential Fatty Acids are important for regulation of every function in the body. They need to be properly balanced, and most people in the US tend to have more omega-6 than omega-3.
For a better idea of which might benefit you, Dr. Weil has a questionnaire on his website that can help:
I, personally, like the idea of obtaining as many nutrients as possible from my food. Eating a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables is one great way to ensure you're getting enough good stuff. Spicing up your food with garlic, onion, turmeric, cayenne and ginger is also helpful for keeping your system running optimally. Of course, limiting your exposure to toxins by buying as much organic produce as possible and avoiding or limiting things like cigarette smoking and alcohol will also help you get the most out of what's in the food you eat.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Finally, I got so fed up with all of this that at age 27 I took it upon myself to find out what I was doing wrong. I did some research online. A friend also recommended I use a waterpik-like tool called the Viajet. I found a website called OraMedia (http://oramedia.com/) that teaches Dental Self Sufficiency. It is full of great information on how cavities come about and what you can do to keep your mouth healthy (or return it to that state if you are having problems.) They even have recipes for making your own tooth powder. Between the Viajet that flushed all sorts of food particles out- even after a thorough brushing, and my new battery of information, I began to take radical responsibility for my own mouth.
A while before that I had dealt with a serious case of bleeding gums. (This is one of the things I was always reprimanded for when I visited the dental office- they said it was my fault and that I needed to massage the gums with a soft toothbrush.) I again went online to look for a solution. I discovered that an ingredient in toothpaste called Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate, or SLS, was responsible for my painful, bleeding gums. It is known to be an irritant, yet it is a common ingredient in all kinds of toiletry items, including body washes, soaps, conditioners, face washes, laundry detergent, and toothpaste. (This, I can't figure out, why companies would want to put such an ingredient in a product in the first place. It seems it just functions to make the mixture more bubbly.) After changing to one of the 10 or so brands of non-SLS toothpastes, the problem went away for good. And I endured that treatment at the dentist's for nothing!
Years went by, and suddenly I broke out in a severe acne-looking problem on my back. It came at the same time I put my hair in dreadlocks, so I thought it may have been an indirect result of this. None of the other dreadheads I knew had heard of this problem. I spent an entire year trying to determine the cause of my painful skin irritation. I attacked it from an energetic standpoint, doing some EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping on energy meridians to clear energy blockages.), diet (eliminating my favorite cheese from my diet), taking Chinese herbs, taking other supplements like B vitamins, lathering myself in aloe vera gel, but nothing really helped.
Once, it went away for a month or so, and then returned full force. My self esteem went down, and I couldn't wear a lot of my clothes for fear of looking disgusting with such an ugly skin condition. Finally, I remembered what happened with the toothpaste. A light bulb went on above my head and I understood- SLS was again the culprit!!! After changing to different soaps, lotions and detergents, the acne went away and my skin has been healing. One other thing I found helpful for clearing the scars is Vitamin E oil. (You can get it cheap at Trader Joe's.)
This was the start of my mission to replace my cosmetic products and toiletries with earth-friendly, and more importantly, human-friendly ones. I also began to pay more attention to the chemicals and heavy metals that may be entering my body through other ways, like the pans I use to cook with, the water I shower with and the foods I eat. It seems my body is very sensitive, so I am taking on the responsibility of learning how to live as non-toxically as possible. As it turns out, toxic buildup in the body accounts for many other problems, such as extra weight that is hard to lose, the nasal congestion I often have, and even brain fog.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
When the yeast starts to grow out of control, it can turn from a non-invasive spore form into a fungus which spreads and may create tiny holes in your intestines. When larger food particles find their way through these holes and enter the bloodstream, one might experience food sensitivities. In fact, a lot of the symptoms of candidiasis are very similar to those of food allergies- bloating, heartburn, nasal congestion, fatigue, headaches and moodiness, to name a few. One might also notice cravings for the exact foods that feed the yeast- sugar specifically, and all the foods that metabolize into sugar in the body (like carbs.)
The other thing this yeast does is produce toxins and hormone-like substances that can mess with your estrogen- progesterone balance and other hormone production.
Western doctors like to prescribe drugs for this problem, one of the popular ones being nystatin. Although this is found to be one of the most effective drugs on the market, it still can take up to two years to bring the yeast under control. If you prefer a more natural solution, you'll be happy to know there are many different things one can do to remedy this situation.
One of my favorites is oregano oil. Just 4 drops taken orally in a little water can reduce symptoms almost immediately. You can find this at your local health food store. The brand I've used is called Nature's Answer, and it's a bit pricey (around $30 for one ounce) but totally worth it. Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of "Super Nutrition for Women" recommends one by the North American Herb & Spice Company. Oregano oil functions as a germicide that can kill all kinds of fungus and bacteria.
Another good remedy is Pau D'Arco tea, also known as Taheebo. This tea is very mild tasting and is thought to have an antifungal effect. You can find this at the health food store too, loose or in tea bags.
Other things to try:
Avoid yeast-based supplements, excessive carbs, chronic medications like antibiotics, steroids and birth control pills (check with your doctor first, of course), foods that might have yeasts or mold (fruit) or the products of fermentation (most alcohol, vinegar, most condiments, mushrooms, cheese, spices like black pepper and cinnamon, dried herbs, herb tea, fruit juices, and melons).
Make sure to eat lots of fresh garlic.
Acidophilus supplements- JarrowDophilus was one recommended to me by a naturopathic doctor.
Eat plain low fat yogurt. (Not the kind with the sugary fruit in it!)
Take extra supplements. Often, people with candida are deficient in vitamin B6 and magnesium. One can find vitamin B6 in foods like walmuts, peanuts, fish, avocados and soybeans. You can get magnesium by eating green veggies, seafood and nuts. Another good one is biotin which you can find in eggs (the yolks), beans and nuts.
Make sure you're getting adequate amounts of essential amino acids and fatty acids to keep your immune system strong.
It may take some time to get the yeast under control, but with consistent good nutrition and careful avoidance of trigger foods and substances, it IS possible. Remember that each cell in your body is constantly being replaced and human beings are naturally geared towards wellness. Any damage done by these nasty fungi can be reversed. It's time to take back your power!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Flaxseed oil, on the other hand, will work wonders to remedy all sorts of problems including bloating, allergies, severe PMS, feeling cold and tired, and recurring yeast infections. It also helps to get your metabolism going faster and activates brown adipose tissue which burns fat instead of storing it in your white adipose tissue.
For good health, one could take one to two tablespoons per day of high-lignan flaxseed oil (the high-lignan part will ensure it's doing it's job to balance your hormones). It can be taken straight or drizzled over salad with some lemon juice as dressing. It has been found that following it with a couple bites of cottage cheese helps the body get the most of it's nutrients.
Where else can you find good fats? Some foods include cold-water fish like tuna, salmon and cod, soybeans, leafy greens, wheat germ, sea vegetables, raw nuts, avocado and sprouts.
You can find flaxseed oil at your local health food store. If you live near a Trader Joe's, I know they offer a good and reasonably priced version. It has a distinct nutty flavor. If you don't like the taste, it's possible to take it in capsules, but to equal 2 tablespoons, one would have to take about 18 capsules in a day. Experiment until you find a way that works for you. Just make sure you don't cook with it, since temperatures over 300 degrees F can damage the fats in flaxseed oil creating trans fats. Also make sure you keep it in the fridge.
Another alternative would be eating ground flax seeds. Grinding releases all the good stuff in the seed. Use raw seeds for this purpose. (Do not consume more than 3 or 4 tablespoons per day, as any more has the potential to metabolize into thiocyanate (SCN) which can cause goiter.) When eaten whole, they still offer a benefit by helping to dislodge impacted fecal matter and clearing it out of the body. Whole seeds can be toasted on a baking sheet at 250 degrees F for fifteen to twenty minutes until crispy. I like to sprinkle them with a pinch of sea salt for extra flavor. Get creative with the seasonings!
Monday, July 14, 2008
That's where the lemon juice comes in- it allows your liver to function properly, metabolizing fat optimally. It helps to regenerate the liver and even promotes peristalsis or the process that keeps waste moving through and out of your system.
I take my lemon juice in half a glass of filtered water with the other half aloe juice, and a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Sometimes I add in cranberry juice concentrate which is also great for clearing lymph and loosening the fat stores that cause unsightly cellulite. If this mix is too sour for your taste, it can be sweetened with a tiny bit of honey or stevia. You can also add in any powdered supplements or drops, as long as they won't be harmed by the combination.
It is recommended to drink this before exercising in the morning, as it will help dislodge lymph stores and speed up weight loss. One can even get more dramatic results by drinking a second glass just after exercising.
An alternative is drinking a glass of HOT water with a lemon squeezed into it.
One precaution: Lemon juice can strip the protective enamel coating from your teeth. I suggest drinking this mixture through a straw and brushing your teeth right after. Make sure you don't sip the drink slowly over time, this will only worsen the damage to your teeth!