Category Archives: Wellness

The Healing Power of Sound with Jonathan Goldman

Jonathan Goldman has spent a lifetime dedicated to creating sounds, vibrations, and frequencies that facilitate healing within the human body, mind, and spirit.  He is the director of the Sound Healers Association and can be found at www.healingsounds.com.  I have been enjoying the 7 Minute Chakra Tune Up which is available on his site.  It is a quick and enjoyable experience you can include in your wellness routine.

There are many world traditions that have long known the healing power of sound.  On Goldman’s site you can research these ancient belief systems as well as learn about how modern science is finally beginning to validate these ideas.  Feel free to take a look at this PDF where he explains how we can best receive the benefits of the 7 Minute Chakra Tune Up.  The health improvements one can expect include:

 Increased oxygen in the cells

 Lowered blood pressure and heart rate

 Increased levels of melatonin

 Reduced levels of stress-related hormones

 Release of endorphins—self-created opiates that work as “natural pain relievers”

 Increased levels of nitric oxide (NO), a molecule associated with the promotion of healing

 Release of oxytocin, the “trust” hormone


I have no affiliation with http://www.healingsounds.com or Jonathan Goldman.  I am a fan of his work, appreciate what he does, and it is my hope as many people as possible can benefit from it. Happy listening.

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Eating for Health and Wisdom on Sharing our Dietary Beliefs with Others

 

Today I found inspiration in an interview with Ocean Robbins, co-founder of the Food Revolution Network. The discussion focused on eating for a healthy body and a healthy planet. One anecdote in particular stuck out as an amazing testament to the effect that diet can have on our health. It was especially touching because it told the story of a father and son who disagreed for decades, but eventually found mutual understanding. I hope you can keep all of the different Robbins straight.

Ocean’s father, John Robbins, is the son of Irvine Robbins, one of the founders of Baskin Robbins. When he was in his 20’s John’s uncle, Burt Baskin, died from heart disease while still under the age of 60. John made a decision to switch to healthy eating and eventually became the author of Diet for a New America.  John Robbin’s stepped away from the family business and was barred from the family fortune. He became jokingly known as the “rebel without a cone.” Later in life John’s father, who had been consuming the Standard American Diet plus a couple scoops of BR 31 flavors each day, was experiencing heart issues, high blood pressure and diabetes. Ironically, Irvine’s doctor recommended he read Diet for a New America. Irvine had the good sense to take his son’s advice after living a different lifestyle for so long. He had a lot of success with it, coming off of all his medications and living for many more years.

As has been made visible with many food documentaries recently, it is pretty astounding how some of the “disease of affluence” can often times be reversed just with our diet. I saw one Ocean Robbin’s quote on the internet today that said, “What we eat literally becomes us.” I was blown away by story above, as I didn’t really know much about the history of Baskin Robbin’s and all that had transpired. I was particularly interested because I had read one of John Robbin’s other books titled Healthy at 100 and didn’t make the connection until now. It is another fascinating read and helped spark my interest in longevity, traditional diets, and the connection between what we eat and how we feel.

The interview I heard today was another part of the Shift Network’s “Winter of Wellness,” that I had blogged about on Sunday. It is still available for another 44 hours or so. The version of the story told above is from what can be heard in the interview, but more details are available in this article from The Independent. Below I’ve paraphrased some other words of wisdom that Ocean Robbins shared in his talk.

The first part relates to how we share our beliefs with others in a non-judgmental way:

“If you want love in your life be around people who bring out your love…if you want more health choose to surround yourself with people who make you feel healthy……….same thing about food. That said we also live in a world where a lot of people are not going to be eating the way we do. And so, I think part of what’s called for in us as human beings who love other human beings is that we not judge, we not alienate, we not feel more…there’s a tendency to get kind of self-righteous and dogmatic and be more vegan than thou, more raw than thou, more paleo than thou, you know…..when we do that we create a gap and we actually make it harder for the other person to bridge that gap and connect with us. Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘ You have no moral authority with those who can feel your underlying contempt.’ So I believe we need to stand in our moral authority by holding our love and our respect for other human beings with whom we walk this earth and bringing love and connection into those relationships, and always remembering that love is more important, relationships are more important than being right. In that sense then, we need to find some balance I think of living and letting live, while at the same time being true to our integrity, and frankly, sharing our truth with people that we care about that we think might benefit from it. You know, when my grandpa was near death and on all of those medications his doctor did him a great service by giving him my dad’s book and telling him what it could do for his life and I am so glad that my grandfather had the incredible courage to be willing to listen to that. So there are times when we need to level with people and we need to tell them the truth about what see and what we learn and give them the the resources that we may have gained benefit from. At the same time to do so in a way that is respectful, that is honoring of who they are….”

The second paraphrase is his response when the interviewer asked if he had any parting words for the listeners:

“I think there are more than 7 billion parts to play in the healing of our world, we’ve all got a niche, we’ve all got gifts we’ve all got suffering. Whatever you’ve been through, whatever support you’ve received, whatever struggles you’ve endured, they are part of you now and they are part of your unique, absolutely precious contribution that you get to make in this world. So my biggest advice is take the next step, and keep moving, because I think that procrastination and inertia are the thieves of destiny. And so most critical, is not that you get it right, not you nail it perfectly, but that you be on the learning journey. That you know wherever you are there is a next step towards greater congruency with who you are, with what you’re here for, with what you love, with what you are truly committed to in this life and I want to honor and thank you for all the ways that you step out with courage and tenacity and vision and boldness on behalf of what you love, and I want to let you know that we are here with you…the Food Revolution Network, the Winter of Wellness….all of the people who are struggling and living and loving and dreaming and standing up for a better way on this planet are here with you and we stand with you and we work with you and eat with you and we celebrate with you as you step into the calling that is your life. Thank you for being who you are, for giving your gift, for eating and living and loving in congruence with what you cherish.”

What a loving and supportive message.  I hope you’ve enjoyed Ocean’s message as much as I have.

‘Basic Elements of Meditation Practice,’ More Incredible AudioDharma Teachings from Tara Brach

                                                                                                                                                   Tara Brach

Yes, I am writing about Tara Brach again.  Her teachings have been having a huge impact on me.  I started this blog as a place to share things that I believe have the power to change the quality of peoples’ lives, specifically in the arena of health.  From a holistic perspective our mental and physical health are inseparable, both spheres affecting one another.  When something like Mindfulness Meditation begins to have a positive effect on one’s life they can’t help but want to share it with as many people as possible.

One of the biggest things stopping people from receiving the benefits of meditation is a misunderstanding of the goal.  The idea isn’t to clear your mind or completely stop thought, but to accept what is happening in your mind at the given moment, without judgement, attachment, or aversion.  The ups and downs of life are inevitable and this ability to accept can greatly improve the way we face these undulations.  Few can explain the subtleties of this to a Western audience better than Tara Brach.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

In February she released a two-part series on her podcast called ‘Basic Elements of Meditation Practice.’  The teachings are nice for people who want to start meditating, but have had trouble getting started, while at the same time they are useful for those looking to go deeper into their own understanding.  The lectures show us that meditation doesn’t have to be complicated and should never be difficult.  Often times the quality of intention is what counts, viewing it as something you look forward too, rather than a chore or another thing we should be doing. She expounds on the importance of consistency over length of session, especially when getting started.  She beautifully relates this to the cycles of nature and how coming back each and every day creates a rhythm, even if it’s just sitting on the cushion for a few minutes when we wake up or before we go to bed.  I can’t recommend this series enough to anyone interested in simple, easy-to-follow guidance.  I will close with a poem Brach shares at the end of Part 2.  Namaste.

Peace is This Moment Without Judgment

“Do you think peace requires an end to war?
Or tigers eating only vegetables?
Does peace require an absence from
your boss, your spouse, yourself? …
Do you think peace will come some other place than here?
Some other time than Now?
In some other heart than yours?

Peace is this moment without judgment.
That is all. This moment in the Heart-space
where everything that is is welcome.
Peace is this moment without thinking
that it should be some other way,
that you should feel some other thing,
that your life should unfold according to your plans.

Peace is this moment without judgment,
this moment in the heart-space where
everything that is is welcome. ”
-Dorothy Hunt

The Shift Network’s FREE “Winter of Wellness” Event Continuing Through March 2015

Last night I heard a great and informative interview with Nadine Artemis, author of Holistic Dental Health.  The interview was offered freely as part of the Shift Network’s ‘Winter of Wellness”  event.  The talk was one of many interesting conversations I’ve listened to over the past month.   Each interview is freely offered and available for about 48 hours after it airs.  Check out the link to see the event schedule.  The March leg of the event starts with Ocean Robbins on March 2nd. Nadine’s talk will still be available for about 28 hours from the time this blog is posted.  If you miss it there is lots of great information on her website and I would go as far as to say that visiting her website, Living Libations, is even more valuable than hearing the talk itself.  She offers practical advice on how to care for our teeth (click on the tab that says Beauty Care Articles) and shares aspects of dental health and its relation to our overall health that few dentist will share with you.  Despite the fact that her site is a store, you don’t have to buy anything to take advantage of all the great advice, and there is even information on how to make your own toothcare products rather than buying hers. I first heard Nadine Artemis speak on Daniel Vitalis’s podcast, ReWild Yourself!, and appreciated her holistic approach to health.  I am excited for the March leg of ‘Winter of Wellness” because we will hear from Vitalis as well.  Aside from his fun podcast, he is the creator of www.findaspring.com.  Another highlight coming up is an interview with Holly Tse who offers a practical website informing us how we can apply some of the simpler aspects of Chinese Reflexology at home.  I have delighted in experimenting with some of her easy to use techniques to counteract oncoming colds and anxiety. These are a few people who have inspired me on my own journey towards health and wellness.  The rest of the March program looks listen worthy as well.  I hope these links prove useful to all of the curious minds out there and those interested can enjoy the rest of the event.

The Hidden Power of the Heart Free Download…until Dec. 26th

This blog is a space for sharing teachings and knowledge that carry the potential to unlock our own innate healing abilities.  I am a huge fan of what is going on at the Institute of HeartMath and excited to have the opportunity to share this free gift they are offering until December 26th.  The gift is the ebook updated version of The Hidden Power of the Heart: Discovering and Unlimited Source of Intelligence.  If this resonates with you then take a look at what the Insitute of Heartmath has to say about their free gift and then follow the link to their facebook page to download a copy of your own.

Each of us has a magnificent power within that can fulfill us with hope and empower us to live our lives to our greatest potential. Tools and how-to for unlocking possibilities of love, compassion and peace. New mind-expanding topics include holographic awareness, the dimensional shift and DNA blueprints. You will discover a hidden power available to everyone! Click link for free download, http://www.heartmath.org/fb/giveaway/ihm

Finding Community, Finding Health

community

I’ve recently read two interesting articles touting the importance of community for our health and how loneliness can effect it negatively. In one article, Dr. Lissa Rankin presents the idea that eradicating loneliness from our life is a form of preventative medicine because scientific research has shown the risk factor for illness due to lack of exercise or smoking is less than that of loneliness. In another, Susan Pinker, author of The Village Effect, explores the health benefits brought on by living in a village. If the feeling of being alone can affect our health in a negative manner, then community should have a positive effect.

Dr. Rankin presented the case of a group of Italian immigrants who settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania. Despite their love of fried meatballs, heavy and starch-laden meals, smoking, and alcohol consumption the community was incredibly healthy when compared to national averages. Researchers who examined the group came to the following conclusion, “…the tight knit community living in multi-generational homes and enjoying communal dinners and frequent festivities provided solace from the loneliness so many people feel. The love and support of others in the close knit community alleviated the stress and overwhelm many lonely people feel. Researchers posit that the stress lonely people feel, which increases cortisol levels and activates the sympathetic nervous system, raising heart rate, elevating blood pressure, incapacitating the immune system, and increasing the risk of heart disease, is responsible for much of the illness lonely people experience.”

Susan Pinker lays out the benefits of community like this: “When you are getting together face to face, there are a lot of biological phenomena: Oxytocin and neurotransmitters get released, they reduce stress and allow us to trust others. Physical contact unleashes a whole chain of events that make us and make the other person feel good, and affects our health and well-being.”

According to Pinker, research suggests that humans have never been as lonely as we currently are. Her book investigates how people who live in small villages continue to receive the benefits of community, while those living in the modern world may not. She notes that it isn’t realistic for us all to go live in small villages and is sure to point out that she doesn’t want to romanticize village living, but there are things we could stand to learn from the village model. She offers the following tips: “You can create your own village effect. Get out of your car to talk to your neighbors. Talk in person to your colleagues instead of shooting them emails. Build in face-to-face contact with friends the way you would exercise. Look for schools where the emphasis is on teacher-student interaction, not on high-tech bells and whistles.

Through personal experience I have come up with a few more tips of my own. I had the privilege of serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. In doing so I lived in a small Mayan village in the Western highlands. While it is crucial to point out, as Pinker did, that village living should not be romanticized and every town has its own share of issues, the advantages of a small community are obvious. You know people, they help you out, when you can you repay the favor. Round and round it goes.

Coming back from Guatemala was a bigger culture shock than moving there in the first place. I found myself in supermarkets checking-out with cashiers with little time for small talk as they kept the line moving. When I smiled or greeted people on the streets I felt like a crazy person, rather than a well-intentioned fellow citizen. I went from sharing afternoons with farmers who have all day to chat after their morning work, to wondering if the person across from me who keeps glancing at their cell phone is even listening to half of what I was saying.

Susan Pinker talked about creating our own village effect and here are some ways I was unknowingly able to do just that upon returning from village life (most of these were employed in Madrid). This sort of thing takes time and patience, but has the chance to greatly alter your quality of life.

  1. Shop in small, family-run stores or co-ops. Know your grocer.  Know your butcher if possible.  If you eat bread find a local baker. At the right shops or markets you may even have the pleasure of knowing the person who grows your food.
  2. Become a regular at a restaurant or coffee shop. This can be trickier than it sounds, some places I go all the time and nobody knows me, at others I have a great time.
  3. Meet your local homeless people. How many homeless people do you know by name? Everyone has their story. If you walk to work in a city there are endless opportunities to meet people you can interact every single day and make a part of your life.
  4. Value your current family and friends, this is the ideal place to invest the majority of your time.
  5. Join groups that interest you or learn a new hobby.
  6. Volunteer.
  7. Skip the ATM and meet your bank teller.
  8. If your around when the postman (or woman) comes get to know them. It wasn’t so long ago families knew their milkman, paperboy, and postman.
  9. Put your phone away while talking with others. To really receive the benefits of connection and communication we need to be PRESENT.
  10. While walking around town allow your intuition to guide you into new situations. This usually happens if you aren’t lost in stressful thoughts.  Last week I stumbled into an Italian cafe and ended up making plans to start a language exchange with the barista. Last night I happened upon a good deal for a meal and ended up meeting a fellow English teacher.

Everyone has their own recipe for finding community. Above all be patient and gentle with yourself. The love of a community starts with self-love on the inside of each of us. When you start to love yourself you will know what your heart wants and following that can help lead to community.

Scientific Studies Validate What Our Hearts Have Been Intuitively Telling Us For Millenia

heartmath

I had the pleasure of rounding out Thanksgiving weekend by reading some great articles about the heart.  Many of us have felt the intuitive power of the heart.  Those of us who have been sick may have seen how our emotions affected our health.  We talk about how when you live from your heart you will be aligned with all that is.  At the Institute of HeartMath they call this “heart coherence” and they have been working on making it scientific fact.

Please enjoy this article about “heart coherence” and heart consciousness and follow it up with this video from the IHM that conveys the information visually.

“The heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. Compared to the electromagnetic field produced by the brain, the electrical component of the heart’s field is about 60 times greater in amplitude, and permeates every cell in the body. The magnetic component is approximately 5000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive magnetometers.”

A big thanks and shout-out to the Institute of HeartMath, everyone involved there, and all of the incredible work that is being done.