Friday, February 25, 2011

Now That's Weird! Your Fat Has Brains

Dear Yin Weaver,

Well knock me over with a feather. Whoever thought fat was an endocrine organ? I mean, it's like finding out your slouchy, couch-potato brother just got accepted into mensa.  Yes, your fat is intelligent, in a common sense sort of way; it is always trying to help you know when you've got enough fat. 

Apparently, this "endocrine organ" releases a messenger called Leptin which tells the hypothalamus you've had enough to eat. I think, anyway. I'm a bear of little brain when it comes to reading scientific articles. So if you want to read it for yourself, and maybe draw a different conclusion, here's a fairly readable one on the subject of obesity and inflammation.

There's also a paragraph in that article that will tell you exactly why too much fat will lead to chronic inflammation, and that inflammation can lead to dementia later in life. Yet another reason to start a diet. Here's a little tidbit which says the same thing from the oh-so-much-more-readable article I keep quoting here.
Jeans size

Adults who have larger abdomens in their 40s are up to 3.6 times as likely to develop dementia in their 70s, even if they weren’t overweight, according to a study published in the journal Neurology. One possible reason for the link is that compared with subcutaneous fat (the noticeable fat that lies just below the skin), visceral fat (the dangerous fat that surrounds the organs) secretes more of the inflammatory hormones that are associated with cognitive decline.
Prevent it: Eat a portion-controlled Mediterranean-style diet. Research shows that the monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in foods such as olives, nuts, seeds, avocado, and dark chocolate prevent the accumulation of visceral fat.
Yeah, you just stick with that dark chocolate and those avocados, and your spare tire will soon be a thing of the past. Maybe. Because while your busy almost eating all the right foods (everyone cheats, right?), your stress level may be busy eating up all or at least some of the benefits. I'm telling you, this is a good article on obesity I'm quoting from. Listen to what it says about the relationship between inflammation, stress, cortisol and overeating:

The constant state of increased inflammation as described above then brings another hormone into play. That hormone is cortisol. Our adrenal glands react to this constant state of low grade inflammation by pumping out high amounts of cortisol. Under short periods of stress, cortisol is actually anti-inflammatory. It results in increases in blood sugar which gives us energy to fight a predator or a disease. However, when the body is constantly bombarded with high levels of cortisol, such as under chronic low-grade stress from work or social pressures, several deleterious effects occur. The first is that a “catabolic state” is created resulting in the breakdown of our muscle tissue for energy. This then triggers appetite, causing us to consume more calories than are needed. These excess calories are primarly stored as fat (especially visceral fat), due to high circulating levels of pro-inflammatory proteins like NfkB which block the effect of insulin, creating insulin resistance. High circulating levels of insulin promote further fat storage and prevent breakdown of stored fat.
What we're talking about here, people, is emotional eating, right? My husband and I started the South Beach diet a few months ago precisely because we were experiencing the results of insulin resistance--high cholestorol, high blood pressure, and an inability to lose weight. Well, I've lost weight and am loving the reappearance of my waist and a flatter tummy. My blood pressure is down, and I'm assuming the cholesterol is following suit.

What I'm not loving is realizing what an emotional eater I'd become in the past few years. I didn't realize I'd been giving myself all sorts of permission to eat whenever I felt stressed. Or to borrow an acronym from AA, whenever I was Hungry (emotionally), Angry, Lonely or Tired. So now I have to manage not only my weight but also my stress differently. Yet once again Energy Medicine comes to the rescue! Here're a couple of exercises I've found most helpful to dieting successfully. They're quick and dirty, and very effective. Try 'em! You'll like 'em!

Cover the Eyes
This exercise activates your radiant circuits, calms Triple Warmer and energizes spleen. If you’re dieting, but having a hard time breaking old eating habits (like emotional eating), do this exercise six times a day. Yes, six. It takes a nanosecond to do. A couple in the morning, a couple in the afternoon, a couple at night. Try doing it right before you eat.
• Place thumbs over index finger nails and hold "oh my God" points on the forehead with middle, ring, and little fingers until you take a deep sigh, yawn, or feel a release.

• Cover eyes with fingers. Inhale. Exhale.

• Inhale with eyes still covered. Exhale while dragging fingers across eyes and out to temples

• Inhale while dragging fingers up over ears, and exhale while dragging fingers down behind ears to shoulders. Hang fingers on shoulders at neck.

• Cross arms, placing fingers on opposite shoulders. Inhale, smoothing hands down arms to forearms. Exhale.

• Inhale, place hands flat across ribs under bust area.

• Exhale while sweeping fingers down legs and off feet at toes

• Inhale while sweeping fingers back up legs to under arms.

• Exhale while sweeping fingers down and off body at side of waist.
The second exercise will keep your adrenals healthy. A healthy adrenal will not dump the stress hormone cortisol into your system. Do this one from two to one thousand times a day. In other words, you can't overdo it.

Adrenal Neurolymphatic Massage
• Find your belly button.
• Move your fingers one inch out from, and one inch above your belly button.

• Massage deeply for 10-30 seconds.
If it hurts, it means you need it. You may be flirting with adrenal exhaustion.
Last but not least, I discovered a very inspiring on the use of energy medicine for weight loss, check out A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Scale, especially, June 2010 and on.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Now That's Weird! You're Wearing Your Heart on Your Earlobe

Dear Yin Weavers,

If you're wearing your heart on your sleeve, of course, it means you are making an open display of your emotions.  In terms of romance, this saying dates back to the days of jousting when knights would wear the scarf of their lady love tied to their arms.  However, Shakespeare also immortalized the phrase in Othello: 

But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
for daws to peck at...

In other words, when you indiscriminately make yourself vulnerable, you leave yourself at the mercy of the jackasses...I mean jackdaws of life.  So be careful.  And meanwhile, pay attention to those ear creases.  It could save your life. 

Earlobe crease

Linear wrinkles in one or both lobes may predict future cardiovascular events (heart attack, bypass surgery, or cardiac death.) A crease on one lobe raises the risk by 33 percent; a crease on both lobes increases it by 77 percent, even after adjusting for other known risk factors. Though experts aren’t exactly sure, they suspect a loss of elastic fibers may cause both the crease and the hardening of arteries.

Prevent it: Keep your heart healthy in other ways: Slim down, and lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Believe it or not, you could help save a life using energy medicine in the case of a suspected heart attack.  For starters, if the person is not breathing, administer CPR.  If they are breathing, make them comfortable.  Then follow these basic steps outlined in the article An Energy Practitioner's Guide to Medical Emergencies:

Do a “hook-up” (one hand in navel, one hand on third eye, push in and pull up).

Strengthen the heart meridian by tracing it forward. As you come to the end of the meridian, rapidly twist the ends of the little fingers back and forth with some pressure.

Deeply and vigorously massage the heart neurolymphatic points between the 2nd and 3rd ribs, just below where the collarbone and breastbone meet, especially if the person is unconscious. Do not do this massage for more than 10 to 15 seconds.

Hold one hand over the heart area and press deeply into the top of the pubic bone with the other hand for about 30 to 60 seconds (re-establishes electrical energy in the body and stimulates the penetrating flow)

Hold the triple warmer strengthening points (TW3 & GB41, then TW2 & BL66) if the person appears to be leaving the body. Speak calmly and ask the person to stay with you. If you have help available, have another person pulse the K1 points on the bottom of the feet.

Hold the spleen meridian strengthening points (Sp2 & H8, then Sp1 & Lv1).

If the heartbeat is erratic or if the heart is beating too strong, hold the small intestine meridian strengthening points (GB41 & SI3, then B66 & SI2).

If the person is conscious, stable and resting comfortably, hold the frontal neurovascular points to offer comfort until help arrives.
Don't know how to do all this stuff?  Well, you should learn!  Regional Eden Energy Medicine Classes are being offered all over the country.  I'm really excited one is being offered in Chicago starting in June.  Let me know if you are planning to take it!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Now That's Weird! A Short Reach Could Mean Alzheimers

Dear Yin Weaver, 

Here's this week's weird news.  Read it and weep (or cheer, you long-armed luckies!).

Have a hard time reaching the top of your kitchen cabinets? Women with the shortest arm spans were 1 1/2 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those with longer reaches, found a recent study. (Find yours by spreading your arms parallel to the floor and having someone measure fingertips to fingertips; the shortest spans were less than 60 inches.) Nutritional or other deficits during the critical growing years, possibly responsible for shorter arms, may also predispose a person to cognitive decline later in life, say Tufts University researchers.
Prevent it: Put your appendages to good use with a hobby such as painting or pottery. A five-year study from the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center found that adults who spent the most time engaged in engaging leisure activities were more than two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who spent less time challenging their brains.

Oh, good Lord, I'm in trouble! I'm not even 50 inches across! Fortunately I've got a lot of other good things going for me. I don't drink, I don't smoke and I eat well. I love puzzles. I exercise, and I'm in a musical recorder trio (they say it's possible people who play an instrument in a group setting, i.e. a trio or symphony don't get Alzheimer's).  We play Medieval to Modern music and are given to making highbrow jokes during our practice sessions. 
OK, read between the lines, people.  I'm a nerd.  A nerd who practices Energy Medicine and also goes to weekday mass, which makes me a pretty interesting and complex nerd, if you ask me. 
Still, the spectre of declining cognitive skills is one that haunts, especially as I watch my mother--a one-time brilliant doctor and watercolor artist--exhibiting signs of confusion, word-finding troubles and short-term memory loss in her late eighties.
Energetically there is plenty you can do to support brain functioning as well.  Stress can play havoc with our memory, for instance, because when we are "fightin' it or flightin' it" our brains are robbed of most of the blood and oxygen that helps us to think clearly, problem solve, take in information and remember things.  Here's an EZ exercise from Eden Energy Medicine that will help improve your memory while reducing the symptoms of stress. 
How to Keep Your Memory Sharp

For your memory to stay intact over the years, it is necessary for energies to flow freely through the suture lines in your skull. While these junctures tend to become less flexible with age, a simple procedure that will take about a minute each day can keep oxygen and cerebral-spinal fluids, as well as subtle energies moving through them:

1. Place your left hand over your heart and your right hand on the right side of your head, palm next to your right ear, fingers extended upward over your head.

2. Breathe deeply four times while holding this position - in through the nose, out through the mouth. Raise your body with the in-breath, relax it with the outbreath.

3. Move your right hand to the back of your head, and repeat the breathing.

4. Now place your right hand over the right side of your chest, your left hand by your left ear, and repeat the breathing.

5. Finally, place the palm of your left hand on your forehead with your fingers going up onto the top of your head and again use the same breathing.

Do this daily, perhaps when you first sit down at your desk, computer or TV, or while you are warming up the car, and you will not only be helping to retain your memory, you will be maximizing its effectiveness.
Well, that's all for today!  This is an extract from Energy Medicine by Donna Eden, btw.  You can buy the book and learn it for yourself, or check out their website for upcoming classes.  If you want to meet me, come on the Caribbean cruise in March.  I'll be a teaching assistant to Donna's five day training.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Now that's Weird! Leggy Ladies Have Less Liver Laments

Dear Yin Weavers,

Your liver is the largest physical organ in the body.  It is involved in digestion, metabolism, storage and distrubution of nourishment, filtration, detoxifcation, and immune function.  You'd think short legs wouldn't be a problem:  less body to nourish and protect.  But apparently that's not the case!
Leg Length Lament

If your legs are on the stocky side, you may need to take better care of your liver. In a 2008 study, British researchers found that women with legs between 20 and 29 inches tended to have higher levels of four enzymes that indicate liver disease. Factors such as childhood nutrition may not only influence growth patterns, but also liver development well into adulthood, say researchers.

Prevent it: Avoid exposure to toxins your liver has to process, which will keep it healthier, longer. Wear a mask and gloves while cleaning or working with any type of harsh chemical. Limit alcohol intake to one 5-ounce glass of wine or 12-ounce bottle of beer daily.
Saundra Bubniak also reminded me of how easy Energy Medicine can be for Liver Health:

A powerful, simple way for keeping your liver strong and clean while also supporting the flow of hormones through your bloodstream is to massage points on the hands and feet that stimulate liver function. Massaging your hands almost everyday, and massaging points on your feet whenever you take a bath, get in a hot tub, or sink into bed is a great form of self-care that not only helps your liver function better, it also keeps your hands and feet, which function as "energy antennae", open and clear.

Points on the feet that keep your liver clear are, the "V" where the big toe meets the second toe on the top of the foot, the area between the tendons of the two toes and the bottom of the foot at the same time, the areas on the top of the foot between the tendons of each of the toes, and after repeating on the other side, place your hands around the bottoms of each foot and squeeze the sides hard.
Finally, your liver is very important to hormonal health.  If you have PMS, sedating Liver Meridian can help immensely with groin pain.  The simplest way to sedate Liver Meridian is to lie down and place your fingertips where your legs attach to your body.  Rest for about two to three minutes.  See if that doesn't help. 

You can also sedate your Liver Meridian.  This is usually the most effective way.  Here's how: 

1.  Simultaneously place the middle finger of one hand on Liver 2 (inside of big toe where it meets the foot) and the other hand on Heart 8 (make a fist; see where the pinky touches the palm?  That's Hear 8).  Hold for two minutes.
2.  repeat on the other side.
3.  then place the middle finger of one hand on Liver 4 (a little dip in front of the anklebone) and the middle finger of the other hand on Lung 8 (on the crease of the wrist just below the thumb).

Don't panic about pinpoint accuracy.  Meridian points have a range of a dime to a quarter.  So if you have your finger in the general area, you're probably fine!