Friday, March 18, 2011

Now That's Weird: Hefty Calves have a Leg-Up on Resistance to Strokes

Dear Yin Weaver,

I remember once when I was in my twenties I was walking down the street in a skirt.  Suddenly, a car full of black men drove by and started shouting something at me.  Sensing it was some sort of "dog-whistle"--and obviously short on self-esteem that day--I called out, "What?"  Because I didn't understand what they were saying.  So they shouted the compliment again.  "What," I called again.  Once again, they bellowed. 

I still didn't understand, so I turned to a gentleman walking next to me and said, "Did you hear what they were saying?"  "Yes," he replied, "they were saying 'look at them fat calves.'"  Well, this was long before the days that hearing "baby got back" was high praise, but I learned from some of my coworkers later that day this comment on my calf size was indeed appreciative. 

Needless to say, this little white girl was mortified.  At least now I can look back and laugh.   Not only that, as it turns out my "swimmers calves," as I like to call them, may be healthier for me: "Though it sounds counterintuitive, a French study found that women with small calves (13 inches or less around) tended to develop more carotid plaques, a known risk factor for stroke. The subcutaneous fat in larger calves may pull fatty acids from the bloodstream and store them where they are less of a risk factor, say researchers."

The author suggests sipping green tea to stay heart healthy is probably more useful than hitting the gym to bulk up those babies. "In a study of more than 40,500 Japanese men and women, those who drank five or more cups of green tea every day had the lowest risk of dying of heart disease and stroke."

Well, we're not in Japan, and with our problem with obesity, we are high on the list of at-risk nations for stroke:  "Over 20 million per year worldwide have a stroke and over 5 million per year die from strokes. In the U.S. about 700,000 people a year have strokes. 500,000 are first time strokes and 200,000 are recurrent strokes. About 61% of stroke deaths are women. Strokes are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. behind heart attacks and all forms of cancer combined."

It's quite possible, then, you may some day be in a position to help someone who is having, or who has had, a stroke.  So grab that cup of tea and read the following  taken from An Energy Practitioner's Guide to Medical Emergencies on how to identify when a stroke is occurring, and what you can do to improve the victim's chance of recovery.


Sudden numbness or weakness of the arm, leg, or face, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble understanding or speaking
Sudden trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, or dizziness
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden severe headache with no known cause

The symptoms of a stroke can be difficult to recognize, and this can spell disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

Ask the person to smile
Ask the person to raise both arms
Ask the person to speak a simple sentence
If the person has trouble with any of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.


Medical Necessities: If the person has stopped breathing, administer CPR, including chest compressions if there is no pulse. This is the top priority.

Common Sense: Make the person as comfortable as possible.

ENERGY METHODS to help restore neurological balance:

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

Push the middle finger of one hand into the person’s “power point” (indent at center base of skull where skull meets the neck) and with the other hand hold the K-27s firmly for at least a minute.

Hold the “electrical points” at the base of skull just above the neck (on either side of the power point) for at least a minute.

Do a crown pull

Do a frontal/occipital hold (one hand across the forehead area at the hairline, the other at the back of the head where the skull joins the neck) until you feel a pulse in the forehead. The top part of the hand on the forehead activates the liver neurovascular points (liver meridian feeds the heart) at the hairline and the bottom (across the eyebrows) activates the bladder neurovascular points (bladder meridian governs the nervous system).
Hold spleen neurovascular points (one inch above ear on either side of head) for one to two minutes.
The triple warmer strengthening points (TW3 & GB41, then TW2 & BL66) if the person appears to be leaving the body. Talk to the person 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.
Even if you're not trained in Eden Energy Medicine, just doing a few of these according to the directions can be immensely helpful. 
If you are in the position of helping someone who has been a stroke victim, Donna Eden suggests the following: 

"Tracing figure eight energies helps the energy cross over from the left hemisphere to the right side of the body and from the right hemisphere to the left side of the body. It also helps energies cross over every part of the body, through the organs, even the cells. Another person can do this tracing of the cross-over energies (see the discussion of the Celtic weave in Energy Medicine Chapter 6). The stroke patient can also imagine the energies weaving. If possible, the person could trace figure eights of any size with a finger or a hand, or you could do it for the person by tracing the eights directly on or just above the body. Also, encourage the person to "doodle" by drawing figure eights on a piece of paper. This helps to imprint crossover energy patterns into the brain."

By the way, a figure eight is nothing more than the number eight lying on its side, or an infinity symbol:   

Last but not least, you can increase your own heart health with Eden Energy Medicine by practicing the Daily Energy Routine on a--guess what--daily basis!  In addition, clear your heart chakra on a regular basis.  Check out my blog on the heart meridian as well for more tips. 


Friday, March 11, 2011

Now That's Weird! I'm Giving Money Away to Total Strangers

Dear Yin Weavers,

Once when I was in college a friend asked me to visit her in DC.  The cost of the bus ticket from Towson, Maryland to Washington was exactly $5.  Despite the fact I didn't have a nickel to my name, let alone a five bucks I agreed to visit her that weekend. 

You wouldn't think five dollars was much to sweat, and in the grand scheme of things it wasn't.  I could have borrowed it from someone (in which case I'd have to pay it back).  I could have asked my mother for it (in which case I would have to endure the maternal grilling).  I could have earned it (in which case I would have had a job, which I didn't). 

Or I could have prayed for it.  This is the option I chose.  Then I put the question of how I was going to find the fare in less than a week out of my mind and went about my business as a student.

A few days later I was going to lunch at the school's cafeteria.  Two girls were walking ahead of me.  Suddenly I saw a five dollar floor flutter to the ground at their feet.  At least it seem to be coming from their feet.  I picked it up and called out to them, "Hey, you dropped your..."  But they were long gone.  I sensed an opportunity.  I could claim this as my answer to prayer and scurry on into the lunch line.  Or I could follow the girls (who were passing by the cafeteria) and return the money. 

I chose to follow the girls back to their dorm a few minutes away.  Since I was behind them a little bit by the time I reached them they were in their room.  I knocked on the door.  One of them answered, a girl with dark hair whom I'd not met before. 

"Excuse me," I said, "you dropped this back by the cafeteria.  You or your roommate."  I waved the money in the air.

"No, I didn't," she replied.  "Hey, Anna (I made that up, I don't remember either of their names)," she called over her shoulder, "did you lose some money?" After a moment of silence the answer came back negative.  "Nope, it's not ours!  Sorry!"  And with that she shut the door on me. 

So I got my answer to prayer, and believe me...the answer wasn't the five dollars.  The answer was a sort of combo of "God loves you, Rose.  You are not alone" and the chorus from one of my favorite Stones songs: 

You can't always get what you want
you can't always get what you want
you can't always get what you want
but if you try sometimes you just might find
you get what you need.

You might think praying is a little too lazy to qualify as trying, but to a woman who has lost her job, or a man who is homeless and mentally ill, or a kid, say who was so abused at home growing up the thought of trusting in a loving God is as foreign as trusting a mother for five bucks...well, trust me, praying isn't all that lazy.  Sometimes finding the courage to say, "help me" is like lifting a two ton weight. 

I can't imagine how many silent prayers are out there right now for just a little help.  Just enough to prime the pump of hope.  Which is why I've decided to become a Kindness Investor for the week of April 10-16 right here in Chicago.  A Kindness Investor is someone who follows in the footsteps of Reed Sandridge who for 365 days (200 of which were jobless) gave $10 a day to a total stranger and then blogged about it at The Year of Giving.  Reed says anyone can do this, and I'm inclined to agree.  I mean, how hard can it be for a child of the sixties?  It's sort of like panhandling in reverse. 

I am sooooooooo looking forward to being someone's answer to prayer!  I  hope you'll follow my progress that week as I post my giving adventures on Reed's blog.  I'll send you friendly reminders, or maybe you'll just go ahead and start following his blog right now, or maybe you'll go here and like his page.  Or maybe you'll just cut to the chase and be a Kindness Investor yourself. 

Because you know it's weird to walk up to seven total strangers and hand away money.  But you know what's weirder?  Thinking money makes you rich. 


Friday, March 4, 2011

Now That's Weird! Size DOES Matter...for Women, Too

Dear Yin Weavers,

If you're not packin' plenty, you may be thankful after reading the following.  The rest of you may not be so thankful.

What size is your bra?  A D cup may also spell diabetes: Women who wore a bra size D or larger at age 20 were one and a half times more likely to develop type 2 than those who wore an A or smaller, even after researchers adjusted for obesity, diet, smoking, and family history, in a 10-year study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It may be that the fat tissue in a woman’s breast is hormonally sensitive and influences insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes, say researchers.

Prevent it: Incorporate high-intensity intervals into your exercise routine. In one study, adults who did six 30-second sprints on an exercise bike (resting for four minutes in between) improved their body's ability to metabolize blood sugar by nearly 25 percent after six sessions—enough to lower their risk of diabetes.
 For those of you who missed it, I posted a question on Facebook the other day that lead to a somewhat silly/somewhat useful conversation on how to manage sugar cravings.  Here's the question and here's what I got:

A couple of coolpeeps commented on my latest blog (about your smart fat), and it got me to wondering about cravings. I've found St. John's Wort helpful for reducing sugar cravings. Any other great ideas out there?

Sophie Hunter I found that sucking a clean pebble of amethyst help with any kind of craving. Put it in your craved for bottle if your craving is fluid. Make sure you cleanse the used pebbles by leaving them soak in salt water.

Anybody ever hear of that?  I did a little research on Amethyst Gem Elixir, and found this: 

The Eden Project Orgone Products sells the amethyst gem elixir: Our Amethyst Gem Alixir produces a calm, clear and focused mind. The stone for detoxification of Alcoholics, from the greek word 'amethustos' meaning 'non-inebriated' it has a dramatic purging... effect on the liver. Amethyst elixir acts upon the crown chakra, enhancing communication with higher aspects of self and helps in the overcoming of unwanted addictions. The elixir will supply your body with an overabundance of energy, reduce headaches and take pain away; aids in digestion and clears up the complexion. This versatile remedy also will stimulate the pituitary gland, facilitate the digestion of fats and sugars in regards to diabetes, relieve insomnia and hypoglycemia.

Oh, and the silly suggestion?

The Eden Project Sherri--all you need to do is put the words "Oreos & Milk" on a piece of paper and tape it to the side of a glass of water. The water will absorb the oreos and milk vibration. Drink up!

Donna Eden points out diabetes cannot be managed without keeping your spleen meridian strong. This is done primarily by sedating Triple Warmer (which drains Spleen chi) followed by strengthening Spleen Meridian. Refer to my earlier blog post to learn a quick way to sedate Triple Warmer. Other ways to strengthen Spleen meridian are listed here along with the page numbers from Donna’s book Energy Medicine:

1. Hold the acupressure points for sedating TW, followed by the points for strengthening Spleen (see p. 120).

2. Massage the Spleen neurolymphatic points on the torso (p. 84).

3. Hold the Spleen neurovascular points on the head (p. 274).

4. Tap the Spleen points (part of the three thumps in Chapter 3) several times a day.

5. Flush Spleen meridian by tracing it backwards one time and then forwards three times. You'll find a drawing on page 102.

6. Liver meridian is also often involved in diabetes (as well as hypoglycemia). You can follow the same basic steps described here for Spleen for balancing the Liver meridian.

7. Do the "Daily Energy Routine" to maintain better harmony in her body.

If you have Type One diabetes, you will probably always need to have insulin supplied externally. But I have seen these exercises be very effective in helping to keep sugar levels balanced and insulin intake reversed. I have also known people who have completely reversed Type Two diabetes following these exercises along with appropriate changes in diet and exercise.

And if you ask me, that's "sweet!"


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.