Stamina the Wise Woman Way

If having enough energy to earn your daily bread and to get all your chores done is a struggle for you. If you go to bed tired, but wake up even more tired. If you can’t get up and go without coffee, or can’t slow down and relax without alcohol. If your fatigue is ruining your mood and your friendships. Then it’s time to build energy and stamina the Wise Woman Way.

The Wise Woman Tradition nourishes optimum energy, and optimum health, by using safe simple nourishing herbal infusions, eating whole grains, and avoiding stimulants.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is my favorite energizing infusion. It gives me the energy to work 14-15 hours a day on my dairy goat farm, train my apprentices, write books, run a publishing company and a workshop center, and fly all over the world to teach. I don’t know how I could do so much otherwise.

I buy dried stinging nettle and prepare it like this:

  • Put one ounce by weight in a quart canning jar.
  • Fill the jar with boiling water, cap well, and allow to steep for four hours or overnight.
  • Strain and enjoy.
  • Refrigerate the remainder.
  • Drink within 36 hours.

Because stinging nettle strengthens the kidneys and adrenals, it builds powerful energy from the inside out, and gives one amazing stamina. If you drink 4-5 quarts of nettle infusion weekly, you can expect to see results within 3-6 weeks.

There are no contraindications to the use of stinging nettle infusion. Side effects may include: thicker hair, softer skin, stronger veins, and greater delight in life.

Nourishing herbal infusions can be made with other herbs too. I like red clover blossoms, lots of anticancer protection there, as well as lots of phytoestrogens. And oatstraw, such a mellow brew, and it’s so great for easing and nourishing the nerves. I also use chickweed, comfrey leaf, linden blossoms, and mullein as infusion herbs, depending on my need.

All nourishing herbal infusions are made as instructed above.

Whole grains are the backbone of a whole food diet. Because they break down much more slowly than refined (white) flour products, whole grains provide a “time release” capsule that allows you to work and work and work (or play and play and play, as you will). For more energy, eat more whole grains.

Notice which white flour products you currently use, and replace them with whole grain versions as you run out. Soon you’ll be eating: whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bagels, whole wheat English muffins, whole wheat crackers (read boxes carefully), whole wheat pretzels, whole wheat cookies, whole wheat bread, brown rice, kasha, millet and more. The tastes and textures will bring new delights to your dining pleasure as well as lots of energy for you to do with as you will.

Avoid stimulants. For powerful stamina and lots of energy, we are well advised to avoid stimulants. Not just drug stimulants like cocaine or “speed,” but herb and food stimulants too.

It is tempting to try to get more energy by using stimulants. But stimulants actually decrease overall energy. They provide fast fuel, but no steady flow of energy. Stimulants push us beyond our innate capacity. In effect, they make us work harder than we truly have the energy for, and thus deplete us at deep levels.

The energy-depleting effects of coffee, soft drinks, and white sugar products are cumulative. The more you try to get energy from these sources, the more tired you make yourself. The long-term consequences often include a profound fatigue.

Black pepper and spices such as cinnamon and cloves are acknowledged stimulants too, and, if overused (as in drinking chai daily) can also weaken the internal fires that give us energy.

Herbal stimulants such as ephedra (ma hang or Mormon tea), cayenne, ginseng, and guarana are also unlikely to help build real energy and stamina unless used sparingly and wisely. Herbal stimulants may even be quite dangerous, especially when powdered and taken in gelatin caps. Water-based preparations of stimulating herbs (teas and soups) are usually the safest, and tinctures are next safest, unless standardized. Small amounts of these herbs taken occasionally are harmless enough. It is long-term use of stimulants that erodes healthy energy.

White sugar is one of the most common stimulants in the fast-food culture. We consume it in dozens of forms: corn syrup, cane sugar, “raw” sugar, fructose. I find that when the diet is rich in minerals, especially those in nourishing herbal infusions, whole grains, and yogurt, the desire for sweets is lessened and more easily satisfied with far less.

For energy and stamina everyday, plus the extra you need to deal with everyday emergencies, follow the Wise Woman Way: drink nourishing herbal infusions, such as stinging nettle, red clover, oatstraw, and chickweed.

For energy and stamina at home and on the road, plus the extra you need to deal with the constant stress, follow the Wise Woman Way: eat only whole grains: brown rice, wild rice, spelt, cornmeal, amaranth, quinoa, and edible wild seeds including lamb’s quarter, nettle, and yellow dock.

For energy and stamina, the Wise Woman Way, rely on your own power, trust in your own body’s wisdom if it needs to say “no,” and don’t force the issue with stimulants (except on those very rare occasions when nothing else will do).

Energy and stamina the Wise Woman Way is simple, safe, successful, and fun. Congratulations for taking your health into your own hands.

Answers From Acupunture

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a healing tool based on the theory that our emotions and physical symptoms are linked to the underlying energy system of the body. That energy system is the acupuncture meridian system known to the Chinese for thousands of years.

EFT was developed by Stanford Engineer Gary Craig, who discovered the basic theory in 1991 and continues to this day to develop and improve on EFT applications.

The underpinning theory of EFT is simple, yet sheds a whole new light on our emotional experiences and how we interpret them.

Gary Craig’s EFT discovery statement asserts that: “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” He believes that “our unresolved negative emotions are major contributors to most physical pains and diseases.”

How Does EFT Work?
Chinese Medicine and the ancient Indian Science of Ayurveda both support the concept that our emotional experiences, in particular resentments, hurts and anger, contribute significantly to the development of disease in the human body.

While the EFT theory that all negative emotions are caused by a disruption in the energy system of the body may sound odd at first, the idea is far from new. In fact, it’s 5,000 years old and was more recently enforced by Albert Einstein who taught that everything is made of energy.

The reason EFT works so well is purely because it embraces the secrets of Eastern healing traditions that have been overlooked by the west.

Acupuncture is finally attracting interest, and research has been conducted to try and figure out how and why it works. Yet that research will always seek to put acupuncture in a box that makes sense to what conforms in the West. The impressive results of acupuncture have been called a placebo effect, when, in truth, they are due to an ancient understanding of meridian energy circuitry which runs throughout all living creatures.

EFT & Acupuncture
In acupuncture, points are carefully selected by practitioners trained to read the maps of the meridian system. EFT is based on a select few of these potent points known to excel in giving emotional and physical relief to anyone who simply learns where they are and how to use them. EFT doesn’t require expert knowledge, or the use of needles, the points are simply stimulated by tapping on them with the fingertips.

We need only look to the fact that in China hundreds of people every day undergo heart surgery using nothing but acupuncture for anaesthesia, to realise that anything based on the solid healing foundation that acupuncture has to offer is worth exploring further.

Gary Craig developed EFT as an incredibly user friendly access point to the benefits of acupuncture and the healing potential latent within us all to deal with our physical and emotional pain. EFT’s track record for relieving negative emotions, anxiety and trauma has earned it the descriptive title of “acupuncture for the emotions, but without the needles.”

The EFT Challenge
There’s an old saying that we should judge a tree by it’s fruits. The fruits of EFT can be quickly and easily tasted by learning the basics and setting EFT to work on dissolving any negative emotion. EFT takes just 5 minutes to learn, and then you can put it to the test of your own direct experience.

Emollients and Lubricant Drugstore Laxatives

Stool Softener Laxatives – Emollients

Stool softeners and emollients work by absorbing water into the fecal matter. This makes the fecal matter softer so it can pass easier through your colon and out the rectum. Two of the chemicals used in stool softener laxatives are docusate sodium and docusate calcium.

Don’t use these types of laxatives since they have chemicals that can produce side effects. Docusate sodium has been found to increase the toxicity of drugs when taken at the same time. In addition, they affect liver function.

You can find some of these laxatives at your local drugstore under the names,

* Colace – contains docusate sodium

* Dialose – contains docusate sodium

* Surfak – contains docusate calcium

Other products that contain docusate sodium and docusate calcium are:

* Senokot-S, Correctol 50 plus, Fleet Stool Softener, Phillips Liquid-Gel

Avoid using docusate with mineral oil since this increases the chances of absorbing some mineral oil into the body. Mineral oil in the body tissues can form tumors.

Pregnant women should avoid using this type of laxative.

Lubricants Stool Softeners

Lubricants stimulate a bowel movement by coating your colon walls and fecal matter. These lubricants also help keep water in the fecal matter, preventing them from becoming hard and difficult to pass through your colon and rectum. One such lubricant is Mineral oil – (not recommended)

Avoid laxatives that contain mineral oils. These oils can cause a pneumonia that is difficult to clear. They interfere with intestinal absorption of food nutrients, and fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin A, and collect in the lymph nodes when used often.

Mineral oil is not a food. It coats food and prevents it from being digested and prevents absorption of vitamins and nutrients.

Dale Alexander, author of Arthritis Common Sense, 1981, reminds us that,

“Crude mineral oil was discovered, by Indians, on top of stagnant water in the oil fields. Today, mineral oil is refined into pure from petroleum. Refineries could not sell mineral oil for automobile use, so their representatives educated people to pour it into their bodies. Just the way mineral oil does not pass qualifications for a car carburetor, it forms puddles of useless oil in your intestinal loops.”

Mineral oil passes from the mouth, all the way through your colon, and out the rectum without being absorbed. However, it sometimes passes through the intestinal walls in small amounts and poses a health hazard in the body. It also leaks out of the rectum, if too much is used.

Some of the lubricant drugstore laxatives are:

* Alin plus phenolphthalein –

* Dioctyl sodium sulfosucciante – a detergent type substance that lowers the surface tension of your colon walls and fecal matter.

* Docusate potassium

* Magnesium hydroxide – brings in more water into your colon. When too much is taken, it can create embarrassment for you.

* Osmolak plus lactulose (lactulose is a synthetic sugar that pulls water out of the body and into your colon to soften stools.)

* Sokol plus mineral oil

Dioctyl sodium Sulfosucciante belongs to a family of chemicals that reduces the surface tension of the fecal matter in your colon allowing water and fat to penetrate and make the fecal matter softer. These chemicals are known as,

* Dioctyl sodium succiante (also known as docusate sodium)

* Dioctyl potassium succinate (also known as docusate potassium)

* Dioctyl calcium succinate (also know as docusate calcium)

If you are pregnant, do not use mineral oil or other oils to get relief from constipation. During pregnancy you need good absorption of minerals and nutrients to provide for your newborn. Excessive use of mineral oil during pregnancy can cause bleeding in newborns.

In her book, Linda Clark’s Handbook of Natural Remedies for Common Ailments, Linda writes about mineral oil,

“The message has finally got through to the public and the medical profession that mineral oil is one of the most damaging of all laxatives. It robs the body of Vitamins A, D, E, K: interferes with absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and can actually lead to other diseases.”

Eliminating Stress

We have officially accepted stress as an everyday, unavoidable black cloud that follows us wherever we go. It’s in the car. It’s in the office. It’s at home. Stress is waiting around every corner with it’s sharp edges ready to chip away at our most complete selves. Stress heightens our blood pressure, making us irritable and tired. It causes our bodies to lock up and feel limited in the activities we used to be able to do. Whether we realize it or not, stress is a significant ingredient in what weighs us down.

It is a difficult concept to realize in one’s self. We get lost in the day to day hustle and bustle; each new day elicits tasks and responsibilities. We forget to take a moment to consider how we feel both physically and emotionally. “But I have to take the car to the shop……”

Let me empower you with the idea of massage therapy. My job, my passion in life is to help people feel good; to encourage each individual to gain control of their own well-being arm them with a protective shield against stress. No phones, no traffic, no kids; a calm and soothing environment for you to let go and tune in. To work the knots out, to replace the dull ache with vibrant mobility. To bring you back to a place when you felt strong and energetic.

It’s seemingly too simple a solution. How can a massage combat the negative effects of stressful situations that face us when we wake up every day? The answer is that massage is part of the solution, and restitution happens a little in small steps. “But I just don’t have the time…”

Saying you don’t have the time is just like saying yes to sore neck and shoulder muscles. Saying you don’t have the time allows stress to work it’s dark magic and slowly suck the metaphorical breath right out of you. Enough of the bad stuff; let’s talk benefits.

Massage improves circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid. Healthy, hearty oxygenated blood to limbs and muscles make the body happy! Massage is an excellent compliment to exercise and stretching, which also promote fluid movement. Massage eases tense muscles. Have you ever had that pain in the neck and shoulders that keeps you from looking over your shoulder? The pain that intensifies after long days and commutes? Massage can really help that. Better yet, massage can keep it from coming back; it’s just a tight muscle.

EASE TENSE MUSCLES+INCREASED CIRCULATION=A VERY HAPPY NECK

Massage increases immune system functions. Healthy, non-restricted blood carries antibodies to all parts of your body, and contains cells that devour the metabolic wastes. Keep it clean and flowing! Keep your energy levels up. “Go ahead cold, make my day…”

Massage improves joint flexibility. Tight muscles anchor joints down. Lighten the load; decrease the tension and you’ll be doing the backstroke all the way home.

Massage promotes the feeling of wholeness. Do you ever feel disconnected from the waist down? Do you feel like your hands and feet are numb and restricted in movement? A full body massage works closely with your energy levels, bringing back into focus that you are a complete individual from head to toe. Get grounded!

And that’s just to name a few. Nevermind massage facilitates recovery from injury, relieves anxiety, calms the mind, brings to light self awareness, and overall feels really good…

No more excuses. A reason to avoid your well-being and simply endure the negative effects of stress does not exist. Get a massage. For your body, mind and spirit.

Jennifer Myers

Eight Tips for Managing Pain

Perhaps the hardest part of having arthritis or a related condition is the pain that usually accompanies it. Managing and understanding that pain, and the impact it has on one’s life, is a big issue with most arthritis sufferers. The first step in managing arthritis pain is knowing which type of arthritis or condition you have, because that will help determine your treatment. Before learning different management techniques, however, it’s important to understand some concepts about pain.

No. 1: Not All Pain is Alike
Just as there are different types of arthritis, there are also different types of pain. Even your own pain may vary from day to day.

No. 2: The Purpose of Pain
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, or that you need to act. If you touch a hot stove, pain signals from your brain tell you to pull your hand away. This type of pain helps protect you. Chronic, long-lasting pain, like the kind that accompanies arthritis, is different. While it tells you that something is wrong, it often isn’t as easy to relieve.

No. 3: Causes of Pain
Arthritis pain is caused by several factors, such as (1) Inflammation, the process that causes the redness and swelling in your joints; (2) Damage to joint tissues, which results from the disease process or from stress, injury or pressure on the joints; (3) Fatigue resulting from the disease process, which can make pain worse and more difficult to bear; and (4) Depression or stress, which results from limited movement or no longer doing activities you enjoy.

No. 4: Pain Factors
Things such as stress, anxiety, depression or simply “overdoing it” can make pain worse. This often leads to a decrease in physical activity, causing further anxiety and depression, resulting in a downward spiral of ever-increasing pain.

No. 5: Different Reactions to Pain
People react differently to pain. Mentally, you can get caught in a cycle of pain, stress and depression, often resulting from the inability to perform certain functions, which makes managing pain and arthritis seem more difficult. Physically, pain increases the sensitivity of your nervous system and the severity of your arthritis. Emotional and social factors include your fears and anxieties about pain, previous experiences with pain, energy level, attitude about your condition and the way people around you react to pain.

No. 6: Managing Your Pain
Arthritis may limit some of the things you can do, but it doesn’t have to control your life. One way to reduce your pain is to build your life around wellness, not pain or sickness. This means taking positive action. Your mind plays an important role in how you feel pain and respond to illness.

Many people with arthritis have found that by learning and practicing pain management skills, they can reduce their pain. Thinking of pain as a signal to take positive action rather than an ordeal you have to endure can help you learn to manage your pain. You can counteract the downward spiral of pain by practicing relaxation techniques, regular massage, hot and cold packs, moderate exercise, and keeping a positive mental outlook. And humor always has a cathartic effect.

No. 7: Don’t focus on pain.
The amount of time you spend thinking about pain has a lot to do with how much discomfort you feel. People who dwell on their pain usually say their pain is worse than those who don’t dwell on it. One way to take your mind off pain is to distract yourself from pain. Focus on something outside your body, perhaps a hobby or something of personal interest, to take your mind off your discomfort.

No. 8: Think positively. What we say to ourselves often determines what we do and how we look at life. A positive outlook will get you feeling better about yourself, and help to take your mind off your pain. Conversely, a negative outlook sends messages to yourself that often lead to increased pain, or at least the feeling that the pain is worse. So, “in with the good, and out with the bad.”

Reinforce your positive attitude by rewarding yourself each time you think about or do something positive. Take more time for yourself. Talk to your doctor about additional ways to manage pain.

Bruce Bailey, Ph.D.

Effexor XR is a potent inhibitor

Effexor XR is a potent inhibitor of the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine-two neurotransmitters thought to play important roles in the pathophysiology of depression. Correcting the imbalance of these two chemicals may help relieve symptoms of depression.

How Taken

Effexor XR comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day and should be taken with food. Each capsule should be swallowed whole with fluid and not divided, crushed, chewed, or placed in water, or it may be administered by carefully opening the capsule and sprinkling the entire contents on a spoonful of applesauce. This drug/food mixture should be swallowed immediately without chewing and followed with a glass of water to ensure complete swallowing of the pellets.

Warnings/Precautions

Before starting Effexor XR, tell your doctor about any medicines you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements. If you take MAOIs you should not take Effexor XR. If you are taking antidepressants you should be watched closely for signs that your condition is getting worse or that you are becoming suicidal, especially when you first start therapy, or when your dose is increased or decreased. You should also be watched for becoming agitated, irritable, hostile, impulsive, or restless. Such symptoms should be reported to your doctor right away. Effexor XR may raise blood pressure in some patients, so blood pressure should be monitored regularly. When you suddenly stop using or quickly lower your daily dose of Effexor XR, discontinuation symptoms may occur. Talk to your doctor before discontinuing or reducing your dose of Effexor XR. Pregnant or nursing women shouldn’t take any antidepressant without consulting their doctor. Until you see how Effexor XR affects you, be careful doing such activities as driving a car or operating machinery. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Effexor XR.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

Possible Side Effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Effexor XR and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment: an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); seizures; or an irregular heartbeat or severely high blood pressure (blurred vision, headache). Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Effexor XR and talk to your doctor if you experience nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite or weight; dry mouth; drowsiness or dizziness; mild tremor, anxiety, or agitation; insomnia; abnormal dreams; sexual problems such as impotence, abnormal ejaculation, difficulty reaching orgasm, or decreased libido; sweating; yawning; or increase in blood cholesterol levels (detected by blood tests); Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.