It's like you're my mirror.



Another 2 minute clip that so elegantly reflects our behavior to us like a glowing mirror. 
I include myself here, of course. I am not above the elusive grasp that the ever present smart phone has strangled in my life. 

This is another gripping reminder that I have allowed another barrier to separate me from others, nature, and myself. And, I am not alone. 

When I do try to set strong limits and maintain firm boundaries, I feel the push back and resentment from others that I am not as hyper-responsive as we expect ourselves to be in this new, overly "connected" and technologically driven, social media obsessed, rapid paced society. 

(I have actually paid consultants to tell me that I should pay someone to answer my office phone 24 hours per day, and that all calls should forward to my cell so the business never misses one. Really? Whatever happened to family, self, balance, patience, discipline, or respite?)

But while we are texting, talking, typing, emailing, tweeting, facebooking, shopping, Candy Crushing, "apping" (yes, I just made that one up for buying applications), Shazaming, reading and whatever else we do when we shove that little screen in our face blocking out the outer and inner worlds from reaching into or out of us, life is happening. Magic is exploding right before us. Feelings are hiding in plain sight. Things remain uncovered that are dying to be seen. In a sense, life is actually invisible beyond that 4 inch screen. 

This is a classic example of how we are creating further divides between us. How we are becoming increasingly isolated, alone, and left without community and support. How so many end up feeling lonely and desperate even if they are lucky enough to be surrounded by warm bodies.
Humans are social animals. We need it to survive and thrive. My office is a respite for the sad, anxious, depressed, and lonely. Most rarely leave home and are usually with few to no people all day long. But the TV, computers, and smart phones provide the "connection" to the entire virtual world.

Now when I see the obscene number of "reality" shows and the increasingly obvious examples of narcissistic personalities praised in popular culture, it makes perfect sense. Can we see how natural it is that it has become a rampant part of our culture to go to extreme forms of behavior to seek the attention that a social animal so desperately needs? It seems we are forgetting to get it in the other socially acceptable and physiologically healthy ways.

I for one am going to work on putting down the phone. The text can wait. At one point not too long ago I didn't even own a cell. I see live people.
 
 
This 3 minute video is a pure gem! Depending upon where YOU are in the scenario (child, parent, or pseudo adult), it will have you laughing or crying.

But it hits upon a very serious issue I see arising clinically much more frequently. 


In fact, I NEVER saw it 15 years ago:


Parents calling, scheduling, coordinating, and paying for the lives of their able bodied, educated adult children.

Watch it. I'll wait.

What has happened? Where have we gone culturally? Clearly, it isn't an isolated incident in my office if these types of youtube videos are being produced to promote entire books on the subject. I haven't read this book yet, but I imagine it will be a mix between fun and depression for me.

I have checked with some executive coaches who enhance corporations by training leaders, and some high level executive Human Resource managers for global companies, and all have had stories of parents showing up to interviews or calling the HR manager after an interview or firing. Really?!

And these aren't adults dealing with the disabling effects of PTSD or Dissociation or Social Anxiety. Yet somehow, it has become socially acceptable and even EXPECTED that parents sit down and do all the homework with children, that they fill out college applications, that they register and sign up for college courses, that they drive them to and from all their appointments. Speaking of anxiety, why are so many of our young adults crippled and dysfunctioned by anxiety and panic? Most I see get to live in safe, comfortable homes, eat many meals a day, go on family vacations, watch TV, play video games at $150 each, and of course chat online or play strategy games with their cyberworld friends all while Mom and Dad work and pay the bills and manage all the responsibilities of adult life. Treated as fragile, they get to remain so very comfortably. Never trying, falling and picking themselves back up, they never get to feel pride, accomplishment, and esteem.

How is that playing out in the ability of these young adults to be socially successful in a social world that requires tremendous social accuracy to get what you want (ie "SUCCESS.") From what I see daily, it hasn't played out very well. By the way, WE are SOCIAL animals. 

I read an article this morning that prompted me to post this quick blog,

I'd love you to read it. It shows the research behind how coddling our children from every small loss, pain, disappointment, etc is crippling them. 

You can read it here: THREE MISTAKES WE MAKE LEADING KIDS 

Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.
 
 
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Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and chard are full of vitamins K and C, iron, and beta-carotene. Kale has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Particularly when chopped, kale contains a potent cancer fighting agent called sulforaphane. Eat generous helpings of leafy greens like kale and every cell in your body will thank you.

Ingredients:
    1 large bunch of kale, chard
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    fine grain sea salt
    5 cloves of garlic, 
crushed and chopped
    crushed red pepper flakes
 
Directions:
To de-stem each leaf of chard/kale, grab the main stalk in one hand and strip the leaf from the stem all the way up with the other. I then tear the big leaves into bite-sized pieces, but you can use a knife for this task if you prefer. Wash the greens in a big bowl (or sink) full of clean water, rinsing and swishing to rinse away any stubborn grit and dirt. Drain, rinse again, and set aside.
 
Hold off cooking the greens until just before eating. Then, in a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add a couple big pinches of salt and the greens. They should hiss and spit a bit when they hit the pan. Stir continuously until their color gets bright green, and they just barely start to collapse - two, three, maybe four minutes, depending on how hot your pan is, and how much structure your greens have. Then, just thirty seconds before you anticipate pulling the skillet off of the heat, stir in the garlic. Saute a bit, remove the pan from the heat, and add a big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Taste, add a bit of Himalayan salt if needed, and serve immediately.

 
 
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Acupuncture originated in China over 5,000 years ago, and is based upon the premise that all living beings have "qui," or vital energy. This energy circulates throughout the body via 12 invisible energy lines known as meridians, with each individual meridian

associated with a different organ system. When this flow of qui is disrupted and an imbalance occurs, disease begins. Acupuncturists seek to correct these imbalances of qui by inserting needles at one of over 1,000 acupuncture points along the body's meridian lines.

Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of maladies, from addictions to infertility, sciatica, arthritis, asthma, menstrual cramps, migraines, fibromyalgia, back pain, and asthma, among many others. Before the appointment, clients are usually asked to complete a brief health history questionnaire, followed by an interview with the acupuncturist. In the interview, the acupuncturist will ask the primary health concern that brings them to seek acupuncture, as well as questions about health and lifestyle; like diet and sleep habits, stress levels, allergies and food sensitivities, appetite, and emotions. The acupuncturist will also observe the client for overall health, checking out tongue color and coating, voice quality, and face color. The acupuncturist will check the client's pulse at 3 different points on the wrist, to determine the health of the 12 meridians.

After the acupuncturist has interviewed and observed the client and made a diagnosis, treatment begins. The typical treatment includes from 6-12 needles-- it's the location of the needles that is important, not the number. Even for those squeamish around needles, acupuncture is usually still comfortable, with the client feeling only a slight sting or prick when the needle is inserted. After that initial twinge, any pain, discomfort, and numbness should be communicated to the acupuncturist immediately. The typical acupuncture treatment takes no longer than an hour.

Today, acupuncture is one of the most well known varieties of alternative therapy. Americans spend over $500 million annually on acupuncture treatments, and many insurance policies now cover acupuncture.


 
 
April is Autism Awareness Month. To be blunt, we simply don't have enough time to be focused on mere awareness anymore. The Centers for Disease Control just released the newest data entitled “Changes in Prevalence of Parent-Reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011-2012.” They found that 1 in 50 children ages 6-17 now have autism. Picture 1 child on every scholl bus in  AMericca with a child on the Autism Spectrum, and that gives you a good picture of the sheer numbers and magnitude of this epidemic. 
"Every single thing, even things that aren't living, has a personality and a life...
I don't like saying certain words because they make me feel tense and unhappy...
I can 'feel' words-how they taste....


My brain works differently."
Sound extreme to describe it that way? Well, an epidemic is defined as "affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time." It wasn't too long ago that the rate was defined at 1:250, then it quickly jumped to a shocking 1:150, then a few years later the unbelievable 1:100 rate was released. Today, at 1:50, no one is jumping up and down to figure out why this is happening. No one is having press releases to manage the shock and fear in society...because no one seems to see the epidemic.

This gives me great pause and concern. The video above is more about Awareness which hopefully leads to appropriate and effective action. Let's begin with compassion. Be gentle with the kids and families around you. You never know what that melt down next to you in the grocery store is all about. Try not to assume to know or judge what that mother or family is going through. A loving smile and a kind offer to ask, "Is there anything I can do to help you right now?" can go a lot further to enhance your life than becoming irritated and critical. The last thing a parent of a child on the Spectrum needs in a difficult emotional moment is criticism and shame.

Keep checking the blog for more ways to go into ACTION throughout this month.
 
 
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In this technological age we live in, it's rare to see someone walking without an iPod or some other music or media player strapped to them. Listening to music or even watching a video is so commonplace that few of us take the time to enjoy the stillness of our thoughts and the interaction with our bodies that walking meditation allows. Even if it's just one day a week, consider replacing one of your gym sessions with a walking meditation session. Better still, take your walk outside so you can enjoy the sounds of nature and your own thoughts and body signals. Supercharge this by considering walking BAREFOOT to truly receive the powerful benefits of connecting with the planet Earth.
 
Buddhist monks often use walking meditation as part of their daily lives while they move dutifully from one task to another. In addition to helping them develop mindfulness and loving kindness while they travel around, walking meditation is also used as a kind of meditation in its own right, with the monks scheduling time to walk up and down a set course or even a circular track to help keep their bodies at ease while also relieving tension that builds up over the course of their service. Paying attention to the body as it moves also helps them to be more in tune to it and, by extension, the world around them. This is best displayed by walking a labyrinth  A labyrinth is a spiritual tool used by humanity for over 4000 years to center the heart, calm the body, clear the mind, and self align oneself. It is merely a circular path, and you can't do it wrong! There is even evidence that walking the labyrinth positively affects brainwaves and neurology!
 
Scheduling time for a sitting meditation can be difficult for some, but since most everyone spends time walking each day, walking allows for a kind of meditation that even the busiest people can fit into their lifestyle, and you don't even have to walk slowly or in nature to reap the benefits – all that's required is an attentive mind and a willing body.

 
 
Sound a bit extreme? Well, caffeine is indeed classified as a drug and is addictive, so it's not really a stretch. And Americans love it. Roughly 60% of adults, and from what I see at Starbucks, a rapidly increasing number of children and teenagers, are gobbling it up. I used to believe that all drugs are pretty much bad. And being an addict- to anything- was even worse. But, life is about learning, growing, and changing. (Of course, loving and playing, too!) So, as all this new research and discussion about the health benefits of coffee started emerging into the mainstream a few years ago, I opened myself up to being wrong.

This video shows how chloragenic acid from coffee can help your cells, especially insulin resistant cells, open up and allow glucose to enter your cells. 

He does a great job, so watch it!
After reading some articles by open heart surgeon Dwight Lundell, MD about the antioxidant properties of coffee, I decided after years of denigrating and protesting the encouragement of a country of drug addicts thatI would try an experiment and drink coffee to see for myself. It's been well over a year now. "WOW" is an understatement. No wonder people love this stuff! But is it a healthy choice for me?

I'm going back to some of my Natural Hygenist roots here to look at what humans have been doing for thousands of years when connected to nature. Would they have walked up to a coffee plant and eaten those beautiful green beans? Would they have noticed the difference in how it made them feel? Would it have been incorporated and used for medicinal and healing purposes? My guess is a resounding "yes." Just like cacao, tobacco, marijuana, mushrooms and other LIVING PLANTS that have been used in their natural state by humans to explore health, healing, and consciousness, why wouldn't the coffee bean have been used the same way?

According to Chinese Medicine, all things have healing properties when used at the right time and in the right way. Anything used in a way that implies need (addiction) then poses a health threat. For example, I never recommend cow milk for health to anyone. But in Chinese Medicine, nothing moisturizes a gut in desperate need like milk. It has health properties in certain circumstances. I find that to be a fascinating principle. I think of this concept for myself when it comes to coffee.

1- Keep it close to nature. Organic, fair trade beans. Filtered, chlorine-free water. No filter or natural filter. I started drinking Asantae brand which is promoted by Dr. Lundell. But now I try out various Organic and low acid brands to see what I like and don't like. But Asantae feels like my best choice to date.
2- Drink it black. Sugar and processed milk destroy a lot of the antioxidant properties.
3- First thing in the morning before exercise. Limited amount.
4- Don't use it a crutch to stimulate the adrenal glands for energy throughout the day.

Here is a very thorough article by Dr. Joseph Mercola that summarizes a lot of these principles and more very, very well. If you want more information, it is a great place to start. He covers the topic with references rather extensively with more time energy than I can place into this right now. 

I know I am in the minority of adults drinking coffee since I didn't start until almost 40 years old, and I did it based purely on research and health incentives. But I must say, I enjoy the physical and emotional benefits tremendously. And I actually enjoy the taste as where it repulsed me before. I am acutely aware of the pleasure centers being stimulated in my brain. It floods me with a profound sense of happiness. Perhaps I am more sensitive because I am new to this substance? Either way, I appreciate how the energy, the better mood, and the decreased bodily pain have improved the quality of my life. I feel good knowing that I make healthy choices with high quality organic coffee and flooding myself with the benefits of a plant that nature gives to us as a gift. Also, I have to admit, being able to be a part of the "coffee club" of general society does feel good.



 
 
This 2 minute clip of last year's super-budget, action-filled, comic book film starring Ryan Reynolds shows Hal Jordan, aka the new Green Lantern and the first human Lantern chosen, learning how to use his special super power.

Warning: There is foul language and violence. It is not advised for children.
I don't get to watch as many films as I'd like. But every now and then, it happens with the miracle of ON DEMAND. There wasn't enough buzz around this film to go see it at the theater for me last year. But, I did recently see it. And it wasn't very good, to be honest. Not even Ryan Reynolds could make this anything like the Spiderman franchises. So there. You have my disclaimer. However, I do think you should watch it. But watch it within a certain context. I was pretty much blown away at the levels of how we as a society are creating the space and understanding of the physics behind creation and manifestation. I never read comic books, so I am new to this genre, but so far, Green Lantern is blowing my mind.

The comic books have been around since 1940 when writer Bill Finger created the story of multiple Lanterns and the Guardians of the Universe. Who was this guy and how did he KNOW all this? Here is how it works: the ring chooses the bearer. There are many rings and therefore multiple superheroes...from various life forms throughout the galaxies. The ring bestows the special power of controlling the physical world by creating a green energy to take the form of whatever "construct" or form the bearer can IMAGINE. This includes space travel faster than the speed of light, fourth dimensional travel through solid objects such as walls, and even time. The stronger the imagination, the stronger the creation.

That is the KEY. Bill Finger called this WILL. The constructs are only as strong as the strength of each respective bearer's will, according to the way it is written.  However, I contend that this is the wrong word to describe it. I think this word HIDES the true power behind the ring. This is not a product of the will, but rather the IMAGINATION. And there is another brilliant stipulation about that imagination: it needs to lean towards the positive rather than the negative (i.e. "cynical" will does not create constructs.)

Why does Hal Jordan struggle to use his imagination? He is limited by the fears contained within his belief systems. Imagination requires no effort. It only means opening yourself up to receive communication between your Higher Self and your Physical Self. Our imaginations are the pipeline of information from the above, higher frequencies of our Highest Selves/Minds. It is through this pathway that we can know who we truly are! And each Self and each imagination appears to be like a fingerprint: completely unique to your very existence.  

This is how each Green Lantern can create unique possibilities and manifestations that others cannot. And this is why they train...they are simply strengthening the imagination. To strengthen the imagination is to remove the filters of FEAR that we have that something is not possible. To clarify and improve our belief systems is a way to let the information regarding our truest selves, our deepest passion-bliss-excitement, to be communicated to us via our imaginations. And I love the fact that this wasn't limited to one special person, but rather, there are a lot of them...it is possible for everyone, so the message implies.

It is a simple message of physics and Universal Law that fosters the possibility of there being no space-time continuum like we are taught to believe. That indeed we are the master creators of all that exists. And that by simply imagining it, it must therefore EXIST. Who knew DC Comics could be this deep?
 
 
February 2012 


Media coverage of a shocking new study published in a British Medical Journal from an American study looking at the effects of sleeping pills on death and cancer risk.
There are numerous reasons why one might seek out natural alternatives to sleep medication.  It might be that you would prefer to avoid taking medication, have an adverse reaction to medication, have found medicines to be ineffective, or simply prefer to approach your health from a natural therapy standpoint.

There are roughly 50-70 million Americans suffering from sleep disturbances affecting health and quality of life. A new study has just been published that has shocked researchers: those who take sleeping pills have nearly a 4 FOLD INCREASE in DEATH RISK.  You can look at an ABC News article and news clip HERE.  It is critical to remember that insomnia or other sleep disorders aren;t really diseases unto themselves, but symptoms of a bigger problem such as brain dysregulation, poorly managed anxiety or stress, and hormonal imbalances for example. Getting to the root of the problem is the only way to prevent the implicit health dangers of poor sleep.

If you're having trouble sleeping, here are a few of the most effective natural alternatives:

EEG BIOFEEDBACK: Without a doubt, looking at the rhythm and patterns of the brainwaves that drive the sleep-wake cycle is the best place to start. I am continually amazed at how easy it is to correct insomnia in the office with this groundbreaking technology, but nobody seems to know that neurofeedback to teach the brain to change it's unhealthy and stuck pattern is easy and available. Look for more info about correcting sleep issues with BrainCore HERE.

Chiropractic: Your spine houses your nervous system. Making sure there is positive flow of energy throughout that important communication system can make the difference in creating the proper flow and order rather than disruption and chaos. And more often than not, insomnia is a symptom of a bigger problem. Establishing health and order into the body system provides opportunity to correct the underlying problem. And the decrease in pain and dysfunction alone can create the environment for deep, restorative sleep.


Audio Visual Entrainment: We use and sell the AVE-2000. It is a portable device that guides your brain into a specifically requested brainave frequenccy within 3-5 minutes. It creates dissociation in the mind which is the first step in relaxation and meditation; it increase cerebral blood flow (blood flow to your brain) by 28%; it helps normalizes brainwave patterns as seen on an EEG; increase the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. It is hard to not fall asleep with this on in the proper setting for you!

Herbal remedies. From teas to tinctures to aromatherapy, there are numerous herbs that can be used to help a natural sleep cycle occur, such as lavender, chamomile, and Valerian root.

Exercise. Exercise will give you energy during the day, but will also help wear you out so that you are more tired in the evenings.  Exercise also helps regulate body processes, such as metabolism, that can affect sleep.

Calming practices. Meditation, gentle yoga, soothing music, and other calming practices can help quiet the mind and relax the body in preparation for sleep.

Lifestyle/Dietary shifts. Many people find that eliminating stimulants, caffeine, alcohol, sugar and/or cigarettes from their life can make a large difference. Eating a smaller meal in the evening can also support your body in being ready for sleep. I'm a big fan of certain supplements based around magnesium and various herbs to support the natural Circadian rhythm as the brain is re-balancing with biofeedback.


 
 


I remember today as day of exceptional love and service. A day when a city showed its courage and resolve. It is a day I choose to remember in my heart as a shining example of what is BEST within us all.  
A day when strangers ran into burning and collapsing buildings to save other strangers at great risk and peril to their own lives. Many lives ended 11 years ago. Many families lost a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter, and that loss is not to be minimized. Not by any means am I implying that. But on that day, many hearts were opened as well and many lives began anew. 

I remember this day inspired by the LOVE within humanity to CARE for each other at the darkest hour. Human beings so committed to loving without asking questions of religion, race, politics, birthplace, or net worth. My heart isn't full of fear or hate. It is in awe, respect, and humility for the heroes that remind us how great we all can truly be. Thank you for your service then and today.

With deep love and gratitude,


Dr. Stephanie