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Tuesday, May 30, 2006 

Chakra Healing Color Therapy

Each of us is a walking, breathing shade of color, if you could see your "aura", the electromagnetic field around yourself, you might be surprised by all of the colors you would see, not just around human beings, but plants, animals, indeed all of creation. Everything is made of electromagnetic energy, vibrating at different frequencies.

Colors are simply the wavelengths of these frequencies. And because they are a part of us, they attract us with their balancing power, which is integral to good health. The term "chakra" comes from Sanskrit and means "wheel" or "disk". How many chakras are there in the human body? Because they are energy centers, the body has many, but the generally accepted theory is that there are seven (7) major energy centers.

Each of these centers has several associations to color and health. Here is the first of the seven:

White or Violet is the color for the Crown Chakra located at the center of your head, on an infant it is called the "soft spot". An imbalance in this energy center leads to depression, confusion, Alzheimer's and obsessional thinking. The central nervous system is the associated body part and this chakra's function is to facilitate understand and knowledge.

If you are feeling nervous, try surrounding yourself with candles, plants, fabrics or crystals of these two colors. Violet especially has a calming effect on the nervous system, if you can also use lavender or lilac, both derivatives of violet. Lavender incense and oil are also useful in creating a peaceful environment. We will look at the remaining chakras in the next part of the series.

Next in the series: Chakra Healing Color Therapy - Part Two


Discover Your Personal Color Harmony

Putting together your power color triad from your sun, moon and ascendant (rising) signs in astrology as they relate to the days of the week is only the beginning of your journey of using colors to enhance the personal harmony in your life.

Before you say, "I hate that color!", keep in mind that the color spectrum is quite large, when it comes to selecting colors for your wardrobe, home or office environment, choose the ones that naturally attract you.

Because colors are all around us, it is very easy to take them for granted. but the power of color should not be underestimated, there are many complementary esoteric sciences where we find color playing a vital role.

Colors can invigorate or calm, depending on their hue. For instance, the color pink, attributed to Venus, is really two colors, red mixed with white. While red is a potent color that is used to illustrate desire, danger or attract attention, the color pink tends to inspire a light heart and happiness.

Just think of the statements like "feeling blue" or "bright as the sun" that are used to describe the presence of a person. Both of these refer to the sense of color we all emanate from our life force energy centers - the chakras.

Next in the series: Chakra Healing Color Therapy

Thursday, May 25, 2006 

Accenting Your Personal Lifestyle with Color

Since our lives are filled with color, the challenge is to find the combination of colors that work best for you. We have seen how colors are linked to our solar system and astrology, now let's put it together into a simple, basic personal system.

To build your system, first consider your Sun, Moon and Ascendant (Rising) signs, to give you a framework to use as a foundation for your wardrobe and home/office decor. Your sun sign represents your ego, your moon sign represents your emotions and your rising sign reveals your temperament.

For example, a person born in the Sun sign of Scorpio (Mars) with their moon in Cancer (Moon) and ascendent in Leo (Sun), has a basic color chart of red, white and orange.

Now identify the specific days that correspond to your three signs, using the person in our example, their power days are Tuesday, Monday and Sunday respectively.

For the person in this example, wearing an item of red color on Tuesday, which is ruled by Mars will give their ego a lift, making it a great day for tackling events where they need their self confidence to be high. Since red is also linked to their Sun sign, the effect is even greater.

However, use your color wisely, if the person in our example has a tendency to be overly aggressive, then it would be best to be moderate in enhancing this quality.

Next in the series: Discover Your Personal Color Harmony

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 

Creating Harmony with Color

Using color in therapy is also known as Chromotherapy and is inter-related to the esoteric science of astrology. Most of what we know about the power of color comes from Egyptian history. The use of color to balance energy is very similar to music therapy, combining them, you can create a harmonious environment for yourself both internally and externally. Color therapy resources include; fabric, gemstones, candles, herbs and jewelry. Colors are also linked to the chakras, the energy centers of the body, which can be directly affected through the use of these resources.

There is a interesting relationship between color and the patterns of time that we use in our daily lives. Although we use a seven day calendar today, this was not always the case, both the Egyptians and Chinese societies used a ten-day week. It was the ancient Assyrians who invented the seven-day week, using names of the seven then-known planets. which each has an associated astrological color. A simple way to harmonize yourself with planetary energy is to wear an item in the color of the day:
  • For Sunday, you can honor the Sun by wearing an item of orange or gold jewelry.
  • The Moon rules Monday, the colors are white, grey/silver and light blue, silver jewelry also works well.
  • Tuesday is ruled by Mars, the color is red, jewelry made with garnet or rubies can accent the energy well.
  • Wednesday, Mercury the messenger planet, yellow and orange and corresponding gems of this color.
  • Jupiter rules Thursday, its colors/gemstones are blue and purple.
  • Friday, ruled by Venus, has several colors; blue, green, pink and brown are all appropriate.
  • And for Saturday ruled by awesome Saturn, the color is black.
Next in the series: Accenting Your Personal Lifestyle with Color

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 

Using Music for Healthy Living

Tuning into the vibration of your own body; the rhythm of your breathing and heartbeat helps you to become more aware of the external sounds you hear. Music has the innate ability to affect both the emotional and the physical parts of our being. Each person has their own particular set of circumstances that make them respond differently to different types of music, for some music is more of an emotional experience, for others, they become physically animated.

Our emotional and physical states are connected, it has been called the “mind-body link”. Research has shown that there is a definite link between a persons emotional state and their physical conditions. When choosing music for therapeutic reasons, choose music that is compatible with your current state and then sequence it to move toward the state that you desire. this is called entrainment.

The entrainment process is quite evident in music. It is possible to have rhythmic entrainment, melodic entrainment and dynamic entrainment. Entrainment music has the potential to (1) resonate with the listener’s feelings, (2) transform negativity into positivity, and (3) promote a state of liveliness or serenity. Certain sounds, in specific sequence can help bring the listener from one place to another.

Monday, May 22, 2006 

Core Influences of Music

There is no doubting the powerful influence of the vibration we call music. In fact, there is an ancient story that relates that the soul did not want to enter the physical body, until music was placed inside the body and the soul entered to hear it. It is the internal vibration of our bodies that makes us so connected to the external sounds we hear.

When you place your hand over your heart, you can feel your body vibrate to its rhythm, your breathing creates another pattern that affects the functions of your body. Your heartbeat sound is attuned to a specific note on the scale, each person's is different.

Because our own bodies make "music", our health is very much affected by vibrations of all types. It is the patterning of music that makes it effective in treatments. The type of music that you listen to consistently can tell a therapist a great deal about your state of well-being.

In ancient China, the emperor would review music reports from each province, when all the provinces were in harmony, peace reigned in the land. But when the music became discordant, it was a sure sign that the people were discontent and attention to the situation was needed. There are many other examples throughout history, where music has been used to maintain well being in societies.

Next we will look at Using Music for Healthy Living.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 

Music The Therapy You Already Use

If you are looking for an easy way to improve the quality of your life, you may be surprised to know that you are already using one of the best "alternative therapies" for stress management - music.

Recently, Italian researchers have found that our blood pressure heart and breathing rate all respond to music; we become vitalized with music of an increasing tempo, while slow, meditative music induces a relaxing effect. The fact that music is a pleasurable experience, can be seen as a health benefit, for when we are relaxed, the body tends to function better. Listening to music seems to have the similar effect similar of many other relaxation techniques.

There have been other individuals who have conducted research on the effect of music, not only on humans, but plants and crystals as well. Since the core of music is vibration, it is easy to see why a discordant vibration that is found in the music of heavy metal or hard rock, generates a much different effect than the harmonious ones found in classical or new age music, making it well known for its calming qualities.

Have you noticed that classical music is most often chosen for environments that deal with large numbers of people, such as metro or subway stations? Or the immediate connection that music called the "blues" puts a person in a deep, contemplative mood?

In Eastern traditions, music has always been connected to our emotions - the soul of a person, that in fact, each person's spirit is attuned to a specific note on the music scale. In the next part of this series, we will take a deeper look at the Core Influences of Music.

Sunday, May 14, 2006 

Live Yogurt - Good for You!

Live yogurt contains the bacteria Streptoccus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
These bacteria feed on sugars and produce acid which in turn produces an environment in which it is difficult for other, more harmful, bacteria to live.

To be effective the yogurt should be eaten in fairly large quantities and every day.

When the bacteria reach your stomach the acid there kills a lot of them. But the ones that survive have been proved to be very beneficial in many ways.

The problem is that live yogurt tends to be expensive.

The solution? Make your own! Just buy one container of plain live yogurt. Mix a few teaspoonfulls of it into some fresh milk or soya milk in a clean sealed container. Place that in a warm (not hot) place for a few hours until it sets. The top of the fridge is a great place usually that keeps it at just about blood temperature. Then as soon as it has solidified, refridgerate it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 

Flax Seed - Hippocrates was right!

Hippocrates reccomended flax seed as a medicine 2500 years ago. We are just now beginning to appreciate how right he was.

Flax seed contains valuable omega 3 oils - essential fatty acids - which lower ldl (bad cholesterol) levels among other things.

Flax seeds also contain a phytonutrient called lignin which has very good anti-cancer, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.

The nutrients in flax oil need to be very fresh and have been kept away from light and heat once the seeds have been ground up, or they lose their good properties fast.
My suggestion is to buy flax seeds and grind them yourself. That way you know you are getting the nutrients from it.

I make a fruit smoothie every day. It has an apple with it's skin, half a banana, a teaspoon or two of flax seed, soya milk, and fresh ginger, cocoa or vanilla as flavouring. Also other fruits as available (frozen blueberries are good). Put everything in a blender and blend until it's smooth. There's a powerful keep fit and healthy drink!

Thursday, May 04, 2006 

Styles of Acupuncture

There are hundreds of schools that train people in acupuncture and oriental medicine worldwide. Many of the most accomplished practitioners such as Tom Tam, Kiiko Matsumoto and Richard Tan, have developed their own personal styles of acupuncture. Here we will look at the styles that are most common amongst practitioners.

The style of Traditional Chinese Medicine is fundamental, covering a broad range of techniques. It refers to the basics of acupuncture in which most acupuncturists are initially trained and which most of them practice.

Japanese acupuncture practitioners must receive specialized training beyond general traditional Chinese medicine. The techniques used in this style are geared to produce the best result with the least amount of stimulation, accomplished by using thinner needles and less points.

A Korean acupuncture practice includes some techniques and theory from both traditional Chinese medicine and Japanese acupuncture. There is more use of the Five Element theory with more emphasis on body type for treatment development.

Because Five Element acupuncture is a speciality practice, extensive training is required. It is similar in needling style to Japanese acupuncture with more concentration on the psycho-spiritual nature of a person to heal physical disease, which was made popular by the late J.R. Worsley.


Choosing the Right Acupuncturist for You

Now that we have reviewed what a typical acupuncture treatment is like, let's take a look at how to choose the acupuncturist that is right for you.

Some of the first questions to ask are just the same as those you would ask of any other professionals. Where did you receive your training? Did you go through an apprenticeship and if so and for how long? Are you licensed or national board certified? What level of malpractice insurance coverage do you carry?

In addition, you should ask questions that relate specifically to the treatment methods and conditions that personally concern you. Traditionally, herbal medicine has been used in conjunction with acupuncture, but not all practicing licensed acupuncturists have formally studied herbal medicine. To include herbology in their practice requires formal study, in school class hours, apprenticeships and clinical experience.

An acupuncturist who has only studied through a correspondence course will not have this training. If the acupuncturist states that they have studied in Asia, be sure to ask about the duration of the course was and get details about the curriculum. There is a big difference between an acupuncturist who has studied the full educational curriculum given in the traditional medical colleges of Asia and the three to six week training programs are offered in China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Check with the medical licensing board of your state, in California, for the past 12 years, the Medical Board of California has been licensing acupuncturists. An acupuncturist is only allowed to practice only after successfully completing both requirements of four years of training at an approved college of Oriental Medicine, a rigorous written and practical exam given by the California Acupuncture Committee. When you see the title "Licensed Acupuncturist" or "L.Ac." in this state, it means that these criteria have been met and a copy of the license should be prominently displayed in the practitioner's office.

Next in the series: Styles of Acupuncture

Monday, May 01, 2006 

What to Expect in an Acupuncture Treatment

When you are ready to have an acupuncture treatment, get a referral from an organization such as the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture to make sure that they are certified. On your initial visit, the acupuncturist will take your medical history to make a clear diagnosis of your condition. There will be questions stemming from both traditional Western and Chinese perspectives. In skilled hands, acupuncture treatment is a relatively painless procedure.

For the treatment of a headache, that we discussed in the previous article, you will sit comfortably, and the points on each hand will be first sterilized with alcohol. The acupuncturist will then insert thin, disposable needles to a depth of approximately 3-5 mm.

Your hands may react to this with numbness or a "twinge" feeling-in some cases this is accompanied by a slight twitching of the muscle between the thumb and hand. Most individuals who have received this treatment reported feeling their body relax and a pleasant "tingling" sensation while the needles are in place. In Chinese medicine, this response is called "de qi" or "obtaining energy" and is seen as an important part of the treatment procedure.

There are other methods of stimulating the acupuncture point, depending on the ailment that is being treated. Some of these include; the burning of the herb Artemesia Vulgaris just above the surface of the skin or on the end of a needle, or placing a cup over the acupuncture point. Your acupuncturist will monitor your progress-usually the needles are kept in place for 15-30 minutes and then they are removed.

In the case of ailments that require multiple treatments, your condition may appear to worsen in the beginning as your body adapts to the therapy, this is usually indicative of an effective final result. Each treatment is geared to the individuals particular needs, working in stages.

Do not be alarmed if you do not see results in your first few treatments, in most cases it takes a period of six to eight sessions to experience effective symptom relief. Once the desired level of relief has been reached, the therapeutic benefits lasts for three to nine months with one or two additional treatments to complete it.

Next in the series: Choosing the Right Acupuncturist for You


Got a Headache? Try Acupuncture Instead of Aspirin

You may have heard of this term before, but what IS Acupuncture?

The most common definition is: "a procedure used in or adapted from Chinese medical practice in which specific body areas are pierced with fine needles for therapeutic purposes."

Needles!? Before you head for the hills, relax, these are not the same as the ones you have seen in your doctors office. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, ranging from 0.16mm to 0.30mm, and designed precisely for acupuncture.

In Chinese medicine, documentation shows that there are 400 acupuncture points, ("acupoints or tsubo"), located along the 20 meridians of the body. Meridians are the interconnected avenues of circulation for the body's vital energy, or "qi" ("chi").

When the flow of energy in the body is thrown off balance, i.e. when the energy becomes blocked, stagnant or restricted in some manner, emotional, mental and physical illness can result. Acupuncture and acupressure are two techniques that have been highly effective in resolving these disruptions and restoring balance to the body.

Most of us have experienced the most common type of headache, what is called the vascular headache, (the one where you feel the veins throbbing in your temples), and could not find the aspirin fast enough. Or maybe you have tried using niacin to dilate the blood vessels in the scalp for relief.

But if you are looking for a way to treat it beyond this usual response, you might find that an acupuncture treatment not only offers you relief immediately, but also provides you with long term benefits.

In a visit to a qualified acupuncturist, you will find the treatment is focused on the hands, not the head. For theses types of headaches, the meridians of the face and head that need stimulating are located in points that are located approximately in the center of the web between the thumbs and the palms of the patient, called the "he gu" points.

Next in the series: What to Expect in An Acupuncture Treatment


Take Good Care of Yourself