Thursday, December 13, 2018

Harmonizing with FENG SHUI

Ba_Gua_black-and-white
Ba_Gua_black-and-white (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Perhaps one of the oldest forms of geomancy in the world is Feng shui which originated from China more than 3500 years ago. This ancient practice is literally translated as wind and water and is based on the belief that life can be greatly improved with the help of Qi or energy flow. This Qi can be produced by achieving balance or harmony through the use of the laws of heaven, which pertains to the study of astronomy and earth, which is associated with the study of geography. 

The purpose of the application of this practice is to locate that Qi or that vital energy in your surroundings by creating balance and harmony around you. Here are some Feng shui theories that can give you a better grasp of this concept of balance and energy.

The Power of Qi

Qi is everywhere and the key is to find it. This energy is a result of interactions in the environment like the yin and yang and the five elements of water, fire, earth, metal and wood.  This theory believes that the way you arrange your surroundings and position certain objects around you can affect your energy levels. It also believes that these energy levels can even influence your health, wealth, relationships and even luck. By properly organizing your environment, qi can flow through space freely and can create a positive effect on those who live in the area. 

The Union of the Yin & Yang 

The yin and the yang are two opposing forces or energies that work together creating a unity of opposites. The yin is characterized as the passive energy that is associated with the characteristics of water, cold, peace and tenderness while the yang is described as the active energy like those from heat, fire, excitement and speed. In other words, if yin is matter, yang is energy and neither of them can exist without the other. The key to understanding this practice is to achieve a proper balance of yin and yang in our environment.

Balance through Bagua 

The bagua is a popular Feng shui instrument that is shaped like an octagon and is divided into the eight cardinal directions of North, South, East, West, North East, North West, South East and South West. The theory of the bagua is that each of these directions corresponds to a part of our life. For instance, the northern portion of the bagua pertains to one’s career while the south pertains to the fame or reputation of a person. The other categories of the bagua are family, children, prosperity, relationships, wisdom, and travel.


The theory of the bagua also believes that each of the eight directions pertains to a part of our life and in order to activate the energy or improve a certain part of our life is to find the direction it corresponds to and make the qi flow into that space positively.  

Finding the Harmony

Understanding and appreciating the art of Feng shui is accepting that there is an existing relationship between you and your environment. The theories of this practice present information on how a person can achieve balance and harmony with the environment which can have a great impact in particular areas of a person’s life.




Although each person has their own potentials in the area of health, wealth, relationships and luck, what this practice really teaches us how to enhance these areas for practitioners to make the most out of their lives.



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

More Aware Of DIABETES - Heart Disease Link

A kit used by a woman with gestational diabetes.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With diabetes on the rise, doctors are extremely concerned about associated risks such as heart disease and stroke, which together kill two out of three people with diabetes. Fortunately, a recent study indicates that more people with diabetes are making the link between diabetes and their increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

According to a 2005 awareness survey conducted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC), 45 percent of people with diabetes understand their increased risk for heart disease, which is up from 35 percent in 2001.

Experts believe even more awareness is needed, however. The ADA and ACC continue to work together to share important information, tools and resources to encourage people with diabetes and health care providers to learn more about the impact of diabetes on the heart.

Other findings from the 2005 ADA/ACC awareness survey show:

• 69 percent know they may develop high blood pressure (38 percent in 2001).

• 64 percent know they are at risk for cholesterol problems (37 percent in 2001).

Importantly, more people with diabetes are talking to their health care providers about managing diabetes comprehensively:

• 45 percent of people with diabetes now have a goal for blood glucose levels (30 percent in 2003).

• 57 percent have a goal for blood pressure (34 percent in 2003).

• 61 percent have a goal for cholesterol (34 percent in 2003).

These figures are encouraging, but awareness may not be moving fast enough to keep pace with the growing prevalence of diabetes.



Recent statistics indicate diabetes has risen by over 14 percent since last estimates in 2003. The need for increased education and awareness about the link between diabetes and heart disease is now more critical than ever.

Armed with the best information, people with diabetes can properly manage their diabetes, understand their risks for complications such as heart disease and stroke, and take action to live a longer, healthier life.

(This is an older article, but still very informativ.)



Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Importance of the BEAT: Checking Your Pulse for a Diagnosis

Taking pulse
Taking pulse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chinese medicine will always use natural observations in order to determine which parts of the body may be off in their energy.  By observing the external functions of the body, they can make assessments on how this affects the internal structure.  From here, they will be able to decide on how to change the energy flow.

One of the most important areas of observation for Chinese medicine diagnosis is the pulse.  The different pulses of the body are so important to Chinese medicine, that they are considered an art by learning how to use them appropriately.  Usually, only the most trained practitioners can find how to use the pulse properly.

The reason why the pulse is important to the observations is that Chinese medicine has found connections between the pulse and every area of the body.  In Western medicine, there is an understanding that the pulse of the heart is located in the wrist and also the neck.  In Chinese medicine, there are also pulses for the kidney, liver, and other body areas.

Not only do all of the internal organs have specific pulses in different areas of the body, but these also have different depths.  This means that a reading of a pulse can be heard in ‘layers’ in each position.  Typically, each pulse will have three different depths that can be observed.  These can be found in nine different areas when the diagnosis is being made from the pulse.

If a practitioner is looking for a diagnosis for a pulse, they will look for several attributes.  If you are in Chinese medicine, you will most likely know about twenty-eight different characteristics to look for.  These may be related to how the pulse sounds, the rate it is beating at, and other factors such as this.  The characteristics that are determined will also help to draw conclusions about which areas of the body are off of their regular energy flow.

If you are moving into Chinese medicine, expect your pulses to be checked.  This is one of the main considerations in Chinese medicine and is never overlooked in the diagnosis.  The art of checking the pulse in Chinese medicine is one of the main foundations for understanding how the internal Qi of someone is functioning.



Monday, December 10, 2018

A Great House Warming Gift Idea For Every Budget - CELTIC Snail

English: The white-lipped snail (Cepaea horten...
The white-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eventually, someone you know will move house - and this idea will come in very handy indeed when you want to come up with a housewarming gift that is a little bit more meaningful and interesting than just handing over a pot plant.

There is an old Celtic tradition which involves the humble snail.

Now the snail carries its house on its back and so it is never homeless; but more, the spiral design of the snail shell was always very special to the Celtic people, so it makes perfect sense that any kind of snail makes the perfect housewarming present.

To be warm, safe, snug and protected inside one's own home is a wonderful idea and the snail symbol, or the more abstract spiral, lends itself to all manner of wonderful housewarming gifts.

You can make a card very easily by cutting out a spiral and affixing it with glue; any snail motif on a greeting card or a picture of a snail drawn or cut out from another source will make the housewarming card special.

Snails are very popular as ornaments, so you can get an enormous variety of all sizes of snail figurines, from small brass snails to large garden ornaments made from marble and they're all easily found, online and off.

An exotic snail shell or the shell of a sea snail is an extension of this idea and particularly good for beachfront properties.

As the basic snail/spiral shape is natural and easy, you can even just find a beautiful stone and paint a spiral on it for a superb and extremely personal and lovely housewarming present; further, it is the type of gift that the recipients will treasure and keep, and that will remind them of you and your good wishes every time they see it.

There are many other ways in which the snail design can be used for housewarming gifts. If you really need to give a pot plant, you can decorate the pot in which it comes with a spiral. Any budding artist can make and paint a basic snail from self-hardening clay; snail and spiral mobiles are easy and always fascinating, too. You can make a small painting that can be hung in a hallway and depending on the recipient, grandchildren can get involved, just the same as famous interior designers, artists and goldsmiths - it only depends on your budget.

I think that the idea of the Celtic house warming snail is a wonderful way to convey good wishes to someone in their new home, and to give them your intention that they should always be snug, happy, well cared for and safe.



Saturday, December 8, 2018

TURMERIC - Go for Gold

Black Turmeric
Black Turmeric (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ayurveda the ancient medical science is based on the principle of preventing diseases. It directs us to resist the diseases through our food habits and lifestyles. The same principle was stressed by Hippocrates also “Let your food be your medicine” was his advice to mankind 

Let’s know more about a very well known spice in Ayurveda yet not completely understood by the common man. Over the last several years, there has been increasing interest in turmeric and its medicinal properties. But Ayurveda has immensely praised the medicinal qualities of turmeric which finds its place in almost all ayurvedic preparations related to liver and skin disorders. 

This herb has occupied the shelves of every Indian kitchen since 6000 years and is considered as the king of the kitchen. It is used daily in cooking. Apart from cooking it is also used as a beauty aid and as a dye. 

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) belongs to Zingiberaceae Family and is a perennial plant that grows 3 to 5 feet high in the tropical regions. In India, it is grown all over but especially in Bengal, Bombay and in Tamilnadu.

Ayurveda appreciates the medicinal qualities and color of turmeric. This is evident through the various names of turmeric specified in ancient texts of Ayurveda. Some of these are 

Haridra – enhancer of body complexion.
Kanchani  - looks like gold.
Nisha  - imparts  beauty by enhancing complexion which is as beautiful as  full moon night
Gowri  - yellow in color
Krimighni  - works as an Antibacterial and antihelminthic.
Yoshit Priya - used in Gynecological disorders.

In Hindi turmeric is known as haldi.
The rhizomes or roots of this plant are used as medicine and for other purposes. The rhizomes are boiled, dried and then powdered. This powder is used for all purposes.

The active chemical component of turmeric is curcumin.  Curcumin is a strong antioxidant and reduces inflammation by reducing histamine levels. Curcumin protects the liver, reduces cholesterol, and prevents internal blood clotting thus preventing heart attacks and liver tissue damages.
Turmeric is very safe. But special precautions should be taken in persons who have gallstones, hyperacidity, stomach ulcers and obstructive jaundice. 
Ayurveda explains the qualities of turmeric as light and dry. It has a pungent and bitter taste. It is widely used in skin, respiratory and liver disorders. It purifies blood and enhances the complexion.

Medicinal properties of turmeric – Go for Gold!

Effects of Turmeric----

On Liver
Ayurveda has recommended this golden herb to purify blood and prevent it from clotting. It is extensively used to protect the liver from toxins and microbial. Turmeric increases the secretion of bile, promotes a free flow of bile. This herb can be used to overcome the toxic effects of alcohol on the liver. This reduces cholesterol and protects the heart.

Use of a ½ teaspoon of turmeric with warm water rejuvenates the liver and expels toxins out of it.

On respiratory system
Turmeric is very effective in bronchitis, productive cough and asthma.  
One spoon of turmeric boiled in milk should be consumed with a spoon of pure ghee in conditions like bronchitis, asthma and productive cough. This gives very good relief and expectorates excessively produced mucous in the lungs.

On aging
The antioxidant properties of turmeric give us young looks and make us feel young. It reduces inflammation in joints, protects the heart, reduces cholesterol and keeps us very healthy.

On Diabetes
It is widely used in ayurvedic preparations for diabetes. It lowers the blood sugar and increases glucose metabolism.



On Uterus
It initiates regular menstrual cycle and reduces menstrual cramps.

On skin
Blood nourishes the skin and it is a known fact that pure blood always keeps the skin glowing and radiant. Turmeric purifies the blood, nourishes skin and gives it a healthy natural glow and radiance.
A traditional face pack of India consists of gram flour, pure turmeric powder, milk and honey. This reduces inflammation of the skin, smoothens it and prevents many skin ailments. 

On Stomach and Intestines
Turmeric enhances digestion, normalizes metabolism and expels intestinal parasites

On Wounds
Turmeric accelerates the healing process and readily reduces pain and inflammation. Thick Paste of turmeric applied on wounds acts as an excellent antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.

On Yogis
Turmeric purifies and cleans the body. It is a tailor-made herb for yogis. It increases the flexibility of muscles, reduces inflammation in muscles and joints and helps to perform yoga with confidence and delight.
Is it not a wonderful treasure which nature has stored for us in this golden herb? Now let us start a gold rush.