Showing posts with label New Age. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Age. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The GEMSTONE of Accomplishment - CITRINE

Citrine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Citrine, November's birthstone, is often referred to as "the gemstone of success," and sadly suffers from a case of mistaken identity that keeps gemstone fans from appreciating its magnificence.  Natural Citrine's color can range from a light lemon yellow to a vivid golden brown.    When cut into a gemstone, Citrine is almost impossible to differentiate visually from the more precious Yellow Topaz. Given this truth, some corrupt gem dealers and jewelry manufacturers substitute the cheaper Citrine for Yellow Topaz.  Unfortunately, this is typically discovered only when the gemstone is resold.

Amethyst or Smoky Quartz crystals are heat treated to activate ferric impurities, producing commercial quality Citrine and giving Citrine its golden-yellow color. Citrines produced in this way tend to contain more of a reddish or orange cast than natural Citrines, which are typically pale yellow.   The largest producer of gem-grade Citrine is Brazil.   Citrine is one of three traditional birthstones for the month of November.

Citrine has attained a standing throughout the ages as the "gemstone of accomplishment" that encourages abundance and wealth. It's also referred to as the "merchant's gemstone" because shopkeepers and merchants long ago use to place Citrine in their cash drawers to bring in money. However, Citrine allegedly also brings about success in unpredicted ways.  In addition to manifesting abundance, Citrine also promotes bigheartedness, leading those who benefit from its powers to share their prosperity with others.

Citrine also is thought to improve intellectual clarity, confidence. and willpower.  For people that experience depression or low self-esteem, New Age healers customarily advocate Citrine crystals. Citrine is thought to deflect and dissipate all kinds of harmful energies, generating strength in thought and emotion. Citrine is also understood to foster bliss and good cheer and reduce self-destructive tendencies and self-doubt.

Citrine crystals are also generally prescribed by healers to help in digestion and also enhance the immune and endocrine systems. It's thought to play a role in eliminating toxins from the body and in overcoming various addictions.  Citrine, whether chosen for its beauty or so-called physical and supernatural benefits, Citrine brings a sparkle of good fortune to its wearers.

    John S. Brana's collections of distinctive Citrine Gemstone Jewelry include beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces designed to set the wearer apart from the crowd. Whether classic or contemporary, each piece is unique, meticulously handcrafted, and made from top-quality gemstones. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

MEDICINE in the Middle Ages

Anatomical Man.jpg
"Anatomical Man" Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Learning is a continuing process and through new discoveries and invention, we broaden our horizon of knowledge every day. Throughout history, man has illuminated the world with art, science, and philosophy and has also acquired abilities to invent and discover, various tools for its survival. One of the most powerful discoveries ever made is the knowledge of medicine. Though the history of medicine can be traced back to the primitive age, medicine as a specialized field of study did not exist before the Middle Ages. Based on Greek and eastern principles, European medicine embellished with the discoveries of the middle ages and set the foundation for the contemporary medicine.

The Heptameron by Marguerite de Navarre is a representation of the French society in the middle ages. She has depicted various social and cultural norms of the time in the stories. Her insight into the science of medical practiced in France in the Middle Ages is quite apparent Even though the importance of medicine as a specialty was acknowledged among the intellectuals of Paris; the influence of the church remained a conduit for its advancement. Although the supremacy of supernatural over natural was obvious, a clear implication was established that the natural and supernatural world was separate if not independent. As a result of what we see is an amalgamation of medical science, mysticism, and religion in the middle age of France.

Ancient physiologists believed that the body must always have a balance of these humor, for imbalance will cause ailments. The diagnosis was based on examining a sample of blood and also colors of skin, urine, and feces.

Medical treatment by trained physicians rare and very expensive as a result the elite class could only afford it. The uncertainty and unavailability of academic treatment left no choice for the general population, but to turn towards certain charms, special prayers, and specific Christian rituals. Thirteen century Paris had only a half dozen doctors in public employ, with little time to spend on individual patients. The practice of medicine was not restricted to a certain sect of people rather clergy and laymen, men and women were all able to practice medicine.

The physician often compounded and dispensed drugs in addition to practicing medicine. And apothecary often engaged in medical practice as well as compounding and dispensing. It is evident from the stories in heptameron that the drugs made by apothecaries could be very lethal at times as they did not have the proper knowledge. Also, personal hygiene was not an important factor for an apothecary, live alone the common people.

Diet was thought to be extremely important in the treatment of illness and prescriptions would cover the minutest of details for all sorts of conditions. The greatest general reliance was placed on broths, milk, and eggs. Today the importance of diet in medical science is felt extensively. Nutrition as a special branch of study has emerged. Dietitians and nutritionist are there to help physicians in treating patients who need special diets. Plants and herbs were used in the preparation of digestives, laxatives, emetics, diuretics, diaphoretics, styptics etc. Drugs remain to be the major form of treatments today but with the advanced technology, pharmacology has become one of the leading businesses.

Surgery the last resort advised by a physician but also it was only accessible to the wealthy. Surgery was known to be successful in cases of fistula, hemorrhoids, gangrene, and cataracts. Bloodletting was one of the most common forms of surgery and was recommended for fever, inflammation, and a variety of disease condition and ironically for hemorrhages as well. There were three main methods of bloodletting during the middle ages: leeching, venesection, and cupping. Among these leeching is still used, though rare as a medical procedure by some physicians. Leeching helps to reduce tissue congestion where the arterial input is maintained but a venous return is blocked or slowed leeches act as an extra vein to relieve a dangerous build-up of blood.

As a result, leech therapy is finding its way into numerous reconstructive surgeries such as digit and limb reattachment, skin graft procedure, scalp avulsions, and breast surgeries and even into effective treatment of periorbital hematomas. Anesthesia and pain relievers were available but some of the potions used were lethal in itself. For example, the hemlock juice was used, and it could easily cause death.

The diseases that were very common in the Middle Ages were dysentery, jaundices pneumonia, influenza and a common cold. This could be largely attributed to the living condition of that time. Rural people largely lived in a one-room structure with a central fire or hearth and a central roof with a small opening which allowed some of the smoke to escape. Homes were dark damp and cold, with minimum sunlight and poor air circulation, a perfect breeding place for germs and bacteria.

The climatic conditions and lifestyle of the time with no proper facilities contributed to the lack of personal hygiene as well. It further escalated with population growth in the towns and cities. Also due to lack of advanced techniques, patients often died due to excessive blood loss after a surgery. Today personal hygiene is considered to be a key factor to live a disease free life.

With the latest technologies, available infant mortality has reduced and longevity in humans has increased tremendously compared to middle ages. As we benefit from the sophisticated technologies of medical science, it is imperative that we acknowledge the contribution of our predecessors. What we are enjoying today is the fruits of the trees whose seeds were planted by our ancestor.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fixing the HEADSTONE

English: Headstone detail A number of 19th cen...
Headstone detail A number of 19th century headstones in the vast churchyard surrounding > 773273 are decorated with carved flower motifs.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most important aspects of installing the headstone is the fixing within the ground. There has been much publicity about the hazards of falling or unsecured headstones and recent health and safety legislations have been put in place, many unsafe headstones being laid down to prevent accidents. 

It is the responsibility of the mason to assess the ground conditions and decide which is the most suitable foundation and fixing method to be used.  There are certain recommended fixing methods which are detailed by NAMM’s code of practice, which have been tested by an independent structural engineer. Particular attention should be paid to the hole size and depth stops to ensure the fixing is not compromised. The most common fixing types which is being recommended by NAMM and adopted by masons is the anchor fixing. 

There are various fixing methods depending on the ground conditions, headstone size etc. The method which is becoming one of the most popular is the ground anchor and is highly recommended by NAMM. This is where a ground anchor/steel bar runs from the foundation of the headstone deep into ground. With this method if a joint breaks the headstone will not fall down immediately it will need repairing but will only fall over if forced is used as opposed to falling on its own. You can also bolt the headstone again a reliable method using resin and stainless steel dowels.

Some headstones are placed on a concrete base and it is usual for the headstone to be re-leveled and your mason should come back and do 2 visits free of charge for re-leveling.  

Cemeteries will now do regular checks on all the headstones in the cemetery and if a headstone needs fixing or replacing it will be down to the owner of the grave to take responsibility. 

As long as the correct procedure is followed then the headstone should be securely fixed and not prove to be a hazard.