Sunday, July 26, 2015

DRY SKIN BRUSHIING

   Dry skin brushing is an easy way to improve circulation, lymphatic elimination, and skin appearance. Even the soles of your feet and palms of your hands benefit from dry skin brushing.



Dry skin brushing:
  • Is a simple way to keep the skin soft, smooth, and healthy, as it stimulates the sweat and oil glands (which decrease production with age, resulting in mature skin often being dry) and stimulates the connective tissue and collagen in the skin
  • Exfoliates the layers of dead cells to enhance skin's appearance (skin's ability to shed the outermost layer of cells decreases with age)
  • Stimulates the skin circulation to improve elimination
  • Stimulates the lymphatic system, accelerating filtration from the intercellular spaces to the lymph vessels, the emptying of lymph vessels to the nodes, and the flow of lymph through the nodes (remember that the lymph does not have its own pump like blood, so relies on muscle movement and manual stimulation such as that through massage and skin brushing)
  • Tones the muscles, stimulates the nerve endings, and relaxing the muscles
  • Redistributes fatty deposits by improving circulation and avoiding lymphatic congestion
  • Can help break up areas of cellulite and prevent further cellulite by avoiding lymphatic and capillary congestion
  • Increases and stimulates circulation, especially of the small capillaries under the skin

Important:
  • Never wet the brush: Dry skin is important as water acts as a lubricant and the beneficial affects of the friction are lost
  • Use a natural bristled brush, preferably a long handled bath brush. Note that it must be of natural bristles - nylon tears the skin and disturbs the electro-magnetic balance of the skin
  • Take your brush and start in small circles brushing all over the body on bare skin (note that the photos above showing brushing over clothing are for demonstration only)
  • As you move through each area, it may assist lymphatic flow to begin in the lymph node for that area, then work from the outer extremities towards that lymph node.
  • Begin at the feet and work towards the heart to stimulate venous circulation
  • Do not brush the face or any tender or inflamed areas
  • Do brush the soles of the feet
  • The brush may feel very rough to begin with so just use gentle pressure until you become used to the sensation. Increase the pressure as needed
  • Dry skin brush at least once a day for best results
  • If desired, you can follow your dry skin brushing with a simply hydrotherapy technique: a shower that alternates hot then cold shower. The hot and cold temperature further stimulates the circulation but is not vital. If this is too traumatic for you, just finish off with a shower at usual temperature
  • It can be helpful to follow dry skin brushing with a salt rub (use half a cup of sea salt or Epsom salt, add sufficient olive oil (you can also use sweet almond oil) to made a paste. Add a few drops of essential oil if you wish). Rub all over the body, avoiding the eyes, mucous membranes, and any broken skin. Then rinse off in the shower.


   To give yourself a thorough brushing, you should plan to spend at least five minutes on your full body. Note that you only get to see the benefits when you dry skin brush once a day; we recommend brushing before your morning shower routine. If you can dry skin brush consistently over a period of a few months, you will notice the benefits.


Namaste,  Beci


Reference:
Peterson, D. (2015). NAT 211 Anatomy & Physiology II. Portland, Oregon: American College of Healthcare Sciences.  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

SEEDING FEAR - The Story of Michael White vs Monsanto

Another important video to watch about the evil corporation, Monsanto.
Please watch and do NOT support GMO's!





Saturday, April 11, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis

  This is my essay for school this week on MS.  As I continue to deal with many symptoms of relapsing-remitting MS, I pray that I will be able to get an answer soon... one way or another.  My next steps are an MRI and if there are lesions on my brain, a spinal tap to confirm.  At this point I just want an answer.  I am continuing to treat it the best way I know how and to consume all the information I can get.  Learning about the Nervous System in Anatomy this week, has been very helpful in my quest towards healing.  
     Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS) the disrupts the flow of information in the brain and between the brain and the body. MS is considered to be an immune-mediated disease in which the body's immune system attacks the central nervous system. Some MS experts believe it is an autoimmune disease but this is debated by the scientific community. Autoimmunity means that the immune system is reacting against normally occurring antigens (or proteins that stimulate an immune response) in the body, as if the antigens were a foreign object. Because no specific antigen has been identified in MS, it has not been classified as an autoimmune disease at this time.
     Multiple Sclerosis occurs as the immune system attacks myelin, which is the protective coating around nerve fibers in the central nervous system. The damaged myelin forms scar tissue called sclerosis, which gives the disease its name. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing a wide variety of symptoms. The disease is thought to be triggered in a genetically susceptible individual by a combination of one or more environmental factors.
People with MS typically experience one of four disease courses, which can be classified as mild, moderate or severe. They are as follows:

1. Relapsing-remmitting MS (RRMS) is the most common. It is characterized by clearly defined attacks of worsening neurologic function. The attacks are defined as relapses, flare-ups or exacerbations. They are followed by partial or complete recovery periods or remissions when symptoms improve partially or completely and it doesn't seem like there is progression of the disease. Approximately 85% of people with MS are diagnosed with RRMS.
2. Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS) comes from the fact that it follows after the relapsing-remitting course. Most people who are initially diagnosed with RRMS will eventually transition to SPMS, which means that the disease will begin to progress more steadily (although not necessarily more quickly), with or without relapses.
3. Primary-progressive MS (PPMS) is characterized by steadily worsening neurologic function from the beginning. Although the rate of progression may vary over time with occasional plateaus and temporary, minor improvements, there are no distinct relapses or remissions. About 10% of people with MS are diagnosed with PPMS.
4. Progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS )is the least common of the four disease courses. It is characterized by steadily progressing disease from the beginning and occasional exacerbations along the way. People with this form of MS may or may not experience some recovery following these attacks; the disease continues to progress without remissions.
No two people have exactly the same MS symptoms, and each person’s symptoms can change or fluctuate over time. One person might experience only one or two of the possible symptoms while another person can experience multiple symptoms.

     The more common symptoms of MS are, Fatigue (80%), Numbness or tingling (one of the 1st symptoms), Weakness, Dissiness & Vertigo, Sexual Problems, Acute or Chronic Pain, Emotional Changes, Walking or Gait difficulties, Spasticity, Vision Problems, Bladder & Bowel Problems and Cognitive changes.
     Less common symptoms include; Speech problems, Tremors, Breathing difficulties, Headaches, Swallowing problems, Seizures, Itching and Hearing loss. Even though chronic headaches and migraines are considered a less common symptom of MS, it can be one of the first signs you have the disease.
     In the early stages of MS, symptoms may be subtle or “invisible” to those on the outside. You can look perfectly normal to those on the outside. The worst part is when others don't believe you or question the reality of your symptoms.
     According the the National MS Society, there are currently no symptoms, physical findings or laboratory tests that can, by themselves, determine if a person has MS. Several strategies are used to determine if a person meets the long established criteria for a diagnosis of MS, and to rule out other possible causes of whatever symptoms the person is experiencing. These strategies include a careful medical history, a neurologic exam and various tests including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), evoked potentials (EP) and spinal fluid analysis.
     Currently, there is no cure for MS but there are several medications used to modify the disease course, treat relapses and manage symptoms. These medications help people manage their MS and enhance their comfort and quality of life. For a list of these medications, here is a great link:  http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Medications.
     Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for MS includes a wide variety of interventions, from diets and supplements to meditation and T’ai Chi. Vitamin D, exercise, acupuncture and cooling strategies are establishing their role in comprehensive care through scientific study and clinical trials.
     The American Academy of Neurology recently released a guideline on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in MS. CAM therapies with sufficient evidence to support practice recommendation in MS include:
  • Cannabinoids: OCE, Synthetic THC, Sativex oromucosal spray & smoked cannabis
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Lofepramine plus phenylalanine with B12
  • Reflexology
  • Bee Venom
  • Magnetic Therapy
  • Lowfat diet with Omega 3 supplementation
     There are many treatments and resources available for those suffering with MS. I recommend visiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's website for more detailed information and support.

Namaste,  Beci 

References:
     A World Free of MS. (2015, March 6). Retrieved April 5, 2015, from       http://www.nationalmssociety.org/
     Yadav, MD, MCR, V., Bever, Jr., MD, MBA, FAAN, C., Bowen, MD, J., Bowling, MD, PhD, A., -Guttman, MD, B., Cameron, MD, PT, M., . . . Narayanaswami, MBBS, DM, FAAN, P. (2014, March 24). Summary of evidence-based guideline: Complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis. Retrieved April 5, 2015, from http://www.neurology.org/content/82/12/1083.full.pdf html


Friday, March 13, 2015

Kale - Apple Smoothie

In celebration of St. Patricks Day, I am sharing my favorite Green Smoothie....

KALE-APPLE SMOOTHIE

1 C. Frozen Kale
1 Apple of Choice**
1/2 Ripe Banana

1/2 Avocado
1 C. Soy Milk
2 C. Water (cold)
1 T. Pure Maple Syrup*
1 T. Chia Seeds*

ICE ~ as desired

Blend well.  Add Ice and water for desired consistency.

*optional ingredients 

**I use red delicious apples

TIP:  I  buy ripe bananas and avocado's on sale, cut them up into chunks and freeze. It saves time when making my morning smoothie, I can just throw a few pieces in my blender and then I don't need much ice.

I CRAVE my morning smoothies.  They re-hydrate your body after sleeping all night and give me the jump-kick needed to get through the day.  

ENJOY... and REMEMBER You Are What you EAT...

Namaste, Beci 

Nutty Butter Balls

I've been asked by a number of my friends to share the recipe for this incredible, raw treat.  It is so simple to make but truly decadent.  They are wonderful with a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of cold Almond milk in the afternoon. And there is nothing but healthy ingredients so you can enjoy guilt-free.

I have finally measured out how much of what ingredient I use and here it is....

Nutty Butter Balls

2 C. RAW Peanut or Almond Butter
1 C. RAW Honey
1 1/2 C. Old Fashioned Oats
2 T. Ground Flax Seeds
1 T. Chia Seeds
1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt*
1 teaspoon Vanilla*

Put the Peanut or Almond butter in a bowl and mix with the honey until well blended.  Add all other ingredients one at a time.  I usually add the Oats last.  Create balls by using a cookie scoop and put them in an air-tight container.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

And.... ENJOY.

*If using jar peanut butter, omit these ingredients.

Other Optional Ingredients:  Add Coconut and/or mini chocolate chips.

Happy Eating ~ Beci :)


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Balancing Hormones Part I: Symptoms of Thyroid Disease

Today more than 12% of the U.S. population and 1 women in 8 will develop a thyroid disorder during their lifetime.  An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease and up to 60% of those with this disease are unaware of their condition.  Women are five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with this disease than men.

After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism last year, I began doing a lot of research on Thyroid disease and Endocrine disorders.  Recently, I learned that the endocrine and nervous systems work together in creating homeostasis or the balance inside the body.  This has led me to believe that my suffering with severe adrenal fatigue for at least three years is most likely what caused nerve damage in my lower legs and feet.  I feel very fortunate to be attending The American College of Healthcare Sciences which has given me the tools to do in-depth medical investigations in all forms of DIS-Ease.

So what is causing this epidemic that is throwing our bodies and hormones so off balance? There are many sources including genetics, diet, toxic chemicals and auto-immune diseases. I believe it is a combination of all these things that have made this disease so rampant in the society today.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Resources:
"Endocrine disorders involve the body's over - or under-production of certain hormones.  Endocrine disorders include hypothyroidism, congenital adrenal hyperplasis, diseases of the parathyroid gland, diabetes mellitus, diseases of the adrenal glands (including Cushing's syndrome and Addison's disease), and ovarian dysfunction (including polycystic ovary syndrome), among others.

Polycistic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age, and is the most common cause of endocrine-related female infertility in the United States.  An estimated 1 in 10 women of childbearing age has PCOS, and it can occur in females as young as 11 years of age.  In addition, PCOS may put women at risk for other health conditions, inclding high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes."


Picture provided by WebMD.com
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the front of the neck.  It acts as the control center for your body.  Hormones secreted by the thyroid gland travel through your bloodstream and affect nearly every part of your body, from your heart and brain to your muscles and skin.  It is vital in helping the body to use energy properly.  When something goes wrong it will lead to either an under-active or overactive thyroid.  Your metabolism will either speed up way too high or slow completely down. Both of these conditions affect the thyroid in different ways and therefore have distinct separate symptoms.


In simple terms, hypothyroidism is an under-active thyroid that doesn't make enough thyroid hormone.  And hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid so the thyroid makes too much hormone.

As a result of an under-active thyroid (Hypothyroidism), you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Feeling cold
  • Forgetfulness
  • Dry Skin & Hair
  • Brittle Nails
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain*
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Depression
  • Decreased menstrual flow
  • Swelling in the front of the neck (or goiter)
*If a person with under-active thyroid can force herself to maintain a normal activity level, she may only gain a few pounds.  But most people with hypothyroidism feel so tired they stop exercising, sleep more and change their routine, which causes even more weight gain.

Hyperthyroidism is associated with all of the body functions speeding up and can cause all or some of the following symptoms:
  • Feeling Hot
  • Sweating
  • Problems falling asleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty focusing on one task
  • Forgetfulness
  • Change in bowel habits, bowels are looser
  • Elevated heart rate and palpitations
  • Anxiety, nervousness, or irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Menstrual problems
  • Fatigue
My symptoms included severe fatigue, brain fog, feeling extremely cold all of the time, dry hair, brittle nails, skin rashes, being off-balance, falling down frequently and bruises that would not heal. This all eventually led to chronic nerve pain in my lower legs and feet which brought on depression.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, please see your health care professional.  He or she can order tests to see if your thyroid hormone levels are in the normal range.  If they are not, there are medications that can treat and ease your symptoms.

Please read my next discussion on WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU GET TESTED FOR THYROID DISEASE.  Not all tests are the same and could come back negative when you really do have the disease.

For more information, please see the articles listed below.

Thanks for being a part of my journey.

Namaste,   Beci


References:

Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders. (2009, January 1). Retrieved March 8, 2015, from     http://mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa09/hstat/hi/pages/217emd.html#footnote1

Hypothroid (Underactive Thyroid). (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 8, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/women/hypothyroidism-underactive-thyroid-symptoms-causes-treatments

Prevalence and Impact of Thyroid Disease. (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.thyroid.org/media-main/about-hypothyroidism/

Shimer Bowers, E., & Jones, MD, N. (2013, April 25). Hypothyroidism vs. Hyperthyroidism: What's the Difference? Retrieved March 8, 2015, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/thyroid-conditions/hypothyroidism-vs-hyperthyroidism-whats-the-difference.aspx

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Reiki Healing Energy

   Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on Hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
   

 The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words; REI which means "God's Light Energy" and is directly translated as God or light. It is used to describe the whole of creation – Every cell, blade of grass stone, tree, animal, human, every planet and star. It could be interpreted of “All That Is,” both in thought and form. KI which is "life force energy" or the vital energy that is used to animate and give life to all creation. KI can normally be seen with the naked eye, and appears as dancing electrons of light that move rapidly around. There is an abundance of this energy in nature, and it is most clearly visible in mountainous areas, at the ocean's edge, or in dense forests. So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."
   
   A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well being. Many have reported miraculous results.
   
   Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady. It always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.
   
   Reiki is spiritual in nature but it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God or Source, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their own beliefs rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.
   
   While Reiki is not a religion, it is still important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others. Dr. Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki system of natural healing, recommended that one practice certain simple ethical ideals to promote peace and harmony, which are nearly universal across all cultures. The following are the Five Reiki Principals:

"Just for today, do not anger
Do not worry
Be filled with gratitude
Devote yourself to your work
Be kind to others."

    I was blessed to be attuned as a Reiki Practitioner in 2007. My experience with Reiki in both my personal experience and sharing it with others led me to become a Reiki Master/Teacher in September of 2009. It is a beautiful healing practice which I am now opening to ALL WOMEN. Sessions are being held at my home in Sandy.  The first session is for donation ONLY so you can experience the wonderful healing power of Reiki energy for what you can afford.  Email me at balancinghandz@gmail.com for additional information.

Reference:

Green, J. (2013). What is Reiki? In The Reiki healing bible: Transmit healing energy through your hands to achieve deep relaxation, inner peace and total well-being. New York: Chartwell Books.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Discovery of Nutrition

     For my assignment in College Writing class this week, I need to complete a journal writing on
what I have chosen for my final essay. The topic I have chosen is Nutrition. My goal is to incorporate in this essay how I discovered the importance of proper nutrition, by what means I have and continue to incorporate in it my life and the role it has played in bringing me to where I am today.
     I feel it is important for my story to reflect back on my childhood and discuss what food was like when I was young. Growing up in the 60's – 70's, we were not taught about nutrition and I don't remember that word even being spoken. Other than “eat your carrots, it will help you see better” or “sugar will rot your teeth”, there wasn't any other mention of what a proper diet was. It was very important to eat what was placed in front of you and not to waste your food. My grandparents knew what it was like to go hungry and it was engrained in our minds how lucky we were to have food to eat. Honestly, I never felt really bad about leaving food on my plate as we had Irish Setters who were fed all of our table scraps along with their dog food. So nothing ever went to waste.
     Going to a restaurant or eating out was reserved for special occasions; such as birthdays or other celebrations. Once in awhile, we were able to get a burger and root beer from the Hires located down the street. Back then you couldn't just drive through, you had to park, order and they brought your food out on a tray. As a child is was fun for me to push the big orange button on the screen as soon as my dad was ready to order. We would then take our food to the drive-in theater across the street. Once we were there, my dad would put the seats down in the back of our old blue Ford station wagon. My sister and I would then make a bed in the back using our sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. It was a mini picnic inside the car. All while we were preparing, the smell of the burgers, fries and sauces made our mouths water and we could hardly wait for the first taste. Each bite was savored as we did not know how long it would be before we had such another decadent treat again.
     Meat and dairy were the main staple of our diet and we didn't know anything about the suffering or cruelty of animals. In fact, I didn't learn about factory farming until I was in my late twenties. My dad was an avid hunter so most of the meat we consumed was from the wild. Even though I am a vegetarian now, I still believe this was the more nutritious option. Moose burgers or chili, elk steaks, venison and even antelope were common at our house. Instead of chicken we mostly ate pheasant or some other small bird. This was never my favorite part of the meal but I ate it in small portions.
     As a teenager, I learned any creativity in the kitchen from the most popular and widely available, Betty Crocker Cookbook. White flour, white sugar, eggs and milk were almost always the main ingredients of any treat or bread. Now that I know there was never really a “Betty Crocker” our food system and diets seem so contrived and controlled. But at least we learned how to cook and had home-made meals as a family every night.
     I believe that my parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. They worked hard and never allowed us to go hungry which was the most important thing. And I am eternally grateful.
     Our food system and the way we eat has changed so much since then. In a lot of ways for the worse but some for the better. Today there is more knowledge readily available for those who want to incorporate proper nutrition in their diets. It also seems like more and more people are becoming aware of its importance. I am looking forward to sharing my journey and what I have learned with everyone.

REMEMBER... You Are What You EAT.  

Namaste,  Beci :)