Hau’oli la Po’akolu

Lokahi circleAloha awakea a ma Hau’oli la Po’akolu oukou.
Good morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

hula_drummerHau’oli Makahiki Hou oukou!

Enjoy a Safe and Fun New Year’s Eve celebration and Let’s Welcome 2015!

“I le`a ka hula i ka ho`opa`a.”  — ʻOlelo Noʻeau Hula
Although the attention is given to the dancer, the drummer and chanter play an important role in the dance.

Just For Today

garden gateway oceanSlow down.  This moment is full of wonder, why not take the time to cherish it?

Grace has the capacity to transcend even our darkest of spaces.  It is a sudden miracle, basked in the light of loving-kindness.  And, grace has the capacity to heal.  These moments of grace teach us that there is always more to life than we can imagine.  In those wondrous moments, we realize there is more to life than we can possibly imagine.

It is a whisper of feeling, almost intangible.  Yet, it is powerful.  Suddenly, you are in a different space.  You feel almost weightless.  The air is still, your breathing is slow, but what you are experiencing is clean and clear.

But, how do we open our hearts to grace?

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. — Wendell Berry

I Ching For The Week of December 29, 2014

#61 ~ Zhong Fu ~ The Comforting Center
#61 ~ Zhong Fu ~ The Comforting Center

#61 – Zhong Fu – The Conforming Center

Above: Sun — Root, Foundation, inspiration
Below: Dui — Open, Free, unhindered


The Wisdom:

Inner truth is your beacon.
Like the wind it
Guides you, through
Inspiration, to tranquility
And abundance.


Your connection to Spirit is made solid

The wind is unseen as it stirs the waters of your heart and soul. Invisible forces are at work to bring you abundance, health, and success. This is a very favorable time. Your situation has in some cases seemed untenable. You have tried to influence others with words and common sense, and it hasn’t worked. You have perceived your situation incorrectly. Examine your truth, your inner wisdom. Hear the calling birds song … hear it with you open heart. Love is a sweet song

Though it appears that associates, old stale influences of family, church and state or your relationships may be blocking your progress, they will soon be moved toward your favor. This is assured. In the teaching offered by this hexagram, this can be achieved gently and without words. It will be done by means of the invisible forces of gentleness, compassion, kindness and joyfulness. Look for and embrace your passion be it for the clover in the field or for the love that is yours to embrace.


Your heart knows the truth.
Limit your words;
They have no effect.
Your actions and thoughts
Are benefits of all and for the greater good.


To correctly have influence over others, you must walk a mile in their moccasins. This will allow you to know their position and their thoughts. With this knowing you can access your intuition, which will counsel you on correct thoughts and actions. This is the way: The way of compassion
At this time move forward with no prejudice or hidden agenda. This will create openness, which is the wordless, gentle joy of which this hexagram speaks.


Thoughts have great influence.
Correct thoughts free of prejudice
Bring a bountiful outcome.
Negative thoughts will undo
The good you have accomplished.
Change your way of thinking.
No Blame, no guilt, no shame
Only change.


Exerting influence can be a tricky business. Thoughts and actions that attempt to manipulate or gain power over others leave nothing but hate and animosity in their tracks and will not achieve your goals. Look to your motives in exerting influence. When you are confident that you are coming from your highest good, for the good of all, you will find that your influence, though apparently invisible, is as powerful as the wind that stirs the waters.

You stand on the brink of success and release from bondage, and are now challenged as never before. It is not that you have done anything incorrectly; far from it: it is rather a law of the universe that we are challenged to rise to our greatest good.

The teaching in this hexagram says to go inward and begin the task of gentle self-correction. Where it may be easy to control the words you say, it is more difficult to shift your thoughts so that they are without prejudice, divisiveness, retaliation, or anger.

There are times when you must move stubborn or obstinate people, whether in your work or in your personal lives, toward the greater good. Such an approach must be well considered. Be gentle, with no judgment or preconceived notions. Try to understand where they are coming from and then adjust your thoughts, not your words, toward a more beneficial outcome for all involved. In this way influence is directed by compassion.

Having compassion for those who are slowing or blocking progress leads us to a deeper understanding of others and ultimately ourselves.

Outwardly, communicate directly and be honest and sincere. Inwardly, correct any negative or judgmental thoughts. This will release your untapped life force, or prana, which in turn will have a profound beneficial effect on your relationships, your health, and your business, these actions will deepen your spiritual journey—all toward the greater good.

It is well documented that we can heal many illnesses through right thought and meditation. You can apply this truth to your present situation. You are the healer. Look to the words that come to you; discard the negative ones and replace them with right action and compassionate thoughts, which will influence all aspects of the self to move toward a higher, more compassionate understanding. In this way you will change the situation; it will move toward the highest, most beneficial good for all.

You will not gain the trust of others until you trust yourself. This hexagram gives us a teaching on how to gain the kind of trust that comes from knowing your inner truth. Consciously look to your highest good. To be loved, you must love yourself. To be heard, you must hear yourself. To correct a situation, you must correct yourself and your inner thoughts.


Open your heart and let yourself be loved

The outcome of this process is rich, but the process itself is even richer. At this time, this process is not about choice: it is about necessity. Love, compassion, and knowing your inner truth are necessary to bring about the grand success that awaits you.

This week be the gentle wind and feel the strength of Gaia, the earth, as she beckons you home. Do not talk of love, be love. Do less, be more.

You are the sentient being at the center of your world, you embrace the frequency called God, yet have seen it as outside yourself. Know well it is in a part of you. Make the choice to know yourself with out judgment or fear. Choose to step silently into that frequency. As you do all is possible, all is in the correct place and you are in the right place at the right time. Not too early nor late. By understanding and excepting who you truly are this frequency of Universal love and light will be your wing man.


All men are your brothers; all women are your sisters.
Be love and teach peace … you are magnificent.
Without embarrassment or judgment say now out loud, “I am Magnificent.”


This writer sends you love.

In LaK’esh



5 Things Healthy People Do To Start Their Day

read article here

“This morning couldn’t get any worse, and I’m hangry!” my friend texted on the plane. She sat on an already-delayed flight to see her in-laws, the plane had been taxiing for takeoff over an hour, a baby was screaming in the row behind her, and a traffic delay to the airport meant she had missed breakfast.

“Somebody needs to whip out her gratitude journal ASAP,” I texted back playfully, but I understood her frustration.

Thankfully, most mornings aren’t quite so hectic, but everyone knows that sinking “there goes my day” mentality.

You can’t control the weather, traffic, or your irate boss, but you can develop a morning ritual that keeps you resilient to whatever life throws your way.

One thing I’ve discovered about fitness and nutrition professionals: We almost all keep a specific morning routine that focuses, motivates, and connects us with our higher purpose. I took an informal poll among my healthcare friends. These five things make our mornings — really, our entire days — more sane and productive.

Astrology for moment of New Year 2015


We note, first, that the astrological new year (as well as a number of other new years) occurs at the time of the Vernal Equinox, often called “the first day of Spring.”  That said, here are charts for the turn of the calendar from 2014 to 2015.  We start with Plano (local to the astrologer) and proceed through London, New York City, and Los Angeles.

We note that ascendant and lunar position only vary slightly, and positions of other heavenly bodies vary little at all.  Nevertheless, here are the charts:


[Click Image to Enlarge]

Here is London:


[Click Image to Enlarge]

Here is New York City:


[Click Image to Enlarge]

Here is Los Angeles:


[Click Image to Enlarge]

We note that in all of these charts the moon is (1) in the 8th house and (2) in varying degrees of closeness to Algol.

The days leading up to this event…

View original post 112 more words

Daily Words of the Buddha ~ December 30, 2014

sheep fieldBahumpi ce saṃhita bhāsamāno,
na takkaro hoti naro pamatto,
gopova gāvo gaṇayaṃ paresaṃ,
na bhāgavā sāmaññassa hoti.

Much though one recites the sacred texts,
but acts not accordingly,
that heedless one is like a cowherd
who only counts the cows of others —
one does not partake of the blessings of the holy life.

Dhammapada 1.19

The Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom,
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita


How To Cure Gout At Home

read entire article here


Gout is a type of arthritis that can affect different body parts like the ears, small joints on the hands, wrists, ankles or knees. Symptoms frequently include acute pain, swelling, intense tenderness and inflammation in the joints.

The exact cause is unknown, but a high amount of uric acid in the body is one of the reasons. Some other possible causes are genetics, excessive consumption of alcohol, lack of physical exercise, excessive protein intake and too much stress.

Gout is linked to other types of health problems, such as hypertension, diabetes, and uric acid kidney stones, so it is important to get proper medical treatment. In addition, some easy-to-follow home treatments can promote healing and provide symptom relief.

Intelligence Liberated

phoenix rising
Blind faith is intellect’s most deadliest foe. Intellect that would surrender to faith has forfeited its very nature.

True faith is intellect’s most vital partner. To travel beyond its boundaries, intellect must find a vision that transcends itself.

That is the meaning of true faith:  A perspective that surpasses the field of intellect’s vision, a sense that there is something not only unknown, but unknowable; something before which all our knowledge is an infinitesimal point of nothingness.

And so, the mind that fears faith will choose a truth with which it is most comfortable, while the mind that has found a partner in faith will choose truth that is absolute.

Hau’oli la Po’akahi


lily_white_purpleAloha kakahiaka a ma Hau’oli la Po’akahi oukou.  I la nani nou.
Good morning and Happy Monday, everyone.  Have a beautiful day!

We are all so blessed to share this precious gift called LIFE!  Ola I ka makana ma ke Akua, life is a gift from God!  As we head into 2015, always remember the gift we have been given; that we are blessed in so many ways and that the greatest gift of all is Aloha (Love).

Wishing all of the Ohana a very peaceful and blessed day!  E pili mau na po’maika’i ia oe – May blessings ever be with you!

What Is Numerology?

double whale flukesNumerology is a method of divination that uses numbers as symbols of the different vibrational patterns which make up our human experience.  The ancient Chaldeans understood that all things are composed of energy at varying states of vibration, and modern science is just catching up with this concept. Through Numerology, you’ve got a system that allows you to understand the qualities of the universal and personal vibrational patterns that make up your life. You can also calculate the changes in your relationships throughout the years.

Some teachers of the Yogic wisdom tradition say that we have 6 physical senses and 108 astral senses. In everyday life, we filter most of what we receive so that we can focus on matters of immediate importance. A Person who has acquired some psychic ability or skill at divination learns to filter less information than most, and can read the information coming to others through the use of symbolic tools like Numerology.

While it doesn’t take much of a leap to imagine the mystical diagrams used in Astrology or the mythic images of Tarot as symbols containing many meanings, it’s a lot harder for most people to imagine those same attributes being “held” by common numbers or letters of the alphabet. We have a hard time seeing numbers as anything other than ciphers for quantities and measurement, because that’s how we use them every day.

Numerology’s 2 ‘Schools’

There are two major schools of Numerology practiced today, the Modern system and the Chaldean system. Modern Numerology claims a lineage going back to Pythagoras, but the story of his invention of a “new number system” was made by Philolaus who was born 25 years after Pythagoras’ death, and after the original mystery school burned down.

The Chaldean system, on the other hand, can verify its antiquity through cuneiform tablets dating back thousands of years before the birth of Pythagoras. The chief difference is that the Chaldean method is based on the vibrations that numbers represented, while the “Pythagorean” system considered the alphabets in a strict, linear sequence.

Another difference between the Chaldean and Modern methods is that the Chaldean system places more emphasis on the name, while the Modern system is more concerned with permutations of the birth date.

“The Science of Numbers”

The term Numerology was coined by Dr. Julia Seton, and first seen in a book published around 1937. Before then, this type of divination was referred to as the Science of Numbers, Arithmancy, or sometimes erroneously, Kabbalah.

There are other schools of Numerology which have their origin in ancient Taoist cosmologies that follow the theory of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements. It is believed that these methods, (developed into what’s known as 9 Ki or Kyusei in Japan), along with the Yijing (I-Ching) are older than the origin of numbers.

Eastern Traditions

It’s also interesting to note that the more modern and very popular system of Chinese Astrology, known as the Four Pillars, is really a numerological method based on the calendar, rather than the movements of the stars.

In India, many methods of astrological divination are based on numerological techniques such as harmonics and magic squares. Some of them use only approximate positions of the planets, a preset sequence of positions in the Zodiac signs, or sequences and cycles of time that have no relationship to planetary position at all. These are actually numerological methods, based on the symbolic value of number, rather than observations of the sky.

The 3 Facets of Numerology

We could say that Numerology has three different facets. None of these facets can operate on their own, because they are the three legs of the tripod upon which Numerology stands.

The first would be Numerology itself; the understanding of the numbers as symbols for vibrational patterns. There are advanced aspects to the study, of interest only to metaphysical researchers and divination professionals concerned with the nature of symbol, myth and consciousness.

The second facet has been recently and brilliantly rediscovered by the famous author J.K. Rowling – Arithmancy. Arithmancy is the set of techniques used for manipulating the numbers and extracting the meaning from their various relationships. Arithmancy gives us the ability to find the definitions we need and the information we seek.

The third facet of Numerology is usually called Kabbalah. This term is borrowed from the system of mystic cosmology developed by ancient Babylonian and Hebrew sages. It’s most commonly used to describe the assignment of letters of an alphabet, or phonemes of a language, to the numbers. These methods help a practitioner to understand the numeric values of words, and to define the way that names are converted to complex vibrational patterns.

Using Numerology to Navigate your Life

Numerology is a profound and reliable way to examine your inner nature, and look at the various psychological, physical and spiritual processes that make up your life experience. It can give you deep insight into what makes you “tick”, and provides an excellent way for navigating the currents of daily life.

Whether your goals are romantic, material or spiritual, it can help you reach them with less difficulty and fewer delays. Numerology can help you learn how to emphasize your strengths and overcome your weaknesses – almost anything you need to know can be found within the vibrational patterns and their cycles defined “by the numbers.”


Daily Words of the Buddha ~ December 27, 2014

manga_samurai-sword-redjuice-tagme-weapon-japanese-art-1513041Pāṇaṃ na hane na ca ghātayeyya,
na cānujaññā hanataṃ paresaṃ,
sabbesu bhūtesu nidhāya daṇḍaṃ.
Ye thāvarā ye ca tasā santi loke.

One should not kill a living being,
nor cause it to be killed,
nor should one incite another to kill.
Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.

Sutta Nipāta 2.396

The Discourse Collection: Selected Texts from the Sutta Nipāta,
translated by John D. Ireland

Health ~ All Dairy Is Not Created Equal ~ Kathryn Van Wyk

cottage cheese

Dairy is one of those topics that come up a lot here at the Wellness Center. Many of our patients discover that their digestion or skin is irritated by dairy consumption and end up avoiding it all together. Others find that raw milk or goat and sheep’s milk is fine for them, but that other dairy products still irritate them. There’s no doubt that when it comes to dairy everyone is different, and your tolerance can change over time. For example, if you have any auto-immune issues, leaky gut or a dysbiosis you might have to avoid dairy altogether until you’ve resolved the underlying issues. Because most dairy products available at the market today are very different from the dairy our grandparents drank (much like in the case of wheat and gluten!) many people also find themselves intolerant to it. There also seems to be a correlation between gluten intolerance and dairy intolerance. We tend to see a link between skin issues, especially acne, and dairy consumption, so if that’s you, try avoiding dairy for a couple of weeks and see if there’s any improvements.

Because this is such a confusing, heated and frankly quite controversial topic, let’s just dive in and see what all the terms mean and what all your options are. There are lots and pro’s and cons to sift through so bare with me!

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose is the sugar found in milk and is what a lot of people find themselves intolerant to it. As it turns out, a significant percentage of the population stop producing lactase – the enzyme needed to digest lactose in milk – at a certain age (all babies produce lactase in order to digest breast milk) and will therefore experience a lot of discomfort when consuming conventional, pasteurized dairy products. But, did you know that raw milk actually contains lactase – that enzyme I mentioned that helps you digest lactose? That’s right. Unfortunately pasteurization destroys all those enzymes, which means many of us (those of us who don’t produce our own lactase anymore) can tolerate raw dairy, but not pasteurized.

Interestingly, some populations who have been exposed to dairy for a long time, such as Scandinavians, have a much higher likelihood of also producing lactase and tolerating dairy just fine.

Grass Fed, Organic, Hormone Free – What’s What!

If you choose to eat dairy, it is always ideal to get dairy from pastured, grass-fed cows who have eaten the food they’re meant to eat (grass!) and been grazing outside in the sunshine. The sun is essential for the cow to produce enough vitamin D, which also ends up in the milk you drink. And the diet full of grass makes the milk higher in nutrients – especially the essential Omega 3 fatty acids.

As with any ruminant that is fed grains (ie corn), it will get sick from that diet and most of the time be treated with antibiotics. Also, most milk-producing cows today are given genetically-engineered growth hormones ( rBGH or rBST), designed to increase the cow’s milk production. Those antibiotics and growth hormones will also end up in the milk you drink.


Raw dairy is by far superior to pasteurized milk when i comes to digestibility and nutrient content. Simply put, raw milk is a whole food, while pasteurized milk is a processed and altered food. However, because the milk has not been pasteurized there is a small risk that it can contain dangerous bacteria. Although the milk is in fact sterile while it’s inside the cows udder, it can become contaminated once it’s been milked by equipment used or even the surface of the udder. So whether or not you ‘dare’ to consume raw milk is a risk assessment that you have to make for yourself and your family. If you decide to try raw milk, make sure to get it from a trusted farmer that takes great care to keep the milk safe. Also, in the US many states do not allow raw milk sales, besides directly from farmer to consumer, and this is without a doubt a very controversial issue, so do your research and ask around until you feel comfortable with your own decision – whichever way you choose to go.

Pasteurized, Homogenized and Ultra Pasteurized

Pasteurization is the process that heats the milk up to about 150F for 30 minutes to kill any dangerous pathogens that might be present in the milk. It also makes the milk last longer which is of course a great benefit to the producers and distributors. But unfortunately this process also degrades the vitamin A found in milk, destroys the naturally occurring enzymes (including lactase) and any beneficial bacteria that was originally in the milk. It is also becoming more and more common to ultra pasteurize dairy to make the product last even longer on the shelves. This process heats the milk up to an even higher temperature – 280F – to eliminate even more bacteria. This process is even more harsh on the complex molecules in milk proteins which basically makes them indigestible, causing a lot of inflammation and digestive distress.

The other processing technique performed on milk today is homogenization, where all the fat molecules get mechanically forced to be the same size basically making the milk proportionately higher in casein and whey proteins, potentially leading to milk related allergies.

Skim, Low-fat, Full Fat, Lactaid, Fortified – What Do I Choose?

The typical recommendation made by the USDA etc is to choose nonfat or low fat dairy products on the assumption that the saturated fat is damaging to our health. But now we know better! And the fats in milk are important for absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A and D! And the vitamin D is important for proper absorption of calcium.  You see – when nature creates a perfect food, we shouldn’t go ahead and mess with it!  All the different nutrients work perfectly together so if you’re going to eat dairy, always choose full-fat products to get the most bang for your buck. Also, make sure to read this article about skim milk on our blog!

Lactaid milk is basically just like any other conventional milk with some added lactase enzymes. You could just as easily take an enzyme supplement and eat your regular dairy product and save you the trouble and the money.

Fortified milk is very common these days, especially because all of the processing depletes the milk of it’s naturally occurring nutrients!  Synthetic vitamin A and D are often added to milks, but these are not as easily absorbed by our body, especially not without the fat!

To cut to the chase, always buy full-fat dairy products.

Rice Pudding

Fermented Dairy

Yogurt and kefir are fermented milk product that contains beneficial bacteria and can be healthy foods if you’re someone who can tolerate dairy.  Just remember to choose your products wisely, keeping in mind my points above. Many people do find that the addition of the good bacteria makes these dairy products easier to digest.  They can also be a great source of protein and fat – making them a good snack. However, make sure to avoid the sweetened varieties and experiment with sheeps and goats milk yogurt too to see what works best for you!

Bottom Line – What to buy

Best: Raw dairy from grass-fed cows

Good: Lightly-pasteurized, non-homogenized whole milk from grass-fed cows and then lightly-pasteurized, homogenized whole milk from grass-fed cows

OK: Organic milk – this milk usually still comes from grain fed cows but will at least be free of hormones and GMO’s

Worst: Ultra-pasteurized, conventional non-fat milk!

This article was originally published on www.drfranklipman.com. Read the original here.

Health ~ Acupuncture Eases Alcohol Cravings ~ Health CMi

(Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Acupuncture reduces alcohol cravings in alcoholics. Researchers note that acupuncture is both safe and effective for reducing cravings in alcohol dependent patients. They add that acupuncture is an inexpensive modality of care for the treatment of alcoholism and “produces significant results.”

This study breaks from other research on this topic. Prior research focused on National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) acupuncture point prescriptions for addiction. This typically involved use of auricular acupuncture points including Kidney, Sympathetic, Shenmen, Liver and Lung. However, this study used only one acupuncture point that is located on the lower leg. The researchers note of this acupuncture point, “Traditionally, it has been used as an acupoint for detoxification.”

What’s the Point?

The acupuncture point investigated in the research is Zhubin (KI9) that is translated as “guest house.” It is located on the medial aspect of the lower leg and is 5 cun superior to KI3. It is approximately 1 cun posterior to the medial border of the tibia at the lower end of the gastrocnemius muscle. It is placed on a line drawn between KI3 and KI10.

KI9 is the Xi Cleft point of the Yinwei (Yin linking) vessel. This is the channel that connects the yin meridians of the hand and foot to the Conception channel. The Yinwei vessel may also be accessed by acupoint PC6, the confluent point of the Yinwei vessel. To achieve this, PC6 is often paired with SP4, its paired confluent point for the treatment of heart, chest and stomach disorders.

This study used only KI9, whose Yinwei vessel connection makes it especially suitable for the treatment of heart issues. In particular, this point benefits patients with heart shen (spirit) issues due to phlegm and phlegm-fire. This includes the treatment of mania, raving, bipolar disorder (manic depression) and other forms of severe mental illness. Here, there is a logical consistency with the application of KI9 for the treatment of alcohol cravings given alcoholism’s propensity for causing phlegm-fire in the heart.

(Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Thinkstock)
(Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Thinkstock)

The Protocol

An acupuncture treatment group was compared with a placebo controlled group in this single-blinded, randomized investigation. The acupuncturist was aware of the group allocations but the staff and patients were blinded to allocation of placebo vs. real acupuncture groups. This was made possible through the use of the Park Sham Device (PSD). Made by Acupuncture Needle Inc., Korea, this unusual sham acupuncture needle device simulates acupuncture needle insertion but never actually penetrates the skin. The researchers note, “It has a 15 mm diameter round plastic base and a shaft telescopes into the handle when downward pressure is applied. Placebo needles have blunt tips and are put into the tube to mimic the insertion of a needle.”

Exclusion criteria included drug abuse, use of psychotropic medications, cognitive impairment and other factors. The treatment procedure commenced after three weeks of patient admittance to the study to avoid intoxication and withdrawal symptom complications. All real acupuncture and placebo group patients received group therapy, education and standard hospital care. The real acupuncture group received acupuncture at KI9 using a needle guide tube with a 0.25 X 40 mm needle (Dongbang Acupuncture Inc., Korea). The Park Sham Device was used for all placebo group patients. All subjects had treatment periods of 15 minutes, twice per week for a total of 4 weeks.

Testing of cravings was performed using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for assessment. The researchers note, “We used a horizontal line, with 120 mm in length. At the left end, the subject feels no craving for alcohol, while he feels a maximum craving for alcohol at the right end. The subject marks on the line the point that they feel represents their craving for alcohol in their current state.” Testing of cravings was performed after provoking cravings at week 1, 2 and 4 of the study. In all cases, the acupuncture group had significantly less cravings than the placebo group.

The cravings for alcohol were provoked by giving the subjects sips of liquor once every 30 seconds for 3 minutes. This was followed by a 3 minute interval and another period of sipping liquor every 30 seconds for another 3 minutes. The researchers note that the acupuncture group showed significant reductions in cravings and the placebo control group showed no improvement. The research team notes of the 4 week study, “The results showed that the acupuncture treated group had a significant craving reduction compared with the control group. Acupuncture treatment on Zhubin (KI9) was effective from the 1st week of treatment and its effect lasted through the 4 weeks.”

About HealthCMi: The Healthcare Medicine Institute (HealthCMi) publishes news, research and acupuncture continuing education courses online for acupuncture CEU and PDA credit. Learn more at www.healthcmi.com.

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Health ~ Healthy Holiday Essentials: Skip Weight Gain and Guilt ~ Victoria Ann Diaz


Whether it’s an office party, a happy hour with friends, or holiday celebrations with family, food is a way of bringing people together. It is often used as an expression of thanks and love.

According to the National Institute of Health, most people only gain a little weight over the holidays. Studies show that the average person only gains 1-2 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

It takes at least 15-20 minutes for our brains to signal that we are actually full, so sit, relax, and talk for a while.

Yet, many people may not lose the extra weight after the festivities are over. Over 10 years, that can add up to 10-20 extra pounds—and as we get older, it gets harder to lose excess weight.

Wishing people good cheer and celebrating with food should not be stressful. We shouldn’t have to dread a holiday party, fearing it will derail all of the health and wellness goals we so diligently followed all year. Simple modifications to our recipes and eating habits can help us have fun without the guilt or potential weight gain.

Holiday Party Tips

Whether you are the host or the guest, here are some holiday party essentials to help you navigate all of the tempting food and drinks. Check out these tips before you indulge in holiday festivities:

• Don’t skip meals. If you arrive at a party hungry, you will tend to over-indulge. If you are preparing food, make sure you have healthy snacks available.
• Don’t taste-test everything while cooking or baking.
• Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is a great way to stay energized. It also helps us feel full.
• Try baking recipe modifications like gluten-free or whole-wheat flour; fruit puree, honey, or agave as healthier sweeteners; and dairy-free alternatives such as almond, coconut, or soy milk.
• Enjoy healthy appetizers like fresh fruit with cheese and whole-grain crackers, raw vegetables with salsa or humus dip, spiced nuts, and homemade dried fruits.
• Use a dessert or salad plate to help with portion control.
• Limit alcoholic drinks, which add calories. Eggnog, for example, can contain as many as 450 calories per 8 ounces.
• Have fun staying mobile with an after-party walk or an old-fashioned dance contest.
• Be mindful of when you are hungry or full. Slow down when you’re eating. Take time to not only enjoy the wonderful food, but also engage with your guests. It takes at least 15-20 minutes for our brains to signal that we are actually full, so sit, relax, and talk for a while.
• Have dessert in moderation. Avoid a little sample of each by choosing your favorite. Alternatively, you can bring your own healthier version or have fruit.
• Keep away from leftovers by asking for help in the kitchen. Having help cleaning up will keep you from snacking on the leftovers.
• Send food home with your guests. Avoid keeping foods that will tempt you later.
• Stay in control. Stick to your food and drink boundaries. Allow yourself to say “thanks, but not right now.”
• Don’t skip your exercise routine. Cut down your workout time if you have to, but don’t eliminate it. If there is no time to exercise, be sure to use the stairs or park further away for a little walking.
• Keep your kids engaged and involved with holiday activities like stringing popcorn garland, making ornaments or decorations for the table, or helping in the kitchen. This creates great memories and traditions they can pass down to future generations. When adults and children have fun, no one will tend to eat out of boredom.
• Relax. Enjoy celebrations without the stress and be kind to yourself if you overindulge. Don’t sabotage yourself with guilt; just accept it and get back on track.

Holiday festivities and parties can make it a bit challenging to stay healthy, but with a little mindful preparation and some simple cooking modifications, we can still have a tasty traditional holiday celebration.

Have a deliciously healthy holiday celebration!

Victoria Ann Diaz is a certified integrative health and life coach and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In her Life Balance Health Coach practice, she supports clients with a mindful-living approach to health and wellness. For more information, visit www.lifebalancehealthcoach.com.

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5 Stories of People With Pre-Birth Memories ~ Tara MacIsaac

read entire article here

The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In “Beyond Science” Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities.  Are they true?  You decide.

Many people report memories of being in the womb, being born, and—in the most mystical cases—of being in another realm before entering the womb.

It is difficult to prove this phenomenon exists outside of anecdotal evidence, but for many people this is a very real experience.

Elisabeth Hallett, a registered nurse with a degree in psychology, wrote in her book “Stories of the Unborn Soul: The Mystery and Delight of Pre-Birth Communication” that we don’t hear often about pre-birth experiences because: “It’s scary to reveal an experience that contradicts the common view of reality. As one woman said, ‘I have been reluctant to share these experiences, mostly out of fear that people would think I was completely nuts.’”

Boy Remembers Song Played on Way to Hospital

On the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation website, Nicola E. told the story of a student of hers named Michael. Nicola was friends with Michael’s mother, who died when he was only a few months old. She had witnessed Michael’s birth, as she had gone to the hospital support her friend, who was a single mother. Nicola didn’t have further contact with Michael or his family after her friend died, until he was a student in her 4th grade class. Nicola and Michael didn’t discuss Michael’s mother much, but he knew they’d been friends.

The students were asked to discuss their earliest memories. Michael put up his hand and proceeded to describe in detail traveling to the hospital with Nicola as she was going to attend his birth.

He said he was in her grey car, he remembered the lyrics to the song that was playing, he saw Nicola stop at a gas station to ask for directions to the hospital, he saw her use a payphone in the hospital, and take a sweater that wasn’t hers in the waiting room and put it on.

All of these things were true.

She had a grey car at the time, but hadn’t since about two years after Michael’s birth. Some words Michael remembered from the song corresponded to a song she listened to often on a tape in that car. It was a rural hospital and she got lost on the way, so she stopped at a gas station for directions. The hospital didn’t have cell phone service, so she used a payphone. She was ashamed that she took a sweater that wasn’t hers; no one was around to claim it, it was just laying there, and she was very cold, so she put it on and kept it. She never told anyone about this.

Like Waking From Anesthesia

A man named Michael Maguire told Hallett his experience can be compared to waking from anesthesia:
“I can clearly remember being in the spiritual, and then suddenly finding myself on Earth trapped in a baby’s body. It’s a bit like having an operation. One moment you’re in an operating theater counting back from 10; the next you find yourself in the recovery room. The major difference is that when you have an operation, you’re drowsy before and after the operation. With my experience, I was fully mentally alert before and after the transition to Earth.”

Remembering Birth Complications

A woman named Joelle told Hallett that when she was in her 30s, her aunt told her about complications during her birth, which her mother had never mentioned to her. Memories she seemed to have from the time of her birth made more sense to her after her aunt’s revelations.

Her aunt told her that hers was an emergency birth at home. She was lifeless when she came out of the womb. Her aunt put her little body in another room, thinking she was dead. The midwife arrived and was thankfully able to revive the baby.

What Joelle remembers is: “being in a place indescribable. It’s peaceful there, quiet, other people are with me. They are one. We are one. Not male, not female—I can see it in my mind’s eye but I can’t describe it. There are no voices, but I hear words. Someone says, ‘There’s a body, the person who had it felt it was too difficult a life and changed their mind.’ If I want it I have to go now, now. I hesitate, I hear a voice near me say, ‘No, it’s too soon, too soon, wait a while,’ but I can’t wait. I must go back. Someone says, ‘Decide now.’”

‘That’s the lady who took care of me before I was born!’

The following story was shared on Reddit: “My coworker told me a story about his 4-year-old daughter. He and his wife took her to an old mission in town that’s a bit of a tourist attraction and has a statue of the virgin Mary near the entrance. His daughter immediately points to the statue and exclaims, ‘Daddy, I know her! That’s the lady who took care of me before I was born!’”

A Reassuring Voice

Linda Parrino shared her story on an About.com forum about pre-birth experiences: “I remember floating on a cloud. There were pink and blue clouds as far as I could see. I was at peace, I heard a voice that sounded like a woman but I did not see her. She spoke softly and the communication was more like speaking with the mind. I remember her telling me it was my time to go to Earth and be … born. I responded that I wanted to stay there, where I was safe. She said you have to go now, don’t worry you will be fine. I have had this memory as far back as I can remember and it has been a comfort to me all of my life.”


Follow @TaraMacIsaac on Twitter, visit the Epoch Times Beyond Science page on Facebook, and subscribe to the Beyond Science newsletter to continue exploring the new frontiers of science!

*Image of a fetus via Shutterstock

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8 Ancient Beliefs Now Backed By Modern Science ~ by Alena Hall

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The Earth may not be flat nor is it the center of the universe, but that doesn’t mean old-world intellectuals got everything wrong. In fact, in recent years, modern science has validated a number of teachings and beliefs rooted in ancient wisdom that, up until now, had been trusted but unproven empirically.

Here are eight ancient beliefs and practices that have been confirmed by modern science.

On Deck ~ Chinese New Year of the Sheep 2015

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The Year 2015 is the 4712th Chinese year. The 2015 Chinese New Year Day is on February 19, 2015 in China’s time zone. This day is a new moon day, and is the first day of the first Chinese lunar month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system.

According to Chinese Astrology, the Year 2015 is the Green Wood Sheep year. The first day of the Sheep year is on February 4, 2015. This day is different from Chinese New Year Day, because Chinese Astrology calendar is not a simple Chinese Lunar calendar.

In the Chinese New Year of Sheep, Chinese always mention San-Yang-Kai-Tai Three Sheep Auspicious Begin, which means “Three Goats Start Fortune”. Actually the term is from Three Yang Auspicious Begin, which means “Three Yang Start Fortune”. Chinese replace Chinese Yang Character by Chinese Sheep Character. Both Chinese Yang Character and Chinese Sheep Character are pronounced as Yang. Chinese Sheep Character is Sheep. Chinese Yang Character is Male and is the word from Chinese Yin Yang Character Yin Yang.

Christmas: A Time To Celebrate Our Humanity

Christmas Fireplace
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For some, Christmas can be a massive headache. All the queuing, crowds and spending can really get a person down. Add to that the rabid indulgence demanded by roast potatoes and Christmas cakes and you have a recipe for some very stern New Years’ resolutions.

But forget the commercialism of the festive season for a second…


Most people get to spend time with their families over the Christmas holidays. The pressures of work ease off and one can genuinely reflect on the past year. Sit still long enough, and one might even consider the fact that people of all creeds value the same things: family, security and a chance at the lasting contentment of being valued for who they are.


Ostensibly, Jesus the son of the Christian God was born to Mary the virgin on the 25th of December. This event has been derided by rabid atheists and other worshippers of logic, denied or marginalized by the other monotheistic religions and explained away by researchers into ancient astrological practices. In fact, if you don’t profess to be a Christian, you probably feel compelled to laugh at the patent absurdity of the whole scenario.


That is, if you feel it’s actually the event itself you’re supposed to be celebrating. This humble blog post proposes that you look at it from another perspective.


There’s no denying that the world is speeding up and it’s starting to take its toll. Being constantly plugged in means we never have much time to ourselves. Our attention is relentlessly pulled in multiple directions. It’s impossible not to be overwhelmed and this inevitably leads to increased levels of anxiety. Prolonged periods of anxiety and stress compromise our entire system and in extreme cases, can lead to mental and physical illness. The bottom line is that this is no way to live full-time and cultivating strategies to combat anxiety should be a priority. Here are four tips to begin to point you in the right direction.

Include a calming activity in your morning ritual

It doesn’t matter what it is. Find what works for you. It could be physical exercise, a few breathing exercises, a few gentle yoga stretches or a meditational practice. Set aside at least half an hour for this practice. The energy you’ll get back will make waking up half an hour earlier worth it. Starting your day right should be your highest priority. Without setting this time aside you are bound to be less focused and productive and yes, much more anxious which only further hinders your ability to get through the day effectively. In the beginning this may require some discipline, but over time you’ll get so used to the feeling of calm your practice evokes that you’ll crave it if you miss it. It will become as natural as brushing your teeth, and the payoff is so great you’ll never look back.

Reconnect with nature

Most of us live in concrete jungles, moving from an office to an apartment and back again. (If this isn’t your life, you’re one of the lucky few). We’re not designed to live in such segregation with nature. Find a way to reconnect with the natural world. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to relieve anxiety and stress. Visit a park and walk bare feet on the grass. Introduce some pot plants to your balcony, soaking up the fresh feeling of dipping your fingers into the soil. We feel closer to ourselves when we interact with nature and when we are more aligned with our true natures, we are less anxious.

Get it out! Process your emotional input

We’re so used to putting our brave and capable faces on that we bottle up our emotions. We suppress and suppress until the emotions eventually boil over, catching us ill-prepared. It’s important to find a way to get our emotions out. Talking is always good. Some people prefer writing in a diary or drawing. Find what works for you and make it a priority to digest your life experiences at least once a week. Making this commitment means taking responsibility for your emotional world and learning not to project it onto others. When we take the time to process, we are much less likely to carry unconscious, festering baggage around with us and that is the stuff that ultimately increases anxiety levels.

Be kind to yourself

When we’re persistently pushed to perform and be better, we tend to get very hard on ourselves. We live in a society that wants us to believe that we are never good enough so that way we keep buying things to improve ourselves. So we get caught in cycles of desire and self-deprecation. Constantly knocking yourself over the head because you feel you need to be better creates massive anxiety. We burn ourselves out trying to live up to impossible standards. The old cliché is true. If you can’t be kind to yourself, you can’t be kind to others.

Just For Today

peace childAsk a child what is beautiful to them. Tell them what is beautiful to you, too.

We’ve let ourselves get caught up in the pace of our lives and we’ve become distracted from the important issues that we all need to work on together. This is not an excuse for our actions. It is what it is.

If you wrote an open letter to the children of the world, would you apologize to them?


“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” ~ Maria Montessori