Friday, January 12, 2018

Dantien: Your "Center of Life" and How Mindfulness of Dantien Helps You

This morning when I was doing my daily taiji (tai chi) form, I was having trouble with my balance.  I had a lot on my mind, and my mind was not on my dantien.

 Dantien means "elixer field" in Chinese,  or "energy field".  When I did taiji and qigong with a group and our Chinese master, he always emphasized moving your energy into the dantien when finishing a form, and to picture your dantien as "there is a fire in Dantien", keeping that fire going.

And when you do taiji or qigong, keep your dantien forward.  Follow your dantien.

I wasn't paying attention to my dantien this morning, and not leading with dantien, and that's why I couldn't keep balanced.

I live in a gated community, and the windows that overlook the street are usually busy during the day with people walking, running, taking dog for a walk.  I notice so many people, especially older senior citizen age people walking with their head down, their shoulders hunched, not straight and tall.  I know how easy it is to not have good posture.  I walk daily, depending on the weather, and  make it a point to stand tall, like I am suspended on a string from the Heavens.  That posture puts the dantien forward.  And that's the best posture.

I see advertisements for taiji classes, and some of the classes designed for senior citizens. I also see taiji classes for veterans to treat physical and emotional problems rather than over-medicating. If you take a taiji class, you know you have a good instructor if they highlight the importance of dantien and putting your dantien forward when you move.  When I do taiji with mindfulness of my dantien, I have good balance, even when I scooping up qi like "snake creeps down", kicking, spreading wings.  I have osteoporosis and refuse to take the osteoporosis drugs, but I do physical work to compensate, and keeping balance is important for building strength.

A good taiji instructor will tell you when your posture is not right for the moves, and it usually involves keeping dantien forward.  If you are learning and doing taiji on your own, keep dantien forward and you will have a good taiji experience.

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Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Resolutions? How About Lifetime Resolutions

Happy new year 2018.  I wish you an auspicious year, happiness, good health and wellness, good luck and fortune, peace and compassion.

It's been three months since my last post.  I spent the rest of 2017 "just being", spending more time with myself.   That's called "mindfulness".  Using the medical cannabis for pain, my body, mind and spirit needed time, mindfulness to adjust.  Having chronic pain through my body since I was 11 years old, not having pain most of the day was wonderful, but odd.
Having pain for a long time seems to be a habit.  And when that habit gets broken, it takes adjustment, time, slightly similar to withdrawal from non-healthy things.  Difficult to articulate, but if you do it, you understand.

When I moved to Florida in 2004, we were fortunate to live in the same community one of my girlfriends from Ohio had been living in, and since we were both far distance from our families, our relationship developed to the closeness of sisters.  We both went to a Buddhist mindfulness all day workshop about 12 years ago.  The monk suggested we not talk to each other all day, focus on ourselves.  My friend and I were the only ones there who could do that all day, and that bonded our relationship even more.  One of the mindfulness activities we practiced in the morning, and then afternoon, was mindful walking through a preserve.  We focused on our feet, each step, our bodies, our surroundings.  I loved it.  And I walk every day with that mindfulness practice.  It's become so ingrained that most steps I take are mindful.  For me, the experience is very centering, like meditation inside.

I make one resolution every year.  And it's a resolution that will be rewarding so I can continue it through the year, through my life.  Last year was to take more time in life for myself, and mindfulness helps accomplish that.

This morning I took time for my qigong, taiji (tai chi), and yoga practices.  I "should" have been cleaning the house, starting the cooking for the new year dinner I'm making for friends. But the practice of my energy exercises and  taking the time I need will give me a better day.

If you are a person who makes a lot of resolutions and then get disappointed in yourself when you can't keep the resolution, I suggest making one resolution that will make you feel good by practicing it.  Even a diet resolution that is healthy, although it may seem difficult, if it's right for you, you will feel better.  And make it realistic.  Instead of "I give up candy",  cut back on nibbling, like decide you will eat  one treat after lunch, one after supper.  Or cut back on a third, or half, of a negative heating habit instead of cutting it out completely.  Then mindfully eat your allotted portion, and enjoy it more. 

And if it's a good resolution, it will become part of  your life.  If it improves your life, you will practice it throughout your life.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Managing Fibromyalgia and other Myalgias with Medical Marijuana Cannabis - The Journey Continues

Today was my official first refill of medical marijuana.  I was required to call my doctor so he could input the refill information to my account.  He assumed I wanted everything refill, but I have barely used the THC vapes.  My refill was for the CBD+THC vapes and ointments.

THC is the "high" part of marijuana, cannabis.  The CBD is the part that is for pain.  My CBD  vial also has some THC in it, enough to impact the nerves, but a dose of this gives me about 75-80% pain relief.  When I add a dose of the separate vial of the 3 THC choices (India, sativa and a hybrid), the pain relief is nearing 100%.

But I can't function well. 

In the mornings, I need to do yoga and tai chi and often meditate.  Then I work on my web sites and that requires "thinking".  I have been taking the CBD with the tiny THC in it, and that often gives me pain relief to work and think until mid afternoon, when it's time for my second CBD dose.  If I use the hybrid THC, which is supposed to give energy, alertness, focus, my brain is too "high" to function and think things through.  Making dinner isn't as painful, but I don't think things through as well.  At night, I can use the Indica THC because it's time for resting, sleeping. 

I was hoping by this time I would have adapted to it all well.  So I wonder how "natural" this medical marijuana really is. 

I actually find the CannaHemp vape pens of "relief" "calm" and "sleep" more natural to me.  They are non-THC so I can carry them with me when I'm out.  And the Sisters of the Valley CBD tincture very helpful with pain in the morning when I want a "clean brain" for energy practices and meditation.

I'm going to discuss with my doctor  during the required 90 visit about trying a different manufacturer with the same type of products.  And hope Florida is allowing other medical marijuana pharmacies to establish their business.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Medical Marijuana Cannabis for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain

It took about two months from my appointment with one of the few doctors in central Florida authorized to prescribe medical marijuana.  The doctor applied to Compassionate Use to get my number and state that my condition was eligible for medical marijuana.  Then I had to complete an application online that included a recent passport type photo, driver's license, and $75.  I applied both online, and then submitted the form with my check when I mailed it by USPS priority mail so I could track it to make sure it got there.  It did in two days.  The time was supposed to be 2-3 weeks, I checked every day, no answer when I called, and two months later I was approved.

I was prescribed CBD, Indica, Sativa, and a hybrid for TSH, and chose the vape method.  Thanks to my purchases from I had been able to try vaping and found it a faster method to get results than oil or pill form.  My prescription is for CBD three times daily, Sativa in the morning, Indica at night and hybrid (combination of the Sativa and Indica) middle of the day.  It works very well.  They don't completely eliminate all pain, but most of it.  It makes me more relaxed not having pain, and I don't get as much done during the day, and I'm working on dosing because I need to do my online store and "brain work" daily.
The CBD actually works very well by itself, but the THC addition makes it work even better.

There are no medical marijuana dispensaries within 60 miles of where I live! I had to pay extra for delivery.  And all payments for medical marijuana are cash only.  Almost $300 for my present prescription.

Mornings used to be one of my two worst times of the day.  After taking my regular doses for a week, mornings are now the best part of the for me, body mind and spirit.  I'm working on dosage so I don't get affected by the THC and can do the tech work I need to do.  And drive.

I can enjoy my life more now. 

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Managing Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia with CBD Cannabidiols Part 3 "Sisters of the Valley"

It seemed to take a long, long time for Florida to approve my medical marijuana status.  When you have chronic days, some days are so exhausting and seem like they never end.  So I kept exploring cannabidiols from hemp, CBD.  I wanted CBD I could use orally, but concerned about how safe it would be to use internally.  I also wanted an elixer, or an infused oil I could mix with the essential oils I used on painful areas.

When something is right for you, it often appears.   I found "Sisters of the Valley", Sisters of CBD,  online.  The first thing I noticed was a banner that stated "canna blessing daily".  It showed photos of the Sisters blessing their hemp plants, using sage sticks to keep them pure and healthy, and harvesting during moon cycles.  There is also a link on the products to independent testing.  They are also on Facebook, so I could read about their lives, their products, and their passion for CBD from hemp to help people who suffer.

I ordered CBD tincture, and "holy soap".  The tincture has a good quality bottle with dropper.  The soap smells "heavenly", and I feel like it blesses my hands when I wash them.  I am Reiki master, and with the pain I've had the last 4-5 years have been miserable, and I have not wanted to Reiki anyone, not share any of the negative energy I have.  Now my hands feels blessed again.

CBD tincture

"Holy Smoke" Soap

I have very annoying restless leg, and was using over the counter products from Amazon and CVS.  Then I read about rosemary and peppermint essential oils.  I mixed both rosemary and peppermint oils with mineral oil and rubbed into my legs at night.  I could feel the warmth of the concoction after a few rubs, and it was helpful, but adding a few drops of the CBD tincture made it very helpful.

Their Facebook is really interesting, they show many photos, and discuss what they have to deal with in their California location because politicians and other people often think they are doing something illegal, or growing real marijuana.  But they are truly dedicated to helping people with pain. They have a good selection of products.

So with my CBD infusion and soap, the CannaHemp vape pens, and the Pain Bomb I was finally getting some relief.   Of course I hoped my medical marijuana would be approved, with THC to give the CBD a boost. but was relieved to know I had some back up products with CBD to help.  And as you will read in a future blog, some of these add to the effectiveness of actual cannabis.  

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Treating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain With CBD, Without Opiates, Prescription Drugs Part 2

A friend who lives near us has Parkinson's, with complications.  He has tried surgery, quite a few prescription drugs, that are somewhat helpful but don't alleviate the symptoms.  He was able to try cannabis, marijuana in edible form, that he got from an out of state friend, and after 20-30 minutes he was standing upright, not shaking.  He decided that it was worth trying to apply for medical marijuana in Florida.  There are only six doctors in our county and surrounding counties who are approved to prescribe medical marijuana.  After he provided the doctor with former health records to verify his diagnosis, and the doctor agreed medical marijuana would be helpful, he had to wait 90 days to get his first prescription.  There are also no medical marijuana pharmacies in our county and the surrounding county, and they learned Trulieve would deliver.  Payment in cash only.  And it helped him very much. You don't actually get "real marijuana", you get the CBD and THC parts in different formulas and methods for taking.  Vaping worked fastest and best because it works directly instead of having to be digested in capsule form.

July 1 the Office of Compassionate Medical Marijuna Use finally was legally forced to be more efficient, so July 1 I made an appointment with the doctor my friend used, was approved for it.  I needed to complete an application that includes a recent passport type photo, proof of who I am, and $75.  It was supposed to be approved in 15 days, but 7 weeks later I finally got my medical marijuana official card.

During the time I was waiting for approval, I wanted to try vaping because I had never done that.  I searched online for a legitimate CBD seller who had links to show the testing of and verification of CBD from hemp.  There are quite a few CBD sellers out there.  It's legal to buy and sell CBD from hemp because it supposedly doesn't have THC in it.

I learned about terpenes that mimic  profiles of cannabis strains specifically used to enhance sleep, focus, euphoria, calming, and pain relief and discovered CannaHemp online store. They sell CBD in various forms, including the vape pen I purchased for "Relief"

CannaHemp CBD vape pen "Relief"

It was so easy to use, and in a few minutes I truly did get relief.  I also ordered the "Calm" vape pen, also very helpful. In fact, it is such a helpful CBD product that even after getting my medical marijuana products, I use this.  In future blog posts, I will explain. 

There is a great deal of helpful information about terpenese and CBD on their web site. 
And CannaHemp is third party lab tested, so I felt safe about using it.

Having fibromyalgia has made me desperate to try many non-medicine treatments for it.  After two weeks of waiting and thinking I would never get my MM card approved, I tried one more CBD item, that will be the topic of the next blog post.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

How to Treat Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain without Opiates, Prescription Drugs Part 1

I have had fibromyalgia since I was pre-teen age.  For many years, fibromyalgia was often considered by doctors to be "all in your head".  Then pain medicines for fibromyalgia started appearing, and since drug companies were making profits, fibromyalgia turned into a treatable condition.

My doctor gave me prescription for gabapentin,  that caused hallucinations and dangerous behaviors.  I was referred to a chronic pain specialist.  I took a list of all the natural and lifestyle things I did regularly for the last 20 years, including: yoga, tai chi, qigong, meditation, walking, TENS, acupuncture, massage, needle pads, heating pads, various supplements, and the main medication I have been taking, Tramadol.   He told me I was doing "everything you're supposed to do", and the only medicine he recommended was duloxetine, that also caused hallucinations.

Florida voters passed medical marijuana last year. Fibromyalgia and chronic pain aren't one of the official diagnoses to be eligible for mm (medical marijuana).  While I was researching how it works for chronic pain, I learned that the pain management part of cannabis was cannabidiol.  The THC gave it an extra boost.  CBD (cannabidiol) does not contain the THC "illegal" component of marijuana.  And you can purchase it online!  I was so surprised because I am a good researcher of alternative methods for pain.  I think now CBD is getting more exposure, so there's more information about it.

 My first online purchase was in May, Pain Bomb + CBD from a seller in New Mexico.

I also have polymyalgia rheumatica and my neck and shoulders are so sore and swollen, but I can't take steroids for it anymore.  I rubbed this in three times each day, and truly got relief.  I also have arthritis and it's helpful.  I bought two more bottles because I had been reading the FDA was trying to make it illegal, even though it doesn't contain THC.  It is from hemp plant, not cannabis plants.

Other methods of using CBD are tinctures, oils, "dabs" and vaping.

Since the CBD was working for me, I decided to go through the process of applying for medical marijuana in Florida.

And my next blog will be about that, and other CBD products I used because the process sure takes a long time.

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