Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Staying Healthy with Natural - CBD Cannabidiol and Why It is Helpful

 This is hard to believe, but our bodies were made to heal themselves.  

Years ago, before "technology", and probably until mid 1900's, nature provided us with herbs, natural things to help us stay healthy, and take care of body problems.  People often grew their own plants, herbs, vegetables and made their own remedies for family and friends.  I remember my grandmother who lived in Cleveland, Ohio.   She had a small garden in her back yards, and a very small "chicken coop".  When we went to visit her, she often gave us specials foods she grew to "make us strong".   My family moved to rural Ohio and we lived on a 100 acre farm, which is still in the family.  We had a chicken coop, cows, sheep, pigs.  And a large garden that we grew all our fruits and vegetables.  We kids never bought lunch in school, so all we really knew about food was what came from our farm.  The first time I ate "regular food" was when I left home, joined the US Navy.  And oh my, I wondered what was "wrong" with all the food.  Then I got an apartment and bought groceries for the first time, and was sure I bought the wrong foods, or they were "bad".   Nothing tasted as good as what we grew on the farm.  

Also, "back then", there were herbs that grew around nature that suddenly turned "illegal", including hemp plant.  The cows, animals grazed in the pastures, at the few hemp weeks that might be in the grass.  They processed the hemp, and then we drank cow's milk, ate the animals, and the hemp went into our bodies.   There is a part of our bodies, cannabinoid receptors, embedded in the cell membranes that are responsible for regulating multiple processes that we experience daily, including mood, appetite, memory and pain sensation. When we lived our "natural" lives the hemp plants CBD we got from animals kept these replenished.  But since hemp became illegal, we rare get CBD from anything.  Unless we buy it.

The first time I used CBD oil under my tongue, I was amazed at how "well" I felt.  I had trouble getting up in the morning because of arthritis, and when I took the CBD, in a few minutes the pain was helped so much.  My neighbors were amazed to see me out walking in the morning, riding my bike, because mornings were always so difficult for me.

CBD is NOT always  marijuana.  There are two kinds of CBD.  The CBD you can now buy over the counter is made from hemp.   Marijuana also has CBD.  The difference is that marijuana CBD has a small amount of THC, but hemp CBD has such a tiny amount it doesn't show in urine tests.  

CBD is most helpful for bones, aches, muscle pains.  It is calming, helps anxiety,  helps sleep.  

It is not really helpful for nerves, but THC is.  

But you do have to be careful about purchasing CBD.  Anybody can grow it.  You need to know how it is grown and handled, and tested for quality.  I bought my first CBD tincture and topical cream from Sisters of the Valley in California.  They are a very spiritual group, compassionate, and when you visit their web site, you can see how they handle growing their hemp.  They "bless it" often.  They "sage it" instead of using pesticides.  They have ceremonies around  harvesting it, and making the products.  And they have a link so you can check the testing results that are required in California and for selling online, by mail.  

If you are taking pills, drugs, prescriptions for arthritis, muscle pain, stress and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, try CBD.  Use it topically if you have an area that would benefit from rubbing it on.  Or take a few drops under your tongue, leave for a few seconds, then open your mouth slightly and breathe under your tongue so it gets absorbed and into your system.

CBD from Sisters of the Valley is one of the best self-help products you can use.

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Chinese Medicine for Body Health and Wellness -What Are Meridians and How to Move Qi Flow

 Chinese medicine has been around for centuries.  It is "natural", and helps the body to heal itself.  

A basic Chinese Medicine definition of the meridians of the body is that they are a network of 'energy channels.  There are six pairs of meridians (12 total major meridians), each affecting a corresponding Yin/Yang organ.  The meridians function as a network, much like a highway system, that can be mapped out throughout the entire body. They are similar to the circulatory system in western medicine, but it needs to be emphasized that meridians are non-physical.  According to Chinese medicine, as long as Qi flows freely through your meridians and your organs work in harmony, your body can remain healthy. This means that when your body's meridian system functions well, you are well. Yet due to a number of causes like excess stress, your body's meridians can become clogged or even blocked.

Acupuncture is used to determine where the qi flow is blocked in meridians, and the needles are used to unblock the qi so it flows again smoothly.

There are some things you can do for yourself to help your qi flow smoothly.  For centuries, and even now, Chinese people often keep jade rollers and gua sha tools in their "medicine cabinet" to help with health problems.  You can use your fingers to feel your body, for example moving your fingers down your arm from shoulder to wrist, and if you feel an area where there is discomfort or pain, that might mean the qi is blocked there.  It does not mean that your arm is "in trouble", it means the meridian it is related to is being affected.  

Any easy procedure anyone can do is to feel an area of their body slowly and carefully, and when you find an area that is tender or painful, use a jade gua sha tool to gently scrape the area.  Use the gua sha tool edge to scrape downwards a few times, mindfully and carefully.   Then use a jade roller to complete the process, again rolling downward, for example if the area is on your arm, roll from shoulder to hand direction.

 When I traveled to China every year, my Chinese doctor met me at the airport.  While we were in the taxi going to the hotel, he would scrape my neck with the gua sha tool, then use the jade roller to help me get over the 12 hour jet lag from USA to China.  It helped so much.  After almost a day of travel, his treatment helped me to get up the next morning "ready to go" and not waste a couple of days getting over jet lag.

I personally use a jade roller often to help my qi flow more smoothly.  If I feel a sore spot, I scrape with gua sha tool, the use the roller.  I also do qigong, tai chi daily, so the gua sha tool and jade roller are part of my wellness program.  On a day when I am not feeling very well, I start with the jade roller, then do the qigong, and start to feel better so I can continue with tai chi.  

More information about meridians, jade health tools, acupuncture and improving health naturally in future posts.

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

When Health Problems Change Your Life - Help Yourself Get Better Naturally with Chinese Medicine Tools

 Many of us have health problems that change our lives.  Some are caused by accidents: bones break, organs get damaged, nerves and brain injuries very dramatic changes.  And more.  Cardiac problems like heart attacks, bleeding, valvular changes.  Pregnancy may cause permanent damage to ovaries, uterus, and chemistry.  Stokes cause brain, nerve damage.  Aging can cause many problems, too: osteoporosis and falling and breaking bones; brain, heart, and all over the body changes.

Here in USA, most people rely on their physicians for help with body disease, changes, problems.  One of the first treatments is medicine.  If you watch advertisements about medicines, you probably are aware that there is as much information about dangers, side effects as there is about how it will help.  But when we experience these lifestyle changes, we are eager and anxious to get treatment.  We NEED it!

A patient who "needed" levothyroxine took it as directed.  The lab tests showed that it helped because the TSH and other thyroid lab results showed improvement.  But the patient felt horrible.  Although she is hyperthyroid, the levothyroxine made her feel and behave like she was hypothyroid.  She lost weight, had high anxiety, insomnia, rapid heart rate.  One day she felt like she was "going crazy" and stopped taking it.  She started feeling better, but something had happened:  she had a stroke she did not realize she had until she lost feeling and control of parts of her body, her limbs, and a leg and foot that was so severe she had to use a walker to get around.  When she had a brain MRI, it was discovered that she had a stroke, and the blood was clotting on her brain, causing the nerve problems.  The recommendations she got from her doctors made her very reluctant to try: more medicines.  

Some people believe that USA medical treatment and medicine today is "all about profits, money".  They really want the help, but terrified to take the medicines.  

Our next few posts will be about what traditional Chinese medicine practices can do to help people with health problems who want an alternative, who feel "intuitively" that there is also "something else" than can help.  It is probably best to try the Chinese medicine alternatives when you are doing  what your regular doctors recommend, then adding the alternative to see how it works for you before stopping what doctor recommends.  And you may feel better when you use the health tools.  If it does help, your doctor will notice, too.

Chinese medicine is about your "qi flow".  When your qi is blocked, it does not flow and this is what causes medical problems.  A Chinese medicine trained doctor will do a "pulse diagnosis" to determine what qi is blocked and needs to be repaired.  Acupuncture is used for this.  There are Chinese medicine tools that traditionally Chinese people kept in their "medicine cabinets" to use instead of taking drugs.  These will be discussed in next blog posts, so check back to learn more about what you can do to help heal without American medicine.

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