Sharon Caren/Exclusive to the Westside Observer

Sharon the Health

Raindrop Technique

A Regimen for Spinal Health and Well-being

What do you get when you combine modern day Essential Oil research with ancient healing wisdom? A natural application you can do in your own home that results in energy alignment, stress relief and the harmonious balance of every system in the body!

Yes, it’s actually that simple. The results I’ve experienced using this technique with clients, family members, and myself are remarkable.

Some Background

Dr. Gary Young developed the Raindrop Technique in 1989. He is one of the world’s foremost authorities in essential oils. For decades he has shared nature’s healing powers and helped millions to transform their health. Dr. Young is the author of seven books and co-authored four research papers published by the Journal of Essential Oil Research. He currently oversees six farms on four Continents directing the growth, harvest and distillation process of the highest quality of essential oils in the world. He also directed research at Young Life Research Clinic – Institute of Natural Medicine that validated the therapeutic value of essential oils and other natural healing modalities.

…the sense of smell is the only one of the five senses directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain (the emotional control center). A powerful aroma will evoke emotion long before there is a conscious thought of it.”

Dr. Young studied cultures from all over the world to see what the ancients did for healing when there were no pharmacies. He found the Lakota Indians believed in energetic balancing and mental healing powers. The tribe’s medicine men actually used effleurage, or a feathering stroke with the fingertips along the spine to help move blocked energy and improve health when their tribe people would fall ill.

The Raindrop Technique is based on this art as developed by the Lakota Indian nation. Dr. Young discovered when he incorporated essential oils (nature’s living energy) while using the fingertip feathering up the spine, this became a nontraditional means of addressing health concerns. The technique has proven to be a successful alternative to more invasive remedies.

Oils Used These Nine Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are layered on the spine in sequence and worked into the spine:

Oregano

Thyme

Basil

Cypress

Wintergreen

Marjoram

Peppermint

Aroma Siez (special blend)

Valor (special blend).

These oils help support the immune system, ease respiratory discomfort, promote normal breathing, and relax stressed muscles. They also balance energy, lift the spirit, and assist the ability to concentrate.

Some History

Since recorded history, man has been drawn to aromatics and fragrant resins. In fact, aromatics reigned over the ancient world in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. From the dawn of time to the space age, aromatics continue to exert a powerful influence. Plants are the basis of allopathic (conventional prescription) medicine, molecularly altered so drug companies can patent them and charge a great amount for profit. Natural substances cannot be patented. The plant material in its natural form has no negative side effects.

In the 1940’s, the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse and physician Jean Valnet led the resurgence of interest in essential oils. Dr. Valnet wrote a book, The Practice of Aromatherapy, which told of research documenting the power of essential oils such as clove, thyme, and cinnamon in studies from the 1800’s.

It wasn’t until 1989 that researchers realized the importance of the amygdala. That is the part of the brain that stores and releases emotional trauma. Pure therapeutic grade essential oils assist in the process of releasing trauma from the brain and the body. On the same note, the sense of smell is the only one of the five senses directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain (the emotional control center). A powerful aroma will evoke emotion long before there is a conscious thought of it. By understanding how the oils work for us on many levels, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, you may begin to understand how these oils work in our overall healing process.

My friends tell me they’ve used Raindrop Technique for many ailments such as, depression, disk herniation, arthritis, ear ache, tooth ache, head ache, bronchitis, and lung disease with great results.

Personally, I’m never without this group of oils in our home. If my husband feels something coming on, like a cold, flu, or back ache/pain, I put the oils on his spine and by the next day, he’s back to normal. Like magic? No, it’s TRUE! We also use these oils diluted in organic vegetable oil on Little Charlie, our five-pound Chihuahua, who’s suffered with a bad back and adrenal dysfunction. He now acts like a puppy at age 8.

Be careful that you only use therapeutic grade essential oils for this application. If they are not the highest quality oils, you will not find the results I am speaking of with the Raindrop Technique. Therapeutic grade essential oils are used in hospitals all over Europe and many natural healing clinics here in the U.S. I don’t know of a store in the area to refer that sells therapeutic grade essential oils. However, there is a kit you can order and I’m happy to help you get what you need if you are interested.

Today we are living in the best of both worlds with such wonderful modern technology along with the ancient healing knowledge at our fingertips like the Raindrop Oils. It doesn’t get any better than this!

I invite you to keep an open mind and try something different if you or someone you know is suffering from a chronic ailment. What have you got to lose but the pain?

Please call me at 650.359.6579 with any questions or comments you may have regarding the above or email: Sharon@sharonthehealth.com

Also visit www.sharonthehealth.com for more info on Essential Oils.

I’m at your service—Sharon

February 2013

Healing Oils of the Ancient Scriptures

The idea of using plant materials to restore our natural health and well-being is so old it seems new! At this joyous time of year, let’s look back over some historical data to find out what the Ancients did to promote healing.

China, 3000 BC Shen Nung’s herbal book is the oldest surviving medical book in China. It contains information on over 300 herbs and their medicinal applications.

Egypt, 1470 BC Queen Hatshepsut’s expedition to the legendary land of Punt was one of the greatest adventures of antiquity. Her army brought back wondrous riches. The greatest of all the treasures was the grove of myrrh trees, which were brought back to Egypt as gifts to the gods.

Egypt, 1330 BC When King Tutankhamen’s tomb was opened, archeologists discovered alabaster jars designed to hold precious essential oils that were valued above gold and jewels.

Because the essential oil molecules are so small, they easily pass through tissues and through cell walls as well. They bring nutrition and information into the cell and carry waste products out of the cell.”

Israel, 1250 BC An account from ancient Israel recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible records that Moses anointed Aaron.

Greece, 400 BC Hippocrates was commonly known as the “Father of Medicine.” Legend states that Hippocrates saved Athens from a devastating plague by fumigating the city with aromatics. “I believe that a daily aromatic bath followed by a scented massage will promote good health.”

Macedonia, 345 BC After Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia, he adopted the use of essential oils. It is said that his floors would be sprinkled with scented waters and that his clothes carried fragrant resins. “I am dying from the treatment of too many physicians.”

Israel, 0 AD It is recorded in the New Testament that Three Wise Men visited the newborn Jesus and presented him with gifts of Frankincense, gold, and myrrh.

Italy, 100 AD Pliny, a Roman historian, wrote a book titled Natural History that describes the uses of herbs and essential oils.

“It is the belly, for the gratification of which the greater part of mankind exist, that causes the most suffering to man. No wonder then that the belly should have to be indebted to the aid of medicine in the very highest degree. Leaves of aizoum beaten up in wine, and dried alcea powdered are curative of gripping pains in the bowels.”

Iran, 1000 AD An Arab physician named Avincenna improved the quality of essential oils by developing steam distillation.

Germany, 1100 AD Saint Hildegard, an herbalist, wrote Causes and Cures for Illness.

“With earth was the human being created. All the elements served mankind and, sensing that man was alive, they buried themselves in aiding his life in every way.”

France, 1400 AD During the Medieval plague, Four Thieves in Marseilles robbed the dead without becoming sick. When captured, the men revealed a mixture of aromatics they used to protect themselves against the deadly plague.

Central America, 1500 AD When the Spanish Conquistadors invaded the Aztecs, they were amazed by the abundance of medicinal herbs found in Montezuma’s botanical garden.

France, 1795 AD Napoleon and his bride Josephine used essential oils as perfumes. Occasionally, Napoleon would not approve of the oil Josephine selected, hence the famous phrase “Not tonight, Josephine.”

Vietnamese Coast, 1940 AD Using Gattefosse’s research, Jean Valnet, a French doctor during World War II, successfully treated wounded soldiers with essential oils. The antibacterial properties of the oils helped the wounds heal faster and with less infection.

“In recent years both doctors and the public have rediscovered the medical value of essential plant oils, but the idea of using their properties to maintain or regain health goes back to antiquity.”

We are here on the planet with everything we need to sustain ourselves according to the Divine plan. Is this a coincidence? I don’t believe so.

What is an Essential Oil

An essential oil is the life-blood of the plant and is a very special natural substance chemically. If used in a pure concentrated state (the whole juice, the fresh plant, dissolved in a fat, or as aromatic vapors inhaled out of the air) their healing power has been known and used since the most ancient times. It is testified in Egyptian hieroglyphics dated more than 5,000 years ago. They are considered to be the first medicines of mankind and were an important part of the prescriptions of Hippocrates whose works were published around 400 BC.

Essential oils are composed of tiny molecules, all less than 500 atomic mass units (amu) in molecular weight. Fatty oils are composed of much larger molecules, many weighing 1000 amu and more. This difference is crucial to understanding why essential oils heal and fatty oils do not, at least not in the same ways.

Because the essential oil molecules are so small, they easily pass through tissues and through cell walls as well. They bring nutrition and information into the cell and carry waste products out of the cell. Can you see why this may be useful in aiding the body’s immune system to ward off toxins and disease?

Any essential oil placed anywhere on the body is transdermal and can reach every part of your body within minutes. So the importance of using a pure therapeutic grade essential oil is paramount. You must be sure you are not using an adulterated oil because first, it won’t have the healing properties, and next, may even be harmful. If you have a bottle of essential oil and it says “Do Not Ingest,” don’t use it at all!

Essential oils perform many duties in the plant, like regulating plant growth as hormones, and metabolism as enzymes. These plant oils can also aid us in the same way to support and balance the endocrine, circulatory, digestive, nervous, and reproductive systems. They can clear our sinuses and lungs to help us breathe better. They can help us metabolize our nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. They can also boost the natural defenses of our immune systems so we can fight off disease by our own abilities. And while they are friendly to our body, they can get rid of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. When applied to the skin, the oils are effective insect repellents, like cedarwood and myrrh used in ancient times.

If you would like more information on how to get these healing oils as well as how to use them, I will be holding bi-weekly phone sessions starting in January 2013 and would love to share this valuable information with you. Please contact me at 650.359.6579 or email: Sharon@sharontheheatlh.com and I’ll provide the call in information. Also, you can visit www.sharonthehealth.com and under services in the menu bar, click on Essential Oils.

Found in the Bible in Ezekiel 42:12 it’s suggested that the Creator Source gave us natural herbs with their extracts to be our medicines. So God, The Creator (or whichever name you may use to address the higher consciousness) was actually the first aroma therapist on Earth! His intent was for us to take responsibility for our own health care and use our intelligence with his divine guidance.

From my house to yours, I wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday! Thank you for your interest in reading my column, Sharon The Health in 2012. Stay tuned for more in the New Year 2013!

“The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.”

December 2012

What Is Cancer?

When you hear the word “Cancer” do you immediately go to fear, feeling like it’s synonymous with a death sentence? What may also frighten you is that some known cancer cures can be as deadly as the disease. Let’s look at some of the facts and become pro-active.

I believe with a better understanding of how cancer takes hold in the body, it doesn’t have to be scary and we can then take appropriate action. It’s important to explore various healing methods if one has the disease currently. Western medicine and natural methods can be used independently or in combination.

It’s many simple things that add up to creating a healthy life. My purpose is to help you see how each of these simple things work together to keep us well and vital. Develop your life strategy now. What are you waiting for?”

Defining Cancer

Cancer happens when abnormal cells divide without control. These abnormal cells are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems as well. Some cancers do not form tumors. For example, leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood.

All cancers begin in the cells, the body’s basic unit of life. The body is made up of many types of cells. When cells become old or damaged, they die and are replaced with new cells. However, sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. The genetic material (DNA) of a cell can become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. When this happens, cells do not die when they should and new cells form when the body doesn’t need them. The extra cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumor.

Benign tumors aren’t cancerous and are often removed. In most cases, they don’t come back. Cells in benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are cancerous. Cells in these tumors can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis.

In order for cancer to spread, the tumor must send out a supply line or a new network of blood vessels to feed them. To do so, they produce a chemical substance called angiongenin that forces vessels to approach them and to sprout new branches. To cut the supply line, there are specific dietary practices to follow. Many natural antiangiongenesis foods have been discovered recently such as common mushrooms, certain green teas, spices and herbs. They reduce inflammation—a direct cause of growth of new blood vessels.

Types of Cancer

Cancer is not just one disease. There are more than 100 different types.

• Carcinoma—begins in skin or tissue that line or cover internal organs.

• Sarcoma—begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.

• Leukemia—starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood stream.

• Lymphoma and myeloma—begins in cells of the immune system.

• Central nervous system cancers—begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

Major Causes

Chronic Inflammation is the cause of disease in the body and a byproduct of the immune system going haywire. The immune system may ignite its self when it shouldn’t or it may turn on to heal an infection but never turn off. When the immune system stays on for prolonged periods of time, it can attack joints, tissue and blood vessels causing rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and asthma. This type of inflammation can eventually lead to cancer.

What can cause inflammation? “Just one high fat meal of pizza, burgers, ice cream and French fries can create inflammation in your body,” says Dr. Oz. How do you know if you have general chronic inflammation? I recommend getting the C-Reactive Protein Test or CRP Test to check your chronic inflammation levels. It’s important to have a baseline to compare levels over time. There are anti-inflammatory drugs to lessen vulnerability to cancer but they come with serious side effects.

Try some natural ways of reducing inflammation. Drink organic green tea and try using essential oils. All therapeutic grade essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties, particularly clove oil.

Stress adds fuel to the fire

Persistent feelings of helplessness create stress and will lead to changes in secretion of noradrenaline (fight or flight hormone). This secretion acts as a fertilizer for cancerous tumors, latent or already established. Therefore, reducing stress in our lives is critically important to being cancer free. To de-stress seek a professional for your emotional health. A good therapist can aid you in breaking old and damaging thought patterns that create hopeless feelings and depression.

Using therapeutic grade essential oils not only may help with chronic inflammation, they oxygenate the body and may also bring feelings of well-being. Use lavender oil to experience peace and relaxation. Using the oils along with a meditation practice can significantly bring a more peaceful and happy existence.

Anti-Cancer Strategy

• Remove chemicals and avoid exposure

• Stimulate your immune cells

• Adopt an anti-cancer diet

• Fight inflammation

• Cleanse and detox

• Drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water each day

• Seek emotional balance

• Exercise

Start making a change in your diet now, before there is a medical crisis. Eat raw, whole foods, lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink organic green tea. Use essential oils. Make it a practice to find joy in your life each day.

I’m sure much of what you’ve read is not new or maybe some of it is. My goal was to put it together to create a big picture. It’s many simple things that add up to creating a healthy life. My purpose is to help you see how each of these simple things work together to keep us well and vital. Develop your life strategy now. What are you waiting for?

“The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.”

November 2012

Fit, Flexible & Fabulous at any Age

Aging doesn’t mean getting old. It means getting better! We mature like a fine wine. We gain wisdom that brings much joy to our lives, our family, our friends, and to the world. I’d never want to go back to my younger years with all the drama and disharmony around me. Our soul is everlasting and doesn’t age, only our physical body does. If we think young, our body will reflect it. So how do we maximize our years of knowledge and wisdom and live with vitality? Let’s explore some possibilities.

Anti-Aging

The term ageing is somewhat ambiguous. Chronological age does not correlate perfectly with functional age. For example, two people may be of the same age, but differ in mental and physical capacities.

Life Extension Science, also known as anti-aging medicine, experimental gerontology, and biomedical gerontology, is the study of slowing down or reversing the processes of aging to extend both the maximum and average lifespan. Some researchers believe that future breakthroughs in tissue rejuvenation with stem cells, molecular repair, and organ replacement will eventually enable humans to have indefinite life spans through complete rejuvenation to a healthy youthful condition.

The sale of anti-aging products such as nutrition, physical fitness, skin care, hormone replacements, vitamins, supplements and herbs is a lucrative global industry, with the US market generating about $50 billion of revenue each year. Some medical experts state the use of these products has no effect on the aging process. If this is the case, why are so many Anti-Aging clinics popping up all over the world?

Here is one right in your neighborhood – SFPMG, San Francisco Specialists in Natural Medicine -380 West Portal Avenue, Suite C, San Francisco, CA 94127 Tel: (415) 566-1000. Dr. Joel Lopez, MD, CNS specializes in Anti-Aging, Longevity and Nutritional Medicine. I know him personally and urge you to call on him if you’d like to know more.

My husband found pictures of Raquel Welch, age 72 and Adam West (Batman), age 84, amazingly well preserved. If you want to be inspired, look them up on the Internet. This is proof that age is only a number. Maybe in their cases, very expensive, too?

I don’t need to look like a movie star. However, being healthy and strong is my goal. Looking good is a by-product. I don’t mind spending $$$ investing in my health. What better investment can I make for a better quality of life?

If you’ve been reading my health column over the past 3 years you know I’ve written about many of the above natural means of self-care that I live by and use each day. All I know is, I feel better at age 63 than I did at 43! When I feel better, I am better. So I say, try good nutrition, physical fitness, vitamins, and supplements to see if you feel better. You be the judge, and these products may even add years to your life.

The Underrated Importance of Posture

Watching the movie stars, super models, entertainers, and beautiful people, you’ll find they all have one thing in common — Great Posture. They embody an air of grace and ease. It’s an unspoken confidence that lures the public to watch and admire their every move, pay to see them in person and on screen, making them famous. It’s a body language that says, “I’ve got something you want.” We can all have it when we know the secret!

The working definition of good posture is when one’s body weight is evenly balanced on its naturally intended weight-supporting surfaces. Great Posture is when the body is flexible, strong and responsive enough to maintain good posture naturally and effortlessly.

As children we grew up hearing the old cliché, sit up straight and have good posture. The problem was no one really showed us how to properly employ “Good Posture” nor did they explain how much pain we’d be in later in life if we didn’t. As our physical bodies age, we no longer heal and repair as we did when we were children. Our bodies have more wear and tear and more aches and pains as we start feeling the effects of bad posture. The worst part is, unless someone points it out, we may not even realize bad posture could be the reason for much of our chronic pain.

The human body sustains 14.7 pounds of pressure per square inch of surface area, taking a beating every day. The body works more effectively and efficiently when it’s flexible, allowing for good posture. When the body is in the correct position, with joints safely handling all the pressure gravity is putting on it, the result is effortless movement. If this had been explained to us with proper visuals as kids, we’d all be in much better physical shape today.

Can we change the imbalances we’ve been wearing for years? Absolutely, and flexibility is key. My personal experience after breaking my neck in a car accident in 1977 proves it. I was in a body cast for 3 months and thank goodness my neck healed naturally. About 15 years later, however, I developed carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, neck and upper back pain. I also had a neck forward position (bad posture) and much tension and tightness in those neck and arm muscles. I was searching for some relief because I was much too young and healthy to feel so bad.

In 1996 at a health fair I met a posture researcher and the developer of Reposturing Bodywork, Aaron Parnell. He served on the first Sports Massage Team for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Boy, was I lucky. He gave me a free 5-minute upper body treatment that changed my health, my life and my career. I’m now a Posturist and Licensed to teach.

Over the past 15 years, I’ve worked with folks who have experienced relief from frozen shoulder, neck immobility, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, and TMJ, just to mention a few. All of these challenges are postural. When the torso is balanced even wrinkles are minimized. Using Facial Reposturing, a cutting edge anti-aging technique, I stretch the muscles of the neck, face, head, and jaw. It’s like having a non-surgical face-lift without the invasive, painful treatment and at a fraction of the cost.

Reposturing = Unique Stretches & Breath & Massage & Specific Exercises

Specific Exercises for great posture at home

Reposturing Yoga is a simple and safe system of flexibility exercises. It merges the traditions of Hatha Yoga with leading edge research and development of exercise, science and Kinesiology. Using the internal power of the breath creates an easy and effective way to stretch. We have books and DVD’s to walk you through the process. I have clients who stopped coming for treatments when they adopted this program because they feel so good. Call me at 650.359.6579 if you’d like to know more or sharonthehealth.com

I love to miss my clients. As a teacher, I empower others to take responsibility for their own health self-care. It’s wonderful to wake up each morning feeling good. This is my wish for you.

You are invited to a very special event on Wednesday, Oct. 17th from 6:45 to 8:30 PM. Come meet Mr. Aaron Parnell, the developer of Resposturing Bodywork in person. Don’t miss his first speaking engagement in Pacifica for:

Sharon The Health Presents

Fit, Flexible and Fabulous at Any Age

Florey’s Book Company

2120 Palmetto Ave.

Pacifica, CA 94044

RSVP ASAP as space is limited!

Call Sharon 650.359.6579

Or email Sharon@sharonthehealth.com

“The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.”

October 2012

Fear and Phobia – Let’s Get Over Them!

In my observation, good communication skills are underrated. How do we get through life with any success if we cannot express our true nature?

What I mean by “good communicating” is to speak up in a manner so others can not only hear what was said, but also understand it. We communicate verbally and also through the written word. I’ve worked to develop my skill in writing since 2008 when I began my health column in the Observer. It’s almost easier to write than it is to speak. This may be why our smart phones have texting and email capabilities!

Let’s focus on speaking. We speak to interact with others for specific reasons. As babies, our parents are thrilled with our first words mama and dada. After that, we are left somewhat on our own learning what we learn from those with whom we spend the most time.”

Let’s focus on speaking. We speak to interact with others for specific reasons. As babies, our parents are thrilled with our first words mama and dada. After that, we are left somewhat on our own learning what we learn from those with whom we spend the most time.

Thinking back to high school, I remember having to write English essays, but it was not often included in the courses to get up in front of others to speak. We did raise our hands to ask questions, but it’s not the same. If we did get up in front of the class to give an oral report, I don’t remember (I’m a baby boomer) having any instruction on how to stand, project the voice, where to look or not look or how to hold my arms and hands in front of a group. We’d be graded only on content, and again, we are back to writing! Where, if ever, did we learn speaking skills – not in K through 12 of my education.

So how does one develop good social or speaking skills? For me it was trial and error because I really wanted to do it. I wasn’t in the majority, however. Many children were afraid and shamed when they could not speak up or perform. This doesn’t really empower anyone at any age.

Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking or speaking in general. The word is Greek — glossa meaning tongue and phobos — fear or dread. Many only have this particular fear, while others may also have social phobia or social anxiety disorder.

Symptoms:

• intense anxiety prior to or even the thought of having to verbally communicate with any group.

• avoidance of events which focus the groups attention on individuals in attendance.

• physical distress, nausea or feelings of panic in such circumstances.

It is estimated that 75% of all people experience some degree of anxiety or nervousness when speaking in public.

The physical manifestations of panic, fear and anxiety do not promote a healthy life. The body goes into fight or flight mode and changes chemically due to adrenaline secretion. If this lasts for a prolonged period of time, cortisol levels (the death hormone) rise and an acidic environment is created in the body that promotes disease, as well depression and a poor quality of life.

Other related Phobias:

Atychiphobia – fear of failure

Anthropophobia – fear of people

Gelotophobia – fear of being laughed at

Panphobia – fear of everything

Philophobia – fear of love

Phobophobia – fear of having a phobia

Sociophobia – fear of social situations

Scopophobia – fear of being stared at

If you occasionally get nervous in these situations, it doesn’t mean you have a disorder or a phobia. However, if it gets in the way of everyday functioning, it’s important to seek professional help. There are many therapists (LMFT’s) who can be of tremendous assistance. We are now back to communication, so call me if you’d like a referral.

Make a Paradigm Shift

Paradigms are messages we get from the past that are taken as truths from our childhood, or even from generations past. These messages shape our logic. Logic can be an energetic block when left unchecked or questioned. If we change our perception we can change our life. Yes, we can break out of the old beliefs when we identify where they might have originated and reprogram with new and empowering belief systems.

Here are some helpful tips I’ve used to relax and have a more successful presentation:

Breathing Technique – take a deep breath in through the nose, relax your jaw and exhale through an open mouth. Do this at least 3 to 5 times. Repeat as needed to feel your entire body start to relax.

Quick Meditation – close your eyes and picture yourself up in front of the group, calm, relaxed and confident. See the crowd smiling and applauding your wonderful talk.

Essential Oils – Pure Therapeutic Grade only…

Peppermint Oil – may help with laryngitis, sinus inflammation, and calming the throat.

Lavender – to relax, calm nerves and aid in neck or headaches.

Valor Oil Blend – to balance the body and to use for promoting courage!

Find your Joy – just do it!

“The more intentional I am in my communications, the more results I’ll get!”

I was given this quote above by a public speaking coach and inspirational speaker. I strive for it each day in my personal life as well as in business.

As adults, we seek out professionals who can help us attain our personal and business goals. There are organizations we can join to gain more experience and training such as Toastmasters, POWERtalk or Association of Speakers Clubs. Also, the right business coach can actually take us to the next level with one-on-one sessions and group workshops. Believe it or not, it can also be FUN.

If you’d like to explore more about how to find your true voice:

4th of a 12 month series on Natural Health and Healing Ideas

Please join us

Sharon the Health Presents:

Get Over it! Experience the Joy of Speaking Up

Special Guest, Michael Neuendorff, Public Speaking Coach

Wed. Sept. 19 • 6:45 to 8:30 PM
Florey’s Book Company

2120 Palmetto Ave. • Pacifica, CA 94044

RSVP ASAP! This will fill up fast. Space is limited! Call Sharon 650.359.6579 or email sharon@sharonthehealth.com

“The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.

September 2012

 

Color is Energy/Chromotherapy

Since recorded history, it’s been known that color affects our feelings, moods, and emotions. In ancient times, great halls of color healing were built. Individuals entered and then bathed in light filtered through various colored glass panels or windows. Chromotherapy may seem like a new healing technique but it’s very old.

What is color?

Colors are wavelengths of electro-magnetic energy seen through our eyes. The color we see is the part of the visible spectrum that’s reflected back by a certain object.

Color used for healing is a blossoming, cutting-edge healing art that has not gone mainstream. Many more case studies need to be documented. So in this context, it’s a fairly new idea. ”

When someone is “color blind,” there is no actual blindness but a fault in the development of one or more sets of retinal cones that perceive color in the light and transmit the information to the optic nerve. Color blindness is found in males more often than females because men have only one X chromosome where women have two. The X chromosome is the one that carries photopigments, so the chance of it occurring in men is dramatically increased.

How can color help in healing a tired or diseased body? Color is energy, and therefore, color can improve energetic balance. When incorporating color tones in harmony with an individual’s natural vibration, the body’s immune system strengthens. By the same token, incorporating colors not in harmony will increase the imbalance and further compromise the body’s natural ability to heal.

When all colors join together, the result is white light. When using white light for healing, that light (encompassing ALL) brings completeness, oneness, the union of all complementary parts.

Color is all around us and we may take it for granted.

In nature we have the luscious blue sky, crisp green leaves of trees and plants, and beautiful flowers embodying all the colors of the rainbow. One of the best ways to uplift the spirit is to get outdoors, not only to breathe the fresh air but also to experience the breath-taking sights full of ALL colors. Did you ever wonder how many different colors there are? Step out your door, look around, and you’ll find the number is infinite.

Have you visited or seen pictures of Zion and Bryce National Parks in Utah? Bright reds and oranges like fire, purples and pinks in the mountain rocks, and deep, glimmering blues of the lake water. Who could have imagined this painters’ pallet of color beauty but the Creator? What a fabulous color healing vacation it would be!

As a child were you ever asked, “What’s your favorite color?” When I was a very young girl, my favorite color was pink.

The color Pink – heals grief and sadness, restores youthfullness and brings us in contact with our own feelings. It’s regarded as a feminine color and symbolizes softness, sweetness and innocence.

An aversion to Pink may mean someone has a challenge with expressing and embracing their soft and tender, loving side.

As a teenager, my favorite changed to green. This was at the time my parents divorced.

The color Green – has all healing properties; the color of Nature and the earth. It’s a balance and harmony essence and possesses a soothing influence upon both mind and body. It’s neither relaxing nor astringent and can be used for any condition in need of healing.

Interesting how on a subconscious level, we are attracted to what we need!

The color Blue – is cooling, electric, astringent, and a great antiseptic. Helps ailments of speech, communication, or the throat and laryngitis.

The color Red – brings warmth, energy and stimulation. Good for energy, fatigue, colds, energizes heart and blood circulation, as well as building up the blood.

The color Orange – warm, cheerful, non-constricting. It has a freeing action on the body and mind, relieving repressions. Also shows new possibilities and other options in life while stimulating enthusiasm and new ideas.

The color Yellow – helps strengthen the nerves and the mind, stimulates higher mentality and good for nervous or nerve-related conditions, and energizes the muscles. Dark Yellow soothes shooting pains.

If you’re feeling down and BLUE (pun intended) go into your closet and find a green, orange, or red shirt to put on. Then go outdoors and look around. Imagine you’re a newborn opening your eyes here on earth for the first time…wow… Mother Nature never lets us down.

While indoors, make sure your surroundings are in color tones that reflect the mood or feeling you’d like to create. Paint the chosen color tones on the walls of your home, pick carpet and furniture which both accent and harmonize like pillows, curtains, and wall hangings to best serve your personal healing. Make sure you have things you enjoy looking at. Buy a beautiful piece of art to accent your favorite room. Hang it where you’d like to create an energetic healing. It doesn’t take much and can be a fun exercise. Try redecorating your living space before starting on an anti-depression drug and see what happens.

Color used for healing is a blossoming, cutting-edge healing art that has not gone mainstream. Many more case studies need to be documented. So in this context, it’s a fairly new idea. You won’t find much information written on the subject. I invite you to the next interactive discussion group and hear what a certified color analyst has to share. It’s fascinating!

The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.

Color Is Energy

Guest Speaker, Cindy Rodoni Certified Color Analyst and Consultant

Wed. July 18th from 7:00 to 8:30 PM

You will find out: How YOU visually “see” Color
How YOU energetically “feel” Color

At Florey’s Book Company • 2120 Palmetto Ave. • Pacifica, CA 94044

Please RSVP space is limited. Call Sharon at 650.359.6579 or email Sharon@sharonthehealth.com www.sharonthehealth.com

July-Aug 2012

Music’s Healing Power has a hard time acknowledging the therapeutic benefits of music. There is Old Music Cut

When you’re feeling down or blue, have you ever noticed how comforting it is to listen to a favorite CD?

Music is Healing for all ages

Everyone from tiny infants to octogenarians experience little miracles everyday with the power of music. Some are healed, some are given a few moments of relief from pain, and others are comforted in passage to the beyond. We find this type of therapy in alternative health practices.

Unfortunately, our western medicine health care systemmuch anecdotal evidence that music heals but medical establishments will argue that there isn’t scientific proof of the efficacy of music. Only about 15% of American hospitals employ this method and it’s not covered by insurance.

Healing isn’t about science, it’s about people. Many people everyday are experiencing very real results from the healing power of music in relieving anxiety and stress. This is happening more often through the efforts of volunteers in hospices, senior centers, and in cancer wards and children’s wards. Stress is the number one indicator of heart attack or stroke over diet, family history or weight. That favorite CD might be doing more than we thought!

Music therapy is an allied health profession and one of the expressive ones. It consists of an interpersonal process where a trained music therapist uses music and all of its facets (physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual) to help clients improve or maintain their health across various domains such as cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional and affective development, behavior and social skills, and quality of life. They use musical experiences like singing, songwriting, listening to and discussing music, and moving to music to achieve treatment goals and objectives. It is considered both an art and a science, with a qualitative and quantitative research base.

Music therapists work in nearly every area of the healing. Some commonly found practices include developmental work like communication and motor skills of individuals with special needs, songwriting and listening in reminiscence/orientation work with the elderly, processing and relaxation work, and rhythmic entrainment for physical rehabilitation in stroke victims. Music therapy is also effective in hospitals, cancer centers, schools, alcohol and drug recovery programs, psychiatric hospitals, and correctional facilities.

Journal of Advanced Nursing report

“Effect of music on power, pain, depression and disability.” June, 2006

Researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial with 60 people who were recruited from pain and chiropractic clinics in Ohio. The participants were suffering from a range of painful conditions including osteoarthritis, disc problems and rheumatoid arthritis for an average of six and a half years.

Participants were divided into three groups of 20.

Two of the groups listened to music on a headset for an hour a day.

The third group did not listen to music and served as the control group.

All three groups kept a pain diary.

The first music group chose their favorite music to listen to. Choices included pop, rock, slow, melodious and nature sounds.

The second music group was given relaxing music selected by the researchers.

Before the study began, the participants reported their average pain to be just under six on a zero to ten scale, with their worst pain exceeding nine. 90% experienced pain in more than one part of their body and 95% said their pain was continuous.

Results of the Study

The music groups reported a 12 to 21% reduction in pain. The control group reported pain had increased by 1 to 2%.

The music groups reported 19 to 25% less depression than the control group.

The music groups reported feeling 9 to 18% less disabled than the control group.

The music groups felt they had 5 to 8 % more power over their pain than the control group.

In a press release after the study, Dr. Sandra L. Siedlecki, nurse researcher at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, stated, “Our results show that listening to music had a statistically significant effect on the two experimental groups, reducing pain, depression and disability and increasing feelings of power. There were some small differences between the two music groups, but they both showed consistent improvements in each category when compared to the control group.

“Non-malignant pain remains a major health problem and sufferers continue to report high levels of unrelieved pain despite using medication. So anything that can provide relief is to be welcomed.”

Co-author Professor Marion Good from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio added, “Listening to music has already been shown to promote a number of positive benefits and this research adds to the growing body of evidence that it has an important role to play in modern healthcare.”

Music for Life

My husband, a professional musician and entertainer, says music is his healing modality. “The music comes from my heart and when I’m hired to perform, folks of all ages smile and move to the beat. Their body’s frequency is raised through sounds resonating with musical notes bringing the listeners joy no matter what is going on in life.” Dave plays his music in Senior Centers and outdoor Concerts where there are many who come in with wheelchairs and walkers. “Some actually forget…get up and dance without the walkers. It’s wonderful to see.”

Going to concerts, the opera, symphony, ballet or any live musical venue is very uplifting for the spirit. This type of event can provide healing energy for your physical and emotional body as well. Try playing music in your home or car if you don’t already, to see if you feel a difference. Also, find some soft, relaxing music like you might experience when receiving a massage. Get in a quiet place alone, put it on, close your eyes and use it as a meditation time.

No matter what type of music you enjoy and whether you play it soft or loud, try it sometime when you are feeling stressed, anxious or upset. I’d like to hear how your music therapy works for your personal healing. If you have questions or would like more information and ideas on how to use music for healing please come to this discussion group:

Join us on

Wed. June 20th | 7:00 to 8:30 PM

2nd of a 12 month series on

Heath and Healing

Sharon the Health presents

Discussion of Music & Sound Healing

Special Guest

Dave Crimmen, Musician of 35 years

Florey’s Book Company

2120 Palmetto Ave.

Pacifica, CA 94044

RSVP SOON as space is limited!

Call Sharon 650.359.6579

Or email Sharon@sharonthehealth.com

“The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.

Feedback: caren@westsideobserver.com

June 2012

Yoga – Try it for Sharon Caren
Stress and Pain Relief

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, heart disease is almost twice as likely to develop in physically inactive people. Whether you are 20 or 90, a couch potato or an athlete, yoga is perfect for you.

The yoga practice combines many deferent elements and is easily tailored to each individual. It’s personal and non-competitive. You’ll gain energy, improve self-image, and might even find exercise can be fun J.

Throughout time, yoga is mentioned in ancient texts without reference to the origin. We don’t know for sure where it originated. In ancient India, Ayurveda was the system of health. Many yoga exercises were included in that system, designed to master the body and increase health. Yoga might have evolved from these practices.

Yoga was an important part of sacred rituals practiced by Indian holy men and an essential component of meditation. The poses (asanas) were handed down from teacher to student for centuries. Several thousands of years before the birth of Christ, a man named Patanjali began physically documenting information about yoga. This became their guidelines for living, and is now called Patanjali’s “Eightfold Path”. It’s still used today as the quintessential yoga reference.

If you are not flexible, start slow and it will come gradually over time. Before you know it, your joints will loosen, your muscles will stretch, and your body will take on a smoother shape. If you are naturally flexible, jump in. It won’t necessarily be simple..”

How did this ancient information get to America?

Nineteenth-Century America was unfamiliar with Eastern thought and tradition. In 1893, Swami Vivekananda addressed the Parliament of Religions. He quickly became popular. Many gurus followed him and brought the traditions west, where it quickly caught on. The Beatles, a popular rock group in the 1960s, became enamored with Eastern thought and visited India, befriending Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist, actually took up playing the sitar (a Hindu stringed instrument that looks like a mandolin) on several Beatle recordings.

Yoga isn’t a religion, but encourages the study of all religions and spiritual texts. However, it does offer guidelines for living, spirituality, and communion with the “divine”. Yoga is not biased, prejudiced, or exclusive. You can be Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, or Jewish. Or you can be agnostic or completely non-spiritual. The yoga practice will help to develop any belief system, or can be practiced completely apart from religion.

The three poplar types of Yoga
practiced in the U.S. are Iyengar, Bikram and Hatha.

We’ll focus on Hatha Yoga. Hatha is based on body control as the key to controlling the mind and freedom of spirit. Through postures (asanas), and breathing exercises (pranayama), it tones and strengthens the entire body. As you focus on physical fitness, mind and spirit also become engaged.

I’ve studied posture over the past 15 years and use Reposturing bodywork with clients. This one-on-one hands-on work might feel very similar to yoga. The client is guided into the stretch positions (like poses) on a massage table, and coached in breathing. The two most important components of Reposturing, as in yoga, are flexibility and deep breathing. These components allow the body to stretch from the inside out. Sometimes the body is not ready for yoga due to injury, illness or lack of flexibility. No worries….Reposturing bodywork will help you transition into your yoga practice. In the meantime, you’ll have a personal coach to guide you through the process.

Yoga Has Healing Powers

Yoga postures help to stretch, loosen, and align the spine so more energy flows freely throughout the body. It also has a cleansing effect on the body by moving blocked energy. The lymphatic system is the center of the immune system and is stimulated by yoga postures. This plays a big part in the building of a stronger immune system. You’ll also enjoy better circulation, digestion, respiration, and posture. The better it gets, the better it gets!

If you are not flexible, start slow and it will come gradually over time. Before you know it, your joints will loosen, your muscles will stretch, and your body will take on a smoother shape. If you are naturally flexible, jump in. It won’t necessarily be simple. There’s always a new pose to take you to the next level.

We have become a society looking for balance in a world that seems out of balance. The yoga practice helps us find our personal balance in so many valuable ways. Yoga techniques have been time-tested over centuries and are still going strong. What a testimonial!

Yoga Demo and Discussion Group – Free Event

Wednesday, May 16– 7:00 to 8:30 PM

If you’d like to learn more, please join Susan Grace, a Certified Yoga Teacher, trained under a physical therapist. You’ll experience postures that awaken and strengthen the spine, as well as breath work that facilitates the movement of life energy. Susan will share how she used yoga to heal herself emotionally and physically. She is dedicated to helping others find yoga’s multi-faceted benefits. Her style is appropriate for all people, regardless of age or ability.

Please RSVP- space is limited; 650.359.6579 or Sharon@sharonthehealth.com

Put this date on your calendar:

Yoga Demo and Discussion Group – Free Event

May 16, 2012 – Wednesday

7:00 to 8:30 PM

Florey’s Book Company

2120 Palmetto Ave.

Pacifica, 650.355.8811

As always, I welcome your feedback. If you have any questions or comments, contact me at 650.359.6579 or email Sharon@sharonthehealth.com . Also visit: www.sharonthehealth.com

The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.

May 2012

Thinking about a Vasectomy?

Consider the Long-Term Complications

In these tough economic times, more men are making a tough decision: vasectomy. Urologists across the country are reporting that nearly twice as many men have been seeking permanent sterilization via vasectomy since the economic crisis began.

There’s no official count but it’s clearly a trend, says Lawrence Ross, MD, professor of urology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a past president of the American Urological Association.”We are definitely seeing increasing numbers of patients requesting vasectomy. A rough estimate is perhaps twice the number per week we saw a year ago.”

Many men now coming to urologists’ offices have already decided on vasectomy, but were motivated to act by fear of losing their health insurance. Ross warns that the decision to have a vasectomy should not be made lightly. While the procedure is safe, inexpensive, and relatively minor — recovery is rapid and takes only a day — it should be considered permanent.

Infection can settle in the testicles and become so bad the testicles must be removed, causing major hormonal repercussions…Some prostatitis can go on for 5 years or more. The post-vasectomy infection rate is 32.9%.”

But how safe is it? I had no prior knowledge of vasectomy health risks until my nephew, father of five children, had the procedure ten years ago. He was left with ongoing pain and erectile dysfunction. Because it’s such a personal issue, I knew nothing until two years ago when he had the reversal surgery. Now he has seven children, feels great and that’s another story J.

What is Vasectomy – a surgical procedure for male sterilization and/or permanent birth control. During the procedure, the vasa deferential of a man are severed, and then tied and sealed to prevent sperm from entering into the seminal stream (ejaculate).

What happens to the sperm? After a vasectomy, sperm production continues as before, around 50,000 spermatozoa per minute. Lacking a normal anatomical passage, these cells are either consumed by destroyer cells (macrophages) or degenerate and produce antigens that cause antibodies to be produced. These antigens frequently infiltrate into the bloodstream and induce other cells throughout the body to manufacture antibodies against the sperm called “anti-sperm autoantibodies.”

When the body gears up its defenses to destroy cells of its own making, as after a vasectomy, then the body becomes “auto-Immune” – allergic to itself.

A healthy immune system is our day-to-day defense against cancer. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American men, claiming some 30,000 lives per year. Although studies are not conclusive, it’s important to be aware of the risk.

I wonder how many doctors fully disclose startling side effects. Let’s look at some.Painful sex – the act of cutting the vas during vasectomy and other unnatural manipulations associated with it change the entire character and performance of the ejaculatory system up to the point where the vas is cut. Vasectomy effectively plugs the site where sperm are matured and segregated depending on their viability. The muscles and nerves respond differently and the system’s natural ability to cleanse itself is disrupted.

Infection can settle in the testicles and become so bad the testicles must be removed, causing major hormonal repercussions.

Chronic prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) is common after vasectomy.

Scrotal abscesses, staph infections at surgery site, bleeding under the skin (hematoma), swelling, cellulitis (infection), multiple hydroceles (fluid pockets causing discomfort) are a few more. Some prostatitis can go on for 5 years or more. The post-vasectomy infection rate is 32.9%.

At the Mayo Clinic, doctors reported several serious infections in vasectomy patients:

One man developed a staph infection and it settled in his heart. After seven weeks of a series of antibiotics, he underwent a subsequent mitral valve reconstruction surgery.

More serious is occurrence of gangrene after vasectomy, difficult to treat and deadly. There was a case published in the journal of Urology where a young healthy man had gangrene and died. Seven other men died from vasectomy over a 15-month period reported by Grimes in 1982. Three of the deaths were attributed to the same surgeon on the same day - that was a bad day! Doctors need to perform simple checks before surgery. Some infection could already exist before the surgery and brought out after the procedure.

Don’t suffer in silence! Some reported problems - extreme pain caused from pressure and congestion in the epididymis, infection or a combination of both. The dangers of having the epididymis removed to relieve chronic testicular pain can lead to removal of testicles because it restricts the blood flow to the testicles.

If you have developed post-vasectomy pain, seek the care of an experienced physician with a good understanding of the treatment options. “These doctors are not easy to find”, says Dr. Pollock, Vasectomy Surgeon in Vancouver B.C. email: drneil@netrover.comwww.pollockclinics.com

Natural Remedies UCLA is using a medication called Quercetin, a soy based “bioflavonoid” herb with antioxidant characteristics that’s found to work on Chronic Pain Syndrome.

Acupuncture treatments have been successful in significantly relaxing the pain response. Placing needles on pain-relief points cuts blood flow to key areas of the brain within seconds. Also, Chinese herbal medications and diet counseling are also helpful in pain management.

Vasectomy Methods U.S. Close ended Vasectomy and Open ended Vasectomy - Surgeons who changed to the Open Ended method reported a significant drop in the incidents of Chronic Pain Syndrome.

Two new methods developed in the People’s Republic of China by Li Shungiang are known to minimize trauma and infection: Microvasectomy and Perculaneous Injection Vasectomies

Vasectomy reversals are more in demand and increasing dramatically. However, studies report between 30% and 80% of men who seek reversal are unable to father children afterward. The reversal process is more difficult on certain types of procedures, particularly the procedure performed with an electric needle that cauterizes.

If you are considering vasectomy, find a doctor who is dedicated to performing vasectomy as the focus of their surgical practice, performing from 20 to 200 vasectomies annually. Make sure to find out in what procedure that doctor specializes.

I welcome your feedback. If you have any questions or comments, contact me at 650.359.6579 or email Sharon@sharonthehealth.com . Also visit: www.sharonthehealth.com

“The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor."

April 2012

Ultrasound Bone Density
Testing May Save Your Life

Seven out of ten people who have Osteoporosis don’t know it. This problem must be rectified by education and public awareness. Early detection is the key. A simplified scanning process, effective, affordable and available to everyone who wants it, is a great way to start turning around those numbers.

The DXA scan is the most commonly used devise to directly assess bone density, which in turn assesses your resistance to fracture. I had my first DXA (Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan in 2004, ordered by my gynecologist, and was diagnosed with severe osteopenia(-2.5 T-score). The T-score is a comparison of a patient’s bone material density to that of a healthy thirty-year-old of the same sex and ethnicity.

…with no information available regarding the long-term side effects. However the known ones, nausea, abdominal cramping, ulceration of the esophagus, were enough for me to know I was not taking the drug! Recent studies link femur fractures and Fosamax use."

At that time my doctor prescribed Fosamax, a fairly new drug, to increase bone density, with no information available regarding the long-term side effects. However the known ones, nausea, abdominal cramping, ulceration of the esophagus, were enough for me to know I was not taking the drug! Recent studies link femur fractures and Fosamax use.

I retested in 2006 and 2010 with a -2.2 T-score that shows an increase in density of .3 using nutritional supplements and exercise. Yes, it can be done. I’m looking forward to a UBDT test to see where I am in 2012!

To have a DXA scan, your doctor must order it, your insurance company must approve it, or your budget must allow for it (approximately $250.00). There is also the X-ray factor that, if given the choice, I’d rather choose a procedure more natural. At the time I didn’t know about UBDT testing being used all over the world.

UBDT is quick, comfortable, affordable and available. No doctor visits, no waiting for insurance approval. It requires less training so the cost is a tenth of the DXA, ranging from $20 to $45 typically. This way the scans can be done more frequently to keep track of what’s happening inside bones.

When bone density starts to decline, it can happen and be detected in a short 6 month time period. If we are on the 2 year DXA plan time schedule, this decline is missed and could prove detrimental in certain cases.

Things to Avoid for Stronger Bones:

• Smoking

• Excessive alcohol

• Excessive caffeine

• Excessive protein

• Excessive sodium

• Sedentary lifestyle

• Being indoors most all the time

• Delaying decision to have at least one bone density test

• Medications that may cause Bone Loss:

• Aluminum-containing antacids

• Anti-seizure meds – Dilantin or Phenobarbital

• Cancer chemotherapeutic drugs

• Heparin

• Lithium

• Contraception – Depo-Provera

• PPI’s - Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec

• SSRI’s - Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft

• Steroids – cortisone, prednisone

• Thyroid hormones in excess

Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation:

www.nof.org/aboutosteoporosis/detectingosteoporosis/medicineboneloss

I recently met Dr. Ken Howayeck who brought this underutilized form of testing to my attention. He’s a distinguished podiatrist of 22 years. In June 2010 he lost his mother to complications of an Osteoporosis hip fracture. Now his mission is to simply educate the public on preventative ways to combat what could turn into a horrible life-threatening disease.

Dr. Ken believes going out and testing everyone he can with the UBDT preventive method will help in his own way to turn the corner on this massive health challenge. Using education and awareness, he explains to the recipient the advantages of the test results. Based on his 22 years of practicing medicine he also will suggest natural methods of strengthening bones. When the body gets what it needs environmentally and internally, the body can heal. He will also point out when a scan needs immediate medical attention.

You might be asking, “Where can I get the UBDT test done?” Five Star Onsite Testing (www.fivestartesting.webs.com; 925.858.5696; dr.kenh@yahoo.com) is a mobile service that provides these programs with high quality and economy, and even provides a doctor to perform them himself. The doctor is readily available immediately to answer questions about your own personal situation.

There is no good reason to avoid testing so why not do it and rest assured?

Doesn’t it make sense to have current test results more frequent to keep track of our structural, skeletal system? We cannot live without it!

Reference: Bone Health Made Easy written by Dr. Kenneth Howayeck 925.858.5696 or: dr.kenh@yahoo.co

UBDT Bone Density Testing Event $20.00

Saturday March 24th, 2012

From 1:00 to 3:00 PM

Location: Adele’s Hair Design

2366 – 19th Ave.

(between Taraval and Santaigo) San Francisco

Dr. Ken and I will both be there to assist you. Please put March 24th on your calendar and bring your friends and family.

I welcome your feedback. If you have any questions or comments, contact me at 650.359.6579 or email Sharon@sharonthehealth.com . Also visit: www.sharonthehealth.com

“The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.

March 2012

Help for Seniors to Pay for Long Term Health Care

As the clock struck midnight 2012, almost 4 million Baby Boomers will have turned 65. I wonder how many of these folks have invested in Long Term Care Insurance Policies? Personally, I haven’t yet!

Many senior citizens are struggling to pay up to $6,000.00 per month for Assisted Living or Home Health Care. In addition, many have Life Insurance premiums costing an additional 5 to 6 thousand dollars annually. When faced with having to choose to pay one or the other, paying the cost of Long Term Care is not an option. It has to be done. So many people let their valuable life insurance policies, sometimes worth in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, lapse and eventually receive nothing, or next to nothing. This is a problem throughout our nation.

two seniors strolling on the beach

In response, in November of 2010, the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) unanimously passed the Life Insurance Consumer Disclosure Model Act Law. This law requires an Insurance Company to notify the Consumer that their Life Insurance Policy can now be converted into payments for Long Term Care.

This is the first time in U.S. history that a law has been passed to require insurance agents to explain the fact that Life insurance policies may be converted into a vehicle to cover Long Term Care.

Now we have an alternative to:

1. Lapsing life insurance policies and getting nothing

2. Selling the family home to cover Long Term Care costs

3. Children paying the care costs for parents

4. Spending life savings to fund Long Term Care

To give a bit of background, this law passed in 2011 after Congressman Robert Damron, Democrat, KY, worked to move this forward for 6 years.

Congressman Damron, President of NCOIL, held a panel discussion to get the word out about this wonderful new consumer benefit at the Senior Market Advisor EXPO last August 25th in Las Vegas. A local Long Term Care Consultant of 30 years, David Kitaen CLTC, of Marin County, was asked to be on the panel as he was the first LTC Broker in the US to actually facilitate the Life Insurance Policy Conversion for one of his clients, a senior, living in Napa, CA.

Chris Orestis, a prominent figure in National Long Term Care Legislation, and Jayne Sallerson, of Emeritus Senior Living, one of the largest Long Term Care providers in the US, were also on the panel which discussed how this type of insurance conversion can help the growing group facing increasing costs for Senior Care and Housing.

The important conditions to make the Conversion are:

1. Must be 65 years or older

2. Must be receiving care at home or in a facility

3. Must have an “in force” Life Insurance Policy, not lapsed

4. Anywhere in US

When converted, the money is paid directly to the Health Care Provider.

To get started, contact a professional in the insurance industry to determine if you meet the requirements to qualify. The afore-mentioned expert, David Kitaen CLTC, may be contacted at 415.382.1300 with questions or to arrange a free consultation. His website also offers lots of valuable information about Long Term Care: www.davidkitaen.com.

I’m excited to spread the word and I hope you’ll pass along this information as well. The public “needs to know”! If you have any questions about this exciting development, contact me at 650.359.6579 or email caren@westsideobserver.com.

Blessings to you and your family for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Info: www.SharonTheHealth.com

February 2012

Enzymes – The Key To Digestion and Health

In the early 1990's I learned about the importance of enzymes in every function of the body. I've supplemented with digestive enzymes ever since. After reading this information, you may feel similarly.

What is an Enzyme

Enzymes, the biological catalysts, speed up the chemical reactions in all living things. Without enzymes nothing would work. Food would sit for weeks in the stomach, and we would eventually die. Enzymes are absolutely vital to human health and are the foundation on which life is perpetuated. The purpose of enzymes is to break molecules apart or put them together, which they do very quickly and efficiently. There are many specific enzymes for each chemical reaction needed to make each individual cell work properly.

Over 3,000 known enzymes in the body perform every type of chemical conversion imaginable. They control the body's vital metabolic processes and are present in every biological system. Enzyme conversion creates energy and builds new cells. All living cells require nutrients and enzymes to divide, grow, and perform their normal activities. Enzymes turn the food we eat into energy and facilitate the use of this energy.

Without the beneficial work of enzymes, foods and proteins may go undigested and might ferment and putrefy in the gastrointestinal tract. Undigested foods tax the body, zap energy, and spur the overgrowth of yeast, fungi, parasites, bacteria, and microorganisms that contribute to viral conditions, gastritis, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, and other inflammatory conditions.

Inadequate digestive enzyme activity is also linked to chronic inflammation elsewhere in the body such as fibromyalgia, herpes, inability to gain or lose weight, bad breath, body odor, skin rashes, and migraines.

Digestive enzymes promote complete digestion and help those who have difficulty digesting and assimilating food. As we age, we need more enzymes for complete digestion. Enzymes are essential in unlocking and metabolizing the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in food.

When the diet is supplemented with digestive enzymes that are naturally present in whole, raw, or uncooked foods, there are two powerful benefits:

The body is able to extract the maximum nutritional value from food.

The body can reduce its internal production of digestive enzymes, which allows for higher production of metabolic enzymes, crucial for daily metabolism, health, and detoxification.

There are two major enzyme systems in the human body

Metabolic enzymes help run all the body systems. They speed up the chemical conversion within the cells for detoxification and the production of energy and are produced in the organs of the body such as the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. Enzymes enable us to move, think, see, hear, and feel, which comprise the complete control mechanism of the body. (One researcher found over 98 enzymes carrying out the metabolic functions in the arteries alone.)

Digestive enzymes break down the food we eat to release the nutrients for absorption. They are the most talked-about enzymes because food is the fuel for life. These enzymes are secreted along the digestive tract where the food is broken down. The essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that sustain life are then released and absorbed into the blood stream to be carried throughout the body.

The waste continues through the digestive tract and is discarded. However, if the waste does not move, causing constipation, the waste begins to break down into putrefaction that the body will reabsorb as poison, creating all types of body dysfunction. Digestive enzymes include ptyalin, pepsin, trypsin, lipase, protease, and amylase. However the cellulose enzyme, needed for the digestion of fiber, is not manufactured by the body and must come from the food we eat or supplementation.

Enzymes are Important for New Mothers

Amylase, found in the saliva of adults, breaks down carbohydrates and simple sugars found in vegetables and fruits. However, it is not produced in the bodies of infants when they are born. Their digestive systems are able to produce protease, cellulase, maltase, lipase, lactase, and sucrase, but not amylase. Because amylase levels are very high in the mother's milk, for nursing babies, their systems would be overloaded. Babies who have not been breast-fed automatically have an amylase deficiency.

Amylase deficiency may start as an early allergic condition where the child develops allergies to starches, proteins, and sugars. Parents then take the child to the doctor or hospital where they may use chemicals that could create other lifelong problems while not addressing the real issue.

In the last few decades, science and technology have made it possible for us to supplement our diet with all kinds of nutritional supplements. With enzyme supplementation, children and adults no longer have to suffer because of digestive problems and insufficient nutrient absorption.

Beware of Processed Foods

We must avoid processed foods whenever possible, as they are devoid of the necessary enzymes for digestion and usually contain enzyme inhibitors to increase shelf life. Inhibitors block the enzymatic process, which stresses the body into an out-of-balance condition.

A lack of digestive enzymes in the food we eat forces the body to overproduce its own digestive enzymes, and limits its ability to produce metabolic enzymes crucial for health and normal metabolism. This limitation occurs because both digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes are created from the same enzyme precursors (PST) that are produced in the liver.

The production of these precursors is limited in the human body, so when the digestive system must overproduce digestive enzymes due to an enzyme-less diet, it causes a harmful underproduction of metabolic enzymes, which are a must in every process of the human body. The immune system, circulatory system, liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and even our ability to see, breathe, and think depend upon these metabolic enzymes.

Early signs of enzyme deficiency can manifest with complaints of heartburn, gas, bloating, fatigue, headaches, stomachaches, diarrhea, constipation, chronic fatigue, yeast infections, nutritional deficiencies, pain, joint stiffness, skin eruptions, psoriasis, eczema, and colon, liver, pancreas, and intestinal problems.

Many enzyme supplements are not only deficient but also inactive. Here is how some enzymes are destroyed or rendered inactive:

Planting, growing, and cultivating food grown with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides will produce a crop basically devoid of enzymes.

Heat begins to break down the enzymes at 118 degrees F. and they are totally destroyed at 129 degrees F.

Pasteurization, sterilization, microwaving, chemical processing for freezing, and any other modern processes kill the enzymes or render them inactive.

The choice is yours

When you understand the critical importance of enzymes and the life-giving role they perform in the body, you'll discover explanations for health problems that you or those around you may have. Knowledge gives hope, especially when products are available that can increase the potential for vibrant health and longevity. There are all natural supplements available. It's important to find a reputable company you can trust to give you organic ingredients in supplements.

Give a gift of life this Holiday Season. Those of you who are on the path to a healthier lifestyle, please share this with others who are searching for answers but don't know what questions to ask. My purpose is to help educate, strengthen and uplift people everywhere to feel good.

Many blessings and Happy New Year 2012!

Please email me sharon@sharonthehealth.com or call 650.359.6579 if you need help finding the right enzymes or any questions you may have. Also visit www.sharonthehealth.com

"The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.

December 2011

 

The Real Issue with Vitamin E

Are you confused about supplementing with vitamin E? That's not surprising. There is much contradicting information being published right now and I'd like to shed some light on the subject.

My personal knowledge and experience with vitamin E began early. After a surgical procedure in the late 1970's, my doctor recommended I take it orally to lessen scar tissue. I felt it did help as I experienced minimal scarring. I took the supplement for a couple of years. However, I don't remember the dosage.

The controversy at this time seems to be with how much is safe to take.

Results from the recently published, large SELECT trial on Oct. 15th, 2011, showed that vitamin E supplements (400 IU/day) may harm adult men in the general population by increasing their risk of prostate cancer. Follow-up studies are now assessing whether the cancer risk was associated with baseline blood levels of vitamin E and selenium prior to supplementation, as well as whether changes in one or more genes might increase a man's risk of developing prostate cancer while taking vitamin E.

This type of news is alarming and as you can see in the paragraph above, they don't really have all the information. What I find missing in the statement altogether is what type of vitamin E supplement did they use in the study. Was it a natural or synthetic vitamin E? Our body knows the difference!

Natural vitamin E is the single molecular configuration that occurs in nature. Synthetic vitamin E is a mixture of 8 molecular configurations, 7 of which occur when made by man. The vitamin E most often referred to and sold in stores is a synthetic form of vitamin E called dl-alpha-tocopherol.

Dr. Graham Burton, associated with the National Research Council of Canada, studied the body's response to natural vitamin E compared to synthetic vitamin E. The study strongly indicates your body prefers natural vitamin E, showing that it is retained in your body many times longer than the synthetic vitamin E, with specific results showing:

5.3 times more natural vitamin E in the brain; .6 times more natural vitamin E in red blood cells; 2.6 times more natural vitamin E in the lungs; 2.4 times natural vitamin E in the plasma; 1.9 times more natural vitamin E in the heart; 1.7 times more natural vitamin E in the muscles

Why does the body prefer natural vitamin E? Research scientist Maret Traber's work indicates that the liver preferentially recycles the natural form of vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol), causing the excretion of synthetic forms.

Some researchers have questioned whether special configurations of tocopherol found only in synthetic vitamin E are actually hindering the body because they tie up receptor sites, stopping the naturally occurring form of vitamin E from acting. This is like someone putting the wrong key into a lock. The right key cannot open the lock if the wrong key is in it.

There are many benefits of vitamin E for skin health. For skin care, the topical application is more beneficial than taking it orally because the skin is able to absorb it effectively.

Taking it orally, it is an indispensable member of the body's antioxidant system. Other functions of vitamin E in the body are to promote heart and respiratory health, circulation, good for the brain, supports prostate and breast health, helps with normal PMS symptoms, and may help hot flashes in menopausal women.

Discovered in 1922, it is only in the last decade that we began to be educated about the critical fact that vitamin E is not a single compound, but a general name for a whole family of compounds.

Important Facts to Know About Vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential to life — we cannot live without it.

How much vitamin E is enough? Prominent researchers believe that to perform at its best, the body needs more than the US Daily Value (DV) of 30 IU vitamin E daily and the average American diet supplies considerably less than this amount. According to researcher Dr. Evan Shute, a physician recognized for his over 30 years of work with vitamin E, average healthy females should have 400 IU a day, and average healthy males 600 IU a day of the natural form.

Vitamin E should be taken at mealtime — it is absorbed better when taken with meals rather than an on an empty stomach.

Inorganic iron can DESTROY vitamin E. According to the Shute Institute, the two should be separated in the stomach by an 8-9 hour interval. However, organic iron, found in spinach, and other iron rich foods can be taken at the same time as vitamin E.

Minerals are needed for every bodily function. The body needs and uses over 70 different minerals. Prescription iron is more than likely ferric (iron) acid. They make ferric acid by taking a piece of iron and pouring acid over it. When it rusts, it's scraped off and put it into a pill and called an iron supplement. This inorganic iron will cause the stool to darken, can be poisonous and usually the more you take the more constipated you become.

Inorganic minerals never lived and are elements that cannot bring life into our cells. They have a covalent bond that the body cannot break down. They are metals and the body treats them more as toxins than as nutrients.

Organic minerals once were or are now living and can bring life to and be utilized by cells. They have an ionic bond that the body can break down into usable material for tissue repair and function. It is made of a plant (which draws the inorganic mineral from the soil by way of the roots and converts them into organic minerals), or living organism and the body uses it as food. 

Of course, any time we can eat organic foods to support good health is best. The body knows what to do with it. The following foods that are rich in vitamin E:

Wheat germ oil

Sunflower and Safflower oil

Nuts and nut oils
(almonds and hazelnuts)

Green leafy vegetables

Tomato products

Sweet potato

Rockfish

Mangoes & Papayas

Asparagus

Broccoli

Avocados

And Remember — Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin E!

Vitamin E is vital for our health and very important to supplement as we age. I hope this information will clear up any fears or misinformation you may have.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and feel free to contact me with any questions 650.359.6579 email Sharon@sharonthehealth.com. Also visit www.sharonthehealth.com

"The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.

November 2011

 

Sun Exposure – Good or Bad?

I've always loved the sun because I feel deeply energized when I'm in it. You know, that healthy glow after retiring from a day of fresh air in the sunshine? We haven't had much of it this year but Indian summer is kicking in.

Over the years, we've heard much controversy on the subject. The fact is, sun exposure is necessary because the skin only makes vitamin D in the presence of sunlight. Without vitamin D, diseases like rickets and osteoporosis can result where bones become soft or too brittle. As we age, our skin becomes less efficient at making vitamin D. The governmental guidelines recommend anyone over 65 take a 10mcg vitamin D supplement every day. It also plays a huge part in brain health.

Vitamin D is crucial in your overall health and wellbeing because it will:

• Support your cardiovascular health

• Promote optimal cholesterol levels

• Enhance your muscle strength

• Help produce optimal blood pressure levels

• Help maintain a healthy immune system

• Support healthy kidney function

• Promote healthy teeth

• Help keep your bones strong and healthy

About UVA and UVB Rays

Ultraviolet light from the sun has two main wavelengths UVA and UVB. UVB is the "good guy" and helps the skin produce vitamin D. UVA is the "bad guy" because it penetrates more deeply into the skin and causes free radical damage. UVA rays are constant during all hours of daylight where UVB waves are low in morning and evening and high at midday.

Most sunscreens block out the "good guy". This will prevent you from getting the vitamin D benefit from the sun. As I started my research on sunscreens, most all products on the market are full of chemicals that do not support healthy skin. I would not buy a sunscreen containing dioxybenzone or oxybenzone. These two potentially harmful chemicals are the most powerful free radical generators known to man.

It's important to find a natural Sunscreen that blocks the UVA only, leaving the UVB to do its work. Dr. Mercola has the safest product I've found: Natural Sunscreen with Astaxanthin (an anti-oxidant added) It's available in SPF 30 or 50. Don't be alarmed when applied it will remain white until absorbed into the skin. For more information or questions about the sunscreen, you can click on the link below or call 877.985.2695. http://products.mercola.com/summer-survival-kit/

Dr. Mercola is an Osteopathic Physician and board-certified in family medicine. He served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years. He is trained in both traditional and natural medicine.

Only a few foods such as fish oils, eggs, liver and meat fat have the best natural sources of Vitamin D. Some breakfast cereals have vitamin D added but diet alone cannot provide adequate amounts. Vitamin D really isn't a vitamin. It's a steroid hormone. Find a natural supplement. A very general dose recommendation for adults is 5000 units. The only way to know exactly is to have your blood tested.

Joint US and Norwegian studies suggest that the benefits of sunlight may outweigh the risk of skin cancer in countries that don't get many hours of sunshine. The emotional component of living day in and day out with gray, gloomy skies or indoors with artificial lighting can bread depression and anxiety. Some who live under such conditions turn to alcohol or anti-depression drugs.

Protection From UVA

There are two main types of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, easily treated and not life threatening. Malignant melanoma can be deadly unless it is caught and treated early.

The pure therapeutic grade essential oil of Lavender is the best application I know of if you do experience sunburn. It pulls the heat out as soon as it's applied. Put it on straight from the bottle. Then use an all-natural lotion afterward such as Aloe Vera to give moisture back to the skin.

The prediction this year is one out of five Californians will get skin cancer in their lifetime. Let's minimize the risks by following some tips from Kenneth Chao, M.D., board-certified oncologist at Epic Care in the East Bay.

Sun Rules

Use a natural sunscreen. Choose one that offers protection from the UVA rays with an SPF of 15 or higher. Use it every day. UVA rays come through even with cloud cover.

Know your skin. One great defenses against skin cancer is a quick, easy examination you can do yourself. A self-exam once a month helps you recognize any changes in your skin, such as new growths or changes to existing moles. Consult your physician if you notice changes.

Skip the tanning salon. Tanning beds are no safer than the sun. In fact, they nearly triple your chance of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Avoid sunburns at all costs. Melanoma risk is doubled with five or more sunburns.

Invest in protective clothing. Wear all natural fiber light-weight clothing to cover skin if in the sun for extended periods of time, a wide-brimmed hat or cap with a visor, and sunglasses that offer UV protection.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy yourself. Do what you love and you'll live with vitality. That's always the best medicine!

Contact me 650.359.6579 or email Sharon@sharonthehealth.com with any questions or comments. Also visit www.sharonthehealth.com "The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor."

September 2011

 

Scan Your Brain

Science has always had much information about our physical body but the brain has been more of a mystery. As recent as 1935, a common procedure was Lobotomy for brain treatment. By 1951, 20,000 lobotomies had been performed in the U.S.

I received such a great response to my previous article on Brain Health that it prompted me to share news on a technology that isn't very well known. It is an advanced technology called SPECT promoting natural treatments for a healthy brain with huge results. This technology is also taking away some of the mystery about the brain.

Dr. Daniel Amen has been scanning thousands of brains in his clinics for the past 20 years. He is a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist and brain-imaging expert leading the world-renowned Amen Clinics. Dr. Amen has written 19 books including a New York Times bestseller, Change your brain, Change your life. You may have seen him on a PBS Special. That's how I found him.

What is SPECT Imaging for your brain health?

Single photon emission computed tomography is a functional scan to show how the brain works; measuring blood flow and activity patterns. It's a nuclear medicine study that uses radioisotopes as tracking devices to look at living brain tissue. It's very different than a CAT scan or MRI that only shows what the brain looks like and not how the brain functions.

Why Scan?

SPECT helps provide answers to mental health problems, ADHD, head injuries, toxic exposure and past emotional traumas. It also helps in understanding and treating addictions giving families better information to help decrease shame, self-blame and conflict. With this information, treatments are tailored for each individual brain, helping to prevent mistakes because of vague diagnosis.

Even if there is no apparent problem, the scan is used as a screening tool to point out vulnerabilities. It's used as a baseline in case of future problems. This is an early detector of Alzheimer's. The scan can indicate the potential for Alzheimer's up to 9 years before symptoms occur. Also, scans help with individualized care for your brain. A Director of the National Institute of Mental Health said, "Brain imaging in clinical practice is the next major advance in psychiatry. "

I have Dr. Amen's book, Magnificent Mind at Any Age and I highly recommend it. There are pictures of a healthy brain and an Alzheimer's-diseased brain, amazing!

The healthy brain is full, even and has symmetrical activity. The diseased brain shows deterioration and actual holes indicating low activity in very important areas. In cases of ADHD there are scans of before and after treatments. You'll see the improvements in the physical brain mass and the patients reporting the wonderful results in their quality of life.

A brain that looks like Swiss cheese could be a result of drug or alcohol abuse. However, there's a story of a 30 year old man who never used drugs or alcohol. He painted cars in his garage with little ventilation. This activity had the same result on his brain as an addict! Having a scan allowed him to change his behavior, get out of a toxic environment, and through natural treatments, get his brain healthy again. He also reported the strained relationship with his wife improved as well.

We can outwardly see symptoms of disorders such as addictions, ADHD, Alzheimer's, and some mental health problems but there are so many other ways brain dysfunction shows up subtly. Let's look at making your dreams a reality. Why are so few people really able to attain their life's dreams? The commonsense approach that we hear and read about is:

  • Try harder
  • Visualize your success
  • Work longer
  • Take responsibility
  • Stop complaining
  • Change your attitude
  • Don' let anyone get in your way!

In order for the above to work, we must start with a healthy brain. To realize our dreams, our brain must work right. The brain controls everything we do. If our brain is troubled in some way, we'll experience trouble in life. It's that simple. Having a brain scan can be a helpful tool to finding the source of trouble. It's an option in some cases that could be seriously life altering. There is an Amen Clinic in Fairfield, California, which can be reached at 888.564.2700.

It's not necessary to have a scan to improve brain function. There are many healthful things we can do to heal and balance the brain:

  • Natural supplements
  • Healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Thinking strategies
  • Medications when needed

Having a greater knowledge of what our brain needs to be healthy, we become proactive instead of reactive in gaining a better quality of life.

Happy summer to you!

"The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor."

Please call me with questions or comments at 650-359-6579 or sharoncaren@comcast.net. Also visit: www.sharoncaren.com

Amen Clinics have announced that they will be opening a SF Bay area clinic in Brisbane in the late Summer (probably by September).

July-August 2011

Strokes Happen at Any Age

Know the Identifiers

This topic became personal last month when my dear friend (only 50 years old) suffered a stroke. She explained, that morning she felt nothing, but while getting breakfast for her daughter her speech was slurred. When she looked in the mirror at her face, one side drooped. Early identification is the primary key for a more positive recovery.

Neurologists say if they get to the stroke victim within three hours, they can totally reverse the effects. The trick is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed and to get the patient medically cared for within three hours…which is tough.

Stroke Identifiers – Call 911 There are four we need to remember:

S Ask the individual to SMILE

T Ask them to TALK (a simple sentence like "It's a beautiful sunny day.")

R Ask them to RAISE both arms

The fourth one is "Stick out your tongue." If the tongue is "crooked" going to one side or the other, it's an indication of a stroke. If the person has a problem with any one of these, call the emergency number ASAP and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. You will save a life!

Other Symptoms

Be aware of SUDDEN changes in the following:

Numbness, tingling, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm, leg, and especially on one side of the body

Vision changes

Trouble speaking

Confusion or trouble understanding simple statements

Problems with walking or balance

Severe headache different from any prior

There are two types of strokes:

Ischemic – caused from a blood clot in the brain

Hemorrhagic - when an artery in the brain leaks or bursts

A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is sometimes mistaken as a stroke but it's actually a warning sign that a stroke may occur. Prompt medical attention may help prevent a stroke. Seek immediate emergency medical help just as stated for the two others.

To determine the type of stroke, the doctor will perform an X-ray called a CT scan and/or an MRI. Other tests are done to find the location of the clot or bleeding. A hemorrhagic stroke can be harder to treat. Surgery may be required to stop the bleeding or reduce pressure on the brain. Medicines can also control blood pressure or brain swelling.

Stroke rehab is the best way to get better and the greatest chance of recovery is during the first few months. The goal is to regain skills lost or make the most out of the remaining abilities. It's important to take steps to prevent future strokes.

Stroke Prevention – Do's and Don'ts

• Don't smoke

• Eat a heart-healthy diet, more fruits and veggies

• Do moderate activity 2.5 hours a week in 10 minute blocks

• Maintain a healthy weight

• Control cholesterol and blood pressure

• Keep blood sugars close to normal

• Limit alcohol – 1 drink for women, 2 drinks for men increase the risk of stroke

• Avoid illegal drugs

• Take an aspirin daily

• Avoid getting sick

It's most important to have regular medical checkups and pay close attention to test results. Be proactive and listen to your doctor. If you have health issues, do not kid yourself regarding the severity. There are people who have suffered a stroke or heart attack who refuse to make life style changes as the doctor recommended and resist prescribed medications. This behavior is a death sentence.

Two issues rarely mentioned as stroke causes are lack of sleep and stress. These seem to be prominent in the younger age stroke victims. If the body is suffering from sleep depravation, the cells have no time to rebuild, causing added stress. Then pile on worry, anxiety, overwork, problems with children and the worse it gets, the more severe it gets. When we are stressed, the body creates higher than normal cortisol levels (the death hormone) that shortens a healthy life.

Each day is precious and is an opportunity to find what brings the joy into our lives. When we live from a joyful place, we can change the outcome of disease in the body.

Research from WebMD.

The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor. A special thanks to Henry Tilsley for the feedback on my May 2011 article!

Please call me with questions or comments at 650-359-6579 or sharoncaren@comcast.net. Also visit: www.sharoncaren.com

June 2011

Keeping Your Brain in Top Condition

Since February, I’ve been instructing Reposturing Yoga classes for a Senior Residence and it’s been so rewarding to see these folks reaping the benefits of stretching and flexibility no matter what the age. Sometimes along with aging come symptoms such as memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. WHY?

There has been a drastic rise in neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s dementia, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), and age-related memory loss. What do they all have in common? The primary cause of the above is chronic brain inflammation.
High levels of a protein associated with chronic, low-grade inflammation in the brain correlate with aspects of memory decline in otherwise cognitively normal older adults, according to a study led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco. The study was reported in a poster session at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

Don’t wait to address Brain Health

Research now confirms that most diseases begin as early as childhood and this is true for atherosclerosis. A buildup of plaque on the arteries feeding the brain can lead to strokes or vascular dementia. Recent research indicates that not only are the number of neurodegenerative diseases increasing, but they are occurring at a much younger age. Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are also increasing dramatically at younger ages. What you do now can mean the difference between a full, happy, and productive life with your family or a life of disability and misery.

Essential Oil of Peppermint: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agent

Therapeutic grade essential oil of peppermint is a wonderful and easy way to reduce inflammation anywhere in the body. It’s good for reducing headaches (headaches are caused by inflammation) and stimulates the brain when feeling tired or sleepy. You can apply it topically to the brain stem and temples, inhale it and/or put a drop in your drinking water.

Good Food for the Brain – Fruits and Vegetables

The freshest, least processed and healthiest fruits and vegetables are the best for you. It’s best to prepare all your food fresh. All vegetables are not created equal. They vary in their nutrient content, disease exposure and age. Most vegetables in the grocery store have been shipped thousands of miles and consequently are picked before ripening. Many arrive wilted and beginning to deteriorate.

Studies have shown that organically grown vegetables have higher nutrient content. Here is the order of the best vegetables to buy: Locally grown, organic, shipped, shipped commercial vegetables, frozen, and canned is last due to lead toxicity from the can leaching into the contents. It’s best to buy fresh produce from the United States. Many countries use banned pesticides and herbicides that have a high risk of causing cancer and damaging your brain.

Watch for spots, brown or black, wilted areas and raised discolored bumps. Diseased plants secrete harmful toxins in an effort to kill the invading organisms or insects. These plant toxins can cause disease in humans, including cancer. Cut away these damaged areas using wide margins.

Wash all vegetables in a veggie wash before eating, even if it says pre-washed. The following are the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables: celery, broccoli, apples, peaches, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, lettuce, peppers, spinach, mustard & collard greens, cucumbers, squash, and potatoes.

What Else Can I Do?

It is known that regular, moderate exercise such as walking, stretching, weight training, yoga or dance classes can significantly improve memory and thinking ability. Fasting once a week has also been shown to improve memory and thinking ability in animals for the same reasons as exercise; they both increase brain cell repair hormones called brain-derived neurotrophic factors or BDNF, important for long-term memory.

We know that reducing calories from sugar and highly processed carbohydrates can improve brain function and prevent brain aging changes. We also have a principle called “use it or lose it.” Like muscles, the brain will atrophy (shrink) if it is not used. This can include working puzzles, reading material that requires attention and deep thinking, learning a new language, reading books upside down, or taking adult courses in new subjects and socializing. Often, we become lazy thinkers, doing things by repetition and utilizing notes and lists rather than memorizing material. This makes our brains lazy and encourages brain aging.

A new study on vitamin D comes from researchers in California who say their research sheds light on how Vitamin D may help promote brain health. Once Vitamin D is converted in the body to its active form, calcitriol, it binds to receptors in the brain. Natural sunlight and/or supplementation are helpful.

Supplements for Brain Health

03 Balance Brain Repair Formula

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon of 24 years is the formulator of this supplement. He was one of the first neurosurgeons to utilize high-intensity nutritional supplementation in craniocerebral trauma patients with great success.

Most studies show the benefits of brain supplementation occur soon after taking the supplements, but continuous maintenance is needed to keep the brain healthy. This is because the brain has a very high turnover of these nutrients and has one of the highest metabolic rates of any organ in the body. To keep the brain working at peak performance we need to supply it with these nutrients. Also, as brain inflammation is always occurring, the anti-inflammatory nutrients are needed on a continuous basis as well.

Omega-3 oils play a vital role in brain development and brain health in babies, children, and adults. Omega-3 oils are composed of two functional components called EPA and DHA. The DHA plays the major role in brain health. The majority of omega-3 oil components in the human brain are DHA.

The major complication of omega-3 oils, immune suppression, bleeding tendencies, and a loss of control of diabetes is attributed to the EPA portion. Dr. Blaylock has formulated pharmaceutical grade high DHA oil for this supplement free of contaminants.

Prevagen

Laboratory research has demonstrated the oral supplement Prevagen has potent cell protecting activity through its ability to bind calcium ions. University studies have shown a reduction in brain cell death of up to 50% when compared to non-Prevagen treated cells. It was developed by scientists and University researchers in Madison, WI and intended to be taken daily to supplement and replace important proteins in the body, especially the brain. Prevagen is an all-natural product with no harmful side effects.

Prevagen’s active ingredient is the calcium-binding protein apoaequorin. Apoaequorin helps maintain calcium ion homeostasis, which helps control the proper balance of calcium ions within the cell. Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth, but calcium ions play a far greater role in your brain. Calcium ions are responsible for millions of cellular reactions and essential for brain cell health.

Throughout our lives, we lose calcium-binding proteins. The loss of these calcium-binding proteins becomes more pronounced with increasing age. Older cells are more susceptible to damage and have a greater need for the protection Prevagen provides.

With all of this new research and information available today, we can see how making the life style changes mentioned here can help in having a healthier brain and a better quality of life. Keep an open mind and apply what works for you!

“The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.” If you are on any medications, please check with your physician prior to adding supplements to your diet, as some medications and supplements may interact, causing unintended side effects.

Please call me with questions or comments at 650.359.6579 or sharoncaren@comcast.net. Also visit: www.sharoncaren.com

May 2011

Spring Cleaning Inside and Out

I'm busy clearing and cleaning my surroundings and purging junk. It feels good to clear out the pile up of stuff collecting dust. Springtime also gives us an opportunity for internal clearing, to shed the fat of winter that kept us warm and cozy. A great way to purge unwanted pounds and get healthy is to try an internal cleanse. Weight loss isn't the goal but it's certainly a great side effect.

What is Internal Cleansing? There are many types of cleanses that target many different parts of the body, (colon, intestine, stomach, liver, pancreas) and cover many different types of internal pollution, including waste buildup, heavy metals, parasites, fungi, and yeast. The intensity of the cleansing depends on the individual. Always an ideal program combines high water consumption with high-potency herbs, digestive enzymes, and essential oils.

Benefits of a Cleanse Everyone can benefit from cleansing. We are all stressed to a lesser or greater degree by an ever-mounting buildup of toxins, chemicals, bacteria, and parasites. Medical researcher, Kenneth Bock, M.D. says "humans are walking toxic dumps." Why? Because of industrial wastes, herbicides, pesticides, additives, and heavy metals we unknowingly absorb from our food, cosmetics, air and water—even the mercury fillings in our teeth. Humans are also at the top of the food chain meaning we are subjected to concentrated doses of potentially harmful chemicals from the meats and dairy products we consume.

Cleansing allows the body to work more efficiently to fight off disease and build a strong immune system. We become encumbered or overloaded with the accumulation of toxins, mucous, and parasites that can build up over the years. According to a large survey in 1990 by the Environmental Protection Agency, every single person tested had some evidence of petro-chemical pollution in their tissues and fats. Some chemicals found were styrene (used in plastics), xylene (a solvent in paint and gasoline), benzene (a chemical found in gasoline), and toluene (another carcinogenic solvent). As you can imagine over time, these chemicals cause inflammation and inflammation causes disease.

When to Cleanse Cleansing is not just a once or twice a year event but must be continuous. There are simple ways to incorporate this into daily life, explained below. We take showers each day to cleanse the outside of our body. The inside of the body needs the same type of care. We cleanse for maintenance to keep our body clean and healthy. We also cleanse if there is a health challenge or issue at hand.

It's especially important for anyone over 40. With age comes a greater buildup of debris in the body caused by decreased production of the stomach acids and enzymes as well as environmental toxins.

If taking antibiotics or undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, try an intestinal cleanse and use a good pro-biotic daily for at least a week after. Plain, unflavored yogurt taken before lighter meals also helps provide friendly bacteria. The need for yogurt is sometimes indicated by an intolerance of dairy products.

Maintenance Cleansing We can incorporate cleansing into our lifestyle daily and it doesn't have to be extreme. Taking digestive enzymes with each meal, using a natural laxative, and a product with natural fiber helps keep the colon clean. The fibers scour out residues. Blended with essential oils, the fibers work to decrease the buildup of wastes, improve nutrient absorption, and help maintain a healthy heart. Fiber may also help balance blood sugar levels. It also helps maintain regularity as we grow older, preventing and overcoming constipation, diarrhea, and gas.

Also, adding a nutritious liquid meal replacement once a day, gives the digestive system a rest. This cleanse is done along with our regular workday and responsibilities. My husband and I are reaping the health benefits of the maintenance cleanse; controlling weight, feeling better and more energetic. A healthy digestive system is important for the proper functioning of all other systems because it absorbs nutrients that are used throughout the body.

I'll outline some specific cleanses:

Intestinal Cleanse: Helps loosen and expel undigested and fermenting materials from the intestines that may block nutrient absorption and poison the body's internal environment.

Colon Cleanse: Helps counteract bloating and constipation. Purging the colon of toxins and impurities is just as important as cleaning the small intestine. Waste products and gases that are held in the colon have a far higher concentration of toxic byproducts than those in the small intestine.

Liver Cleanse: A stressed and poorly functioning liver include skin conditions (rashes, eczema, and dermatitis), fatigue, headaches, pallor, dizziness, irritability, and poor digestion. The liver is pivotal for purifying the blood and plays a key role in converting carbohydrates to energy, as well as storing energy in the form of glycogen and fats. Fats and bile within the liver can easily become saturated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals. As these toxins accumulate, the liver becomes taxed, unable to properly detoxify the blood.

Heavy Metal Cleanse: Allergic reactions, fatigue, headache, muscle pains, digestive disturbance, dizziness, depression and mental confusion can be attributed to metal poisoning. A graver concern is metal accumulation in the brain, kidneys, nerves, immune system, and fatty tissues. Some highly poisonous heavy metals, such as cadmium, can remain in the body for up to 30 years. As a result, they can lead to degenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer. Essential oils have a natural ability to dissolve insoluble heavy metal salts so that they can be eliminated.

Parasite Cleanse: Almost everyone has parasites in one form or another. For the most part, they go entirely unnoticed and cause fatigue and sickness, sometimes difficult for physicians to detect.

Blood Cleanse: Cleans and purifies the blood, builds red blood cells and is recommended for any blood disorder.

The Stanley Burroughs' Master Cleanse or Lemonade Diet: This cleanser is not a fast, but a cleansing program. A true fast consists only of water, while the original Master Cleanser incorporates a mixture of lemon juice, Blue Agave nectar, and cayenne pepper consumed throughout the day and is a source of calories, vitamins, and minerals. It's ideal for anyone who is not diabetic and can safely cleanse for at least 7-10 days. As with any program of caloric restriction, however, consult with your health care professional before undertaking any extended fast or cleanse.

Fasting, nature's single-greatest healing therapy, is the avoidance of solid food with liquid intake varying from just water to fresh juices. A fast can last 24 hours (a really good place to start if you'd like to try it) or several weeks. An increasing number of doctors are recognizing that fasting can be physically healing while allowing us to focus our energy inward, bringing clarity and change. Fasting is generally safe but those with medical conditions should check with their health care professional.

I would love to hear your questions or comments. Contact me at 650.359.6579 or sharoncaren@comcast.net. Also visit: www.sharoncaren.com

The views expressed are those of the writer. If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor.

April 2011

Got Indigestion? Time for a Diet Change

Do you have: bloating/gas, constipation/diarrhea heartburn nausea? If so, read on;

The digestive system is intricate and can be disrupted by disease, diet, and emotional stress. Millions of Americans have the symptoms mentioned above and suffer daily. These issues have tremendous impact and limit the quality of life. Learning about the digestive system may help with managing problems.

Heartburn/GERD 1 in 10 Americans experience symptoms at least once a week. Triggers include certain food, medications, obesity, or stress. Some remedies to control acid reflux are medications, home remedies and diet changes.

Acid Reflux happens when stomach acid splashes up from the stomach into the esophagus. Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a severe or chronic acid reflux that leads to complications such as cancer. To complicate things, the same symptoms may also be caused by not enough stomach acid! Take these severe symptoms seriously. Both conditions can be triggered by certain medications and large meals. Some studies show a connection between GERD and Asthma.

Factors that may increase one's risk to suffer from acid reflux disease: stomach abnormalities/hiatal hernia, pregnancy, smoking, being overweight or obese, eating large meals and/or lying down right after eating, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, tea, spicy or high-fat foods, taking aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, certain blood pressure medications

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Doctors don't know the cause of IBD. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, and weight loss. The goal is to eliminate inflammation.

Crohn's disease (named after the physician who described it in 1932) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines that causes ulcerations (breaks in the lining) of the small and large intestines. It can also affect the digestive system anywhere from the mouth to the anus and may also be called colitis. It's closely related to another inflammatory condition that only involves the colon, called ulcerative colitis, explained below. There is no medical cure and these diseases affect approximately 500,000 to two million people in the U.S. See your doctor for diagnoses by having a colonoscopy (important to have one after tuning 50 regardless of symptoms), blood tests, or barium X-ray.

People with Crohn's disease may have sores in the mouth, nutritional deficiencies because the intestines may not be able to absorb nutrients from food, bowel obstruction and signs of disease in or around the anus. Other symptoms may include a fever from infection (abscess), weight loss and anemia (too few red blood cells) because of low iron levels. Some doctors speculate it may also involve the immune system.

Other symptoms can develop due to complications related to the disease: arthritis, gallstones, inflammation of the eyes and mouth, kidney stones, liver disease, skin rashes or ulcers

Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease of the colon and may result from an abnormal response by the body's immune system to normal intestinal bacteria as studies suggest. Disease causing bacteria and viruses may also play a role in the condition but doctors don't really know. Similar to Crohn's, changes in diet and anti-diarrheal medicines help with mild symptoms. More severe symptoms are treated with steroid medication to decrease inflammation. Change the diet.

Diverticular Disease is a condition in which small pouches, called diverticula, develop in the wall of the colon, or large intestine. The pouches develop at weak spots in the wall of the colon. These weak spots occur because of excess pressure in the colon, or existing weakness in the colon wall, that eventually bulge out to form pouches. High pressure (constipation) inside the intestine may cause these outpouchings. The development of these pouches is called diverticulosis. Rarely, diverticula may also occur in the stomach or small intestine. When the pouches become inflamed (often as a result of bacterial infection), symptoms such as cramping pains, fever, and nausea can result. Such an infection (called diverticulitis) is potentially life threatening and requires immediate medical intervention. As people age it is a common malady, primarily due to low-fiber diets.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the intestines causing stomach pain, cramping or bloating and diarrhea/constipation. Doctors think it's related to the signals sent between the brain and the intestines, causing the muscles of the intestines not to move as they should. Triggers can be hormonal changes, some medications (like antibiotics), eating, or stress.

Doctors report that IBS does not cause more serious diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. However, it's a long-term condition. It can be managed by changes in diet, regular exercise, and stress reduction.

Some Natural Tips Avoid eating large meals. Instead, eat small meals every 3 to 4 hours. Don't eat late at night. Stay away from spicy and high-fat foods. If you have abdominal pain, place a hot water bottle on the painful area for relief. Eat live yogurt before meals. Use a drop of essential oil of peppermint in your drinking water or make a hot tea with it. Mix a drop of lemon and a drop of ginger essential oil in honey and swallow it to coat the stomach. Take digestive enzymes before your meals to aid digestion and manage acid reflux.

There are other natural supplements that bring the body back to a more alkaline state. I'm happy to share what has worked in my family.

Use stress-busting techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or just a peaceful walk in nature. Stress is a leading cause of death in the U.S. as it creates extremely high Cortisol levels (the death hormone) in the body. These elevated levels then create disease. Please refer to my past article "Got Stress and How to Manage It," Nov. 2008 online at: www.westsideobserver.com/columns/Caren.html and June 2008 "Do You Have A Personal Water Shortage?" So important for good digestion!

A good Nutritionist can aid you in making important diet changes if you need help. Mandisa Fabris is a food and nutrition expert I've worked with personally one on one or over the phone, and also holds tele-classes and seminars: (650) 290.4802, request@simpleholisticliving.com website /www.simpleholisticliving.com/

The views expressed are those of the writer.  If you have any questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor. Call or email me at 650.359.6579 and sharoncaren@comcast.net.

March 2011

 

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Why or Why Not?

As in every part of our life, we constantly strive for the balance of home, work, health and spirituality. When one or more areas is lacking, we manifest “symptoms” either physical or emotional like pain, exhaustion, hypertension or depression. It always shows up somewhere!

Our physical body is no different. In my years of studying the human body, I’ve come to realize the intricate and unique balance of hormones has everything to do with how the body functions. This subject is dear to me and I’ll share with you my findings. We have a very complex system to keep us alive. So let’s keep things simple.

You men might think this article is for women. However, you have mothers, wives, daughters and friends who are women and understanding the information can be most helpful. Also, men have hormones too, so no one is exempt. It’s just as important for men to have their testosterone levels checked and if low, replaced with bio-identical hormones as a woman would do. I have found more and more men who are experiencing wonderful results with this treatment.

A hormone is a chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. In essence, it is a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one cell to another to keep things working together as regulators. There are many, many hormones in the body but we’ll only focus on these four: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and thyroid.

Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT, as you might have heard it referred to, is used to supplement the body with synthetic or natural hormone substances to restore the particular hormonal level back to the original healthy level. This brings our body back into “balance” and we can experience feeling more like we did in the younger days because the body is actually working effectively and efficiently again. Make sense?

Why consider HRT? Symptoms can range from low libido, weight gain, unexplained fatigue, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, heart disease, depression, and an array of menopausal symptoms—mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, insomnia to mention a few.

First, you’ll need to find a physician who prescribes this treatment for wellness. Usually blood work is ordered to find your current hormonal levels for a starting point. Basically, they test for the four hormones listed above to get a good picture. Some physicians will prescribe treatment on a trial basis without blood work to see if particular symptoms will subside. But most will want to test the blood first, and again at least on an annual basis, for re-evaluation.

Next is the choice of the type of replacement method, either synthetic or natural substances, in pill form (orally), patches or creams on the skin (trans-dermal). This is where the controversy comes in. It’s a personal choice that needs research and paying attention to your inner guidance. As a society, we are so conditioned to take a pill for whatever ails us because it’s quick and easy. I feel a better practice is to find out the alternatives and weigh benefits vs. side effects accordingly.

Many recent studies have shown definite risks of just using estrogens, like endometrial cancer and blood clots. Other possible risks include increase in breast cancer and gallbladder disease. Another study (the HERS study) found that estrogen actually caused women who already have heart disease to have more heart problems.

The most commonly prescribed estrogen is Premarin, in pill form, which is a conjugated equine estrogen, harvested from the urine of pregnant mares. I’m sorry but this just wasn’t an option for me.

Estrogen side effects include worsening of estrogen-dependent diseases, uterine fibroids and endometriosis as well as breast tenderness and enlargement, vaginal bleeding, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, headaches, jaundice and fluid retention (edema).

Progesterone is usually given along with estrogen to combat the unopposed estrogen that is also associated with endometrial hyperplasia and cancer. There are both natural and synthetic progesterones, and Provera is the most widely prescribed synthetic drug in pill form.

It is postulated that natural progesterone, estrogen and testosterone is better for the patient than synthetic, and in cream form so as not to pass through the liver. The natural cream hormones go directly into the blood through the skin and can be distributed to do their work on the cellular level. These are sex hormones that aid in reproduction and sexual health for men and women.

Lastly, many have issues with the thyroid being out of balance, either hypothyroidism—underproduction of thyroid hormone, or hyperthyroidism—over production of thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is in the front of the throat, secreting a hormone that influences almost all of the metabolic processes in the body. A thyroid imbalance is the root of many symptoms.

Symptoms for hypothyroidism are lethargy, slow mental processes, depression, reduced heart rate, increased sensitivity to cold, tingling or numbness in the hands, development of a goiter, constipation, heavy menstrual periods or dry skin and hair.

For hyperthyroidism common symptoms are weight loss despite increased appetite, increased heart rate, heart palpitations, higher blood pressure, nervousness, excessive perspiration, frequent bowel movements, (sometimes with diarrhea), muscle weakness, trembling hands, development of a goiter, lighter or shorter menstrual periods.

For hyperthyroidism doctors may use radioactive iodide uptake tests. Your physician can also test the blood or track your basal temperature for milder cases of hypothyroidism. Again, there are both conventional and alternative treatments offering varied methods to bring proper balance. Conventional treatments rely on drugs and surgery. Hypothyroidism demands replacement.

Levothroxine is a widely prescribed generic synthetic drug. Side effects could be nervousness or chest pain. There can also be complications if also taking other drugs such as antidepressants, estrogens, blood thinners, heart drugs or drugs for diabetes. Synthroid is also a very commonly prescribed synthetic drug and is made from levothroxine sodium and contains only one hormone, T4.

Two natural thyroid medications that are compounded in the pharmacy along with the Bio-identical sex hormones are Nature-Throid and Armour (tablet form with fillers and binders to hold it together) and contain both T3 and T4 hormones. Getting the more natural thyroid formulation (from pig thyroid) works better for some and getting it in a capsule without the binders and fillers is preferable.

Whew, a lot of info to digest! I’ve researched this for myself to find a more natural way to deal with osteoporosis, depression, insomnia, and hypothyroidism. I’ve been on bio-identical sex hormone replacement and Thyroid, USP (capsule form) for over two years. My great side effects have been more energy, improved moods, no more depression, sense of well-being, calm, deeper sleep, able to focus during the day and better memory retention. My last bone scan showed no increase in bone loss…Yay!

Aging doesn’t have to be painful when we learn to give the body what it needs to work and be in balance. I recommend you call Dr. Joel Lopez, 345 West Portal Ave. 2nd Floor, (415) 377-4743. He’ll answer any questions you may have regarding this information. His website is http://drjlopez.com/

If you have questions or comments on this article, please contact me, Sharon Caren 650.359.6579 or email sharoncaren@comcast.net. Also see www.sharoncaren.com.

February 2011

Sick of Being Sick?

Tips to Safely Winterize your Home and Family

The weather has significantly changed this month and we can feel a chill in the air. With that, many have been down and out with colds and flu. Some are feeling the stress of the fast-approaching Holiday Season and the immune system is compromised.

About the Immune System Our immune system is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs that defend us against germs and micro organisms every day.

The immune system normally does a great job of keeping us healthy and preventing infections. The cells involved are white blood cells, or leukocytes, which come in two basic types that combine to seek out and destroy disease-causing organisms or substances.

However, problems with the immune system can lead to illness and infection. The four main categories of disorders are:

  • 1. immunodeficiency disorders (primary or acquired)
  • 2. auto-immune disorders (in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue as foreign matter)
  • 3. allergic disorders (in which the immune system overreacts in response to an antigen)
  • 4. cancers of the immune system

Every year, your family probably faces its share of sore throats, colds and viruses. When you bring your child to the doctor or go yourself, do you automatically expect a prescription for antibiotics? Many do and are surprised or angry if they leave the doctor’s office empty-handed — after all, who doesn’t want to get well as quickly as possible? But your doctor could be doing you and your child a favor by not reaching for the prescription pad.

How Antibiotics Work Antibiotics were first used in the 1940s, and are one of the great advances in medicine. But overprescribing has caused the development of bacteria that no longer respond to antibiotics that may have worked before. Plus, kids who take antibiotics when they aren’t necessary run the risk of adverse reactions, such as stomach upset and diarrhea.

For a better understanding, there are two major types of germs that can make people sick: bacteria and viruses. Although certain bacteria and viruses cause diseases with similar symptoms, the ways these two organisms multiply and spread illness are different:

Bacteria are living organisms existing as single cells. Bacteria are everywhere and most don’t cause harm, and in some cases may be beneficial. Lactobacillus, for example, lives in the intestine and helps digest food (a good bacteria). But some are harmful and can cause illness by invading the human body, multiplying, and interfering with normal bodily processes. Antibiotics are effective against bacteria because they work to kill these living organisms by stopping their growth and reproduction.

Viruses, on the other hand, are not alive and cannot exist on their own — they are particles containing genetic material wrapped in a protein coat. Viruses “live,” grow, and reproduce only after they’ve invaded other living cells. Some viruses may be fought off by the body’s immune system before they cause illness, but others (colds, for example) must simply run their course. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics at all.

Why It’s Harmful to Overuse Them Taking antibiotics for colds and other viral illnesses not only won’t work, but also has a dangerous side effect: over time, this practice helps create bacteria that have become more of a challenge to kill. Frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics selects for strains of bacteria that can resist treatment. This is called bacterial resistance. These resistant bacteria require higher doses of medicine or stronger antibiotics to combat. Doctors have found bacteria that are resistant to the most powerful antibiotics available today.

Antibiotic resistance is a widespread problem, and one that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.” Bacteria that were once highly responsive to antibiotics have become increasingly resistant. Among those that are becoming harder to treat are pneumococcal infections (which cause pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and meningitis), skin infections, and tuberculosis.

Originally contributed by Steven Dowshen MD, November 2008

Natural Tips Ever wonder why we look forward to certain smells and tastes for winter? Or why, when we smell Grandma’s home made goodies at holiday time, we feel warm all over and loved? She knew more than we may have given her credit for…old wives tales or maybe not!

For centuries, man has used plants for medicinal purposes. These substances can be found in spices, herbs and essential oils:

Clove – highly antimicrobial, antiseptic, analgesic, bactericidal, and a powerful antioxidant. Also, blood thinning and anti-inflammatory.

Cinnamon – antimicrobial, anti-infectious, and antibacterial for a wide spectrum of infections. It’s antiviral, antifungal (candida), a general tonic. Increases blood flow when previously restricted and is a light anticoagulant.

Rosemary – anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-parasitic, a general stimulant, enhances mental clarity and supports nerves and endocrine gland balance.

Eucalyptus Radiata – anti-infectious, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and expectorant.

Lemon – anti-infectious, antibacterial (spores), antiseptic, antiviral, and a disinfectant. Improves microcirculation, promotes white blood cell formation, and improves immune function.

You can see how the above blended together in a gel cap would be a great natural antibiotic!

The ability of essential oils to act on both the mind and the body is what makes them truly unique among natural therapeutic agents. The fragrance of an essential oil can be very stimulating—both psychologically and physically. The fragrance of other essential oils may be calming and sedating, helping to overcome anxiety or hyperactivity. On a physiological level, essential oils may stimulate immune function and regenerate damaged tissue. Essential oils may also combat infectious disease by killing viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

Using an essential oil blend internally in a gel cap, rubbing it on the bottom of your feet, and diffusing in you home will make your living space very clean and safe from harmful germs. The oils also enhance your immune system so you’re rebuilding and detoxing at the same time.

The purifying action of the oil blend can’t be beat when used in the home as a cleaning agent and for your family with hand sanitizer, handy wipes, throat lozenges, toothpaste and mouthwash, just to mention a few.

These unique oils also help with an overall feeling of wellbeing and energy, so we can enjoy our time with family and friends.

Drink lots of water (and lemon water) to rid your body of germs and toxins. Also, frequently washing your hands and getting enough sleep will help greatly this season. Your body needs time to rest at night to rebuild cells.

Have a blessed Holiday Season and be well!

Feedback: Sharon Caren, 650.359.6579 www.sharoncaren.com

December 2010

Turkey: The National Bird???

Ben Franklin wanted the North American Wild Turkey to be the national bird. The wild bird of that time was a brightly plumed, cunning bird of flight not like the domesticated descendants of today that make up such a large part of our healthy caloric intake. They live in flocks, unlike eagles, and had longer necks and legs along with smaller breasts.

Because Americans like the white meat of the breast so much, turkeys are bred to produce larger breasts. The “Tom,” because of his oversized chest, is not able to fertilize the eggs of the female “Hen” in the natural mating position and therefore turkey eggs are fertilized by artificial insemination for the hatchery. Only the “Tom” makes the loud gobble, gobble sound that can be heard a mile away on a quiet day while the “hen” gently clucks and clicks. Maybe he’s frustrated?

Have you ever wondered why there is both white and dark meat on the turkey? They have white meat on the breast and wings and dark meat on the legs and thighs. It’s actually a physiological difference. The active muscles in the legs store a lot of oxygen and become dark.

We’ve had a dramatic increase of turkey consumption in the U.S. In 1975, Americans ate 8.3 pounds of turkey and by 1995 it increased to 18 pounds a year. As you might guess, the turkey production in the U.S. has increased 300%. I believe it’s largely due to a more health conscious society.

Nutritional Value – Turkey is an inexpensive, low fat, and high protein meat source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins, and has more protein than chicken or beef.

A 3 ½-ounce portion of turkey is about the size and thickness of a new deck of cards. A 15 lb turkey is about 70 % white meat and 30% dark meat. White meat has less calories and fat than dark and less again if you don’t eat the skin. One gram of fat contains 9 calories, and one gram of protein contains 4 calories. Here is a way to calculate:

Meat Type Calories Total Fat Protein

Breast with skin 194 8 grams 29 grams

Breast w/o skin 161 4 grams 30 grams

Wing w/skin 238 13 grams 27 grams

Leg w/skin 213 11 grams 28 grams

Dark meat w/skin 232 13 grams 27 grams

Dark meat w/o skin 192 8 grams 28 grams

Skin only 482 44 grams 19 grams

Size Matters, How much to buy - “Toms” are over 16 lbs and “Hens” under 16. You’ll want about a pound to a pound and a half per person to allow for hearty eaters and leftovers.

Frozen Turkeys – There are 2 types of raw frozen turkeys, pre-basted or un-basted. A pre-basted bird is injected with water, broth, vegetable oil and/or spices to enhance flavor and moistness during cooking. Un-basted turkey has no additional ingredients. Reading the label is a must. You can buy the frozen birds months in advance and keep them frozen until time to cook.

Fresh Turkeys – I’ve enjoyed great results pre-planning to order a fresh turkey in time for my holiday meal. I highly recommend calling around to find a free range, grass fed, organic bird. The cost will be higher and you can taste the difference. Delicious! We are what we eat and being mindful to ingest more natural foods will increase health and longevity, not to mention satisfying the taste buds.

Leftovers, the best part – I look forward to cooking the turkey because I enjoy it the next day or two. You know, sandwiches, turkey stew, chili or soup, casseroles or a turkey burger. You can also get more creative with a turkey and black bean wrap, my favorite. Here’s a handy guide for storage:

Refrigerator Storage – Leftovers

Cooked Food Item Refrigerator Storage Time

Roast Turkey 3 to 4 days

Stuffing 1 to 2 days

Giblet Gravy 1 to 2 days

Canned Cranberry Sauce 5 to 7 days

Roast Pork 2 to 4 days

Roast Beef/Veal/lamb 3 to 4 days

Baked Ham 3 to 5 days

Meat w/sauce or gravy 1 to 2 days

Cooked Food Item Refrigerator Storage Time Cooked vegetables 3 to 5 days

Pumpkin pie 2 to 3 days

Fruit desserts/pie 3 to 5 days

Seafood 1 to 2 days

Gumbo 1 to 2 days

Soups 2 to 3 days

Restaurant Carry-out 1 day

There’s a myth about turkey making you sleepy. Eating turkey doesn’t cause you to feel sleepy after your Thanksgiving dinner. The carbohydrates in your meal are the likely cause of the sleepiness. We might want to keep those to a minimum as it’s also a big factor in weight gain.

Most of all, enjoy this wonderful holiday meal with those you love and give thanks for the little joys of life!

Many blessings to you, Sharon. www.sharoncaren.com 650.359.6579Statistics found above are from the University of Illinois

November 2010

Canine Massage in San Francisco

Animals are important to mankind as they aid in the balance in nature known as “the web of life”. On a more personal note, these wonderful furry friends bring so much joy and unconditional love into our lives. It’s truly a wonderful life changing experience to have a pet when you are ready for it.

In taking responsibility as a pet owner, there’s a lot to learn about the care of our dog or cat. In the beginning, we research the best type of pet and breed for our life style and family dynamic as each breed has its own distinct characteristics. Once we find the right pet, we then must figure out a healthy diet for the pet and find a local Veterinarian.

There are many choices today in choosing a Vet. I just recently found a holistic office in Pacifica for dogs and cats and was so pleased with the unique care given. Our little five pound Chihuahua, Charlie, received Chiropractic adjustments in his jaw, spine and hips that changed the funny little gait he had that seemed to originate from his left hind leg. It was amazing to watch the difference in him. The doctor also recommended we cook for him, as little dogs sometimes have dietary issues. Boy, does he love that! Now, the “Pack” sits down to a home-cooked meal.

Because humans are part of the animal family, it’s no wonder what is good for us is also very important in the health and vitality of our pet. I’d like to introduce you to Michelle Geisler, a Certified Canine Massage Therapist.

Michelle has been in practice for over a year here in San Francisco. She was trained at the Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage in Colorado. She specializes in Therapeutic and Sports Massage for Canines. She’s also a Healing Touch for Animals Practitioner (HTA) and, recently, added pet sitting to her repertoire.

It all began after she rescued 2 German Shepherd brothers from the pound when they were 6 months old. Ozzy had hip dysplasia and Randy had Lupus on his nose. Both dogs had several surgeries over the years. As they aged, arthritis set in. The doctor wanted Randy to have an MRI for his neck and she couldn’t afford it. She figured humans go to Chiropractors for neck issues so why not try it for Randy. The adjustments worked for him immediately and the Chiropractor suggested massage would help both dogs. This was Michelle’s calling!

Therapeutic Massage: a non-invasive therapy incorporated into a total health care regimen of the dog. It’s used to promote general well-being, boost circulatory and immune systems by encouraging circulation, muscle tone, digestion and skin tone. It greatly contributes to relaxing the nervous system.

For Convalescing Dogs: circulation is stimulated, toxins are removed from the tissues and nutrients are supplied, atrophy of muscle tissue is decreased, helps in pain relief, keeps joints lubricated and flexible, aids range of motion and enhances respiratory function.

For Puppies: blood circulation is increased so growing bones receive nutrients, and calms to bring the puppy’s awareness inward.

Sports Massage: a therapy used before an event to increase blood flow to the muscles, promote flexibility, energizes, and prepares the dog for the event or exercise to help prevent injury.

Healing Touch for Animals® (HTA): a holistic approach influencing the health and well-being of animals through energy medicine and intention. HTA Techniques restore harmony and balance to the animal’s energy system while providing physical, emotional, mental and instinctual stability.

Helps animals understand their purpose and what is appropriate behavior

Aids in building the animal-human bond

Supports animals through injuries, physical or emotional trauma and abuse

Supports animals during the end of life transition

Michelle loves working with dogs and has a very special connection with them. She makes house calls, as it’s important that your dog is in his/her comfort space. She provides soft music and a loving touch.

Call 415-699-5832 or email her at michellegeisler1@gmail.com 

On the web at http://www.michellegeisler.iwantamassage.com/home.html

If you liked this article or have any questions, please call me at 650.359.6579 Email: sharoncaren@comcast.net Visit: www.sharoncaren.com

October, 2010

Lip Service From Water Departments

It’s been a year since I last featured Citizens Concerned About Chloramine.This is an ongoing issue that needs our attention. Here’s a letter I just received from Linda Corwin, VP of CCAC.

Dear Sharon, Thank you for your continuing research into common household and health care products and reporting what “FDA approved” chemicals are in them. It’s nice to know there are natural, healthy alternatives so we can make better choices.

On the chloramine front, I appreciate all of you who have contacted Sharon to express your feelings about chloramine. Citizens Concerned About Chloramine (CCAC) is continuing to contact scientists about the issue, and the scientists are willing to set up testing protocols. However, there seems to be no Federal or State money to pay for the testing. In the mean time, we continue to hear from more and more people who are about to be subjected to chloramine.

Water providers are getting very good at keeping their plant’s chloramine conversion under the radar until about two to four weeks before the actual start of chloramine use. Then, of course, it takes time for people to find our website. By the time we are contacted, the decision has been made, the permits have been issued, the facilities have been built, and there is no way to turn back.

I just ran into that very situation in a small community in the East Bay. After a concerned citizen showed some information from our website to the water board, they postponed the use of chloramine until they could get more information. They allotted ten minutes on their agenda for a presentation.

I attended their meeting on August 11th and in ten minutes, did my best to tell them what a Pandora’s Box they were about to open. I then shared several alternatives they might be able to use. The board members were receptive to my information. But, alas, the General Manager said he only had two weeks before he had to start the chloramine. CCAC will be monitoring the situation and will continue to provide the board with information in an effort to help them realize there is an alternative that they can afford.

State Health Departments seem to be mandating the use of chloramine without letting these water boards know there are alternatives, a disheartening trend I hear over and over. The newest distress call we received is from the State of Alaska.

Please contact your legislators, both local and state, to ask them to put a moratorium on the conversion of any more water systems to chloramine until the proper health studies are done.

If you are interested in going to CCAC meeting in San Francisco, contact me (phone or email below). You’ll learn more about what’s happening with our water systems today and the health issues being reported since the usage of the chloramine additive. I’m happy to get a meeting started in your area.

Thank you for your continued support, Linda Corwin (650) 355-6447 lindacor@earthlink.net Find much more information at: http://www.chloramine.org/

I want to thank Linda for her dedication and updates on this water situation. Many of us are discouraged. Let’s all join together, contact the legislators to bring about change.

Here’s a blurb from last year’s article on chloramine:

Since 2004, when the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) unilaterally decided to put ammonia in our drinking water to form chloramine, people have been experiencing a variety of health problems.

Many people stopped drinking tap water after the change simply because it tasted so awful. Others developed itchy or rashy skin, sore, bloated stomachs, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – like symptoms or varying levels of respiratory distress. Many of these people were able to connect the chloraminated water with their symptoms when they used non-chloraminated water while on vacation. They saw their symptoms disappear, then return when they came home and resumed using the chloraminated water.

To read my previous article on chloramine, go to: westsideobserver.com click on Sharon The Health and scroll down to Sept. 2009

I’d like to hear your comments. Please email me at caren@westsideobserver.com or call 650.359.6579. To find natural and healthy alternatives visit: www.sharoncaren.com

Sept. 2010

BURNS, BUGS, AND BASICS

Now that summertime is official, here are some great tips to make your activities and vacation trips more enjoyable. Below are suggestions for healthy and all natural products you won’t want to be without (for emergencies) to carry along in your first aid kit.

Fun in the Sun

The existence of nearly all life on earth is fueled by light from the sun. A recent study indicates that more exposure to sunshine early in a person’s life relates to less risk from multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life. New research is being done showing that vitamin D from the sun may have positive effects on cancer patients. On the other hand, excessive sunlight exposure has been linked to all types of skin cancer caused by the ultraviolet part of radiation from sunlight. Don’t be fooled by the fog either. UV rays can penetrate cloud cover!

Eye Protection Not all sunglasses are created equal. In the past, I’ve purchased expensive ones that I’ve lost or broken and turned to the less costly ones with stickers of UV protection. Unfortunately, cheap sunglasses are unlikely to provide true protection. We’ll probably have to spend about $100.00 on a pair of sunglasses to cover the full range of protection needed. Wearing a brimmed hat or visor is also a big help.

An article in Time.com points out that wearing cheap sunglasses can actually do more harm to your eyes than if you were forced to squint. When we squint, our pupils constrict to tiny dots that limit the amount of light getting in. However, when wearing sunglasses, our eyes feel as if they are in a darkened room and the pupils dilate to let in more light. If you are wearing cheap sunglasses, then much more harmful light may reach your eyes.

That additional exposure to UVA and UVB rays may increase the risk for cataracts, macular degeneration and even development of ocular melanoma—a very rare type of cancer.
Read more:

The suggested products below are treatments I’ve researched and used personally. They do not contain harmful chemicals.

Sun Screens Unrefined Shea Butter, natural SPF of 6.

All Natural Sunscreen SPF 15, 30, or 50 – go to http://shop.mercola.com

Be Physical

It’s time to get out and enjoy your favorite activities like hiking, biking, and swimming. If you haven’t been moving your body much this year, the muscles will feel it. Most importantly, stretching is in order before and after. If you’ll only stretch once, do it after the activity. As a Licensed Reposturing Trainer, I teach personalized stretch routines to keep you flexible and out of pain from injury. http://www.sharoncaren.com then click “personal posture plan” for more information.

If you feel pain from sore muscles, try these on the affected area:

Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils:

Deep Relief - roll on

Pan Away

Peppermint

Wintergreen

Camping, Cooking, Cutting, Cleaning

When vacationing away and out in nature this summer, you’ll want to have items that are easy to carry in your pocket and are extremely effective if the need arises.

For Sunburn relief LavaDerm Cooling Mist will relieve stressed skin. This is a blend of gentle skin-soothing ingredients; lavender essential oil and aloe vera. Spray directly onto the affected area and repeat every 10-15 minutes until desired relief is achieved. Also use the Essential Oil of Lavender.

Bug Repellant, Bug Bites, Bee Stings Purification Oil Blend keeps critters away and neutralizes poison from bites or stings to alleviate pain and swelling. You can also use Oil of Lavender or Peppermint.

Poison Oak Oil of Peppermint helps to dry up the rash quickly and stops itching.

Cleaning and drinking water Oil of Lemon disinfects and deeply cleans cooking utensils and purifies drinking water. Oil of Peppermint is wonderful. Just add a drop in drinking water and this will bring down the body temperature if one is over come by heat exhaustion or fever.

Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Antifungal OilBlend of Thieves put on topically, under tongue, or diffuse. For added protection use Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier, Thieves Wipes, Thieves Throat Lozenges.

Cuts, scrapes, and bleeding Oil of Helichrysum helps to coagulate the blood when poured on an open wound and expedites healing.

Be proactive and beef up your first aid kit before an emergency occurs not only just for summer but all year long. You’ll sleep better at night knowing you have some alternatives. I’m sharing all I’ve learned and what has worked for my family and me. As an educator of Essential Oils, I’m passing along these ancient healing techniques using the life-blood of plants.

In ancient Egypt, the Pharaohs used oils to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. So, the use of oils for healing is very old. What’s new is the application of all we know about the beneficial effects of plant substances to create modern-day oils. These oils are great for people who are searching for an alternative to prescription drugs and their awful side effects. http://www.youngliving.com/sharoncaren

Always consult your doctor. I’m not a doctor and I don’t prescribe or diagnose.

Please contact me with comments, questions or information you’d like to share on health and wellness at sharoncaren@comcast.net Also, visit: www.sharoncaren.com

July 2010

Peaceful Touch Massage Program

I had the pleasure of meeting Pam O’Dea in 1997 (a gifted massage therapist) who lives and works in San Francisco. She received extensive training in Canada and graduated in 1991 from a 2200 hour program. Canadian massage requirements are more comprehensive than the U.S.

Pam had a dream 8 years ago of teaching children to massage one another. Given her persistence and determination, that dream became reality. Given today’s challenging times, I love sharing this great news about building strong bonds with the children of the community

After much disappointment in failing to get this program into public schools, she had to think outside the box and get creative. Pam did much research and actually came in contact with Solveig Berggren, a Swedish massage therapist, who was instrumental in the development of massage programs for children in Sweden and the British Isles. Solveig’s dream was to bring that model to America, but was unaware of the decree of “No Touching” the teachers in the U.S. must abide by.

Many teachers express sadness in having to restrain from giving a child a hug if they fall and are in need of comforting, or even a congratulatory squeeze. Unfortunately, the cases of inappropriate touch or abuse in the system caused a backlash of reforms that deprive children of healthy, nurturing touch.

In Sweden, students K through High School take a half hour break each morning to give and receive massage. The children, fully clothed, lean forward on their desk to receive back, neck, head, and arm massage. Teachers notice these children are calmer, more focused, empathetic and compassionate. They are less angry, aggressive, get along and care about fellow students.

International research done by The Touch Research Institute in Florida headed by Tiffany Fields, discovered that certain countries are high-touch, such as France, Greece, Italy and others are low-touch, including the US, Britain, and Australia. They noted a direct correlation of higher depression, abuse, and suicide rates with low-touch countries. With the children, clearly the more social nurturing touch, the better adjusted the child. Children who do not receive sufficient touch as babies experience “failure to thrive” and fail to develop healthy interactive social behaviors.

Since the public school system was out of the question, Pam found another avenue through friends in which to create her platform. In spring of 2009, the first MASSAGE FOR PEACE PROGRAM was launched at The Thrive House for Youth. It’s a small community based home providing opportunities to learn life skills for under-served urban youth in The Fillmore. Classes are about 6 to 12 students, ranging from 5 to 15 years and a melting pot of ethnic backgrounds. There have been 7 massage training classes to date.

Here’s some feedback from the classes; Children are using what they learned to massage family members at home. They’re feeling more confident, relaxed, peaceful and modeling this behavior to their piers. They are also asking about and considering career possibilities in massage and bodywork. These kids are excited.

Thank you Pam, you are an angel…and to quote her, “One by one we will see a large wave of people who are becoming the change we wish to see in the world.”

To find out how you might help out with this program, contact Pam O’Dea via email:

pamazon@earthlink.net and visit www.pamodea.com

Please contact me with comments, questions or information you’d like to share on health and wellness at sharoncaren@comcast.net Also, visit: www.sharoncaren.com

June 2010

SFPMG: Specialist in Natural Medicine

While I was in Minneapolis last year for a natural health convention, I met Jeffrey David and Dr. Joel Lopez, who belong to the San Francisco Preventive Medical Group right here in our beautiful neighborhood at 345 West Portal Avenue! Last Friday, they invited me to lunch at the Clay Oven Indian Restaurant, 385 West Portal (loved it - great buffet). After, I received a personal tour of the clinic.

Integrative medicine has been at the heart of this medical clinic for more than 30 years. This makes them the first in the city. To receive the best clinical benefits, SFPMG uses effective and safe alternative medicine for a comprehensive approach to blending natural and conventional treatments, the best of both worlds. They provide an array of services in both Medical Practice and Natural Medicines. Check out their website for lists of these practices. You’ll find it very extensive. I’m impressed. www.sfpmg.com or phone 415.566.1000.

Jeffrey David is the CMT you’ll find there. He’s devoted 15 years to learning the philosophies and practices of holistic health care. He’s a great guy and so dedicated to each of his clients. Jeffrey has many certifications: First Line Therapy Lifestyle Educator, Licensed Massage Therapist and Advanced Bodyworker. He’s a Certified Biofeedback Provider and has also created his own Ulan Therapy. This is a highly evolved whole body balancing bodywork technique that utilizes the power of therapeutic grade essential oils in conjunction with advanced bodywork and energetic balancing techniques. Find out more by visiting

www.InfiniteWellnessWorldwide.com or phone 415.513.9311.

Joel Lopez, MD, is one of six doctors on staff. He specializes in Nutrition, Supplementation, and has an Age Management/Anti-Aging practice as well. He uses functional testing to see if a person has nutrient deficiencies (no guess work) and has a great understanding of Hormone Replacement using Bio-identicals. He’s full of knowledge and will make you feel very comfortable answering all your questions and health concerns. You’re in good hands with Dr. Lopez. Please visit www.drjlopez.com or phone 415.377.4743.

I highly recommend you go by and check out this unique clinic for yourself. It’s Local!

If you have health and well-being questions you’d like answered, please call 650.359.6579 or email sharoncaren@comcast.net. I’d like to promote a question and answer forum here in the column. Please write or call in with your concerns and/or questions. Let’s interact personally. I want to know what interests you.

To find out more information on my natural healing services, I invite you to visit www.sharoncaren.com.

May 2010

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

It’s a distinct primary health care system that combines traditional healing wisdom with modern scientific research to offer a holistic, safe and gentle approach to health care. One of the main goals of Naturopathic medical care is to offer treatments with minimal side effects that guide the body on its healing path while avoiding suppression, long term side effects or discomfort.

Sound good so far? I’m excited to let you know about Sarah Rothman, ND, who just opened her practice in Pacifica. I had no idea what to expect when I made my appointment. I’ve now been working with Dr. Rothman the past couple of months using Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy. I’ll tell you from personal experience, you’ll find a doctor totally committed to your wellness.

Naturopathic doctors are thoroughly trained primary care practitioners who are committed to optimal patient care and individualized treatment. They are doctors that listen, and take extra time to help guide you towards optimal health. They hold enormous value in educating and sharing knowledge with you so that you understand your body’s processes and all of the diagnoses and treatments you are given. Through teaching, they encourage you to take responsibility for your health.herbs

One of the beauties of Naturopathic medicine is that ND’s are trained in a wide variety of therapies and will work with you to decide which ones best suit your needs. Types of treatments used include:

Clinical Nutrition - Naturopathic doctors emphasize the value of food as medicine. Assessment of nutrient absorption, utilization and deficiencies are available for each patient. Digestive disturbances such as reflux, constipation, diarrhea and food sensitivities are areas of expertise. ND’s provide dietary education, prescriptions and doses on vitamins, minerals and other food based supplements.

Botanical Medicine - The medicinal value of plants has been known since ancient times, and in fact many of today’s most commonly used pharmaceuticals are derived from traditional medicinal herbs. ND’s use botanical medicines in many forms for a wide array of health concerns. Safety of herbs is often overlooked and ND’s will teach you about dosing and interactions of botanical medicines with pharmaceuticals to ensure safety and efficacy. Herbal medicines are prescribed as teas, tinctures, poultices, capsules, powders, steams, and topical applications to help heal disease and promote optimal health.

Bio-identical Hormone Therapy - Naturopathic Doctors assess hormonal balance for menopausal concerns, menstrual concerns, fertility, libido, thyroid health, adrenal health and many other endocrine disturbances. They offer both serum and salivary hormone testing that they send to reputable labs. There are many dietary modifications, food based supplements and herbal medicines that can have a profound effect on hormonal health. Sometimes, bio-identical hormone therapy is warranted. These bio-identical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, cortisol and thyroid hormones are derived and modified from plants to have identical structures to the body’s own hormones. They have fewer side effects and are much more gentle than synthetic hormone replacement therapy.

Homeopathy - Involves energetic medicines that stimulate the body’s own ability to heal itself. With homeopathy, ND’s address the whole person and the root cause of imbalances. The emphasis is placed on how you experience illness. It is a great option for children, pregnancy and acute or chronic disease. It is extremely gentle and safe and there are no drug interactions or side effects.

Biotherapeutic Drainage - Offers a subtle, gentle way to detoxify the organ systems of the body. It’s a therapy based on specific organ systems, detoxification pathways and elimination processes.

Lifestyle Counseling and Education Each appointment allows enough time to gather information about all aspects of health acknowledging psychological wellbeing. They emphasize the importance of addressing psychological, emotional and spiritual health as part of a holistic approach to health care. With most individuals, they do lifestyle counseling around stress, sleep habits, hydrotherapy, diet, relationship and family concerns, and exercise.

Dr. Sarah Anne Rothman is a naturopathic doctor who recently opened Pacifica Naturopathic Medicine, a clinic that serves people in the Coastside community and the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds great value in preventative medicine, offering tools to help encourage optimal wellness. Dr. Rothman treats a wide variety of health conditions and offers Naturopathic care for every age, from pediatrics to geriatrics. She holds a strong interest in women’s health and focuses on hormonal balance, fertility, menopause, thyroid health, healthy aging, healthy menstrual cycles, weight management and osteoporosis. She is a certified WTS Physician with extra training in thyroid and hormonal health. She also treats a wide array of digestive troubles, food and environmental allergies, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, skin disturbances and behavioral issues. 

She also offers specific group and individual programs for smoking cessation, weight loss and detoxification. She’ll work with your other health care practitioners to provide the best care possible.

A wide spectrum of services are available through Pacifica Naturopathic Medicine such as food and environmental sensitivity testing, heavy metal toxicity testing, salivary hormone panels, cardiovascular and metabolic screening, digestive analysis and screening panels, organic acid testing, nutrient status and more. Dr. Rothman uses Naturopathic modalities as mentioned above including Detoxification, Hydrotherapy, and Naturopathic hands on therapies to help you reach optimum health. Dr. Rothman will work to identify the underlying cause of disease rather than suppressing symptoms. By addressing the roots of illness, the benefits of treatment are long lasting and sustainable.

Call: Dr. Sarah Anne Rothman, ND, BFA, PTS, FIS Phone: 650-380-0089 Email: info@naturopath.com
Web: www.pacificnaturopath.com

Call me 650.359.6579 with any questions you may have or emailsharon-caren@comcast.net Happy Spring!

April 2010

Osteopathy: The Best Kept Secret

I began my Reposturing Bodywork career in 1997 and started working with clients aiding them through many different disease processes. One of my very first clients told me about her Osteopath who treated her ailments through touch. I was fascinated. When I asked how I could get into see him, she mentioned he wasn’t taking new patients.

In 2006, I was explaining to a new client by using the Reposturing technique to restore the body’s natural balance, pain and discomfort goes away. She asked me if I knew Dr. Melvin Friedman, her Osteopath. I called that day and waited 9 months for my first appointment. I found our basic principles are very similar and complimentary. I actually went to Dr. Friedman to learn about Osteopathy never dreaming what a wonderful effect the treatment would have on my life.

Osteopathic Principles focus on the natural motion within the body’s structure and its relationship to function. The knowledge and treatment considers the musculoskeletal system to be an extremely important but often neglected aspect of total health. Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO.s) are fully trained physicians licensed to practice the entire scope of medicine and surgery plus additional education in applied practice as osteopathic manipulation treatment.

History In 1874, Andrew Taylor Still MD, DO discovered the significance of living anatomy in health and disease. He proved he could restore health by treating the body with his hands naming his innovative approach Osteopathy. He envisioned a totally new medical system that acknowledges the relationship of the body, mind, emotions and spirit and offers a profound contribution to the practice of medicine.

Why Choose Osteopathy Many people are looking for a more natural approach to wellness without chemical drugs or surgery. Osteopathic physicians offer a variety of non-invasive healing treatments not available from conventional doctors but can prescribe drugs if needed. It’s the best of both worlds. Long before it was fashionable, DO’s advised patients the “best drugs” are contained within the body itself. There are many DO’s practicing conventional western medicine, so you’ll need to find out specifically if they are a member of the Cranial Academy.

Some Commonly Treated Problems Down Syndrome, bedwetting, ADD/ADHD, Autism, anxiety, depression, head trauma, whiplash, arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Scoliosis, postural imbalances, just to name a few…

When I went to see Dr. Friedman in 2006, I didn’t go for a specific issue. I just wanted to learn about what he did. We spent a lot of time together while he gathered information and took notes looking for cause and effect. He focused on trauma I suffered in 1977 due to a car accident and a broken neck. He zeroed in asking many questions I hadn’t thought about in years and did a structural evaluation before starting gentle treatment through touch. If my body needed an adjustment, he’d do those with more force to get a proper alignment. I felt my body change with a deep sense of relaxation. We worked over time to restore the natural mobility back to my neck that I was told was not possible due to the injury. It’s wonderful being 60 and feeling better than I did at 30 and 40!

About Dr. Melvin Friedman - He graduated from Ohio University of Osteopathic Medicine in 1983. He started out with a Family Practice in Ohio until 1987 when he then moved to California and began his private practice in Osteopathic Manual Medicine in Burlingame. Currently, Dr. Friedman is the President of the Cranial Academy. He’s not only a brilliant Doctor but a very interesting and wonderful man. If you call today, the wait is over a year to get an appointment. However, he has colleagues in San Francisco and is happy to refer you.

Call his office 650.259.0603 and talk to Amy. She’ll give you names and numbers. Believe me, you won’t be sorry you did!

What I learned – Osteopathy is a much needed practice and along with Reposturing Dynamics there’s a great marriage with the focus of Reposturing doing the muscle work to help facilitate flexibility. Dr. Friedman commented this made his work with me easier. If you’d like more information, please call 650.359.6579 or go to www.sharoncaren.com and caren@westsideobserver.com

Happy Health and Vitality!

Feedback: caren@westsideobserver.com

March 2010

Small changes in your diet make a big difference

Healthy Eating, Healthy Heart

My Valentine gift to you and your loved ones: Tips for a healthy heart. The American Heart Association is dedicated to reducing deaths caused by cardiovascular disease by embracing prevention. Their motto is Learn and Live. You’ll love their website www.americanheart.org to find all sorts of helpful information: healthy cooking, dining out, healthy eating for kids, and heart-smart shopping. They suggest making small changes in your diet every chance you get and you’ll have a healthier and happier heart!

Sometimes we need a more personal approach, especially if there’s a health crisis at hand or some chronic conditions such as diabetes, eating disorders or just plain fatigue with diets that don’t work. I’d like to introduce a colleague of mine, Mandisa, who’s a certified nutrition educator and a pleasure to work with. Her website also has wonderful information; www.simpleholisticliving.com.

The Secret (Everyone Should Know) to Boost Metabolism and Weight Loss

Are you ready to get off the diet roller coaster once and for all? It’s February and most of us have convinced ourselves “this year, I’m starting my diet.” However, almost every year most of us have our new year resolution and we do pretty good for a while. We learn new nutrition information and renew our commitment to stick to our diet. Then what happens? We lose motivation. We fall off track and stay stuck. Sound familiar?

Healthy living and eating has many benefits. However, in this society we have been conditioned to think of healthy food as boring and bland. And stress is socially acceptable and not many of us have any time for ourselves. This somehow fuels the possibility that living healthy is dreadful and unreachable. This is a very limiting belief of what healthy eating and healing can be.

How does this relate to boosting your metabolic power? Let’s first look at the metabolic connection between stress and metabolism. According to the American Medical Journal of Sciences, the human body is built with a brilliant system called the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

Scientists show the ANS is responsible for digestion. The Parasympathetic Nervous System and Sympathetic Nervous System are two sub-systems of the ANS. The Parasympathetic Nervous System is commonly known as the “Rest and Digest” response. This is the optimal state for digestion and boosting metabolism. When the Parasympathetic Nervous system is activated, our metabolism increases. The sympathetic nervous system is known as the “fight or flight system.” This is our stress response. Studies show that when we are stressed out, our digestion shuts down. So how does this relate to increased weight loss?

Well, even though most of us don’t confront tigers on our lunch hour, we do encounter daily stress. On a physiological level, the body doesn’t differentiate between a tiger chasing you, your boss yelling at you or even just getting tense in traffic. All are stressors and tend to trigger the body’s survival mechanism that includes shutting off digestion, directing blood flow away from the gut and to arms and legs, as well as quick thinking. This is a great mechanism for our survival in short term circumstances but also leads to a decrease in our metabolic power in the long term.

Another hormone the body excretes when the body is stressed is cortisol. According to MedicineNet.com, studies show that increased cortisol in the system leads to increased fat accumulation. That means people who are stressed out also tend to gain weight. If you seem to be doing everything right for weight loss but stuck on the same plateau, ask yourself about stress. In a stressed state, no amount of calorie counting or exercise will get you the body you really want.

The Secret to boost metabolism instantly is relaxation to keep the body from producing excessive cortisol. The number one way to do this is to slow down, relax, and practice mindful eating. How can you do this? If you eat breakfast in 10 minutes, make it 15. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to eat lunch and dinner. Maybe you can reschedule your home and work time to give yourself a little more time to eat and relax.

It only takes one minute to get the body back into an optimal metabolic state and that is mindful and conscious breathing. Deep belly breathing helps to turn off the stress and activates the Parasympathetic Nervous response. When we consciously adopt the deep, belly rhythmic breathing patterns of the relaxed state, we trick the central nervous system and allow our body to shift from low digestive activity to a state of full digestive activity.

At every meal ask yourself, “am I about to eat under stress?” If the answer is yes, take 10 long, slow, deep belly breaths. Breathing this way before and during meals is great way to become a more relaxed eater and boost metabolism that leads to increased weight loss.

To learn more about a holistic weight loss series and programs to help you get unstuck in your weight goals, call 650.557.1463 or visit simpleholisticliving.com. Mandisa Fabris is a Certified Nutrition Counselor, Wellness Expert and Life Coach.
References: www.westsideobserver.com/columns/Caren.html

I love your feedback, how you like the articles, any questions, or any suggestions for future articles. Please call me at 650.359.6579 blessings, Sharon Caren.

February 2010

Swine Flu Mass Vaccination Programs ‘09–’10

Prevention or Illness, which is worse?

I’m passing along this valuable information because I believe it’s important given the decisions many are faced with regarding the current vaccination programs. Let’s not be led blindly without first asking questions and reviewing pros and cons.

In the case of the 1976 swine flu pandemic, a government-directed mass vaccination program, several dozen of the vaccine recipients died and hundreds were injured. Those families who were able to sue (and win), were awarded millions of dollars for the injuries caused by the untested vaccine formulations.

Three years ago, legislators strategically passed The Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2006 (AKA BioShield II). This law strips Americans of the right to a jury trial if harmed by an experimental drug or vaccine during a declared pandemic. So, keep in mind, there is no guaranteed compensation program for those who may be injured or for families whose loved ones die from being vaccinated or treated.

Symptoms of Vaccine Injury:

• Inability to focus at school and at home and lack of eye contact.

• Depression, moodiness; tendency to overreact emotionally.

• Delayed or unusual speech patterns such as high pitched or flat intonation.

• Hyper or hypo-sensitivity to light, sound, crowds and other external stimulation.

• Difficulty with fine and gross motor skills such as handwriting, athletic coordination and endurance sports such as running and swimming.

• Repetitive behaviors and ritualized activities.

• Difficulty in making and keeping friends later in life.

• Asthma and diet issues.

• Conditions often labeled as ADD/ADHD such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

• Significant abnormal bowel function or vasculitis.

• Birth defects including cleft palate, microcephaly or pyloric stenosis.

• Guillian Barre’ Syndrome, a neurological disorder.

The above information came from Infection and Autoimmunity by Yehuda Shoenfeld & Noel R. Rose, American Journal of Epidemiology, Delivering Influenza Vaccine to Pregnant Women by David M. Ayoub, MD, F. Edward Yazbak, MD and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Who has been designated as Priority Recipients for the First Wave of Experimental Swine-flu Vaccines?

• School children who have never had a flu shot are targeted for four shots in the fall—twice for seasonal flu, twice for pandemic swine flu. (Sept. 10, 2009 US News & World Report) Multi-dose vials will contain Thimerosal (49.6-wt-% mercury).

• All students and staff associated with schools (K-12th grade) and children (aged 6 months or older) and staff in child care centers.

• Pregnant women, children 6 months to 4 years of age, new parents and households in contact with children.

• Health care workers and emergency services sector personnel.

• Adults less than 65 years old with medical conditions that increase the risk of influenza.

Hummm … why haven’t our top national leaders been included in this list as first priority recipients????

What’s in these Vaccines…?

Depending on the manufacturer, H1N1 may contain a potentially debilitating oil based additive primarily composed of Squalene (MF59, AS03, AS04). When this oil was injected in laboratory rats, they developed a disease that left them crippled. Thimerosal (Mercury) is heavily implicated as a major cause of mass generational epidemic in developmental disorders (including the autism spectrum disorders; ADD, ADHD, and OCD), endocrine-system dysfunction, and immune-system-related chronic diseases of the lungs, bowel, pancreas, liver and cardiovascular system. Other components: Formaldehyde (a neurotoxin and carcinogen) egg protein, contaminant viruses, antibiotics, and detergent.

The Sanofi Pasteur’s Fluzone Vaccine package insert clearly states the dangers:
“Teratogenic effects: Pregnancy Category C:

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Fluzone vaccine. It is not known whether Fluzone vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Fluzone vaccine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

“Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility:

Fluzone vaccine has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or for impairment of fertility.”

Okay, so Now What?

Under Federal Law (NVICP 1986) your Vaccine Provider is required to:

• Give you vaccine benefit and risk information prior to vaccination.

• Obtain your written consent before administration.

• Keep a permanent record of all vaccinations given, including the manufacturer’s name and lot number.

• Document serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries, and deaths that occur after vaccination in your or your child’s permanent medical record.

• Report serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries, and deaths that occur after vaccination to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reposting System (VAERS).

What to do if you decide to Decline?

• Ask your State Attorney General, Legislator or Governor whether your state law exemptions from vaccine programs (medical, religious, philosophical) apply during a declared pandemic or health emergency.

• If exemptions are available, contact your health care or school professionals for forms to fill out giving notice that you or your family members are exempt and are declining the vaccines and/or treatments.

• Find out if swine flu or pandemic vaccines will be required for students and staff in order to attend public schools.

• Pursuant to Federal Law (NVICP 1986), demand that your vaccine provider give you a benefit and risk vaccine information statement prior to vaccination. They MUST obtain your written consent before administration.

• Find out if exposed persons have the right to self-quarantine at home.

Personally, I have a problem with forcing drugs/vaccines (not to mention untested ones) on anyone, especially our children and pregnant women. What might the impact be on humanity? Let’s step back and get out of the fear created by drug companies. Now they’re using scarcity tactics, telling the public they don’t have enough of the vaccine for everyone because of the horrible pandemic. Statistics show there are no more flu cases right now than the usual seasonal flu, maybe less in some areas.

Why not try something totally natural?

David Stewart, Ph.D. suggests an Antimicrobial Blend of Essential Oils. He is currently on the faculty of the Institute for Energy Wellness Studies in Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Essential oils are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. They are the most potent antioxidants in the world and promote health and healing without unpleasant side effects. Combinations of oils in a blend are often more effective than single species. One of the most versatile and useful blends contains five oils:

Clove, lemon, rosemary, cinnamon, eucalyptus

The above blend has been successfully used on conditions ranging from acne to diabetes, from headaches to athlete’s foot, from toothaches to tumors. You can inhale it and diffuse it. You can take it in your drinks and in food. Properly diluted, gargle or swallow it, or put it under your tongue. Rub it on your skin diluted or apply straight to your palms and soles of your feet. It can revitalize pets or kill mold in houses and clean pots and pans.

This blend has been known to stop the onset of flu, common cold, and the Black Plague of 1720. Science has shown them to be as effective, or more so, than several antibiotics, yet they are natural, non-toxic and have no known negative side effects (unlike prescription drugs and commercial antiseptics that all have harmful side effects). The blend is bottled and called Thieves. You’ll only find it in one essential oil company.

Actually, there’s an entire line of products containing this oil blend of Thieves i.e. waterless hand soap, to keep in your pocket or purse to fight these nasty super bugs, along with handy wipes, foaming hand soap, household cleaner, toothpaste, mouthwash, throat lozenges, and capsules you can take internally as a natural antibiotic. You’ll be completely winterized when you’re safely equipped with this wonderful product. My husband and I use all the products daily and diffuse the Thieves oil every night when we sleep. We do not get sick…it really works and we do have choices! www.youngliving.com/sharoncaren

For more info, contact me 650.359.6579 or email sharoncaren@comcast.net and don’t wait. Your health may depend on it.

December 2009

Rub a Dub, Dub…Know what’s in your Tub?

How some personal care products may threaten your health…

First, a big “Thank You” for all the phone calls and emails I received regarding the Chloramine article. It’s time to voice our disgust to the politicians and get the Chloramine out of the water supply. If you’d like to write a letter and need the information, please go to www.westsideobserver.com/columnists.htm and look up my September 2009 article.

hygienic ProductsSecond, a special thanks Sena Miller, for inspiring this article and sharing research on toxins found in our personal care products that deposit unhealthy amounts of toxic chemicals in our body every day.

Here’s a brief summary of the most common toxic ingredients in personal care items:

DEA – Diethanolamine is found in over 600 home and office products. It’s linked to cancers of liver, kidney, stomach, and esophagus as well as dangerous in fetal brain development and miscarriages (according to studies at University of North Carolina). It’s a lathering agent additive and found in toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and lotion.

Propylene Glycol is the main ingredient in anti-freeze solutions, hydraulic fluid, de-icing applications and paint. It helps keep liquids smooth. Taken from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), this substance can inhibit skin cell growth and damage cell membranes causing rashes, dry skin and surface damage. Harmful by inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption, eye irritation, gastrointestinal disturbances, nausea, headache, vomiting and central nervous system depression. It’s found in toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap, and lotion.

SLS/SLES – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a foaming agent and used in industrial capacities to clean concrete floors, degrease engines and as car wash detergent. It effects the body as a mutagen, meaning that in sufficient amounts, it’s capable of changing genetic information found in cells. In fact, SLS has been used in studies to induce mutations in bacteria. It’s a skin irritant, corrodes hair follicles and impairs hair growth, can damage the immune system and cause inflammation. It’s found in toothpaste, shampoo, and soap.

Talc is a very fine substance used as a dry lubricant to make the skin feel slippery and smooth. In the 1930’s it was linked to post-op lesions. In 1973, we learned it has components similar to asbestos, a known cancer-causing substance. Women who used talcum powder on genital area had 60% risk of ovarian cancer and women who used feminine deodorant spray had a 90% cancer risk. It’s found in body and baby powders, feminine powder, condom lubricant and cosmetics.

Alcohol is found in mouthwash. Those mouthwashes with a 25% alcohol content have been implicated in mouth, tongue and throat cancer.

Aluminum is the 3rd most common element in our environment and is highly toxic to the human body. The World Health Organization suspects a link between Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum toxicity findings came from autopsies on the brains of Alzheimer’s victims according to a November-December 1993 issue of Public Health Reports. A 2000 issue of Neurotoxicity also discusses the negative effects of environmental aluminum, including decreased renal (kidney) function, neurodegenerative effects, and oxidative injury (free radical damage). It’s used to prevent things from drying out. Example; keeps pet foods soft and chewy. Applied topically, it makes skin feel moist and soft. Found in processed foods, antacids, deodorants, cosmetics, paper products, beverage cans, cooking foil, cookware and baby wipes.

Why are these Ingredients used?

The information here is presented to educate not to scare. Don’t take my word – get out your products and read the labels. If you haven’t a clue what the contents are, it’s usually because the company will sometimes use long technical terms so it’s not obvious. Beware and look up those unfamiliar words and let me know what you find. Seem crazy to find industrial chemicals in our personal hygiene products? Well, everyone wants to save money by purchasing cheaper consumables so here’s the trade off. These additives used by large corporations are inexpensive fillers and they’ve been getting away with it for years. As long as the general public is blinded by the long chemical terminology of the mystery ingredients, these companies will continue to use them. Also, many folks justify it by “Oh well, the price is right” and “After all, these products are FDA approved!”

Make better choices—

The time is now to take responsibility, get educated and put our money where our health is. I’ve been studying and using all natural non-toxic products for the past 10 years after discovering the material above. I’m happy to pay for the best quality, healthful products. My life depends on it.

I’m happy to share with you what I’ve found. Buy your self, your family and friends a gift of love and long life this Holiday Season—you will experience the difference. There are products and gift certificates available. Call me 650.359.6579 or email sharoncaren@comcast.net. Get the industrial toxins out of your life!

November 2009

YOUR BODY’S MANY CRIES FOR WATER

You’re not sick, you’re thirsty…don’t treat thirst with medications!

In 1997 I read this book by Dr. B and was forever changed. I thought I was drinking a lot of water and realized I was only getting about half of what my body needed.

Starting my own study, I began asking all my clients about their water intake. Dr. B suggests a minimum of ½ your body weight in oz. of pure, clean water a day. If you weigh 150 lbs. it’s 75 oz. I found most of my clients’ water consumption ran short. I also noticed the clients who drank little to none, didn’t show much improvement after working with me. The light went on. With dehydration, the muscles in the body lose elasticity as well as flexibility and cannot be stretched.

Dr. B has treated over 3,000 patients in eliminating pain with plain old water when the highest forms of medication have failed. See www.watercure.com. Dehydration is a viscous cycle. When we feel thirst, we’re already dehydrated. Strangely, the more dehydrated, the less thirsty we feel. As a defense mechanism, the body moves the thirst markers…the less water, the less thirst.

• Stress – is a huge factor in dehydration. Every function of the body depends on the efficient flow of water. So what happens?

• Solid Food Digestion – depends on large quantities of water absorbed in the stomach after it is ingested. Anti-acids and pain meds for heartburn won’t take the place of water needed to get the job done.

A misunderstood and upsetting condition of severe dehydration is bulimia. Most notable, Princess Diana became anti-social and suffered from constant hunger. When trying to eat without water for digestion, she couldn’t retain food and had the instant and uncontrollable urge to vomit. In bulimic people, the sensation of hunger is the indicator of thirst and the urge to vomit is a protection mechanism. If bulimics begin to re-hydrate drinking water before food intake, the problem could disappear.

• Rheumatoid Arthritis – Joint movement causes a vacuum within the joint space. Water is pulled through the bone and cartilage and into the joint cavity if it’s available. A dehydrated joint needs some form of fluid circulation in the capsule of the joint, hence the swelling and tenderness of the joint capsule. The inflammation process may appear as if there’s infection when it’s really dehydration.

Several other common symptoms of dehydration are high blood pressure and cholesterol as a result of declining hormones and excess body weight due to poor digestion and depression.

Why don’t we hear about this type of treatment from our health care providers? Funding for research on evaluation of water as a natural medicine isn’t readily available nor is it very attractive to scientist. Students in medical schools are not taught anything about the many roles that water plays in the human body.

Those of us who know and understand the importance of water intake for healthy body functions must speak out for this simple and natural healing method. It’s a crime so many in Western health care are more interested in making money with high powered drugs, treatments, and surgeries, when the cure could start with drinking a few glasses of water.

Please refer to my past articles at www.westsideobserver.com/sharon for more water related subjects. I appreciate your questions and feedback so call me anytime 650.359.6579 or email sharoncaren@comcast.net.

Make water your drink of choice……………………………………………………..

October 2009

Citizens Concerned
About Chloramine (CCAC)

 

In my last article, FRESH CLEAN WATER: THE NEXT GENERATION July 2009, I shared my discovery of a water filtration system I’m using with great results (view the online archives www.westsideobserver.com). I then received this email:

Dear Sharon, Thank you for the info. In reading what it removes, I don’t see any mention of amonia or chloramine, which is what I am interested in, or did I miss something?

Here’s my response:

Dear Concerned Citizen, I’ve done much research since I received your email. I’ve talked to several people in the water filter business and have learned a lot. I didn’t want to answer with any false information so I’ve checked with many sources and I’ll explain as best I can.

The bottom line is, we have to do whatever it takes to get the chloramine out of our water supply. It’s killing us.

Aside from that, the choices of what to do are pretty basic. Some companies selling systems are saying their system removes the chloramine but this is not the truth. I’ve had it explained by several reliable sources and finally understand what we’re up against. Apparently there isn’t a way to test for chloramines so no one can say their system removes it. Research must be done by scientists to see how this additive is affecting our body. The only alternative at this point is filtering the water to take out all the toxins we can resulting in a water that is Alkaline (a high PH). We CAN test the PH of the water and the more Alkaline the less toxic.

There are many systems that claim to do all sorts of things to the water but never mention the PH balance. This is crucial. Also, most all the systems on the market only have ONE carbon filter. That’s the reason I bought the Nex Gen. It has 4 filters and the last one mineralizes and brings up the PH of the water. I haven’t found another system like it. So you see, after the fresh tap water runs through the 4 filters, there will be less and less impurities and the PH reaches 9 or higher. That’s what we’re looking for.

Hope this helps, Sharon

Our Next Step

I met Linda Corwin, Vice President of “Citizens Concerned About Chloramine”, and asked her what each of us can do personally to get Chloramine out of our water. Here’s her response:

Hi Sharon,

Since 2004, when the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) unilaterally decided to put ammonia in our drinking water to form chloramine, people have been experiencing a variety of health problems. Many people stopped drinking tap water after the change simply because it tasted so awful. Others developed itchy or rashy skin, sore, bloated stomachs, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – like symptoms or varying levels of respiratory distress. Many of these people were able to connect the chloraminated water with their symptoms when they used non-chloraminated water while on vacation. They saw their symptoms disappear, then return when they came home and resumed using the chloraminated water.

Citizens Concerned About Chloramine (CCAC) www.chloramine.org was formed to find a resolution to the many problems caused by chloramine. CCAC tried working with the SFPUC, San Francisco Department of Health, State Department of Health and regional EPA. All turned a deaf ear to our suffering.

CCAC has made progress with water scientists because people with symptoms wrote letters to newspapers and their elected officials. CCAC President, Denise Johnson-Kula is currently having talks with some top EPA scientists. Please help expand our efforts to get chloramine removed from our drinking water by reading our website, www.chloramine.org, writing a letter to your local newspaper and state and federal elected officials. If your congress person has ‘sidewalk office hours’, please tell them your experiences with chloramine and ask them to work with CCAC to find a replacement.

CCAC meets in several areas on the Peninsula. The next meeting in Pacifica will be on Thursday, September 24th at the Sharp Park Library at 7 pm. If you would like help writing a letter or want more information, please contact CCAC Vice President, Linda Corwin, at (650) 355-6447 or lindacor@earthlink.net. Also, when you write these letters, please let me (Linda) know by phone or email a copy so I can keep track. Lot’s of letters have been sent to local newspapers but none of them are being printed.

Thanks, Linda, for your assistance. It’s time we take responsibility for our health and the health of our loved ones, and send those letters to the papers and officials. The squeaky wheel gets the grease! Please feel free to contact me if I can help, Sharon Caren, 650.359.6579 or sharoncaren@comcast.net. Next month I’ll be writing about how drinking enough water can help with rheumatoid arthritis pains and blood cholesterol. Stay tuned….

September 2009

Fresh Clean Water: The Next Generation

It’s Summer…the perfect time to put consciousness on drinking more water, the liquid of life. I want to thank all you readers for your overwhelming responses after my June article. Nice to know so many of us are on the same page when it comes to health and safe drinking water. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, go to www.westsideobserver.com/columnists scroll to the bottom and click June 2009 under Sharon Caren. I’m loving my water system and happy to share it with you.

Meet the futuristic non-electric alkalizing water ionizer - The next step in water ionizer technology.

This new and improved water ionizer has several benefits:

1) Can be used under or on top of the counter

2) Produces smooth tasting water

3) Raises water pH to 9.5 or higher

4) Removes impurities and ionizes the water

Nex Gen - Rejuvenator Water Ionizer is like a cross between the beneficial effects of several pre-filters like reverse osmosis and the alkalizing effects of water ionization without the need for electrolysis. The Nex Gen uses a new improved way to make high pH alkaline micro-structured water. The system uses a series of 3 pre-filters to remove all the contaminants before the water is ionized with the 4th filter to reduce, restructure, and re-mineralize the water while bringing it to a pH of 9.5 or higher.

Nex Gen - Rejuvenator combines the features of reverse osmosis with the healthy benefits of a water ionizer all in one unit. It has the ability to transform tap water into a powerful antioxidant for wellness, weight loss and anti - aging. Can be used at home, in RV’s, boats, traveling, and attaches to a standard faucet or plumbing.

Nex Gen Comes with 4 filters:

Sediment Filter - It acts as a sieve to reduce solid particles such as rust flakes from water pipes, sand grains, small pieces of organic matter, clay particles, or any other small particles in the water supply. Water with a high sediment level can change the aesthetic value of the finished beverage.

Pre-Carbon Filter – Its primary function is to remove the chlorine and larger impurities prior to the Carbon Filter.

Block Carbon Filter - It uses a piece of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities, utilizing chemical absorption. Each piece of carbon is designed to provide a large section of surface area to allow contaminants the most possible exposure to the filter media. Carbon filters are most effective at removing chlorine, sediments, and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) from water.

Remineralizing - Alkalizing Filter – It’s a new revolutionary futuristic filter using a proprietary mixture of grade A minerals to achieve ionization and re-structuring of the water clusters. Not only does the water reach a high pH (9.5) but it’s full of antioxidants and reaches a strong negative (ORP) oxidation reduction potential.

The retail price of the Nex – Gen is $599.00 but for the next 30 days it’s specially priced at $499.00 plus $25.00 shipping and handling. Online go to www.purelifestore.com and click on products. Look for Rejuvenator Nex –Gen. Mention this article and receive a FREE pH (acid/alkaline) food chart by simply clicking the contact button, fill out the form and ask for your free chart in the comment box provided. Enter this code SCFC. Or if you’re not online, the number is 1-561-790-2004. You’ll love it. I have my chart on the fridge and reference it daily. View it on the website.

There are two other products I recommend and use. The RainShow’r Filter CQ-1000 for the shower and The Rejuvenator Portable Water Ionizer Stick to take with you if you have to use bottled water while traveling. If you have any questions please call me, 650.359.6579.

In the future, I’ll be writing about “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water”.

Don’t hesitate to Rejuvenate.

July/August 2009

Our Drinking Water—Healthy or not?

“Chloramine is a disinfectant added to water for public health protection. It is a combination of chlorine and ammonia that is currently considered best technology for controlling the formation of certain regulated organic disinfection byproducts. Chloraminated water is safe for people and animals to drink, and for all other general uses. However, as with chlorine, chloramine will need to be removed for fish and amphibian use, and for people or businesses requiring highly treated water.” Quoted from San Francisco Public Utilities Commission website, updated November, 2007.

My radar is up when I see a disclaimer. If Chloramine kills fish, amphibians and sick people how good can it be for me? At least the chlorine additive used previously would evaporate out of the water when left out overnight and wouldn’t kill our fish. Chlorine was bad enough but I couldn’t believe the water departments were putting Chloramine back into our water supply. On the East Coast, Chloramine usage was stopped because it was breaking down the old rusty pipes and the public utility commissions didn’t want to put in new systems. What does that say for safe human drinking water? Coca Cola is being used to de-grease car engine parts with great results, too….not in my clean pipes, thank you. So many of us turn to buying “bottled water”. Is this a better choice?

Terrible Truth About Plastic

As plastic ages or is exposed to heat or stress, it can release trace amounts of some of its ingredients. Plastic is not an inert substance as its manufacturers would like you to believe. It contains chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which mimic hormones in your body. Even tiny concentrations can cause problems, and you’re likely being exposed from all angles: water bottles, food containers, plastic wraps, personal care products, you name it, it contains plastic. According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study, BPA was detected in the urine of 95% of people tested!

BPA and phthalates are endocrine disrupters, which mimic hormones. Estrogen and other hormones in relatively tiny amounts can cause vast changes, so researchers worry that BPA and phthalates could do the same, especially in young children. They enter your body through the food, water and bits of dust you consume, or are simply absorbed through your skin.

This is alarming when you consider all of the problems its been linked to like:

• Structural damage to your brain

• Hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, and impaired learning

• Increased fat formation and risk of obesity

• Altered immune function

• Early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles, and ovarian dysfunction

• Changes in gender-specific behavior, and abnormal sexual behavior

• Stimulation of prostate cancer cells

• Increased prostate size, and decreased sperm production

As usual those most at risk are children and fetuses, which is why it’s appalling to think that these chemicals are commonly used in baby bottles and children’s toys.

The impact plastics have on the environment is of huge concern. This one statistic sums it up pretty well: when researchers tested the water of the Pacific Ocean, they found it contained six times as much plastic as plankton, by weight…very scary.

It’s now a year since my first articles in the Observer – June and August, 2008, “Do You Have a Personal Water Shortage? and Alkalize and Energize.”

Go to: www.westsideobserver.com/columns/sharonthehealth.com

Scroll down to read these articles if you haven’t already. This article builds on them.

First and foremost, drink at least ½ your body weight in ounces each day for health and longevity. If you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 oz’s of pure water each day to stay clean and hydrated on the inside. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Second, because of the additives in the tap water (I’m not a fan of drinking ammonia) and not wanting to buy or promote plastic bottled water, I’ve found an exciting solution; a tap water filtration system to take out the additives before drinking fresh water with a pH level of 10. We’re looking to drink water with a pH of at least 7 to 10 = Alkaline.

Researchers know when we are born we are about 90% water, as an adult we are 70% water, and before we pass on we are less than 50% water. One reason we age is we lack sufficient amounts of healthy hydrating water.

With water being of prime importance to our body, the quality of the water we drink is supremely important.

New research on the need for maintaining the body’s acid/alkaline balance is becoming very popular. In the U.S., independent researchers are demonstrating the value ionized alkaline water has in obtaining and sustaining proper health. Medical studies show that alkaline ionic water has the most powerful antioxidant properties, better than vitamins A,C,E, beta carotine and selenium, which improves the body’s defense against disease.

Alkaline Water Benefits:

- Provides lots of energy & mental clarity

- Powerful antioxidant to scavenge free radicals

- Balances body pH to promote wellness and help prevent disease

- Micro-structured water facilitates weight loss

- Super hydration for healthier looking skin and detoxification

- Allows nutrients to be absorbed more efficiently

After years of research on this subject and personally looking for an affordable and efficient water filtration system, I’ve finally found one. However, this is the subject of a future article. If you’d like more information right now, contact me, Sharon Caren at 650.359.6579 and I’ll be happy to share it with you. Happy Hydration!

June 2009

Why Posture Matters

AKA Straighten Up and Fly Right

Do you remember as a kid hearing “stand up straight, don’t slouch, you look sloppy?” At 48, I began to learn the reasons for good posture. In my March 2009 column, I shared my story of how I was led to this education and to personal healing (go to www.westsideobserver.com/columnists).

Posture is not static but a free flowing dance with gravity.

Our body is an incredible and intelligent capsule for the soul. It automatically knows how to balance itself according to gravity without conscious thought, like breathing. However, when muscles become tight and the body is no longer flexible, the natural balance we have normally (the dynamic dance with gravity) is compromised.

How do we know if this is happening? We’ll feel it in the form of PAIN. Pain is the body’s way of communicating something is wrong. It’s not a bad or scary thing, something to be afraid of or to get rid of with pills, but a warning. Pain means something needs attention. When we feel or sense this communication, it’s time to look for the CAUSE of the pain or discomfort. Our intuition can also play a part in finding the cause. This takes a little more time and effort than popping a pill but will lead to a greater quality of life in the long run.

So let’s look at how the body was originally designed. We have bones (skeletal system) and muscles, to hold the bones in place and give us freedom of movement. Bones are designed to hold the weight of the body. That’s their job. Having good, strong bones is essential to keep us upright. The job of muscles is to hold the skeletal system together and allow us to move, walk, run, jump, drive, play golf, swim, etc. If the body is out of balance, the muscles get involved in weight bearing. Muscles are not designed to hold the weight of the body….so we feel PAIN.

Picture This

Good Posture - Most Efficient

Shoulders back, arms hanging midline of the body or behind midline, head and neck balanced with the chin down, and eyes looking comfortably forward.

Poor Posture – Less Efficient

Shoulders rolled forward, arms hanging in front of the midline, head pitched forward (following the shoulders), jaw and neck jetting forward, eyes looking partially downward.

Have you or anyone you know experienced carpal tunnel or thoracic outlet syndrome, TMJ or jaw disorders, sciatica, knee or ankle pain?

These conditions are prominent when posture is less efficient. With poor posture, the muscles in the front of the body are too short and tight, pulling the shoulders and upper body forward. Then, so the body doesn’t tip over forward, an adjustment is made in the hips. The pelvis tilts back to balance the weight of the upper body coming forward – make sense? (Newton’s law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction)

Follow me on this. When the body’s natural balance is compromised in this way, major body functions are also being compromised. If the shoulders are rolled forward, the rib cage collapses downward toward the pelvis. There’s a huge amount of compression now pushing on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach, intestines, sexual organs, etc. That means blood, oxygen, and nerves are also being compressed and crimped off by tight muscles and cannot flow comfortably or easily to all of the cells of the organs to keep them healthy.

Also, with the misalignment of the body comes back pain. When the muscles in the front of the body are short and tight, the muscles in the back of the body are being pulled longer than those muscles were designed to be. The spine and back muscles are constantly trying to pull the body back to the most upright position. This constant tug of war with the muscles and gravity is exhausting. Why do we become so tired and fatigued…poor posture, maybe? It might also show up in high blood pressure, breathing problems, digestive, stomach or elimination conditions, sexual dysfunction, muscle and nerve aches and pains and the list goes on. If these issues become escalated, they can lead to life threatening diseases.

Stretching and Flexibility

This isn’t a doom and gloom situation. The wonderful news is that tight muscles can always be stretched. One of my clients, a beautiful and healthy 62 year old woman, told me her husband was going to buy her a wheel chair— for the past year she hasn’t been able to stand or even walk for longer than 5 minutes at a time because of constant pain in her right hip. She tried many things before a friend referred her to the Reposturing bodywork. She shared that as a child she was never very flexible and had fear around stretching “too far” and really injuring herself. Using the Reposturing hands-on bodywork technique, she is able to walk over 4 blocks and stand without pain! Stretching her deep postural muscles and correcting her posture so her body weight is balanced, her strides have increased and the pain has drastically lessened after 8 sessions and will continue to get better and better as her flexibility increases. No surgery, drugs or wheel chairs.

Go outside the box for answers when looking for the CAUSE of PAIN. Be open to new and different ideas and techniques for natural healing. If you’d like more information on Reposturing, please call 650.359.6579. For all of you Westside Observer readers, call for a free consultation to assess your individual needs. When you call, mention the paper. Note: Reposturing Certification Training Class for Legs and Feet on May 22-24 in Belmont, CA at the Summerfield Suites Hotel. If you or someone you know is interested in learning this life changing work, please call or go to: www.reposturingdynamics.com

May 2009

Hard Times and Canines

I just heard that in the State of California, the unemployment rate is up to 10%. Everyone and everything is affected by it in one way or another. During the past 12 years of my alternative healing practice, I’ve learned the most important thing is that we “feel” good. Our emotional health is directly related to our physical body as I’ve mentioned many times in past articles. Stress and worry can kill and these feelings raise the cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body as well as high blood pressure, hypertension and insomnia. So how do we focus on fun and happiness in hard times?

A Man’s Best Friend – DogSharon with her dog, Little Charlie

My husband and I are both small business owners working most of the time. I’m sure you can relate. On January 1st of this New Year, we were blessed with Little Charlie, a 4-pound Chihuahua. Friends, who have 3 dogs of their own, rescued Charlie from the dog pound, and gave him to us. My husband, Dave, said he couldn’t stand little yipee dogs…”they were rats with hair.” Well, how perfect….Little Charlie doesn’t bark and he thinks he’s a big dog. He moved in and won us over. Charlie is Dave’s very first dog ever and they are inseparable. We cannot imagine life without him. He’s a little healer – knows just how to open our hearts and make everything right in our world. At Dave’s last doctor visit, his blood pressure reading went from 130 over 90 to 101 over 70. This is a testimony to Little Charlie (emotionally) and Young Living Essential Oils (physically) and all natural….yahoo!

Doom and gloom??? Not so, just look into that sweet face and see what truly matters, unconditional love. Rescue dogs are special. They seem to know how lucky they are to be in a loving home. These are wonderful dogs ready to make you the center of their world. How can you resist? If you are considering bringing a special healing dog home, be sure to research the different breeds. Each breed has a particular personality and has various care requirements. Look for the size and temperament that will compliment your life style and family situation. Doing your homework will lessen the risk of surprises. Picking your pooch is fun but also a big commitment as their lifespan can be up to 18 years. However, the joy and happiness you will reap will far outweigh the work.

Pets Promote Healing

“There are enormous health benefits associated with owning a pet,” explains Rebecca Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Research Center for Human Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. “Studies have shown that interacting with our pets increases the production of the feel-good chemicals in our brains like endorphins and dopamine and decreases the stress hormone, cortisol.”

Any type of animal you adore and are drawn to will make the best pet for you. Cats, bunnies, birds as well as fish will have this positive effect on your life. I’m an animal lover of all types. Sharing my personal experience and the new love of my life just happens to be a dog.

Physical Exercise – is a must for dogs. So walking your dog in the sunshine and fresh air while enjoying the scenery isn’t like the drudgery of exercising but it has all the great side effects; lower blood pressure, reduces stress and helps us sleep.

Socializing — What an easy way to meet new and interesting people. Being out with your dog is an instant icebreaker and conversation starter. Dog people love to talk about their pets. There are also new dog parks popping up in all cities. You can sit and chat with the owners while the dogs run around unleashed.

Emotional Healing—each time you leave the house and return, there’s the welcome committee waiting at the door for you even if you’re only gone 15 minutes! This loyalty and unconditional love is something we all need in our lives and it’s so easy for our furry friends to teach it.

Our pets keep us present. Not in the past or the future. Being in the moment is where the joy is. The animals are here on the planet to remind us of that when we want to go off on our worrywart tangents. Remember, happiness is just a BARK away.

I recommend using natural products with your pets. We shampoo Little Charlie every week with Animal Scents Shampoo. It makes his coat shine and he smells heavenly without toxic chemicals. Also there are Essential Oils like Peace and Calming that are good to use on high-energy dogs to help them relax. You just rub the Essential Oil on the pads of the dog’s paws. They love it and it’s the perfect solution to make barking dogs relax. Call me if you’d like more information 650.359.6579 or email sharoncaren@comcast.net.

Upcoming Open House Event – Essential Oils and Pets

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Drop in between 2:30 to 4:30 PM

Curves, 608 Portola Drive, San Francisco, 94127 – 415-759-9103

Come by and experience the oils first hand!

RSVP to Sharon 650.359.6579

Complementary Community Outreach Educational Program

 

April 2009

Massage—Therapeutic or Fluff?

History Massage is one of the oldest and most respected therapeutic techniques. It was a vital part of folk medicine much earlier than 2000 B.C. but that’s the first written mention. Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Persian, Arabic and Japanese ancient medical writings have references to massage. Oriental massage developed into a systematic branch of healing in China 206 B.C.-220 A.D. Many techniques were devised to manipulate and restore energy to the mind-body-spirit. Massage has flourished and remains the modality of choice in many hospitals and clinics today.

Hippocrates recommended massage and manipulation for several ailments and pictures of massage appear in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Galen & Celsus brought the work of Hippocrates into Roman times. Their writings on massage and other medical treatments were the basis of medical practices that continued into the Middle Ages.

In the sixteenth century Ambrose Pare, a French physician, advocated massage as a treatment to accompany surgery. However, in the eighteenth century, Per Henrik Ling of Sweden 1776 – 1839 developed the technique of Swedish massage. As the pioneering massage work of PH Ling continued to develop, massage and other manual techniques are used today by massage therapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and other practitioners. It’s not uncommon for our doctors to prescribe massage for chronic pain management and stress due to the renewed respect for this ancient healing technique. In the U.S. Massage therapy is an integral part of complimentary health care.

How do I find what’s right for me? Massage and bodywork is a very personal experience, so finding the right fit is key. There are various ways to find good practitioners. A personal referral from someone you know and trust is always the best. Ask friends, professionals and health care providers who they know and/or recommend and why.

Salons are a great option because you’ll find various therapists and different modalities available. Massage Envy is located at 494 Westlake Center in Daly City, 650.757-3689. I personally know two practitioners who are on staff and are excellent at what they do.

Then you’ll find those who have private practices as I do and advertise on the internet, personal websites, community phone books, advertising in local papers such as the Observer, yellow pages, members of chamber of commerce and community networking groups. Meeting the practitioner in person or talking on the phone beforehand, can give you much information and you’ll get a feel for that individual especially if you ask the right questions to eliminate surprises:

What do you specialize in?

What type of pressure do you use, light, medium, firm, deep tissue?

How long have you been in practice?

How long are the sessions – 30 – 60 – 90 minutes?

Fee structure and tipping Specials or package price discounts

*Most important is to tell the therapist what it is you are looking for in the time you have together. Do you have a specific challenge you would like them to work on or are you are looking for a more relaxing, stress relief session. They will accommodate accordingly.

If you’d like a book on many of the different techniques of massage i.e. Swedish, Esalen, Sports, Geriatric as well as types of structural bodywork i.e. Rolfing, Aston, Hellerwork, Postural Integration; I recommend Discovering the Body’s Wisdom by Mirka Knaster. She has over 50 practices listed.

Personal Experience Being a very late-in-life bloomer of massage, it wasn’t until I rode my bike 530 miles in the 1994 California AIDS Ride, that I experienced my first hands-on treatment. Growing up, according to my family and friends, massage was considered a luxury of the rich and famous. I can tell you now, I peddled for the entire 7 days, and what kept me in the saddle was the hands-on massage work of volunteer therapists. They’d pop up at the rest stops happy to work on us when we were pooped and doubting we’d make the next mile. I raised over $6,000.00 for the AIDS Foundation, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’d suffered a broken neck in an auto accident in 1977 and was blessed to have healed completely without paralysis. However, I held much tension and tightness in my upper body. This type of trauma actually stays in the body on the cellular level. After years of sitting at a desk in front of a computer, the trauma showed up in the form of carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, head and neck aches and pains. I knew I was too young and healthy to be feeling this bad and began searching for a remedy. After the AIDS Ride, I was a believer in the power of the healing touch to move out this old muscle memory. I found Reposturing Dynamics in 1996 which eliminated all of my pain naturally and I changed careers. I knew I wasn’t the only one who could benefit from this powerful work.

Good Posture – is when the body weight is aligned and balanced on its intended weight-supporting surfaces.

Great Posture – is when the body is strong and flexible enough to align itself on the intended weight supporting surfaces naturally and effortlessly without even thinking about it.

Posture is the body’s dynamic dance with gravity. Great posture is when one is able to align the bodyweight on its naturally intended balance points. Great posture requires flexibility in the entire body, especially at the pelvis, chest and front of the arms and shoulders. The body has a functional axis at the internal center of the torso, neck and head. The base of this functional axis is at the nucleus of the gyroscopic energy field in the pelvis, sometimes referred to as the “life-force center”. This energy is created with movement in the body’s dynamic dance with gravity as simple as normal walking….

Quoted from The Great Posture Book by Aaron Parnell and the developer of Reposturing Dynamics – a deep structural modality of bodywork.

I’m a Posturist and have certifications in Sports Massage, Postural Integration and Reposturing Dynamics with over 1,000 hours of training and also licensed to teach the Reposturing Dynamics technique. For the past 12 years I’ve used these modalities with hundreds of clients with a success rate of over 90%. My next training class is March 27, 28, 29th for Reposturing in the Gym. If you are a personal trainer, massage therapist, bodyworker or just want to learn how to create a posture-enhancing workout for yourself and your family, call me to enroll in this weekend intensive 650.359.6579.

I speak personally about the information mentioned above and would love to be of service to you if you have more questions of a personal nature or would like additional information. I’m available for community outreach and educational speaking engagements as well as posture workshops for individuals, groups or corporations to enhance health and vitality. I’m also available to come to your home or work office to help you set up a new ergonomic space to promote good posture. Our body takes the position it’s in mostly and if it’s a bad one, we will know by the pain we feel. How do we know when we have good posture? When we bounce out of bed in the morning effortlessly.

Sharon Caren 650.359.6579 www.reposturingdynamics.com

March 2009

 

 

Matters of the Heart

Every year on February 14th, we reach out to our friends and loved ones, sending cards, flowers, and chocolates in the name of St. Valentine. Have you heard the Valentine story?

It’s said that in the Third Century there was a Priest named Valentine of Rome. At that time the Emperor Claudius was ruling and wasn’t very popular. He wanted to build a huge army and expected men to volunteer. Married men didn’t want to leave their families so not many signed up. The Emperor was furious and decided he’d disallow any new marriages. He felt the men, being single, would volunteer. The young people rebelled at the cruelty of this new law and so did Valentine. His favorite activity was to marry couples and even after the law went into effect, the Priest kept performing marriage ceremonies in secrecy. He was finally caught and thrown in jail with the punishment of death. The young people loved Valentine and came to visit him, throwing flowers and notes up to his window. One young girl, a prison guard’s daughter, was allowed to enter Valentine’s cell where they talked for hours at a time and kept up his spirits. On the day of his death, February 14th 269 AD, he left a note of gratitude and appreciation for her friendship signed, “Love from Your Valentine”. Nothing really stands in the way of Love, does it?

On this special day we think of ways to bring happiness to the ones we love; a Valentine card, Chocolate, Roses….

Chocolate—the comfort food

Chocolate, composed of 300 chemicals, has numerous and varied effects on our bodies through the nervous system. Eating chocolate increases the levels of endorphins released in the brain and also affects serotonin levels. Endorphins work to lessen pain and decrease stress in the body. Serotonin is known as an anti-depressant. The chemical tryptophan found in chocolate causes the release of serotonin. A unique neurotransmitter released by chocolate is phenyl ethylamine and is called “chocolate amphetamine”. It causes changes in blood pressure and blood sugar levels leading to feeling excited and alert. Like amphetamines, it increases good moods and decreases depression without the same addiction level. Phenyl ethylamine found in chocolate is also called the “love drug” as it quickens the pulse like when we “fall” in love. Chocolate brings feelings of well-being, euphoria, relaxation and has been used as an aphrodisiac. With all the mood-enhancing qualities, can it be an addictive substance? Scientists think not and feel chocolate effects people how they believe or hope it will. Am I encouraging you to eat chocolate as a healthful diet (no) or eat it instead of using pharmacology (maybe)? If you like it, enjoy in the name of St. Valentine for a day.

Roses – 35 Million Years Old!

Greek Mythology tells us Chloris, the Goddess of Flowers, created the rose but it was Aphrodite, the Love Goddess, who gave the rose its name. If love could be defined in one symbol, it would be the rose. In Roman times, roses were used as confetti in celebrations as well as for medicinal purposes. During this time of the worst excesses in the Roman Empire, Emperors filled swimming baths and fountains with rose water and sat on carpets of rose petals for feasts and orgies. In the Seventeenth Century, royalty considered roses or rose water as legal tender and was often used as barter and for payments. Throughout history no other object has played such a significant part in romance as the rose. Until the Nineteenth Century, all roses in Europe were shades of pink or white. Our romantic symbol of the red rose first came from China around 1800. The Essential Oil of rose has the highest energetic frequency of all the oils. It takes many, many pounds of organic rose petals to distill one ounce of pure therapeutic grade rose oil. This means cost is high but it’s said the healing powers of rose oil, especially for the heart, are phenomenal. 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils are used in 3 ways; topically, diffused and internally. My absolute favorite gifts; roses and rose oil!

Taking Care of the Heart

Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the U.S. says the American Heart Association. They estimate about 71 million Americans have some form of heart disease. The most common is hypertension (high blood pressure) and next is coronary artery disease. These 2 conditions contribute to more than 7 million heart attacks every year and high blood pressure is a leading contributor to the 5 million strokes occurring annually. Promoting heart health is a complicated issue but here are some basics. It’s important to know family history but heredity is an uncontrollable factor. Some controllable factors are diet and exercise. Making healthy choices for a balanced diet of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean protein is important for overall health. Also, a high-fiber, low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with higher levels of protective cholesterol and reduce risk for heart attack. Also, adequate intake of vitamins and minerals also helps the heart. Regular exercise can’t be overstated, as the benefits are profound; lowering blood pressure, reduce body fat and lower risk of diabetes, which reduces risks of heart attack and stroke. Also, life style changes such as not smoking and limiting alcohol intake will improve heart health.

Speaking from the Heart

Another component of a healthy heart is being in a state of appreciation or gratitude. This is a factor we have control over and the by-product is healthy and loving relationships. Communicating true feelings to the people in our lives creates respect, honesty and love back at us. Some ways to practice this is to simply say, “I appreciate you for (fill in the blank)” and do it on a regular basis. It becomes a way of life and easier the more we do it. Try an Essential Oil of Gratitude to help in the process. Of course, the non-verbal ways are much fun to add; leaving little unexpected notes, extra hugs, winks and blowing kisses…the thoughtful gifts of love…flowers and chocolates. Make this February 14th the day for an open, loving, healthy heart!

If you have interest in learning more about the benefits of Rose or Gratitude Essential Oils, please call me at 650.359.6579 or email sharoncaren@comcast.net

Upcoming Open House Event 101 Uses of Essential Oils in Everyday Life

When: Saturday, February 28, 2009 drop in between 2:30 to 4:30 PM

Where: Curves, 608 Portola Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127 – 415-759-9103

Come by and expect to get your hands “wet” while experiencing the oils first hand!

RSVP to Sharon 650.359.6579

Complementary Community Outreach Educational Program

Research used:

Chocolate on the Brain by Kristen Coveleski

University of Illinois Extension – Roses

Yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com

For more Sharon Caren, go to our website: www.westsideobserver.com

Feb. 2009

Win the Battle of the Bulge

Don’t wait until January 1st to make a New Years Resolution. TODAY we can make some healthy eating choices and cruise into the New Year ahead of the game.

Just by a shift in consciousness (the way we think about and approach it), change will automatically occur. The general state of our health is directly related to our consciousness.

Consciousness= sum total of feelings, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and intensions. What a great word!

Let’s pre-plan by looking at the calendar. Mark the actual days of temptation in December. Example; work party’s, luncheons, family gatherings. How many, maybe 2 to 6 out of 31 days? With this calculation, let’s move forward.

We don’t have to eat and drink everything in sight the entire month of December. Putting consciousness on our caloric intake per day while adding exercise, and VOILA, a complete turn around. I use a little paperback book “The Complete & Up-To-Date Fat Book” by Karen J. Bellerson. She has everything you can think of eating and drinking listed with the calories and fat measured, even fast foods! Now we’re armed and ready to advance….

Think of food as fuel to keep our tank rolling. The quality of what we take in is more important than the quantity. We want a lean, strong machine to take us into the next year. Exercise helps burn excess fat and maintain healthy metabolism. Choose walking 3 to 5 times a week or join a gym. For busy women, Curves has a circuit workout that only takes 20 minutes. There are 10,000 locations with one right here at 608 Portola Drive, San Francisco. Call 415-759-9103 to find out more about their programs.

Change a few habits little by little and watch the results!

Some Tips

  1. Salads – Eat salad slowly before the meal - green lettuce or fresh fruit salads, using dressing on the side
  2. Turkey – a great healthy food choice for a main course
  3. Whole wheat hard rolls and bread sticks – better than white flour as the body has to work harder to metabolize wheat flour and burns calories in the process
  4. Raw and steamed vegetables – best ones are non-starchy green vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cucumber, celery, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, spinach
  5. Yams and sweet potatoes – better than white potatoes nutritionally
  6. Turkey gravy – add about 25 to 30 calories per 2 oz. serving - use sparingly

Note: It takes 20 minutes for the brain to tell us we’re full. After eating one serving, sit, relax, and you’ll find you won’t want seconds.

About Sugar

Beware of the huge amounts of hidden sugars:

Cranberry sauce: 12 teaspoons of sugar in ½ cup

Cola: 9 teaspoons of sugar in 12 oz.

Coffee and tea – some folks use 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar per cup

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save my sugar consumption for a special dessert treat, thank you very much….

The body cannot break down and metabolize processed white sugar. It stays in the blood and becomes sludge. How might this affect our blood pressure and cholesterol?

Healthy sugar replacement

Blue Agave, a natural sweetener that tastes great

Drinks and Celebrating

Another concern may be parties and drinking. No one wants to spend the night in the clink on Christmas so be aware; the average metabolism burns ½ oz. of pure alcohol per hour. This will vary depending on size and body weight.

Lowest Calories in Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon 4 oz. 88 calories

Chardonnay 4 oz. 88 calories

Wine spritzer (wine with seltzer) 5 oz. 61 calories

Beer – (Light beers are the lower) 12 oz. Beers vary from 95 to 208 calories

Non-Alcoholic Beer lowest - 12 oz. 55 calories

Distilled Liquor

The higher the proof (% of alcohol) higher the calories

80 to 100 proof: for 1 oz. 67 to 83 calories

If drinking a mixed drink, factor in the mixer: Orange juice 8 oz. from 104 to 118 calories.

Grapefruit juice 8 oz. from 93 to 116 calories.

7-Up 12 oz. 144 calories. Diet 7-Up 12 oz. 4 calories.

Tonic water 6 oz. 125 calories alone. Low Cal. Tonic water 6 oz. 2 calories.Seltzer water 12 oz. No calories

Digestive Enzymes

Taking an enzyme supplement with meals aids the body in breaking down and processing the food we eat. If you experience feeling bloated or heartburn after meals, these enzymes are a must and will change your life.

We’re born with an original supply of enzymes and as we age, our natural enzyme bank decreases. Enzymes are needed in the body for every bit of cell reproduction. That means the rebuilding of all of our major organs, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, as well as tissue and muscles…virtually everything!

Eating organic raw fruits and vegetables are the best source of natural enzymes, at least 5 servings each day. If we aren’t eating these amounts or supplementing with digestive enzymes, our body has to call on the enzyme supply we have left. Those enzymes then stop the important rebuilding work they do in the brain, intestines, and sexual organs, and have to come over to digest food every time we eat. My choice is to use supplements for the digestive process and leave my natural enzymes to do their important major cell work. Plus, I feel so much better after eating when I take them. It’s a win – win.

I’m happy to share information on some good Enzyme Supplements and Blue Agave with you. Please call me, 650.359.6579 or email sharoncaren@comcast.net

I’m not a Bah-Humbug suggesting to deny your self of any holiday favorites. I believe we can enjoy all the things we love when it’s done in moderation and balance. Celebrate this Holiday Season sharing the experience with friends and loved ones in gratitude for all we have and feel the fullness of life itself. En-Joy

For more Sharon Caren, go to our website: www.westsideobserver.com

December 2008

Got Stress? and how to manage it

With all of the seriousness today, the economy, election, and regular day-to-day stuff, let’s take a break and have a little laugh…..

Dr. Madan Kataria, better known as the Guru of Giggle, is the creator of Laughter Yoga Int’l. There are now 5,000 laughter clubs around the world, www.laughteryoga.org. See it for yourself at YouTube.com. Laughing decreases stress hormones and increases endorphins. Breathing and laughing improves health even if the laugh is faked. No jokes or punch lines, you don’t even need to be happy. Just start laughing - belly laughing, if you can. Laughing puts us in the moment. When we’re present, not the past or worried about the future, we are being, Human Being!

Quote: “Imagination was given to us to compensate for what we are not; a sense of humor was given to us to console us for what we are” – Mark McGinnis

What is Stress?

We’ll never be without stress in our lives. Stress let’s us know we’re alive. It’s an important and normal part of existence. This Fight or Flight instinct is built into all living beings to stay alive and protect the species from predators. It’s the circle of life, the food chain.

If we’re in a tough situation, there are two choices, to stay and fight or run and take flight. Both choices require a huge chemical shift on the cellular level. The body goes into a “temporary” altered state of protection where our Will To Live is so great; we gain strength and power beyond our normal means. For instance, the mother whose child is pined under a car tire is able to lift the car to free her child. She isn’t able to sustain this power but doesn’t need to. The key word here is “temporary”.

How Nature Handles Stress

An analogy taken from Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now:

Imagine ducks swimming in a pond. These birds are territorial and usually mate for life. Here comes a young male feeling his wild oats and paddles over too close to a female who’s already spoken for. Her mate goes after the young duck and the two males get into a flapping, honking and biting match. They rise up out of the water and go neck and neck for a minute or two until the young one backs off. They drift apart, creating space between one another. Then you see the ducks flap their wings ferociously back and forth with great power. They’re expelling the left over energy from the squabble. They then swim away, wiggling their tails and settling back down calmly and peacefully. The stressful situation is OVER.

The older duck doesn’t swim away in a huff, telling the other ducks watching, “Did you see that young stud trying to pick up my girl? The nerve of him…if he swims around here again, I’ll break his neck!” and so on, holding onto it for days or maybe even weeks, telling every duck he comes in contact with. No, when the confrontation is over, the duck flaps his wings and he’s done. He floats away, enjoys the beautiful sunshine and looks for his next meal.

If we were back in the Cave Man days, this duck analogy might make more sense, ay? Well the thing is, we do still have these basic instincts that drive us and take over without our awareness. Our lives are “civilized” now and we don’t have to worry about being eaten by the big fish, or do we? Our psyche on the cellular level doesn’t really know the difference.

What happens when the boss says, “If you don’t make your numbers next quarter, I’ll have to let you go.” Or when a spouse announces they’ve found someone else and wants a divorce. The instincts take over and suddenly we’re in survival mode. “What happens when banks close their doors with our money inside? Who’ll run the country and get us out of debt? Who’ll end the war and stop the killing?” and on, and on, and on.

Humans are different from the rest of the animal kingdom. We have thinking, reasoning brains. When a situation arises, we think about it, think about it and think about it some more. These thoughts become cumulative and the worse it gets, the worse it gets. One more thing goes wrong and it’s the straw that breaks the camels back. Not able to sleep at night without sleeping pills? Take anti-depressant drugs during the day to feel good? STOP!

Body Chemistry

When we’re in Fight or Flight stress mode, our body becomes highly ACIDIC. This throws off the PH balance in the body. We can take the best vitamins and eat all the healthy food we can afford but if we’re stressed, none of it matters. Stress is now known to be a significant factor in over 80 percent of all illnesses. Stress is a killer. “let’s become aware of our Emotions. Stress creates acid and an imbalance in the blood, (blood becomes thick and not able to oxygenate the body) which zaps energy, messes up our health and our life.” taken from my July 08 article, Why Can’t I Lose Weight, Alkalize and Energize at www.westsideobserver.com/columns. When we manage stress levels, some great side effects are lower blood pressure and cholesterol, less headaches, less joint aches and pains, and how about just feeling happy!

How to Flap Our Wings

We can flap our wings in numerous ways depending on what we ENJOY. I find the best ones are the easiest. Going for a run, taking a walk or a hike in nature, singing or dancing, reading, going to a funny movie, belly laughing, taking a yoga class, exercise and workout at the gym, anything that will be a distraction to get us out of our thinking mind. There are many doctors who prescribe massage and bodywork to their patients for this very reason.

Different forms of meditation are wonderful to calm the mind and body. Go to TM.org with locations everywhere, if you’re interested in learning meditation. There are numerous meditation CD’s on the market that are very helpful. Another suggestion, I work a lot with Essential Oil Blends and use personally and on clients for stress: Peace and Calming, Joy, Tranquil, and Hope. Using essential oils helps to raise the body’s energetic vibration and shift our mood immediately. Call me if you’d like to try some anti-stress oils. 650.359.6579 Happy Flapping!

For more health tips from Sharon Caron, go to www.westsideobserver.com

November 2008

Kill Winter Cooties Naturally

Kids are back in school and with the cold weather approaching, what can we do to help our family stay healthy? The germs, bacteria and respiratory viruses around us today have never been stronger or more antibiotic-resistant. An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure (someone said) so building and maintaining a strong immune system is the first order of business. If you didn’t read my Sept. article, please go to: www.westsideobserver.com/ Click on Columnists and scroll to the bottom to read my back issue on Antioxidants.

My second point is proper hand washing. I know, it sounds really elementary. However look at these stats below.

•Failure to wash hands or insufficiently washing hands, contributes to almost 50% of food borne illness outbreaks.

•More than 52 million cases of the common cold each year are among Americans under 17 years of age.

•About 22 million school days are lost due to the common cold alone.

•Centers for Disease Control estimate in the U.S. more than 100,000 people are hospitalized and about 36,000 die from flu and complications each year.

•The single most important thing we can do to prevent sickness and spreading illness to others is to clean our hands.

Lets teach our kids to use a natural waterless hand cleaner when a basin isn’t available or at a basin, whenever possible:

  1. Wet hands with warm water and apply soap.
  2. Lather soap by rubbing hands together, covering top & palms of hands, rubbing between fingers and under fingernails. Continue for 20 seconds (sing happy birthday to you – 4 times).
  3. Thoroughly rinse under running water.
  4. Dry hands with paper towel or air dryer; use paper towel to turn off faucet and open bathroom door.

For the past 10 years, I’ve been studying and using 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils personally, with my family and clients, as an alternative to pharmacology for colds and viruses with positive results. What is an Essential Oil exactly? It’s the blood (Chi, life force) of the plant distilled at a very high pressure (as in pressure cooking) but at a very, very low temperature. This substance is alive and these live enzymes support our system by raising our body’s vibration or energy level. Everything has an energy vibration, and the energy or frequency of the plant is harmonious with us humans. Humans and plants are made up of the same substance from the earth. The blood of the plant helps to raise our energy level, our immune system kicks in, and the body heals its self. Oils won’t alter our body’s chemistry,they only support it.

Natural substances can’t be patented so drug companies will take a natural plant substance and change it molecularly so it can be patented and sold with a particular brand name. However, something does change when the molecular structure is altered. The plant is no longer in the pure and highly complex form as nature intended. Usually that’s where the side effects come in and we all know the rest of that story.

Essential Oils have been around for thousands of years. I have a photo of a terra-cotta distiller, the oldest known distiller in the world (circa 4,000 B.C.) In ancient Egypt, the Kings, Queens, and Pharaohs used the oils for physical and emotional healing. The oils were also used for preserving mummies for their long journey in the afterlife. 33 alabaster jars of Essential Oils were found in King Tut’s tomb in 1922, still intact when uncovered. Since the distillation process was expensive, the oils were considered gold and used only by the extremely wealthy. When the blood of the plant was removed during distillation, what was left over was the dried plant or the herb and that was the medicine used by the common people for healing. There was no pharmacy!

There are many accounts in the Bible of Essential Oils throughout the scriptures mentioning: Aloes (sandalwood), Cassia, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Galbanum, Hyssop, Myrrh, Myrtle, Onycha, Rose of Sharon (cistus) and Spikenard. When the Wise Men brought gifts to Baby Jesus of gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, the oils were the gold. There was no way for common folk to get valuable healing oils. Frankincense was used for protection from negativity and Myrrh was the best antiseptic available after childbirth; everything one would need to keep a newborn safe and healthy.

Historically, in Marseilles, France, 1400 AD during the Medieval plague, 4 spice runners robbed the dead and dying without becoming sick. When captured, the thieves revealed a mixture of clove, rosemary and other aromatics they rubbed all over their bodies to protect themselves against the deadly plague. They gave up the recipe in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Looking back over history, here are some suggested Pure Essential Oils for Winter:

Clove Oil – high in antioxidant power and immune-enhancing properties

Rosemary Oil – natural energizer, helps to restore mental alertness when fatigued

Cinnamon Bark Oil – high in antioxidants, relieves discomfort during Winter Season and supports digestion

Eucalyptus Radiata Oil – lab testing has shown it’s effectiveness against bacteria when used topically

Lemon Oil – powerful antioxidant and known for it’s ability to act as a natural solvent and cleanser

My suggestion is to give Essential Oils a try if your doctor doesn’t prescribe something for the common cold or flu this season. The oils are used topically, internally and diffused - Natures Medicine.

Each of these oils individually are very powerful. There’s a synergy when the oils are blended together and the healing power is increased. If you’re interested in finding out about the oil blend of “Thieves”, the five oils mentioned above, please call me 650.359.6579 or email at sharon@sharoncaren.com Happy Oiling!

October 2008

Antioxidants, Free Radicals and Aging

Information taken from the International Food Information Council Foundation

There’s much talk today about the value of antioxidants and how they “fight off free radicals”. But what does this mean? It’s a complex but natural chemical reaction that happens in our body.

So what are Antioxidants anyway?

Antioxidants are substances that protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules known as Free Radicals and Free Radicals are molecules with incomplete electron shells. This makes them more chemically reactive than those with complete electron shells – Whew, did you get all that? Antioxidants interact and prevent damage free radicals can cause. Just the name, free radicals, sounds like trouble!!

Plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain many components beneficial to our health. A healthful diet has the potential to delay many age-related diseases. An Antioxidant is a specific bioactive component in foods that can be responsible for improving and maintaining health.

Here are examples of Antioxidants:

Beta-carotene – found in foods of orange color; sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin and mangos. Also green leafy vegetables; collard greens, spinach and kale.

Lutein – known for association with healthy eyes; green leafy vegetables, collard greens, spinach and kale.

Lycopene – found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit and blood oranges. Most folks dietary intake of lyopene comes from tomatoes and tomato products.

Selenium – is a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient – it’s a component of antioxidant enzymes.Plant foods like rice and wheat are the major dietary sources of selenium in most countries. The amount of selenium in the soil determines the amount showing up in the foods grown in that soil. Animals that eat grains of plants grown in selenium rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their muscles. In the U.S., meats and bread are common sources of dietary selenium. Brazil Nuts contain large quantities of selenium.

Vitamin A – foods include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks and mozzarella cheese.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – in many fruits and vegetables. Also, in cereals, beef, poultry and fish.

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) – in almonds and many oils like wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils. Also, mangos, nuts, broccoli.

Look for foods with distinctive colors. Deep Red of cherry’s and tomatoes Orange of carrots Yellow of corn, mangos, and saffron Blue purple of blueberries, blackberries, and grapes.

My mother always said when making a salad, “Put in all the colors you can find!”

The combination of fruits and vegetables has a synergistic effect on antioxidant activities leading to greater reduction in risk of chronic disease, specifically cancer and heart disease.

The job of the antioxidant is to neutralize free radicals as the natural by-product of normal cell processes. The most common form of free radicals in humans is oxygen. When an oxygen molecule becomes electrically charged or “radicalized” (hence the name) it tries to steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to the DNA. Over time, this damage may become irreversible and lead to disease including cancer.

Toxic things in our environment such as tobacco smoke and radiation (and many, many more) that we become exposed to, can lead to free radical formation. Antioxidants mop up free radicals, meaning they neutralize the electrical charge and prevent the free radical from taking electrons from other molecules. Because oxidation is a naturally occurring process in the body, a balance with antioxidants must exist to maintain health.

Aging

While the body has its’ defenses against oxidative stress, these defenses become less effective with aging as the oxidative stress becomes greater. Researchers claim there’s involvement of resulting free radicals in degenerative diseases associated with aging, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, Alzheimers, immune dysfunction, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

Certain conditions like chronic disease and aging, can tip the balance in favor of free radical formation and contributes to poor health.

Protecting DNA

If free radicals remain unchecked, they can attack DNA (the blueprint used to create each new cell in the body). If not repaired, damaged DNA copies itself to new cells created. In this manner, each new cell is damaged and mutation occurs.

Studies show the Chinese Wolfberry (or goji berry) is protective against DNA breakage and mutations. Chinese scientists have determined that the wolfberry polysaccharide has protective effects on the pancreas cells that regulate the body’s insulin system. Also, they have prominent hepatoprotective activity, protecting the liver. The wolfberry is a wide-spectrum antioxidant and protects the body from many different types of free radicals, specifically superoxide, the most abundant free radical in the human body. Additionally, ellagic acid (a crystalline compound obtained from oak galls and tannins and reduces bleeding) found in blueberries, raspberries, and pomegranates “protect DNA against injury.”

Ancient Tradition

Historically, many Chinese who used the wolfberry in their everyday life, lived to be 100 plus years. The tiny red berry has been cherished for centuries for its’ health benefits, particularly in the NingXia Province of China at the foot of the Himalayas. The soil is so fertile from the silt run off, the wolfberries grown in that region have the highest antioxidant rate of all. Ancient medical texts mention the Chinese wolfberry in conjunction with regulation of the “vital energy” and nourishment leading to longevity. Even more anciently, its said to replenish vital essences and strengthen and restore major organs.

Conclusion: That old cliché “We are what we eat” looks to be true in this case. Let’s eat our way to health and longevity!

If you’d like more information on aging and protecting DNA with the Wolfberry, Contact me at 650.359.6579. For more of Sharon Caron go to www.tpobserver.com

September 2008

Why Can't I Lose Weight?

Alkalize and Energize

This information is taken from Dr. Neil Solomon, Dr. Alex Guerrero and Tony Robbins.

Maybe you’ve heard of pH Balance or maybe not. I became aware of it personally, 10 years ago while searching for answers as to why and how we get sick. Hang in and follow me on this: In order to live, there must be a balance in our blood, producing an electric force in the body. This is a life giving current and the pH level must stay at a constant 7.36 pH which is slightly more alkaline. If that number shifts by just 1 pH we’d die instantly. Cells can’t function and all the organs in the body simply shut down.

This balance is found in the blood. The blood carries oxygen to the entire body and keeps us alive. When the pH balance shifts out of balance, the blood turns more acidic. The acid level in the blood strips away the negative charge around the blood cells and the repelling force between the blood cells lessen. The cells clump together and have a terrible time getting through the blood vessels. The blood moves slower, cells don’t get oxygen and the blood suffocates. Can you see how high blood pressure might play out here as well as high cholesterol, maybe? The blood cells also stick together when we are dehydrated…so important to drink more water!

As acid increases, it attacks the blood cells and the cells literally explode. When the cells are very unhappy, the result might be cancer, depression, sickness and diseases of all sorts.

How is the forming of acid happening in the blood? Emotions - Stress Diet - Most foods we eat are acid forming Acid creates mucus, mucus creates inflammation, inflammation creates disease.

Having said all of that, whew, let’s become aware of our Emotions. Stress creates acid and an imbalance in the blood, (blood becomes thick and not able to oxygenate the body) which zaps energy, messes up our health and our life.

Overeating can be a result of suppressed emotions, old hurts, unresolved problems in relationships or traumatic experiences. So we eat more and more trying to fill an empty void inside. We also overeat when our body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to work properly. Much of the time, we aren’t eating out of real hunger but our body is literally starving for nutrients, not the constant cravings of chocolate, pizza or a Big Mac. (See the 3 day cleanse below)

Let’s change our mind set and start eating to fuel the body. Think of putting gasoline into the fuel tank of the car. First we decide what octane will best run the vehicle safely, regular or supreme. The car can’t run effectively or efficiently if the proper fuel isn’t used. If we continue to pump more and more gas into the tank when it’s full, the gas pours out all over, creating a hazardous and toxic environment. We won’t even talk about the dollars wasted due to inflated gas prices.

A weight loss tip: I just read a book, Dr. Hirsch’s Guide to Scentsational Weight Loss, that documents case studies of people sniffing a nasal inhaler before meals and lost between 25 and 100 pounds. On the wick of the inhaler, between 5 to 15 drops of pure therapeutic grade essential oil of Peppermint was dripped. The nasal passage is the only opening to the brain from the outside of the body so inhalation can directly affect the brain. In turn, it affects the body physically, mentally and emotionally. Essential oils help oxygenate the cells of the body. When the brain is stimulated by the high frequency of pure therapeutic oils (the blood of the plant) the body can decide if the hunger is real or not. If not, the urge for food intake turns off. Also, when sniffing 3 times in each nostril before a meal, the urge for overeating diminishes. These people were actually leaving food on the plate for the first time in their lives.

We must eat small meals every three hours. The digestive system handles and processes the food intake more efficiently that way to keep the metabolism burning the fuel (food). We don’t want our tank to run on empty. What happens to the car with nothing in the tank? Yep, it Shuts Down!

If you have an interest in sniffing, contact me for the info on purchasing inhalers and oils. This also helps to open sinus passages if you have sinus problems or allergies and it’s totally natural! Some of my clients have reported feeling more energy, clarity, relief from headaches (due to more oxygen getting to the brain) and diminished allergies. Amazing what a little oxygen can do.

Some Steps to Success Why do most folks fail to make changes in life? They never get started. Start NOW and create momentum:

Step 1 – Super hydrate your body (see my last months article) Step 2 – Eat foods high in alkaline and energy Step 3 – Become aware of emotions

3 day Cleanse

1) Drink 2 liters of water a day 2) Drink at least 2 green drinks per day – wheat grass, spinach, carrot, tomatoes (one drink has over 350 MHZ of energy) 3) Eliminate foods with high acidity from your diet (go to www. for a list of Alkaline foods) Feel the difference in energy and health by being consistent. This small change will revolutionalize your life. The body stores acid in fat cells. When we address the acid/alkaline balance and the body is more alkaline, the fat cells then dissipate and melt away. Restore energy, vitality and happiness back into your life by making a change today.

Books: Dr. Hirsch’s Guide to Scentsational Weight Loss by Alan R. Hirsch M.D. F.A.C.P. The pH Miracle for Weight Loss by Robert O. Young, PhD and Shelley Redford Young (pages 212 to 340 How and what to eat) The Acid Alkaline Balance Diet by Felicia Drury Kliment

The most important Alkaline Foods: Essential Fatty Acids Avocado Coconuts Fresh Fish Seed Oils; flax, borage, hemp, primrose Green Vegetables Broccoli Spinach Sprouts Other Alkaline Foods Lemons, limes, grapefruit Good Grains – steamed and sprouted – and whole i.e. Quinoa, raw buckwheat Salt .

July -August 2008

DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL WATER SHORTAGE ?

I remember as a child hearing, “Drink 8 glasses of water a day.” It’s kind of like hearing, “Stand up straight, stop slouching!” Blah, blah, blah, blah….it goes in one ear and out the other. I don’t remember anyone ever explaining what would happen to me if I didn’t do those things.

Now, working with hundreds of clients over the past 10 years, I’ve learned the telling signs of a body crying out for water. Our body is made up of 75% water.

When we are dehydrated, our miraculous body system actually steals water from the extremities (muscles and tissue) to hydrate the major organs; brain, heart, liver, etc. so we stay alive. We won’t die from dehydrated muscles but we may have a great deal of pain as a result.

Have you ever tried to stretch shoe leather? Not very easily!

Preliminary research indicates that 8 to 10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

Do you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines? This is a major sign of dehydration.

To get a bit graphic, urine holds many clues about health. Dark yellow urine is a sign to DRINK MORE WATER.

You ask, how much water do I need? Well, take your body weight, cut that number in half, and that’s the number of ounces of pure water for a normal day. If you exercise or do physical work and perspire, you’ll need more. Example: 150 pounds = 75 ounces.

Clients tell me, “I can’t drink that much water, I’ll have to spend all day in the bathroom!.” That is what happens when the body is re-hydrating, major run off. Have you tried pouring water over a patch of dry and cracked earth in the summer time? The water just rolls off. But as you keep soaking the dry earth over and over, eventually the water starts to sink in.

When we take in more water, the body takes a while to absorb it back into the muscles and tissue so it’s not running off and out.

Be patient with this process. You can add years to your life, not to mention your health and vitality. Even mild dehydration will slow down the metabolism as much as 3%. We often mistake lack of water for being hungry. Most people in the U.S. are overweight so how about trying a glass of water instead of a candy bar next time and see what happens!

Clients ask me, “Does coke, coffee, or tea count in my number of ounces per day?”

Think about this – We get into the shower each day to wash (cleanse) the outside of our body and wouldn’t think of showering and washing our hair in coke or coffee. Not only is the water hydrating all the cells of our body, it’s also cleansing the inside while ridding the body of harmful toxins in this very important process.

A tip to start – I measure out my ounces of water each morning and drink it throughout the day and before I drink anything else. Try drinking water first thing in the morning. I find it’s a good way to start the day. A great book on the subject is YOUR BODY’S MANY CRIES FOR WATER by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

For an article with more information on “Water vs. Coke” go to www.tpobserver.com and Click on Columnists and then Sharon Caren/ Sharon the Health: June 2008: Water VS Coke.

Sharon Caren is a Certified Massage and Reposturing Practitioner, Posturist and Licensed Trainer in both body work and essential oils and has been practicing for 10 years. You can learn more about Sharon at www.sharoncaren.com or call her at 650-359-6579.

Please note: Sharon is a new columnist focusing on personal health and wellness. We would appreciate hearing your feedback to her column. Please send your comments to The Observer’s managing editor – tpobserver@aol.com.

PDF WATER OR COKE?

June 2008