Holistic Handbook Copyright 2008 Andrew Williams Jr
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Holistic Handbook Copyright 2008 Andrew Williams Jr

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Holistic Handbook Copyright 2008 Andrew Williams Jr

Holistic Handbook Copyright 2008 Andrew Williams Jr

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    Holistic Handbook Copyright 2008 Andrew Williams Jr Holistic Handbook Copyright 2008 Andrew Williams Jr Document Transcript

    • HOLISTIC HANDBOOK Andrew Williams, Jr. Copyright © 2008
    • TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION TO HOLISTIC LIVING GUIDELINES 1 Shifting Medical Paradigms 1 FUNDAMENTAL HOLISTIC PRINCIPLES 2 Foundations of vitality 2 Cleansing 3 Hydration 3 Alkalizing 3 Meditation 3 Passion 3 Investment 4 Oxygenation 4 Nutrition 4 NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS TO ENHANCE GENERAL HEALTH 4 Dietary Guidelines for Americans 4 DAILY NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION PROGRAM 5 Whole Body Tonic 5 Formulations 8 Dosages 8 Contraindications 8 Herbal Supplementation 8 Other Supplements 8 Herbal Teas 9 Antioxidant Supplementation 9 Enzyme Supplementation 9 WALKING AND STRETCHING TECHNIQUES 11 Daily walking targets 12 BREATHING EXERCISES 12 Stimulate relaxation through abdominal breathing 13 Abdominal Breathing Exercises 14 The “Stimulating Breath” Exercise 15 The “Relaxing Breath” Exercise 15 DETOXIFICATION 17 Guidelines for removal of toxins from the diet, water, and air 18 Cleansing 19 Rebuilding 23 Maintenance 23 MUSIC-ASSISTED RELAXATION 24 Twenty-minute “Sound Bath” 26 CONCEPTS OF SPIRITUALITY 26 REFERENCES 29
    • INTRODUCTION TO HOLISTIC LIVING GUIDELINES Suzan Walker, President of the American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) (1996) asserts that one of the accepted usages of the term “holistic” means “a whole made up of interdependent parts” usually referred to as: 1) the mind/body connection, 2) mind/body/spirit, or 3) physical/mental/emotional/spiritual aspects.” The AHHA promotes the following holistic health approach to create and sustain wellness:  Balance and integrate your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects  Establish respectful, cooperative relationships with others and the environment  Make wellness-oriented lifestyle choices  Actively participate in your health decisions and healing process Shifting Medical Paradigms Robert S. Ivker, D.O. (1999), then-President of the American Holistic Medical Association, in an article created during his term, defined aspects of the differing paradigms of conventional and naturopathic medicine in the following chart. Paradigm Holistic Medicine Conventional Medicine Philosophy Based on the integration of allopathic (MD), osteopathic (DO), naturopathic (ND), energy and ethno-medicine Based on allopathic medicine Primary Objective of Care To promote optimal health and as a by-product, to prevent and treat disease To cure or mitigate disease. Primary Method of Care Empower patients to heal themselves by addressing the causes of their disease and facilitating lifestyle changes through health promotion. Focus on the elimination of physical symptoms. Diagnosis Evaluate the whole person through holistic medical history, holistic health score sheet, physical exam, lab data. Evaluate the body with history, physical exam, lab data. 1
    • Paradigm Holistic Medicine Conventional Medicine Primary Care Treatment Options Love applied to body, mind, and spirit with: diet, exercise, environmental measures, attiudinal and behavioral modifications, relationship and spiritual counseling, bioenergy enhancement. Drugs and surgery. Secondary Care Treatment Options Botanical (herbal) medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, manual medicine, biomolecular therapies, physical therapy, drugs, and surgery. Diet, exercise, physical therapy, and stress management. Weaknesses Shortage of holistic physicians and training programs; time- intensive, requiring a commitment to a healing process, not a quick-fix. Ineffective in preventing and curing chronic disease; expensive. Strengths Teaches patients to take responsibility for their own health, and in doing so is: cost effective in treating both acute and chronic illness; therapeutic in preventing and treating chronic disease; essential in creating optimal health. Highly therapeutic in treating both acute and life-threatening illness and injuries FUNDAMENTAL HOLISTIC PRINCIPLES Foundations of vitality Complementary therapist Carl Munson (n.d.) has developed a guide to boosting vitality, building health, and reducing the risk of disease by focusing upon eight key “foundations of vitality”: 2
    • Cleansing Cleansing or “detoxing” is crucial to the efficient flow of vital fluids and energy in the body, proper absorption of nutrients, and the correct expulsion of waste matter. Constipation and sluggishness can be reduced or eliminated by proper cleansing, but so can the risk of cancer and coronary heart disease by unblocking arteries and reducing colon blockage. Hydration Hydration, the process of consuming water, which makes up 70% of our bodies, contributes to glowing skin, weight loss, less cellulite, better immunity, and a huge boost in energy levels. Drinking five glasses of water per day can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by 79 per cent and the risk of developing cancer of the colon by 45 per cent. Alkalizing Alkalizing, lowering the acid-forming content of your diet, or by using an alkalizing supplement to eliminate the acidic residue of foods can avoid a major cause of poor health. Meditation Meditation, according to Munson, largely misunderstood and deeply undervalued, is simply about lessening the negative effect of your thinking mind. Proper meditation can help avoid or reduce anxiety, depression, and emotional breakdowns. Passion Passion, not prevention, can motivate you to reclaim the concept of health, doing what you can to boost your vitality and reduce the risk of disease, with a sense of joy and adventure. Considering health to be a fight against disease and becoming preoccupied with disease could, in fact, result in a shocking possibility, according to some psychological experts: “what you focus on, you get”. 3
    • Investment Investment of time, energy, and money in your health sooner, rather than later, can avoid progressively serious and irreversible damage to your wellbeing. Oxygenation Oxygenation, improving breathing and air quality can avoid a host of health challenges, including tiredness, insomnia, fatigue, moodiness, low immunity, allergies, and asthma. Get in the habit of breathing deep into the belly, in fresh air at least twice a day for just ten minutes, or try yoga for gentle, oxygenating exercises as often as you can. Nutrition Nutrition – proper nutrition – cannot be acquired by achieved by relying upon the whims of the food industry, which is often heavy-handed with salt, sugar and bad fates – along with aggressive farming techniques that leave many meals de-natured, de-mineralized and downright deadly. Going organic, growing your own, and cutting back on processed foods can help get some true, life-enhancing food back into your system. NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS TO ENHANCE GENERAL HEALTH Dietary Guidelines for Americans The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture introduces the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2005) with this timely quote: “The sooner you start the better for you, your family, and your future.” Make smart choices from every food group, by:  Emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;  Including lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and  Making sure your food selections are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. 4
    • Mix up your choices within each food group, by:  Focusing on fruits, whether fresh, frozen, canned, or dried – rather than fruit juice.  Varying vegetables, but eating more dark green and orange choices, along with beans and peas.  Getting more calcium-rich foods, such as 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk, or an equivalent amount of low-fat yogurt and/or fat cheese if you can consume milk. If not, select lactose-free milk products or calcium-fortified foods and vegetables.  Making at least half your grains “whole”, by eating at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta each day.  Getting more lean protein, by varying choices among fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds, and varying preparation methods by baking, broiling, or grilling.  Getting the most nutrition out of your choices by selecting the most nutritionally rich foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients, but lower in calories. Finally, the guideline suggests checking nutritional facts labels on packaged foods, with these tips in mind: keep saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium low; get enough potassium, fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron; filter your choices by using the % Daily Value (DV) column when possible, keeping in mind that 5% DV or less is low, and 20% DV or more is high. In addition, follow these nutritional tips:  Check servings and calories, paying close attention to the serving size and compare how many servings you are actually consuming. If you are eating a double portion, note that you are also doubling your calories and nutrients including the % DVs.  Make your calories count by comparing them with the nutrients you are also getting to determine whether the food is worth eating. Anytime that a single food item has over 400 calories per serving, it is considered very high in calories.  Do not sugarcoat it, since sugars contribute calories with few, if any, nutrients. Therefore, make sure that added sugars (caloric sweeteners), including sucrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and fructose, are not one of the first few ingredients in food and beverages you choose.  Know your fats, by choosing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and avoiding foods rich in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease (5% DV or less is low, 20% DV is high), by keeping your total fat intake between 20% to 35% of calories.  Reduce sodium (salt), and increase potassium. You may reduce the risk of high blood pressure by eating less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium (about 1 tsp of salt) per day. Note that most sodium intake comes from processed foods, not the saltshaker, so read food labels carefully. To counteract some of sodium’s effect on blood pressure, eat foods high in potassium. 5
    • DAILY NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION PROGRAM Whole Body Tonic In a 1996 article, Mowrey likens good health to balance, which he defines as homeostasis, normality, and equilibrium, and describes ways that herbs are meant to do practically the same thing as drugs, but to a different degree. While he pointed out that writers most often mention advantages of herbs over drugs that include herbs being safer, milder and gentler, less expensive, more natural, more complex and capable of exerting multiple actions simultaneously, Mowrey differentiated and defined “tonic herbs” as possessing a singular property known as bidirectionality, which “imbues them with the singular ability to restore and maintain balance or good health in body systems” that neither drugs nor other herbs possess. Siberian ginseng helps to maintain the equilibrium between opposing factors in the immune system, normalize neurotransmitter secretions, and maintain electrolyte homeostasis in the nervous system. Those properties meet the first of ten (10) requirements that form the criteria for what Mowrey describes in Herbal Tonic Therapies (1998) for the composition of a “whole body tonic (WBT).” Siberian ginseng (Vitaminuk.com 2007) also addresses the Second WBT requirement to “increase energy through normal metabolic means.” The Third requirement of a WBT, which is accomplished by another property of Siberian ginseng, as an immuno-stimulant (Vitaminuk.com 2007), is to “enhance the tonic property of the immune system.” “Decreasing the effects of stress and anxiety on our ability to perform and our ability to rest and sleep” is the Fourth requirement of a WBT, and is addressed by Hops Flower, an herb 6
    • that “naturally promotes relaxation and exerts calming effects, thereby inducing rest” and is effective for treating sleep disorders (vortexhealth.net, 20 April 2007). The anti-toxic, anti-viral, and prophylactic (disease preventative) properties of Siberian ginseng (vitaminuk, 2007) help protect the body against environmental related conditions and meet the Fifth requirement of a WBT, which must “be able to protect from free-radical damage by having good antioxidant activity”. Siberian ginseng (vitaminuk, 2007) also reduces blood sugar, to meet the Sixth WBT requirement to “increase the body's ability to build muscle and/or lose weight through the burning of calories” and “improve the body's ability to utilize the dietary calories that we consume each and every day.” The Seventh WBT requirement is to “regulate digestion processes and balance them and be able in the process, to keep all of the organs and glands that are part of that system in balance; prevent such things as simple indigestion or ulcers; and be able to lower cholesterol and so forth”. Alfalfa regulates digestive disorders and cleanses the intestines (McKeith, 2005). The Eighth WBT requirement “strengthens the heart, reduces cholesterol and blood pressure keeps the blood’s ability to clot in balance and keeps the cardiovascular system in good health”. In that regard, Siberian ginseng’s anti-hypertensive property applies (vitaminuk, 2007). The Ninth WBT requirement “targets the liver, the kidneys, and other related glands and keeps them in optimum health so that they reduce significantly the exposure to stressful toxins and pollutants in our environment.” Sarsaparilla Root facilitates the removal of wastes from the blood, by promoting better circulation and improving liver and kidney functions, according to Herbal Extracts Plus (2005). 7
    • The Tenth and final property of a WBT must “address the lower bowel, both getting the bowels to run more if we are constipated and run less if we have diarrhea.” Alfalfa increases the peristaltic action of the stomach and bowels (McKeith, 2005), while Celery Seed regulates elimination of the bowels (Herbal Extracts Plus, 2005). Formulations Beginning on the first day of the new moon pour 300 grams (1:5) of pre-cut Siberian ginseng root into a glass jar and cover the roots with 1 liter of glycerol until the liquid reaches about one and one half inches above the level of the herbs. After sealing the jar tightly so that the liquid cannot leak or evaporate, put the jar in a dark area or inside a paper bag. Each day for the next fourteen days, shake the jar thoroughly for two minutes or more. On the fifteenth day, pour the tincture through cheesecloth into another jar or dark colored tincture bottle, squeezing the saturated herbs to extract the remaining liquid until no more drops appear. After closing the storage container with a stopper, label the bottle with the date and description of the contents (Satchell, 2007). Dosages 1. Drink two cups of alfalfa tea every other day, with one teaspoon of Siberian ginseng tincture. 2. Drink one cup of Hops Tea before bed each night, with a teaspoon of Siberian ginseng tincture. 3. Drink one glass of Sarsaparilla Tea with a teaspoon of Siberian ginseng tincture, at lunch and one glass at supper. 4. Eat one serving of Alfalfa salad, seasoned with celery seed at lunch and at supper. Contraindications Ginseng Root (Siberian) should be avoided or taken with caution by individuals who are highly energetic, nervous, tense, hysteric, manic, or schizophrenic. This herb is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation. 8
    • Sarsaparilla should be avoided by people who take prescription drugs regularly. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid Sarsaparilla, as should men with prostate disorders, since it may increase testosterone production (Herbal Extracts Plus, 2005). Alfalfa should not be taken by those who have autoimmune problems (lupus, etc.), nor should it be taken by pregnant women (McKeith, 2005). Celery Seed should not be used during pregnancy, eat foods high in potassium, or any blood thinning medicine without first talking to one’s doctor (Herbal Extracts Plus, 2005). Herbal Supplementation In addition, Dr. Michael Lam (2001-2004) reminds us, however, that because detoxification diets alone may not stimulate the liver, lungs, or kidneys enough; you may need to use herbal supplementations to enhance the detoxification program. Dr. Lam lauds the impressive research done that validates the ability of a special extract of milk thistle, called “Silybum marianum” or silymarin, to protect the liver from damage by acting as an antioxidant much more effectively than vitamin E and vitamin C against such extremely toxic chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, amanita toxin, galactosamine and praseodymium nitrate. Other Supplements He identifies other useful supplements such as LIV-A Dandelion, red beet, angelica, gentian, parsley, horsetail, birch leaves, and chamomile for the liver; parsley, dandelion, juniper berries, ginger, and goldenseal for the kidneys; and senega and LH Comfrey for the lungs, to be used in conjunction with a detoxification diet. 9
    • Herbal Teas Herbal teas, made from senna leaf, peppermint leaf, stevia leaf, buckhorn bark, damiana leaf, chamomile flower, and uva ursi leaf, can fortify your meals with digestive enzymes. Dr. Lam suggests steeping the tea in 1-2 cups of water for 2 minutes and drinking the tea after your evening meal, for the first 3-5 days, which might naturally cause increased bowel movements or slight cramping as the initial cleansing of the body occurs. As your system adjusts, you may increase seeping to 5 minutes. He suggests the following herbal cleansing program to use in conjunction with a detoxification diet:  Drink a glass of lemon water or plain water with an additional teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses upon rising;  Drink a glass of plain water with added psyllium husk powder and a glass of water afterwards;  Have two to three multi-digestive enzymes and liver herbs with your meals; and  Drink herbal teas in between meals to support the liver. Antioxidant Supplementation Dr. Lam recommends antioxidants including Vitamins A, E, and especially C as essential to help cells to neutralize free radicals that cause mutation and cellular damage, particularly during fasting, and in conjunction with silymarin, as in effective way to raise glutathione levels in the liver. Enzyme Supplementation Over 1,300 different types of molecule catalysts, or enzymes, located throughout the body facilitate all bodily functions. Eating food that has been cooked and processed enough to destroy enzymes eliminates the use of the food to our bodies at all and helps to build up and accumulate toxins in the body, making it even more important to eat raw fruits and vegetables containing a plentiful supply of enzymes, particularly digestive enzymes, which help prevent feelings of bloating and exhaustion after a meal. Spending thousands of dollars on vitamin pills 10
    • throughout your life will also be a wasted effort because the body will continually flush them out unreleased into the body without the proper functioning of enzymes in the body. WALKING AND STRETCHING TECHNIQUES Forcum and Hyde (5/24/04) introduce several benefits of a regular routine of exercise walking:  Increases the stability of the spine and conditions the muscles that keep the body in the upright position by strengthening muscles in the feet, legs, hips, and torso.  Facilitates strong circulation, pumping nutrients in to soft tissue and draining toxins, to nourish the spinal structures.  (Along with regular stretching) allows greater range of motion, helping to prevent awkward movements and susceptibility of future injury.  Helps prevent osteoporosis and aid in reducing osteoarthritis pain by strengthening bones and reducing bone density loss. They do caution, however, that certain guidelines need to be followed to realize the full benefits of exercise walking:  Stretch before walking to prepare the joints and muscles for the increased range of motion needed, after taking an easy five minute walk to warm up the muscles, making sure to include the neck, arms, hips, upper and lower leg muscles (including the hamstring muscles in the back of the thigh), and ankles.  Walk briskly, while maintaining enough breath to be able to carry on a conversation.  Start out with a five minute walk, and work up to walking for at least thirty minutes (roughly 2 miles) at least 3 to 4 times a week.  Maintain good form while walking to help protect the back and avoid injury while getting the optimum aerobic benefit with each step, concentrating movement as suggested:  Keep the head up and centered between the shoulders, with eyes focused straight ahead at the horizon, with shoulders relaxed but straight.  Keep the stomach pulled in slightly and stand fully upright, avoiding the tendency to lean forward while walking. This method actively uses the abdominal muscles to support the trunk of the body and the spine.  Start the majority of the forward motion with the hips, taking natural steps to avoid the mistake of trying to take too long of a stride.  Keep the arms close to the body, with elbows bent at a 90 degree angle, swinging the arms front to back in pace with the stride of the opposite leg. At the same time, keep the hands relaxed, lightly cupped with the palms inward and thumbs on top, without clenching the hands or making tight fists. 11
    •  Use the balls of the feet and toes to push forward with each step, landing gently on the heel and midfoot, rolling smoothly to push off the toes with each step. In the event you use a treadmill for walking exercise, follow all of the above guidelines, and avoid using the handrails as much as possible (unless they are needed to keep balanced). Daily walking targets Michelle Toole’s blog (1/13/08) informs us that Anders Raustorp at the University of Kalmar, was amongst researchers using the same pedometer, Yamax/KeepWalking LS2000, and identical methods in various countries, to determine the number of steps per day recommended for weight control. For women, age 18-40, the researchers recommend 12,000 steps per day, for women, age 40-50, the researchers recommend 11,000 steps per day; for women age 50-60, the researchers recommend 10,000 steps per day and for women age 60 and above, the researchers recommend 8,000 steps per day. For men, age 18-50, the researchers recommend 12,000 steps per day, and 50 and above, the researchers recommend 11,000 steps per day. The research team has previously published recommendations for children aged 6–12 establishing that girls should accumulate 12,000 steps and boys 15,000 steps every day. In closing, Anders cautions that it is also important to bear in mind that more research is needed for the preliminary recommendations to be regarded as definitive. BREATHING EXERCISES Ratel (2003) informs us many cultures believe that the rhythmic expansion of and contraction involved with breathing is the very essence of being. Because the breath is easily used to communicate between the body-mind, the conscious-unconscious, and the sympathetic- 12
    • parasympathetic nervous system, it provides an excellent tool to help facilitate positive change. Moreover, breathing is the only bodily function that we do both voluntarily and involuntarily. For example, the involuntary (sympathetic) nervous system is stimulated and effects a number of physical responses during times of emotional stress, causing your heart rate to rise, perspiration to occur, muscles to tense, and breathing to become rapid and shallow. You can, however, use the breath to directly influence these stressful changes to cause relaxation and reverse changes in the sympathetic nervous system. You can consciously use breathing to influence the involuntary nervous system that regulates blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, digestion and many other bodily functions. In fact, you can train breathing for both positive and negative influences on health, either consciously or unconsciously. Reacting to chronic stress, for example, causes the connective and muscular tissues in the chest to become restrictive and limits the range of motion of the chest wall. Consequently, rapid and shallow breathing causes most of the air exchange to occur at the top of the lung tissues towards the head, resulting in less oxygen transfer to the blood and poor delivery of nutrients to the tissues (chest breathing). With regular practice, however, you can train your body to breathe from the abdomen most of the time, even while asleep (abdominal breathing). Stimulate relaxation through abdominal breathing The diaphragm, a large muscle located between the chest and the abdomen, contracts when it is forced downward, causing the abdomen to expand, forcing air into the lungs, pulls blood into the chest (improving the venous return to the heart), leading to improved stamina in both disease and athletic activity. Although one benefit of abdominal breathing helps prevent 13
    • infection of the lungs and other tissues, another is the stimulation of the relaxation response resulting in less tension and an increase in the overall sense of well being. Abdominal Breathing Exercises Ratel suggests using the following exercise at least twice a day, or whenever you find yourself dwelling on unsettling thoughts or experiencing pain (keeping in mind that exhalation should be twice as long as inhalation, as a general rule):  Placing one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, take a deep breath in, causing the hand on the abdomen to rise higher than the one on your chest, to insure that the diaphragm is pulling air into the bases of the lungs.  After exhaling through the mouth, take a slow deep breath in through your nose, holding it for as long as you can, but not exceeding a count of seven.  Slowly exhale through the mouth for a count of 8, gently contracting your abdominal muscles to completely evacuate the remaining air from the lungs, which deepens respiration.  Practice until you become comfortable while completing 6 deep breathing cycles per minute. You may be able to reinforce the benefits of this relaxation technique by incorporating words into your exercise routine. For example, saying to your self the word “relaxation” (with inhalation) and “stress” (with exhalation), you can train your subconscious mind to bring in the feeling or emotion you want with inhalation and release those you do not want with exhalation. Ratel recommends the “Bellows” breathing exercise, using short, fast rhythmic breaths to generate short bursts of energy by recreating the adrenal stimulation that occurs with stress, resulting in the release of energizing chemicals such as epinephrine. He cautions, however, against overusing the following exercise in the beginning, as you could increase the risk of hyperventilation and loss of consciousness.  Sit in a comfortable up-right position with your spine straight.  With your mouth gently closed, breathe in and out of your nose as fast as possible, making the time of inhalation match the time of exhalation, for up to 2-3 cycles of inhalation/exhalation pre second. 14
    •  When first starting, do this for no more than 15 seconds. Slowly increase the length of the exercise by 5 seconds but do not exceed one full minute. Andrew Weil, M.D. (2004) claims, “Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing, and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” The exercise techniques he recommends to relax and generate energy are similar to Ratel’s: The “Stimulating Breath” Exercise Adapted from a yogic breathing technique, this simple, but noisy, “Stimulating Breath” exercise is designed to raise vital energy and increase alertness:  Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed, but relaxed. Make your breaths in and out equal in duration, but as short as possible.  Try for three in-and-out cycles per second, to produce a rapid movement of the diaphragm. Breathe normally after each cycle.  Begin with 15 seconds on your first try, then increase your time by five seconds until reaching a full minute. The “Relaxing Breath” Exercise Although the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (the “Relaxing Breath”) can be performed in any position, Dr. Weil recommends sitting with your back straight while learning the exercise. Placing the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissues just behind your upper front teeth, keep it there through the entire exercise. If it feels awkward for you to exhale through your mouth, around your tongue, as required, try pursing your lips slightly to remove the discomfort.  Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.  Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath.  Now, exhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths. Always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth, keeping the tip of your tongue in position the whole time. Take twice as long with exhalation as 15
    • for inhalation. Although the absolute time spent on each phase is not important, the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. Keep the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases, if you have trouble holding your breath. You should find that you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply, with practice. This exercise, Weil claims, is a subtle, natural tranquilizer for the nervous system, which can be done as frequently as you choose, but at least twice daily. However, he recommends a limit of four breaths at one time for the first month of practice, and extend it to eight breaths thereafter, should you choose. 16
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    • Guidelines for removal of toxins from the diet, water, and air Dr. Michael Lam (n.d.) defines a toxin as “any compound that has a detrimental effect on cell function or structure”, and broadly classifies toxins into four categories: Heavy metal toxins; liver toxins; microbial toxins and protein by-products toxins. Heavy Metals Toxins include mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, and aluminum, which all tend to accumulate in the brain, kidneys, and immune system, and have been linked to diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and severe neurological disorders. Dr. Lam adds, “Other common sources include lead from pesticides sprays and cooking utensils; cadmium and lead from cigarette smoke; mercury from dental fillings, contaminated fish, and aluminum from antacids, cookware, and soda cans”. Early signs of heavy metal poisoning include, but are not limited to, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, indigestion, tremors, constipation, anemia, indigestion, and tremors, while mild toxicity symptoms include impaired memory and distorted thinking ability and severe toxicity can lead to death. Solutions advanced by Dr. Lam include: “chelation therapy using EDTA to bind toxic metals; high potency multiple vitamin-and mineral supplement, vitamin C and B complex, sulfur containing amino acids (methionine, cysteine, and taurine), and high-sulfur content foods such as garlic, onion, eggs, water-soluble fibers such as guar gum, oat bran, pectin, and psyllium seed”. Because the liver has the function of reducing toxins such as alcohol, solvents, formaldehyde, pesticides, herbicides and food additives into compounds that the body can safely handle and remove through the kidneys (as urine), skin (as sweat), lungs (as expelled air) and bowels (as feces), optimal liver function, essential for good health, Dr. Lam suggests taking 18
    • compounds such as milk thistle extract, choline, methionie, and antitoxidants that support the liver’s detoxification mechanism. “Microbial toxins produced” Dr. Lam asserts, “by unwanted bacteria and yeast in the gut can be absorbed which can cause a significant disruption of bodily functions”. Toxins such as endotoxins and exotoxins from bacteria, toxic amines, toxic derivatives from bile and carcinogens. Have been implicated in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, liver disease, psoriasis, lupus, pancreatitis, allergies, asthma, and immune disorders. Moreover, antigens (antibodies formed against microbial molecules) can “cross-react” with the body’s own cellular structure, causing rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis, diabetes, and autoimmune thyroiditis. Dr. Lam’s proposed solution: “follow a diet rich in fiber, particularly water-soluble fibers such as those found in vegetables, guar gum, pectin, and oat bran”. He also informs us that fiber can help eliminate toxins from the gut and promote their excretion, and suggest that “large doses of Vitamin C also have anti-bacterial and phagocytic effects, in addition to being a laxative”. The elimination of waste products by protein breakdown such as ammonia and urea is mainly the responsibility of the kidney, which requires daily cleansing with at least 8 to 10 glasses of water and reducing protein intake such as red meat to avoid overloading the body with urea resulting from the breakdown of protein. Dr. Lam advances a detoxification protocol involving 3 principles: cleansing, rebuilding, and maintenance. Cleansing In normal circumstances, fasting is used to achieve internal cleansing of the body, while skin cleansing addresses external cleansing. In extreme cases, enemas can be used. 19
    • Depending upon the timeframe, the body’s requirements, toxic load, and the patient’s overall health, cleansing by fasting can last from one day to a week. However, Dr. Lam cautions that the release of toxins is common, and can actually reach blood levels toxic to the nervous system. He suggests starting slowly with a three-day vegetable juice fast, which can usually be done at home, while he recommends consulting a physician before embarking on a longer fast:  Prepare for fasting on the day before with fresh fruits and vegetables on the last meal.  During the fast, take a high-potency multiple-vitamin-and-mineral formula to provide general support.  Take 1000 mg of vitamin c three times a day and two tablespoons of a fiber supplement at night before sleep.  You may need to consume 70 to 210 mg of silymarin three times a day if you are particularly overloaded with toxins.  Get rest, not exercise while fasting, in order to preserve energy.  Take a nap or two during the day since daytime activity is lower, and less sleep will be needed at night.  It is important to stay warm because the body’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rates will drop as the body’s metabolic rate slows.  Getting rest during the day may yield better results as energy can then be directed towards healing instead of other body functions.  When ready to break your fast, re-introduce solid foods gradually, by limiting portions, eating slowly, chewing thoroughly at room temperature and not overeating. Dr. Lam also suggests vegetable juice fasting as a way to develop good health and employ toxin cleaning because juices, without their fiber (pulp), contain excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. He suggests avoiding fruit juices (along with carrots and beets) during three-day fasts, because the high sugar content raises the blood sugar and insulin levels, which could lead to insulin resistance and ultimately, diabetes. He recommends:  Start slowly by drinking only one to two ounces of vegetable juices and gradually increase the amount to no more that 12 ounces each time.  The beginner should start by gulping the juice to ensure that the juice is in minimal contact with the taste buds.  Take some vegetables before, during, or after the juicing to stimulate gastric juice secretion and aid digestion.  Try mixing 10 percent of the pulp back into the juice and slowly increase the amount in accordance with your tolerance level. 20
    •  Prevent oxidation by consuming all vegetable juices immediately, at room temperature.  Beginners should start with celery, fennel (anise) and cucumbers, which are not the most nutritious, but are more tolerable and palatable than others.  Once your taste adjusts, try using spinach, cabbage, bok choy, endive and lettuce.  You may add herbs such as cilantro and parsley to your vegetable juices.  The advanced juicer should try greens, such as collard greens, dandelion greens, and mustard greens, which are quite bitter tasting, but very beneficial.  You may consider adding small quantities of carrots and beets, which have a relatively high sugar content compared to the greens, and coconut, which is also a good source of fat to balance the meal. Although Dr. Lam discourages three-day fruit juice fasts, he does recommend a 24-hour juice fasting detoxification process to enable the digestive system to rest and speed up the growth of new cells, which in turn promotes healing. In general, he suggests drinking at least 8 to 12 glasses of water every day during the fast, but to avoid coffee, bottled, canned or frozen juice, and soft drinks, although unsweetened herbal teas are acceptable. The program is as follows:  The night before beginning the fast, consume a dinner with a green leafy salad, dry brush your skin before going to bed to open your pores for cleansing eliminations.  On rising the next morning, drink one to two glasses of juice from two freshly squeezed lemons with one tablespoon of maple syrup and 8-oz of pure water (filtered but not distilled) at room temperature.  At midmorning, drink one glass of cranberry juice from concentrate to promote bowel movement.  At lunch, drink one glass of fresh apple juice.  In the mid-afternoon, drink one cup of herbal tea.  At dinner, drink one glass of papaya/pineapple juice to enhance enzyme production or another glass of apple juice.  Before bed, drink one cup of mint tea, miso soup or hot water for relaxation.  The following morning, break your fast with fresh fruits and yogurt, consume light, raw foods during the day, and have a simple, low fat dinner. Dr. Lam urges a detoxification program on skin cleansing as essential to optimum health, but he does not recommend chemicalized skin care products such as soaps and conditioners because these products, though cheaper, are absorbed into our body circulation, they add more “toxins” into our system. Below are several of his recommendations: 21
    •  After bathing, perform a thorough skin brushing to help the skin remove its outer dead layers and keep pores open. Because effective skin detoxification requires good nutrition to maintain healthy surface, he recommends consuming butter and olive oils, which keep the skin in good condition.  Regularly employ sauna and steam baths to remove toxins from the skin and regenerate health and energy.  Take care of your skin by using only natural oils and natural products for weekly detoxification baths: Using ½ cup of baking soda or ½ cup of Epson salt or ½ cup of sea salt, soak for 15 – 20 minutes before gently scrubbing the skin with soap on a natural fiber. Dr. Lam recommends Colon cleansing, used for 4000 years as a health practice of detoxification, as preventive healthcare to begin to rid your body of toxins and contamination, which may cause cancer, colitis, digestive disorders, fatigue, and obesity. Dr. Lam suggests cleansing the large intestine with a thorough washing, by gently infusing water into the large bowel, flowing in and out at steady intervals, to wash the walls of the colon free of old encrustations, and loosening, dislodging and flushing away accumulated fecal material. When augmented with dietary changes and other treating modalities, eliminating this body pollution provides great relief by reducing many conditions, such as severe skin disorders, breathing difficulties, depression, chronic fatigue, nervousness, severe constipation, and arthritis. For those people who consider the 15-minute colon irrigation process (enema) as uncomfortable, he suggests a slower colon cleansing diet as follows (unless conflicting with advice from your doctor): start with at least a half pint of water, preferably hot, before eating a breakfast of 50 per cent raw food along with a chewing teaspoonful of linseed or two level teaspoonfuls of Metamucil to release the nutrients. As you are cleansing the colon, try to drink two quarts of water per day. 22
    • Rebuilding According to Dr. Lam, “The body can only rebuild with proper raw materials.” He suggests that the best option is for you to eat a diet comprising mainly fresh and simple prepared food, low in trans or hydrogenated fat, sugar, caffeine, sugar, diary, and tobacco, consuming only small amounts of meats, excepting deep-water fish once or twice a week, along with vegetables, soy, organic, eggs, grains, seeds, and other fresh foods low in sugar. “In summary, a rebuilding detoxification diet is essentially a vegetarian diet consisting of whole fruits, green leafy vegetables, legumes, and seeds. Meat and fish are taken sparingly, if at all. Organic eggs are acceptable in reasonable quantities. Food groups are rotated every four days to allow maximum elimination from the body before another quantity of the same food group are ingested.” Maintenance Dr. Lam encourages you to keep your body clean and free of toxins, after detoxification, by incorporating exercise, diet, supplementation, stress reduction, and hormonal enhancement. Tuberose.com, a self-help alternative medicine site, offers comprehensive information about Natural Detoxification, excerpts of which are included below, that you may find both informative and instructive. “The human body becomes polluted or toxic from both exogenous (external) and endogenous (internal) sources, with the most common external toxicity pathways from inhalation (smoking and air pollution), ingestion (chemical residues on food, chemicals in water, and drugs), injections (vaccinations, flu shots, tattoos), absorption (chemicals from synthetic fabrics, paints, 23
    • plastics, pesticides and chemical fertilizers sprayed on lawns) and irradiation (medical x-rays, nuclear power plants, bomb testing, uranium mine tailings, cell phones and towers, computer monitors and televisions, microwave ovens, and power grid and radio and satellite transmissions). “Internal sources of toxicity include fermentation, putrification, and rancidity from undigested foods consumed, and from dehydration, malnutrition, and toxic thoughts and emotions. In addition, internal toxicity can be caused from the effects of external toxins contributing to malnutrition and inhibition of digestion through damage to the nervous system, immune system, and enzyme systems.” “All of nature follows the 24-hour cycle of a day. Biological (circadian) rhythms within the body control periods of tissue repair, tissue growth, waste elimination, body temperature, blood pressure, brain activity, hormone levels, and so forth. The healing process also occurs in cycles within which the body rebuilds damaged tissues on some days and does its detoxification and removal of accumulated toxins on other days.” MUSIC-ASSISTED RELAXATION Music therapy, according to the American Music Therapy Association (2007), is the “clinical and evidence based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship who has completed an approved music therapy program”. Although the writings of Aristotle and Plato described music as a healing influence on health and behavior, the 20th century discipline was codified when Michigan State University became the first institution in the world to introduce a music therapy degree in 1944. Contrary to popular misconceptions, no client or patient has to have any particular music ability to benefit from music therapy, nor is there any particular style of music more therapeutic 24
    • than the rest. In fact, the individual’s preferences, circumstances and need for treatment, along with the patient’s goals help determine the types of music therapist may use. Among the many places music therapy is practiced are general hospitals, where it is used to calm or sedate, and often to lessen muscle tensions for the purpose of relaxation, including the autonomic nervous system. In nursing homes, music is used to increase or maintain elderly persons’ level of physical, mental and social/emotional functioning. In psychiatric facilities, music therapy helps patients “explore their personal feelings, make positive changes in mood and emotional states, have a sense of control over life through successful experiences, practice problem solving, and resolve conflicts leading to stronger family and peer relationships”. Unlike the relatively recent embrace of music therapy by Western educators and scientists, Indianetzone (n.d.) reminds us that in the Indian culture, music has been used to “evoke the effect of Yoga through the generation of sonorous sound, acting upon human organism to awaken and develop the proper function of various organ systems to ultimately lead to self-realization” for thousands of years. Among the mentioned benefits of music therapy in the treatment of diseases in India is acting as a sedative which can replace the use of tranquilizers or reduce the dosage level. Music also increases the metabolic activities within the human body, to accelerate the rate of respiration, increase hormonal secretion, and affect muscular activities, thereby affecting the total central nervous system and circulatory system of the listener. Further, experts, according to the website, suggest that the rhythm or the beats of the music has an almost unconscious and immediate calming effect on the nervous system, with an increase in deep breathing as well as an acceleration in serotonin hormone production. Music 25
    • reduces the heart rate and promotes higher body temperature, which they point out, is an indication of the onset of relaxation. Twenty-minute “Sound Bath”  Lie on the couch or floor in a comfortable position with the liking music playing in a sound system;  You may wear headphones to concentrate more on the music.  Focus on the breath and concentrate on the gaps of the tones  Allow the music to wash over the body and mind in order to bring complete relaxation.  Always choose a slow rhythmic music rather than a fast one.  Conversely, in order to boost energy, choose a faster music rather than a calm one.  You can also choose a familiar a familiar music or good oldies for the music therapy and relaxation.  Listening to natural music like waves of the sear of failing of raindrops is also helpful in relieving stress. CONCEPTS OF SPIRITUALITY From a holistic health perspective, Dr. Dan More (n.d.) suggests that spirituality can be an important component in the healing process because the mind and body seem to heal faster when they are at peace, relaxed, and feel connected greater than the body and mind alone. Spirituality involves the application of several beliefs or concepts: each living thing has an immortal and intangible spirit that is part of, yet separate from the tangible body itself; further, this spirit, created or organized into its current form or identity by a Divine maker; and is also capable of maintaining the same identity it had while in the living body. Some people believe that even inorganic systems, including the earth, the solar system, and the very universe, were created by a Divine Source and have a spirit. The concept does not, however, extend to spirits becoming embodied by way of man made inorganic matter or machines. 26
    • Because spirituality deals with seeming intangibilities, it may seem to conflict with science, which deals with things we can measure. However, just because no one has yet invented a sensor sensitive enough to measure a spirit does not mean that it does not exist. Holistic practitioners tend to believe that spirituality is real, and our understanding of it is likely to improve with increased scientific inquiry. Considering spirituality to always be constructive, and never destructive in relationships with others, it must be seen as being separate from the concept of religion, per se. In fact, the practices of some religions may actually prevent or inhibit spiritual growth by teaching their members to hate others or judge others. Conversely, even religious war cannot be considered to involve spirituality except to the extent that the participants rely on a higher power to defend themselves or their country against an evil. Because spirituality can involve a sense of “connectiveness” to the spiritual nature of the universe, the concept is flexible enough to include Christians who might define spirituality as the quality of their relationship with Christ, but also the Buddhist who would have a different definition of spirituality, and even an agnostic who can develop spirituality without a firm belief in God. Doctor Moore asserts that spirituality is quantitative, whereas “every rational individual is capable of increasing their level or amount of spirituality”, which provides an extra advantage in the healing process. Further, he considers spirituality to be a way of life, a way of looking at one’s environment, a world view, with an increase of spirituality correspondingly causing an “increase in a sense of well being, being self-actualized and being at peace”. Dr. Moore equates the development of love towards self and others with the quickest way to develop and strengthen the effects of spirituality. Noting that the ancient Greeks classified 27
    • eight different types of love, his definition of spirituality to encompass all eight definitions, embodying “pure” love that motivates our behavior into serving others and being kind. Bringing your behavior into more consistency with those characteristics, he asserts, deepens your level of spirituality, and aligns your life with the same goals and purposes of God. Becoming one with God, therefore, is the ultimate achievement of the development of your spirituality. As a motivational reminder, Dr. Wayne Dyer (2001) urges you to realize that “You are a divine creation of God. You can never be separate from that which created you.” However, he cautions you to realize that your ego, the idea that you carry around with you, tells you that “you are the sum total of what you do, and who you are,” insisting that you are a separate being, in competition with every other ego, or risk getting cheated out of your “share” of the material and finite rewards that life has to offer. Rather than indulge in limiting these fears, ideas of self- rejection, feelings of anxiety and experiences of hate or guilt, Dyer suggests, you can transcend the limitations of your limiting ego by tapping into the diving intelligence that created you, and includes you at all times. 28
    • REFERENCES Celery Seed. (2005) Herbal Extracts Plus, 4/26/07 from http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/celery-seed.cfm Concept of Music Therapy. Retrieved on 1/19/08 from http://www.indianetzone.com/15/concept_music_therapy.htm Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2005) U.S Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved on 1/18/07 from http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines Dyer, W. (2001) 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace. CA. Hay House, Inc. Forcum, Ted, DC, DACBSP, FICC, CSCS and Hyde, Tom, DC, DACBSP. Walking for Better Health. (3/24/04). Retrieved on 1/18/08 from http://www.spine-health.com/topics/conserv/walking/walking01.html Green, James (2002) The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook, A Home Manual. Crossing Press, Berkley, California. Ivker, Robert S. (1999) Comparing Holistic and Conventional Medicine. Holistic Medicine: The Journal of the American Holistic Medical Association” Retrieved on 1/28/08 from http://ahha.org/articles.asp?Id=38 Lam, Michael, M.D. (2002), Detoxification. Retrieved on 1/19/08 from http://www.drlam.com/A3R_brief_in_doc_format/2002-No1-Detoxificaton.cfm McKeith, Gillian, Ph.D. From Let’s Live Online – 2005-07-07. Supercharge Your Health with These 12 Superfoods, Guaranteed to Help You Feel Renewed, Recharged and Revitalized The Benefits of Living Foods STEVIA REBAUDINA NEWS Living Food For Health retrieved 4/26/07 from http://www.stevianfo.com/?page=news+detailed&id=1 Moore, Dan (n.d.) Spirituality, An Applied Theoretical Perspective. Retrieved on 1/19/08 from http://www.yourfamilyclinic.com/spirit/spirittheory.html Mowrey, Daniel B., Ph.D. (1986), The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine, Cormorant Books, Keats Publishing, Lincolnwood, Illinois. Munson, Carl (n.d.). The Eight Principles of Holistic Health. Retrieved on 1/16/2008 from http://www.holisticlocal.co.uk/articles/print/218 Music Therapy (2007). Retrieved on 1/19/08 from http://holisticonline.com/stress_music-therapy.htm 29
    • Ratel, D., WB. (2003). Breathing Exercises. Adapted from Integrated Medicine. Retrieved on 1/18/08 from https://www.amsa.org/healingthehealer/breathing.cfm Sarsaparilla, Herbal Extracts Plus (2005), 4/26/07 from http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/sarsaparilla.cfm Satchell, Mary (2007). Make Your Own Herbal Tinctures From any Loose Herb. Retrieved 4/25/2007 from http://www.keweb.com/herb/tincture.htm Siberian Ginseng, retrieved 4/26/07 from http://www.vitaminuk.com/pages/articles/siberianginsing.htm Toole, Michele (1/8/08). For Weight Control You Will Need To Walk More Than 10,000 Steps A Day. Retrieved on 1/13/08 from http://blog.healthyholisticliving.net/news/?p=257 Walter, Suzan (1996). Holistic is an Adjective . . . not a Noun. American Holistic Health Association. Retrieved on 1/27/08 from http://ahha.org/articles.asp?Id=86 Weil, A. (2004). Breathing: Three Exercises. Retrieved on 1/19/08 from http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/ART00521?print=1 Weil. A. (2004) Natural Health, Natural Medicine: The Complete Guide to Wellness and Self- Care for Optimum Health. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 30