Healing, Yoga and Qigong
Healing, Yoga and Qigong
Interestingly, the benefits of coffee were present in both caffein...
form of decaf coffee processed using this method is nowhere close to these levels, but I thought it
informative to know wh...
Ayurvedic perspective on coffee's mysterious cousin. Is Your Decaf Actually Decaf?
First of all, it must be pointed out th...
and lung cancer and benign mammary gland tumors following the inhalation of methylene chloride
3. Note: Clearly, exposure ...
will depend upon your level of conditioning and any body mechanics or injury issues you may have.
Try to squat down a litt...
exercises focus on bending, turning, twisting, swinging, or moving from the waist. Yoga and Pilates
also use many exercise...
went to the island to find out and discovered that people there were drinking many cups of a
beverage made out of the caca...
Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When it is done the top should be cracked but the middle
should still be soft and wigg...
get for optimum health. At the very least, you need three times the RDI, and twice as much as the
average store-bought mul...
Extend your left leg forward as you move your left arm backward. Place your left toe on the ground
at a comfortable distan...
Every beginner should stay within their comfort zone, don't over stretch, and be gentle with your
body and mind. Don't try...
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Healing, Yoga and Qigong

  1. 1. Healing, Yoga and Qigong Healing, Yoga and Qigong Interestingly, the benefits of coffee were present in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, suggesting the benefits are not attributable to the caffeine content, but to other properties of the plant itself. Many folks, myself included, are either wary of the effect of excess caffeine on the nervous system or just do not tolerate caffeine well. For those who like the taste of coffee but do not handle caffeine, they drink decaf. But is it safe? In this week's article, find out if your decaf is, in fact, decaf; why it's important to know how your decaf was processed and which processing method to opt for; and the Ayurvedic perspective on coffee's mysterious cousin. Is Your Decaf Actually Decaf? First of all, it must be pointed out that ,while the FDA requires a beverage touted as decaf to be 97% caffeine free, drinking decaf can actually still add up to ingesting a bunch of caffeine. An 8 ounce cup of regular coffee can anywhere from 85 to 190mg of caffeine. An 8 ounce cup of decaf can range from 8.6 to 13.6mg of caffeine 1. A shot of decaf espresso can have as little as 3mg of caffeine and as much as 16mgs. So beware, if you are trying to avoid caffeine, drinking a double decaf latte can pack as much caffeine as a can of Coke! 1. Not All Decafs Are Created EqualWhen choosing a decaf, it's important to inquire about the method that was used to extract the caffeine from the coffee beans. Choosing consciously can mean the difference between a clean product and one that is potentially laden with toxic chemicals. There are four common decaffeination methods used today. I will list them in order of purity not prevalence! #1 Most Pure: Water Process Can be sold as Organic Decaf No Chemicals or SolventsWater process decaffeination is when the beans are soaked in very hot water and the caffeine as well as flavors and other constituents are naturally extracted into solution. The caffeine, which is a larger molecule, is filtered out and the rest of the filtrate is reintroduced and dried into the coffee bean. This is commonly called Swiss Water Process and is far and away the most natural and safe decaffeination process. The beans are soaked in water and then, under very high pressure, CO2 is added. The CO2 acts like a magnet and pulls only the caffeine out of the saturated bean. The CO2 spares the aromatic and flavorful proteins and carbohydrates and only extracts the caffeine. There are no residues or toxic by-products in this decaffeination method. In addition, CO2 is an organic substance of great purity, and in its supercritical state shows great promise as a replacement for toxic solvents across industries. To date I have not seen any research citing risks with supercritical extracts. This is an organic process, meaning the product of supercritical extracts may rightfully be called organic as long as organic beans are used. In this caffeine extraction method, first the beans are steamed for 30 minutes and then steamed in water and EA for about 10 hours, where the caffeine is extracted by the EA. The mixture is drained and the process repeated several times to complete the extraction process. Because this solvent exists naturally in fruits and is considered safe by the FDA, it is commonly called the Natural Process, but is not so natural. That said, because getting the EA out of the fruits is such a complicated process, the EA that is used is typically synthetic. It's important to note that after roasting the coffee beans the amount of solvent residue is typically well within the FDA safety limits. High Dose Exposure Risks: Short-term exposure to high levels of ethyl acetate results first in irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, followed by headache, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and unconsciousness. Very high concentrations may cause a stupor, but it is relatively non-toxic #EPA, 2007. Prolonged exposures may cause clouding of the eye, damage to the lungs, and heart, kidney and liver problems #NPI. Its carcinogenic properties are not known 2. Note: Clearly, exposure in the
  2. 2. form of decaf coffee processed using this method is nowhere close to these levels, but I thought it informative to know what exposure to higher levels of these solvents can do. Armed with the facts, you can choose how much exposure you feel comfortable with. The beans are boiled in water extracting the flavors and caffeine. The water extract is separated from the beans and mixed with methylene chloride solution where the caffeine is extracted. Then the beans and caffeine-free water are re-united, whereupon the beans reabsorb their flavor. Methylene chloride vaporizes at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is exceeded by both roasting and brewing, allowing most decafs processed this way to stay well within FDA solvent residue standards. High Dose Exposure Risks: According to the EPA, methylene chloride is predominantly used as a solvent. The acute short-term effects of methylene chloride inhalation in humans consist mainly of nervous system effects including decreased visual, auditory, and motor functions, but these effects are reversible once exposure ceases. The effects of chronic long-term exposure to methylene chloride suggest that the central nervous system CNS is a potential target in humans and animals. Human data are inconclusive regarding methylene chloride and cancer. Animal studies have shown increases in liver and lung cancer and benign mammary gland tumors following the inhalation of methylene chloride 3. Note: Clearly, exposure in the form of decaf coffee processed using this method is nowhere close to these levels, but I thought it informative to know what higher levels of the solvents used can do. Armed with the facts, you can choose how much exposure you feel comfortable with. Choose Organic DecafWhile the FDA has established safe levels of these decaffeinating solvents, the only way to be sure you are not being exposed to any potentially harmful solvents is to buy organic decaf, which would have to be decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Process or a Supercritical extraction. Sadly, labeling which decaffeination method is used is not required. Generally coffee shops know how their decaf is extracted, so ask! Ayurvedic PerspectiveDecaffeination makes coffee even more acidic, astringent and dehydrating because the beans have been pre-extracted, and therefore more likely to attract water in your body, which can dehydrate and irritate the gut. Tip: Drink more water before and after all coffee consumption, particularly decaf. Decaf coffee is also acidic than the already acidic coffee bean. This makes decaf more of a risk to drink on an empty stomach, as it can increase the possibility of excess stomach acid and irritation. Tip: Drink coffee after a meal. I have always been of the opinion that if you must drink coffee, either decaf or caff, to have it after a meal as a digestive aid. This way, the coffee will stimulate the digestive system more than the nervous system, which is what we want to avoid if we are to take good care of our nervous systems a critical task in this hyper-stressed world. Traditionally, coffee or espresso was a digestif, an after dinner drink to boost digestive strength in the same way that green tea is taken after a meal in parts of Asia. In my professional opinion, this is still the safest way to drink coffee and still preserve the health of the nervous system. Coffee for the DoshasPitta body types with pitta digestion acid issues or irritation of the intestinal wall issues should avoid coffee altogether decaf and caffeinated. Vata types can have very sensitive nervous systems, making them extra sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Vata types tend towards sensitive digestion as well, and since the stimulation from caffeine can irritate the gut and cause digestive disturbances, vata types have to be careful not to overdo coffee, whether caff or decaf. Kapha types, while they sometimes can benefit from a boost, can easily become addicted to the caffeine boost just like any body type. Bottom LineIf you find yourself longing for a cup of coffee or needing it for energy, regular bowel movements or a brain boost then it might be time to quit. All of the above energy, elimination, and clarity of mind can be supported through other, more sustainable means that will not deplete the body's reserves over time. Many folks, myself included, are either wary of the effect of excess caffeine on the nervous system or just do not tolerate caffeine well. For those who like the taste of coffee but do not handle caffeine, they drink decaf. But is it safe? In this week's article, find out if your decaf is, in fact, decaf; why it's important to know how your decaf was processed and which processing method to opt for; and the
  3. 3. Ayurvedic perspective on coffee's mysterious cousin. Is Your Decaf Actually Decaf? First of all, it must be pointed out that ,while the FDA requires a beverage touted as decaf to be 97% caffeine free, drinking decaf can actually still add up to ingesting a bunch of caffeine. An 8 ounce cup of regular coffee can anywhere from 85 to 190mg of caffeine. An 8 ounce cup of decaf can range from 8.6 to 13.6mg of caffeine 1. A shot of decaf espresso can have as little as 3mg of caffeine and as much as 16mgs. So beware, if you are trying to avoid caffeine, drinking a double decaf latte can pack as much caffeine as a can of Coke! 1. Not All Decafs Are Created EqualWhen choosing a decaf, it's important to inquire about the method that was used to extract the caffeine from the coffee beans. Choosing consciously can mean the difference between a clean product and one that is potentially laden with toxic chemicals. There are four common decaffeination methods used today. I will list them in order of purity not prevalence! #1 Most Pure: Water Process Can be sold as Organic Decaf No Chemicals or SolventsWater process decaffeination is when the beans are soaked in very hot water and the caffeine as well as flavors and other constituents are naturally extracted into solution. The caffeine, which is a larger molecule, is filtered out and the rest of the filtrate is reintroduced and dried into the coffee bean. This is commonly called Swiss Water Process and is far and away the most natural and safe decaffeination process. The beans are soaked in water and then, under very high pressure, CO2 is added. The CO2 acts like a magnet and pulls only the caffeine out of the saturated bean. The CO2 spares the aromatic and flavorful proteins and carbohydrates and only extracts the caffeine. There are no residues or toxic by-products in this decaffeination method. In addition, CO2 is an organic substance of great purity, and in its supercritical state shows great promise as a replacement for toxic solvents across industries. To date I have not seen any research citing risks with supercritical extracts. This is an organic process, meaning the product of supercritical extracts may rightfully be called organic as long as organic beans are used. In this caffeine extraction method, first the beans are steamed for 30 minutes and then steamed in water and EA for about 10 hours, where the caffeine is extracted by the EA. The mixture is drained and the process repeated several times to complete the extraction process. Because this solvent exists naturally in fruits and is considered safe by the FDA, it is commonly called the Natural Process, but is not so natural. That said, because getting the EA out of the fruits is such a complicated process, the EA that is used is typically synthetic. It's important to note that after roasting the coffee beans the amount of solvent residue is typically well within the FDA safety limits. High Dose Exposure Risks: Short-term exposure to high levels of ethyl acetate results first in irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, followed by headache, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and unconsciousness. Very high concentrations may cause a stupor, but it is relatively non-toxic #EPA, 2007. Prolonged exposures may cause clouding of the eye, damage to the lungs, and heart, kidney and liver problems #NPI. Its carcinogenic properties are not known 2. Note: Clearly, exposure in the form of decaf coffee processed using this method is nowhere close to these levels, but I thought it informative to know what exposure to higher levels of these solvents can do. Armed with the facts, you can choose how much exposure you feel comfortable with. The beans are boiled in water extracting the flavors and caffeine. The water extract is separated from the beans and mixed with methylene chloride solution where the caffeine is extracted. Then the beans and caffeine-free water are re-united, whereupon the beans reabsorb their flavor. Methylene chloride vaporizes at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is exceeded by both roasting and brewing, allowing most decafs processed this way to stay well within FDA solvent residue standards. High Dose Exposure Risks: According to the EPA, methylene chloride is predominantly used as a solvent. The acute short-term effects of methylene chloride inhalation in humans consist mainly of nervous system effects including decreased visual, auditory, and motor functions, but these effects are reversible once exposure ceases. The effects of chronic long-term exposure to methylene chloride suggest that the central nervous system CNS is a potential target in humans and animals. Human data are inconclusive regarding methylene chloride and cancer. Animal studies have shown increases in liver
  4. 4. and lung cancer and benign mammary gland tumors following the inhalation of methylene chloride 3. Note: Clearly, exposure in the form of decaf coffee processed using this method is nowhere close to these levels, but I thought it informative to know what higher levels of the solvents used can do. Armed with the facts, you can choose how much exposure you feel comfortable with. Choose Organic DecafWhile the FDA has established safe levels of these decaffeinating solvents, the only way to be sure you are not being exposed to any potentially harmful solvents is to buy organic decaf, which would have to be decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Process or a Supercritical extraction. Sadly, labeling which decaffeination method is used is not required. Generally coffee shops know how their decaf is extracted, so ask! Ayurvedic PerspectiveDecaffeination makes coffee even more acidic, astringent and dehydrating because the beans have been pre-extracted, and therefore more likely to attract water in your body, which can dehydrate and irritate the gut. Tip: Drink more water before and after all coffee consumption, particularly decaf. Decaf coffee is also acidic than the already acidic coffee bean. This makes decaf more of a risk to drink on an empty stomach, as it can increase the possibility of excess stomach acid and irritation. Tip: Drink coffee after a meal. I have always been of the opinion that if you must drink coffee, either decaf or caff, to have it after a meal as a digestive aid. This way, the coffee will stimulate the digestive system more than the nervous system, which is what we want to avoid if we are to take good care of our nervous systems a critical task in this hyper-stressed world. Traditionally, coffee or espresso was a digestif, an after dinner drink to boost digestive strength in the same way that green tea is taken after a meal in parts of Asia. In my professional opinion, this is still the safest way to drink coffee and still preserve the health of the nervous system. Coffee for the DoshasPitta body types with pitta digestion acid issues or irritation of the intestinal wall issues should avoid coffee altogether decaf and caffeinated. Vata types can have very sensitive nervous systems, making them extra sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Vata types tend towards sensitive digestion as well, and since the stimulation from caffeine can irritate the gut and cause digestive disturbances, vata types have to be careful not to overdo coffee, whether caff or decaf. Kapha types, while they sometimes can benefit from a boost, can easily become addicted to the caffeine boost just like any body type. Bottom LineIf you find yourself longing for a cup of coffee or needing it for energy, regular bowel movements or a brain boost then it might be time to quit. All of the above energy, elimination, and clarity of mind can be supported through other, more sustainable means that will not deplete the body's reserves over time. Big Bear Turns from Side to SideFifth Movement in the 8 Section Brocade Chi KungThis exercise reduces Qi in the heart heart fire. Excess heart fire leads to heartburn, restlessness, lack of sleep, mental uneasiness, colds, and hypertension. This exercise pushes the Qi from the middle dan tien, into the heart and lung area, and out through any obstructions. The mind moves the qi... Circulate the qi throughout the body, and direct it without obstruction, so that it can easily follow the mind. Many 8 Brocades videos exist on YouTube. It is a simplier version. Bend your knees slightly and stand with your feet two shoulder widths apart. Bend slightly and place your hands on your thighs with thumbs pointing out. Slowly wave your head from side-to-side a total of four times. Bend left and down from the waist and rotate your upper body down and around toward the right in a circle. At the same time, sway your buttocks towards the left. Continue rotation to beginning position. 4. Do this exercise eight times. Starting Position: Wu JiFrom the Wu Ji position step out with your left foot into a horse stance. Your feet should be wider than shoulder width. Feet can be pointing straight ahead or pointing out from your body at a 45° angle. The knees should be bent as you squat down. The depth of the squat
  5. 5. will depend upon your level of conditioning and any body mechanics or injury issues you may have. Try to squat down a little more with every second repetition of this exercise. Back should be straight, Torso should be centered and upright. Rest your hands on the sides of your thighs. Your elbows should be pointing our to the sides at a 90° angle from the direction you are facing if you are facing north, your right elbow would point to the east and the left elbow to the west. Take a wide angle and soft focus with your eyes. The Big Bear Turns from Side to Side Face north. Keep your hands on the sides of your hips throughout this exercise. Slowly turn your waist to the left until your chest is facing east. Your right elbow should be pointing north and you should have your head turned and looking north. Slowly turn to the right as you bend forward to the front. Exhale as you move to the right side towards the west. When you are facing north in the middle, your head and shoulders should be at the lowest point bending forward. Continue turning your waist to the right and lifting the upper torso. Slowly turn your waist to the right until your chest is facing west. As you turn to the right your left knee will bend more. Your left elbow should be pointing north, and you should have your head turned and looking towards the north. Slowly turn to the left as you bend forward to the front. Exhale as you move to the left side towards the east. When you are facing north in the middle, your head and shoulders should be at the lowest point bending forward. Continue turning your waist to the left and lifting the upper torso. Slowly turn your waist to the left until your chest is facing east. As you turn to the left your right knee will bend more. Your right elbow should be pointing north, and you should have your head turned and looking towards the north. Repeat the movement, back and forth, from side to side, for a number of repetitions, preferably eight times to each side. Get the feel of slowly swinging from side to side. Keep the posture erect as you face east and west, and bend the head and shoulders and back down as you move towards the front north. High, low, high. Turn at the waist. Swing from side to side using the waist. Demonstration by Mike Garofalo of Movement #7: Big Bear Turns to the Left Side and Back115Kb, Animated GIF. Return you left foot back into the Wu Ji position to rest and realign the body-mind. Wu Ji signals the end of one movement and the beginning of the next movement. Enjoy some cleansing breaths. Lift the head. Return to center. Health Benefits of Movement 5 The Big Bear Turns from Side to SideThe Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung Most of the Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung, Animal Frolics Chi Kung, and traditional Chinese medical literature says that this exercise benefits the heart, and gets rid of "heart fire." Exercising the lungs metal helps absorb the heat and control the fire, the heart fire - heartburn Hsin For - heart fire. Squatting down exercises the leg muscles including the thighs quadriceps, hamstrings biceps femoris, buttocks glutes, calves gastrocnemius, iliopsoas, and increases demands on the cardiovascular system. Counter indications: Persons with uncontrolled blood pressure should not have their head lower than their heart. Persons with hip, abdominal or lower back injuries should avoid deep bends from the waist. I interpret this exercise as primarily waist training. Many Chinese
  6. 6. exercises focus on bending, turning, twisting, swinging, or moving from the waist. Yoga and Pilates also use many exercises that strengthen the mid-section of the torso, one's Powerhouse, through exercises that involve bending or turning at the waist. Dragon Chi Kung also exercises with turning, twisting, spiraling, and swinging movements. As a result, the kidneys will be full of energy. Since the kidneys store ching - the fundamental substance - it follows that when the kidneys have and abundant supply of energy, then ching ch'i, the essential energy of life, will also be richly available. And yuan ch'i, the primary vital energy, will be vigorous in the maintenance of health. Knocking at the Gate of Life, 1985, p. 33. Chinese Waist Training Theory Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 5: "Shaking the head and wagging the tail to remove excess heat from the heart. The Ba Duan Jin exercise set 5 prevents against fever and reduce tension in the sympathetic nervous system. It certainly has a powerful relaxing effect and, as such, eases the flow of energy along a number of your body's meridians." References for the Names of Movement 5 The Big Bear Turns from Side to SideThe Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung See below for reference sources. Shake Head and Sway Buttocks to Extinguish Fire in Heart. Zong Wu and Li Mao, R1Lowering the Head and Hips Removes Excess Heat from the Heart. Lam Kam Chuen, R2Sway the Head and Swing the Tail to Get Rid of the Heart Fire. Yang Jwing-ming, R3Search the Clouds. Geoff and Phyllis Pike, R4Wagging Head and Tail to Eliminate the Heart's Flame. Kenneth Cohen, R6The Big Bear Turns From Side to Side. Michael Garofalo, R7Bending the Trunk and Stretching the Neck. Stanley Wilson, R8Turning the Head and Twisting the Tail to Expel Fire from the Heart. Daniel Reid, R9Shaking the Head and Wagging the Tail to Dispel Heart Fire Jiao Guorui, R10Swaying the Spinal Column to Take Away Heart Fire. Maoshing Ni, R12Swinging the Head and Lowering the Body to Relieve Stress Chinese Health Qigong Association, R13The Constant Bear Names of the movements of the Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung in languages other than English. Every beginner should stay within their comfort zone, don't over stretch, and be gentle with your body and mind. Don't try to "exactly" imitate a fellow student who is an intermediate or advanced Chi Kung player or the teacher. Know and respect your own body and mental state. Don't go beyond your own personal bodily conditioning, skills, abilities and limits. Some advise reducing your exertion levels and doing 30% to 40% less than you can do. Be reasonable and kind to yourself. Take your time, advance slowly, be careful, be patient, and remain injury free. Sometimes, an old or new injury, or joint disease, will limit your range of motion. Know your own strength and limitations - the practice of Chi Kung and Tai Chi forms will reveal to you your strengths and limitations. Resolve to make two positive contributions today. Stay within your comfort zone, explore with the body-mind, and renew-recreate both self-awareness and awareness of Self, and come to experience your comfort zone. Float on the Wu-wei raft on the Tao River; when standing on Earth then root, soften, move. Cheng Man-ch'ing: Master of Five Excellences. Translation and commentary by Mark Hennessy. Berkeley, California, Frog, Ltd., 1995. So, this move should be called The Constant Bear. The Constant Bear combines the Five Animal Frolics and t'aichi into a single move." You can also use it for self-defense until you are years old. All this is easily obtained. Although my explanation is short and simple, if you understand its principles and practice with perseverance, after as few as one hundred days of moving your ch'i, you will notice a marked improvement in health and strength and no longer need to worry about illness. It is truly a "sacred raft" to strengthen our bodies and bears no semblance to other well know yet inferior exercises." Chocolate Mousse Cake with Cardamomby Rosalee de la ForêtI love chocolate. It's sinfully delicious but also one of our most potent health foods. Have you heard the story of how we figured out dark chocolate was so incredibly healthy? In the late 90's researchers wondered why an island off the coast of Panama had so little heart disease while Panama itself had lots of heart disease. They
  7. 7. went to the island to find out and discovered that people there were drinking many cups of a beverage made out of the cacao plant. Cacao is what is used to make chocolate. They brought samples home to study and discovered that cacao was extremely high in flavanols and antioxidants, which protect against heart disease. Since then countless scientific studies have been conducted on cacao and chocolate and have shown that cacao can dramatically support heart health, improve athletic performance and can even slow dementia. Just to name a few! Study after study shows that cocoa flavanols can disarm cell damaging free radicals, preserve cell membranes, protect DNA, prevent the formation of artery clogging plaque, improve blood flow to the heart, lower high blood pressure, and prevent blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke. Before you reach for that Hershey's kiss there's something else you've got to know. Our modern day popular chocolate candies are not healthy. They have too much sugar, too much milk which interferes with the benefits of cacao and not nearly enough cacao. The best way to consume chocolate for your health is to eat dark chocolate that is at least 70%. If you don't like dark chocolates I recommend slowly starting to increase the percentage on your chocolate bars. Another important consideration for indulging in chocolate is where it came from. Be sure to buy not only organic chocolate, but also fair trade chocolate. Cardamom, a delicious spice! The chocolate cake recipe below also includes another one of my very favorite spices. Cardamom has a unique and provocative flavor that is unlike any other spice. I love cooking cardamom into our savory dishes, in desserts and even in teas and coffee. Cardamom isn't just for the taste buds, however. It is a carminative herb that can help with a variety of digestive complaints, from slow digestion to cramps and even bad breath. Its constituent, cineole, has been found to have powerful anti-asthmatic compounds. Like cacao, cardamom has been shown to have a multitude of heart health benefits as well. Cardamom Chocolate Mousse CakeThe following recipe is a delicious pairing of cardamom and cacao. To make this recipe you begin by making chocolate from cacao butter and cacao powder. This ensures you've got really dark and rich chocolate with all of those healthy benefits. We've made this recipe countless times in the past year and have taken it to many potlucks and dinner gatherings. Each time we have a list of people who desperately want the recipe. What you'll need... 130 grams of cacao butter 90 grams of sifted cacao powder plus a bit more for decoration 4 tablespoons of honey or to taste a 13.5 oz can of coconut milk 1 tablespoon of cardamom 2 eggs sliced almonds optionalMost ingredients if not all should be available at you local natural foods store. If you want to order the cardamom, cocoa butter and cacao powder online, please order here at Mountain Rose. Over a double boiler, melt the cacao butter. I like to buy cacao wafers because they are easy to measure out. Remove from the heat and add the cacao powder. Add the honey, coconut milk, cardamom and eggs. Pour into a slightly oiled pie pan. I use coconut oil.
  8. 8. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When it is done the top should be cracked but the middle should still be soft and wiggly. Cool overnight to allow it to set. Sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on top before serving. I love to serve this with a roasted dandelion root beverage. Enjoy this delicious and healthy treat! Here's an easy to print recipe without the imagesWhat you'll need... 130 grams of cacao butter 90 grams of sifted cacao powder plus a bit more for decoration 4 tablespoons of honey or to taste a 13.5 oz can of coconut milk 1 tablespoon of cardamom 2 eggs sliced almonds optionalMost ingredients if not all should be available at you local natural foods store. You can order the cardamom, cocoa butter and cacao powder online. Over a double boiler, melt the cacao butter. Remove from the heat and add the cacao powder. Add the honey, coconut milk, cardamom and eggs. Pour into a slightly oiled pie pan. I use coconut oil. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When it is done the top should be cracked but the middle should still be soft and wiggly. Cool overnight to allow it to set. Sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on top before serving. By: Dr. Al Sears, MDEvery hour of the day, your cells are under attack. Normally, this is OK because your cells have a built-in DNA repair system that fixes any damage. But when your cells are undernourished, they can lose the ability to repair themselves. And that's bad news. Part of the reason for the explosion of cancer in modern times is because we're not repairing our DNA. Zinc is in many foods we eat. Cashews, dry roasted, 1 oz1.614Your body absorbs about 40% of the zinc in your food. But you still want to eat foods with zinc because it will enter your body in its natural form. Even the most of the popular multivitamins you can buy only have 15 mg of zinc in them. The problem with going by the RDI is that those amounts were established to make sure people got the bare minimum of a nutrient to prevent a dietary deficiency. The RDI has nothing to do with how much of something you should
  9. 9. get for optimum health. At the very least, you need three times the RDI, and twice as much as the average store-bought multivitamin gives you. I recommend 30 mg a day of zinc if you're currently healthy. You might need a little more depending on your activities and health. For example for athletes, pregnant women and prostate protection, I recommend 100 mg a day. Also, it's very important to stay away from high fructose corn syrup. Ingesting a lot of this sugar causes deficiencies in almost all of your important minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Resources: 1. Fenton A, Shirodkar P, Macrae C, Meng L, Koch C. The PARP3- and ATM-dependent phosphorylation of APLF facilitates DNA double-strand break repair.' Nucleic Acids Res. 2. Sharif R, Thomas P, Zalewski P, Fenech M. The role of zinc in genomic stability. Song, et. al. Dietary zinc restriction and repletion affects DNA integrity in healthy men. Am J Clin Nut. Zinc Deficiences A Global Concern. Oregon State University. Sept.17, 2009. 5. National Institute of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: zinc. According to TCM, practicing this movement helps your lungs, immune system, and large intestines. It enriches the essence and blood, calms the mind, and promotes organ functioning. It cures energy depletion and consumptive illnesses, as it works the entire spine much like a wringed out cloth, it gets rid of nagging stiff muscles and pinched nerves, this exercise really improves your vitality, focus and energy levels, it also wards off aging and is very beneficial for back pain all along the spine. Many 8 Brocades videos exist on YouTube. It is a simplier version. Left and step with left foot and place your feet at a shoulder's width apart. Look straight ahead and gaze at some distant point. Hands at hips with your palms facing down. Press down with palms. Stand up straight. Lift your head up, chin tucked in a bit. Hips and butt are tucked in, sealing the pelvic floor. Don't move your shoulders or back much during the exercise. Slowly and gently turn your head to the left side. Look behind you as far as you can; turn your eyes to the far left. Gaze into the distance behind you at some point on the ground. Exhale slowly as you look behind you. After you have completely exhaled, then begin to slowly inhale, and return your head slowly and gently to the front. Look straight ahead and gaze at some distant point. Slowly and gently turn your head to the right side. Continue to slowly inhale as you turn your head to the right. Look behind you as far as you can; turn your eyes to the far right. Gaze into the distance behind you at some point on the ground. Exhale slowly as you look behind you. After you have completely exhaled, then begin to slowly inhale, and return your head slowly and gently to the front. Look straight ahead and gaze at some distant point. Repeat the movement, gazing to the front, left rear, and right rear, from 4 to 8 times. Be sure to gaze as far backward and downward as possible when looking to the back. Breath naturally, easily, slowly. Inhale slowly as you move your head from side to side. Exhale slowly as you look backward. Imagine yourself as a wise old owl turning his head from side to side. Imagine having the powers of distant vision and the kind of night vision of some birds of prey possess. Return you left foot back into the Wu Ji position to rest and realign the body-mind. Wu Ji signals the end of one movement and the beginning of the next movement. Enjoy some cleansing breaths. Stand up straight and tall. Lift the head. Tuck the chin inward a little. Loosen Up, Soften, Merge and Relax. Feel yourself sinking and rooting into the Earth.
  10. 10. Extend your left leg forward as you move your left arm backward. Place your left toe on the ground at a comfortable distance in front to maintain your balance. Turn your torso to the left side and backward. Look at your left hand behind you. The right arm should remain in front at shoulder height. When the arms are extended the hands should be open, all the fingers spread wide apart, the fingers pointing up, and the wrist flexed, and forearm tensed - "willow leaf palm." Return the left arm back to the front, and look at both hands in front. When the hands come to the front, only the thumb and pointer finger should touch, forming a triangle with the two hands. Move the left leg back to a shoulder width stance. Keep the weight more in the back leg. Extend your right leg forward as you move your right arm backward. Place your right toe on the ground at a comfortable distance in front to maintain your balance. Turn your torso to the right side and backward. Look at your right hand behind you. The left arm should remain in front at shoulder height. Hands should be in the "willow leaf palm" or "starfish" hand position - fingers spread wide, tensed, and pointing upwards. Relax - Soong! Stay balanced. Return the right arm back to the front, place both hands together in a triangle mudra hand sign, and look at both hands in front. Move your right leg back to a shoulder width stance. Keep the weight more in the back leg. Repeat 6 to 8 times on each side. Compare this movement variation with the "Topple Mountain Range with Palm" movement in the Luohan Qigong system taught by Dr. Gaspar Garcia. This variation is one of my favorites and I often add this to the ESB set or use this to replace ESB Movement 3. This variation requires considerable balance, gracefulness, and poise. Basically, it is a spinal twisting movement, and students of Hatha yoga have "spinal twists" in standing, seating, and prone versions. I use the same movement in my Dragon Chi Kung, Movement 4, The Black Dragon Walks at the Edge of the Abyss. Turn your head from side to side and gaze backward. Allow you arms to swing naturally as you walk forward. Keep your torso facing forward; only turn your head from side to side and look backward. Keep your right elbow up. Gently hold your head. Turn your head to the left and look backward. Exhale as you turn your head and look backward. Lift your right elbow up slightly as you inhale and as you move your head forward. Inhale as you turn your head forward. Do 6 to 8 eight repetitions. Reverse hands and to 6 to 8 eight repetitions looking to the right side with left elbow up. Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 4 "Relieving the exhaustion of the five internal organs and injuries caused by the seven human emotions, by practicing looking backward. The Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 4 is one of the most potent of the eight exercises. It has a powerful effect on your central nervous system and the circulation of both blood and Chi to your head. It stimulates the vital power of your kidneys. It also strengthens the activity of your eyeballs, your neck and shoulder muscles, and your nerves, and is excellent for alleviating high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries." References for the Names of Movement 4 Wise Owl Looks BackwardEight Section Brocade Chi KungSee below for reference sources. Turn Head to Look Back to Allay Five Strains and Seven Impairments. Zong Wu and Li Mao, R1Looking Back like a Cow Gazing at the Moon. Five Weaknesses and Seven Injuries will be Gone. Yang Jwing-ming, R3Eye of the Tiger. Geoff and Phyllis Pike, R4Looking Backward to Get Rid of Weary and Injurious Feelings. Kenneth Cohen, R6The Wise Owl Gazes Backward. Michael Garofalo, R7Turning the Head and Looking Behind. Sanley Wilson, R8Turn and Glance to Eliminate the Five Ailments and Seven Dangers, Daniel Reid, R9Looking Backwards to Mend the Body Jiao Guorui, R10Turning Head. Wong Kiew Kit, R11Turning Your Head to Tonify the Nervous System. Maoshing Ni, R12Looking Backwards to Prevent Sickness and Strain Chinese Health Qigong Association, R13 Names of the movements of the Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung in languages other than English. Persons with neck ailments should be very careful when doing this movement. Turn very little!! Move very slowly. Take your time, don't rush, be patient. Do not bend your head backward towards your back - this hyper extends the neck and puts stress on the vertebrate in the neck. Keep your head up straight, chin slightly down and just turn your head from side to side.
  11. 11. Every beginner should stay within their comfort zone, don't over stretch, and be gentle with your body and mind. Don't try to "exactly" imitate a fellow student who is an intermediate or advanced Chi Kung player or the teacher. Know and respect your own body and mental state. Don't go beyond your own personal bodily conditioning, skills, abilities and limits. Some advise reducing your exertion levels and doing 30% to 40% less than you can do. Be reasonable and kind to yourself. Take your time, advance slowly, be careful, be patient, and remain injury free. Sometimes, an old or new injury, or joint disease, will limit your range of motion. Know your own strength and limitations - the practice of Chi Kung and Tai Chi forms will reveal to you your strengths and limitations. Resolve to make two positive contributions today. Stay within your comfort zone, explore with the body-mind, and renew-recreate both self-awareness and awareness of Self, and come to experience your comfort zone. Float on the Wu-wei raft on the Tao River; when standing on Earth then root, soften, move. Properly, the neck is cricked to the left and right sides along with a gazing procedure. The two shoulders are followed by the gaze when swaying. The left and right sides are counted separately, with each side being performed twenty-four times, and collectively forty-eight times. Master Li Ching-yun, Translated by Stuart A. Olson. Really turn the eyes to the side as you look down and backwards. Exercise the eyes! Ancient Way to Keep Fit, compiled by Zong Wu and Li Mao, 1992, p. 113. http://spirithealers.blogspot.com/

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