Thistle Dew Nutrition

Ramblings from a "Simpler" and perpertual student of natural health, with a strong focus on how to eat well to prevent chronic diseases.

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Location: Saugatuck, Michigan, United States


Monday, January 23, 2006

OMG! I just took this European Color Quiz that tells you your own personality. I'm just letting you know that this thing hit my personality RIGHT ON THE HEAD. I'm just sayin'.

My results follow, and you can take the quiz by clicking on the link at the end. By the way, it's brutally honest!

ImaginaryMaggie's Existing Situation
Willing and adaptable. Only at peace when closely attached to a person, group, or organization on a which reliance can be placed.
ImaginaryMaggie's Stress Sources
Wants a partner with whom she can share fully in an atmosphere of cloudless serenity, but her compulsion to demonstrate her individuality leads her to adopt a critical and demanding attitude. This introduces discord and leads to alternating periods of drawing closer and drawing apart, so that the ideal state she desires is not allowed to develop. Despite the urge to gratify her natural desires, she imposes a considerable self-restraint on her instincts in the belief that this demonstrates her superiority and raises her above the common herd. Discerning, critical and particular, having taste and discrimination. These qualities, combined with her tendency to judge things for herself and to express her opinions with authority. She enjoys the original, the ingenious and the subtle, striving to ally herself with others of similar taste who can help her in her intellectual unfolding. Desires admiration and the esteem of others.
ImaginaryMaggie's Restrained Characteristics
Egocentric and therefore quick to take offense.
Circumstances are forcing her to compromise, to restrain her demands and hopes, and to forgo for the time being some of the things she wants.
ImaginaryMaggie's Desired Objective
Intense, vital, and animated, taking a delight in action. Activity is directed towards success or conquest and there is a desire to live life to the fullest.
ImaginaryMaggie's Actual Problem
Takes a delight in action and wants to be respected and esteemed for her personal accomplishments.
ImaginaryMaggie's Actual Problem #2
Wants to act freely and uninhibitedly, but is restrained by her need to have things on a rational, consistent, and clearly-defined basis.
Take the ColorQuiz yourself right now!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Success of Sweets

Kellogg’s is being sued for advertising “junk food” to children, specifically to children under 8 years old. Senator Tom Harkin has also warned the advertising sector about this, accusing them of much responsibility for the obesity dilemma in the US. He is threatening to push through legislation to that effect. (Although visions of Hell and snowballs come to mind for actually getting it passed).

· According to University of Illinois researchers, nutrient-poor high-sugar products dominate advertising aimed at children between the ages of 6 and 11, with 78% of the food advertisements going to these types of foods.

I think this has been the case ever since there has been advertising on TV! And these people sound surprised?

But again, do we blame the Ad Agencies for our obesity? How about the food companies who make highly processed non nutritive foods for pennies and sell them for dollars. Are they to blame? Or McDonalds? Please!

We, as Americans, are stupid about nutrition. We don’t teach it in school, although we used to. It was a 1 hour class in 6th grade. We spent more time on sex Ed. Our parents got the same education, as did our grandparents. How can we blame ourselves?

If we want to get healthy there is nothing left to do but buckle down and teach ourselves. That’s not easy, and it’s very overwhelming when you are offered the hundreds of volumes available at Barnes and Noble or on the subject.

So what do you do? Save yourself lots of time a even some money by hiring a nutritional professional. Someone who has already read all of the best books on the subject, so you don’t have to, and can honestly/actually help you to change you life.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Gluttony Revisited

So I went to the Doctor last Thursday just for my annual checkup and “female stuff” and was told that a virus that I had a year ago and got rid of 6 months ago is “Starting to come back”. *expletive*

So I went to the Dentist last Friday just for my annual checkup and teeth cleaning and was told that I have a cavity. I told the dentist, who is my neighbor and who I’ve known for almost 30 years “you suck, but I still love you”. He charged me $123 for the checkup and the cleaning, and then I was told that I had to come back in March for the filling and that it would cost me $170. They made me sign a waiver noting that I KNEW that it would cost $170 and I wouldn’t argue about it later. I told the dentist and the hygienist that the cavity was probably caused by all the chocolate and garbage that I was eating around Christmas. *Double expletive*

I have an Optometrist appointment on Wednesday. I’m afraid to go. I’m seriously thinking that if do not cancel this appointment they’ll tell me I have cataracts or glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy or something terrible like that. Ghaa!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Good Mind Set

Written by Jakusho Kwong

“People want so much. We want to be someone else. “I want to be stronger.” “I want to be more directed.” “I want to be superwoman.” But it’s not possible. You must accept your condition. But “accept” is active. Who you are is active. Passive acceptance – that’s the immobile, inanimate Zen. It’s not the Zen I’m talking about. There’s passion here. Spirit for the quest. This is important: the sincerity of our quest and how we go about it. It’s a long path. Are you prepared? Do you want to walk on this path? Don’t think about it too much. Just walk! C’mon, let’s go! That’s Zen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Gentle Introduction to Massage

The History of massage:
We can find traditions of massage from all areas of the world, and from the indigenous peoples on every continent, including the South Seas Islands, New Zeeland, South East Asia, China, Korea, Japan, India, Turkey, Europe, and Central America. “Western massage tradition can be traced to ancient Greek and Roman practices as developed over the centuries in Europe and North America.” (Tappan & Benjamin, (2005) p. 6) People have been writing about massage for thousands of years; a clay tablet was found in Sumer dating from 2100 BCE, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine circa 500 BCE, and we even have writings by Hippocrates, who lived from 450 to 377 BCE. (Tappan & Benjamin, (2005) pp. 20-24) In Europe in the 1800’s there was a large movement towards “Nature Cure”, with literally dozens of Nature Doctors, Naturopaths, and other healers discovering and using many methods of treating disease, and it seems all of them used some form of massage. (Kirchfield & Boyle, 1994) Modern massage can largely be attributed to two men: Pehr Henrik Ling (1776-1839) of Sweden who introduced what is commonly known as the Swedish Movement Cure, and Johann Georg Mezger (1838-1909) from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Tappan & Benjamin, (2005) pp. 25-27) Today massage is enjoying a revival largely due to the popularity of health spas, gymnasiums, and all-encompassing beauty salons. There is also an attitude in the world today of health by prevention of disease, which includes good eating habits, exercise, and stress reduction.

The Philosophy of natural health and massage:
Natural health (Naturopathy) should be primarily thought of as a system of learning how to live well so that we do not get sick, or if we are sick to learn how to live well to allow our own bodies to regain health. These teachings can include how to eat/drink well, and the self discipline to refrain from eating unhealthy foods; physical manipulations including exercise, massage and acupressure, bathing and water treatments, and even learning how to be aware of our own body; supplemental nutrition including herbs, homeopathic remedies, and vitamin and other nutraceutical supplements; mental, emotional, and spiritual exercises; and discovery of external stressors such as toxic workplaces or homes, or an unsuitable family life.

“According to Oriental medicine the causes of disease fall into three categories: internal (the emotions), external (the weather), and other causes such as germs or poisons, trauma, diet, and the effects of drugs.” (Jarmey & Tindall (1991), p. 18) Massage addresses so many of the causes of disease, including stress, poor circulation, poor body awareness and poor self esteem, and toxic waste build-up in the body tissues.

The Benefits of massage:
Massage is especially well suited for retention of good health and for a return to health from illness for many reasons: “We have learned that one of the primary causes of chronic disease is the accumulation of waste matter and systemic poisons in the tissues of the body. These morbid encumbrances obstruct the circulation, interfere with osmosis and prevent the normal activity of the organs of elimination, especially the skin. The deep going massage, the squeezing, kneading, rolling and stroking, actually squeezes the stagnant blood and morbid accumulations out of the tissues into the venous and lymphatic circulation, speeds this return circulation, charged with waste products and poisons, on its way to the lungs and other organs of elimination and enables the arterial blood with its freight of oxygen and nourishing elements to flow more freely into the less obstructed tissues. Through manipulation of the deeper tissues draws the blood to the surface of the body, and in this way greatly facilitates the elimination of morbid matter through the relaxed and opened pores of the skin.” (Lindlahr (1975) p. 252).

Even something as quick and simple as a foot massage can bring relief and increased circulation to the entire body. There are reflexes present in your hands and your feet that travel up through your spine and nervous system, and are in this way connected to the organs and the rest of the body. Because we confine our feet in shoes the vast majority of the time, these reflexes do not have the chance to work their way out like they did with our bare footed ancestors. Most people will find tender spots in their feet, and reflexology can be used to work these areas. “At the present time the assumption is that this tenderness is caused by the irritation of crystalline deposits in the area of the nerve reflex of any affected part and that this tenderness is brought about by improper circulation of the fluids to and from the feet relative to the capillary system.” (Ingham (1938) p.7)

What to expect in a massage session:
We will start with a short discussion about what kind of massage you are looking for, what you want to get out of massage, and whether or not you have any conditions the should be known by me before we begin. The massage table is in a library room, and I will leave you for a few minutes to undress and get between two sheets, face up, with your knees over the pillow that is placed there. Most people are comfortable with taking off all of their clothes except for their underpants.

We will start the session with you face up, and I will begin with a gentle massage to the scalp, face, ears, and neck. Then we move to the tops of the shoulders and upper chest, then the right arm and hand, and then the left arm and hand. I’ll move to the upper and lower legs and spend a lot of time on your feet.

Then I’ll hold up the top sheet as in a “tent” and use my hips to hold the edge of the sheet to the table while you roll over away from me so that there is no chance of embarrassment. Put your face in the face cradle, and you can either have your arms up and resting on an arm rest placed below the face cradle, or keep them by your sides.

Now on your back I will massage the backs of your thighs, calves, and heels, and if you are comfortable will also massage the sides of your hips. Finally we will spend lots of time on your back, working on acupressure points, sore spots, releasing tension, and general relaxation. We will finish up with some light superficial rubbing for a relaxing end to your experience.

Tappan, Frances M. Benjamin, Patricia J. (2005) Tappan’s handbook of healing massage techniques. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Lindlahr, Henry & Proby, J. C. P. (Ed.). (1975, latest reprint 2002). Philosophy of natural therapeutics. Essex, England: Daniel.

Kirchfled, Friedhelm & Boyle, Wade. (1994) Nature Doctors: Pioneers in Naturopathic medicine. East Palestine, Ohio: Buckeye Naturopathic Press.

Ingham, Eunice D., with revisions b Byers, Dwight C. (1938, revised 1984). Stories the feet have told thru reflexology. Saint Petersburg, Florida: Ingham Publishing Inc.

Jarmey, Chris, and Tindall, John, (1991) Accupressure for common ailments. London and Stroud: Gaia