The Labrys Speaks Articles
Osteoporosis. The very word strikes fear in the hearts of most middle aged women as they approach menopause. “I don’t want to spend my old age hunched over, staring at my Birkenstocks” they complain. Well, that is not a forgone conclusion. There are many natural ways to prevent bone loss and even ways to rebuild bone. Osteoporosis is a reduction in the strength and density of the bones, particularly in the spine, hips and wrists. It can result in loss of height, chronic back pain and fractures. Bones are dynamic living tissue, with new cells growing and old cells being broken down all the time. In our society, until about the age of 35 more bone is being formed than is breaking down (resorbed). The countries with the highest per capita consumption of dairy products, refined carbohydrates (sugars, white bread, white pasta, and white rice), coffee, alcohol and cigarettes also have the highest levels of osteoporosis. Following sugar intake there is an increase in the amount of calcium excreted in the urine. Soft drinks and a diet high in protein and other foods high in phosphorus also contribute to lower bone density in childhood. This increases the risk of osteoporosis in adulthood. (Murray, Pizzorno, 1998, p713-4)
An assessment is now available that can identify bone loss without the use of x-rays. This urine test is called the Bone Resorption Assessment by Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory. It measures pyridinium and deoxypyridinium, two collagen cross links, which are elevated in the urine if bone is being resorbed. This test is available through the Labrys Healthcare Circle at a cost of $77.
We hear a lot about making sure we get enough calcium, especially from the dairy producers, but dairy products do not have an easy-to-assimilate form of calcium (with the exception of unsweetened, organic yogurt) and are also high in phosphorus. Magnesium, boron, manganese, copper, silicon, germanium, and vanadium are all needed for bone growth. These are all available in the appropriate ratios in whole organic foods. Magnesium is a central part of the chlorophyll molecule and therefore contained in all green foods. Seaweeds help provide balanced trace minerals. Nori, kelp, dulse, wakame, kombu and hijiki, can each be added to soups or stews. Most people know nori as the dark green wrapper on their sushi rolls, but it is available as natural bundles and dried flakes. Dried seaweeds are available at all of the local health food stores and Asian markets.
Optimal nutrient requirements for health are individual. Needs for these nutrients can vary greatly for each individual and at different times of life. We each need to determine how to optimize our health through customized diet and lifestyle habits. For help and suggestions to improve your bone health (and overall health) you can make an appointment with Laura Knoff, Nutrition Educator, at the Labrys Healthcare Circle. You are what you eat.
Rebecca wrote up what she’d learned during a treatment session with Dr. Margaret. In Applied Kinesiology it’s called Injury Recall Technique. There are two locations where you can self-treat any physical or emotional injury. The first was discovered by a podiatrist, the second by an AK doctor.
These are places to reset a reflex, which may have gotten stuck during an emotional or physical injury. It’s called the flexion withdrawal reflex, and unless it’s functioning correctly, the area of injury won’t fully heal. The self-treatment is to slowly and gently flex the ankles and/or the head while holding or rubbing the injured part for a few seconds. This can be done lying, seated or standing; I’ll use the example of standing
An allergic reaction is simply an improper response of the immune system to an otherwise harmless substance, such a foods, vitamins, medications, pollens, flowers, weeds, formaldehydes, plastics, metals, etc. The body reacts by releasing powerful chemicals that cause classic symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, rashes, depression, anger, asthma, fatigue, headaches, insomnia and various pains which can present in almost any part of the body.
... Many health problems in people all over the world are undiagnosed allergic reactions… are due to the lowering of the immune system by multiple allergic reactions that allow diseases to attack the weakened host.
... Obtaining a patient’s medical history takes on a different meaning as Dr. Nambudripad teaches the art of detective sleuthing. Rarely do I recommend a supplement or vitamin without first testing to check for allergy or effectiveness. Eliminating allergies to medications allows the medicines to be more effective while you are tracking down and eliminating the cause of the problems. Once the cause has been found and eliminated, the same amount of medication no longer may be necessary.
...Thank you, Dr. Nambudripad, for persevering in the development and documentation of this fantastic allergy elimination technique. I also applaud you for the countless hours you spend in teaching patients to test them and determine hidden allergies that might be causing trouble. Giving the patients that information helps them to take responsibility for their own health and puts them in charge instead of leaving them to play victim. Once she’s in charge, the patient and doctor can work together to achieve a mutual goal: to Say Goodbye to Illness!
My interest in bodywork and the healing arts, especially massage and martial arts, began when I was in my mid 20s. Over the years I joined workshops and classes in Swedish/Eselen, biomechanical psychotherapy, intuitive massage and breath work. At the same time I was involved in the womyn/lesbian movement with a focus on violence against womyn. This led me to working as a self-defense instructor for womyn and girls for several years. Since moving to the USA from Germany in 9997, I have been studying acupressure, Tui Na and Jin Shin Jyutsu ®.
Tui Na (Chinese) is a system of acupressure, which is based upon the yin/yang philosophy. It uses a variety of techniques like brushing (tui), grasping (na), squeezing, pressing, rocking and rolling, pulling, shaking and stretching. These motions help the body back into its harmony and balance so that the chi (life-energy) can flow smoothly throughout the body. It can be used for helping people with injuries or illnesses.
Jin Shin Jyutsu ® is an ancient Japanese practice, recovered by Jiro Muray and brought to the USA by Mary Burmeister 40 years ago. Our bodies contain several energy pathways that feed life into all of our cells. When one or more of them become blocked, it may lead to discomfort or even pain. Simple hands-on sequences of holding points along these pathways help to balance the body’s energy, restore emotional equilibrium, relieve pain and release causes of acute and chronic conditions. It is a subtle and powerful art with its focus on “getting to know myself.” It can be used anytime and anywhere and does not interfere with any other therapy or medication.
During the massage session, clients are fully dressed in comfortable clothing. These days I often start with Tui Na and end with Jin Shin Jyutsu because they go together very well!
Challenges to women-only space are as old as women-only space itself. We’ve seen its many forms and heard its many tongues. Some people still wonder, “What’s the big deal about a man going to a women’s concert? or, “What difference could one man make?” “Men need to learn about feminism,” they insist, and, “Boys are not ‘men’ and should be freely allowed into women’s space.” For over 20 years now, men have declared themselves “women,” manipulated their bodies via experimental surgery, and then demanded the feminist seal of approval from survivors of girlhood.
Passover is about liberation. It’s about not being slaves. Slavery requires uninterrupted access. The Jews in ancient Egypt tried everything they (and God) could think of to be free, but were finally forced into the desert to get away from the Egyptians. But where can women go to escape men?
If you think about it, patriarchs do not enjoy rebellion any more than Pharaoh did, and men will act exactly the way he acted. That is, they will do every possible thing to perpetuate their rule. Pharaoh dispatched recognizable armies to pursue the Jews who found refuge beyond Egypt’s reach. But man’s shadow extends everywhere, and we must abide always in the land of our master. A world in which even recognizing, let alone naming, his forces becomes half the battle, becomes particularly difficult by sisters and brothers mobilized and outfitted to fetch us back.
Memories of a millennium reeking with the most brutally effective penalties devised by man fester deep within women’s bones to infect the very molecules of women’s being. Logical and compelling as our analysis of patriarchy is, not one of us truly escapes.
Nor do we escape those centuries of training to nurture and put others before ourselves. Three decades of Lesbian-feminism cannot hope to dismantle the terrible, unrelenting lessons daily reinforced and re-programmed. No wonder then, that few will go the theoretical distance, let alone follow through with perilous ethical choices. Especially when seduced by attractively less rigorous, more comfortable alternatives.
Those sly old fellas who wrote the book on punishment, intimidation and bribery did not log eons of domination for nothing. The second wave of Lesbian-feminists momentarily took them by surprise by appropriating the age-old battering rams to use as props. Fresh scare tactics were essential to turn a generation of “Lesbians” and “Dykes” against each other, so the philosophical reference point, “Separatist,” was at once targeted as the replacement of choice and issued to their special forces. So effective was it, that to this day, otherwise disobedient Lesbians fall all over each other distancing themselves from that paralyzing label. “Bra burning” and “Man-hating” were likewise invoked to terrorize would-be renegades (although the term “woman-hating” is rarely applied, even to known misogynists.).
When that failed to wipe us out, they tried “racist,” and when Separatists of color protested being made invisible, not to mention the racist assumption that only white women were able to live independent of men, our accusers reverted to “divisive” and “exclusionary.” The very same Rich-White-Men-Who-Rule-the-World-Inc. know that subtle distortions designed to tickle our best instincts and trigger our sense of justice might inspire well-meaning folks to do their nasty job for them. It’s the way skewed jargon like “equality” has been used by racists to destroy affirmative action in California’s higher education.
Remember when “politically correct” started appearing in progressive vocabularies? I do. And when “Gender Studies” started replacing “Women’s Studies,” “reverse” was fixed onto “sexism,” and useful concepts like “diversity” and “inclusion” mutated before our eyes into weapons to sabotage women’s autonomy and set us up, within our own ranks, for the kill.
As we remember the ancient history of Jews escaping from Egypt, we should also remember the recent history of “women-only” space. And during the Passover season, while visions of liberation dance in our heads, while Jews and Lesbian Separatists alike enjoy our hard-won riches and congratulate ourselves for withstanding these ageless assaults, it behooves us to remember that the old lessons still resonate, and that exclusive women’s territory is still radical as hell.
Through the course of treatments with Dr. Margaret, I have learned about the nature of allergy, which seems almost as important as treating specific allergies. I’ve come to see the distinction between sensitivity and allergy and also between immunity and allergy. For a long time I felt that I was just hypersensitive. I am. But allergy is almost the opposite of sensitivity. Sensitivity is about responsiveness. Allergy is a fixed reaction, a stance.
I’m also seeing how allergy has been a way of relating on many levels beyond the physiological. In many relationships I developed fixed reactions to certain kinds of behavior or energy or personality. This has greatly limited my sensitivity.
My food allergies may have begun as sensitivities but then hardened at one point. I became less sensitive while the allergy created an exaggerated reaction, which I misinterpreted as hypersensitivity. In contrast to immunity, which can be a calm, accurate response to a danger, allergy is aggravated and wrapped up in itself.
My NAET treatments revealed that there is a close correlation between childhood spinal injuries and allergies to basic nutrients. I had several impact injuries to my head and spine, all of which knocked me energetically ‘out’ of my body. As I receive the allergy elimination treatments, much is released from the spine and I find myself ‘arriving’ back in my body. I have the feeling that the allergies were able to take up residence by virtue of my absence. Self-defense in absenteeism.
Added to this, we discovered that I was reactive to magnets. I feel this was partially a result of the impact injuries as well. The reaction to magnetic fields has implications that I am still discovering, including my relationship to gravity and the earth, and to the balancing of my chakras and my endocrine glands.
Before I recognized them, my experience of allergies was one of unending exhaustion. As I go through the NAET treatments one at a time, I feel my core energy returning. There is a feeling of vitality throughout the day. I am able to stay up later and I go to bed when I’ m sleepy, rather than because I’m exhausted. I wake up rested. All the energy invested in allergic reaction is now available for living.
How many women realize that food sensitivities can cause depression, cravings and weight gain? The cycle involves serotonin, tryptophan and carbohydrates. Serotonin is a substance that transfers specific nerve messages from one nerve cell to another. Serotonin is an anti-anxiety neurotransmitter found throughout the body, especially in the gut and the brain. Serotonin signals satisfaction and well being. Low levels of serotonin signal hunger and depression. Serotonin signals the brain and the rest of the body that all is well. Stress, excess heat, illness and sleep deprivation all deplete the body of serotonin. Allergic reactions or food sensitivities also deplete serotonin since they too are stressors on the body’s resources.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Our muscles, organs, nerves, brain, skin, hair and nails are mostly made of protein. We require amino acids from a wide variety of foods to grow, repair damage, produce enzymes (along with vitamins) and generally maintain healthy function of the body. The dietary amino acid tryptophan is the major building block for serotonin. Turkey is a good source of tryptophan. Like all amino acids it must compete for receptor sites on cells in the brain. Since it is small and scarce it doesn’t always get to the receptor sites before they are filled by the other amino acids.
When a person eats a food to which she in allergic (or sensitive), serotonin is depleted and anxiety rises. The brain signals the body to restore serotonin immediately. To restore serotonin the body must break down proteins into their amino acids and absorb tryptophan, and the tryptophan must cross the blood brain barrier. The digestive system must be working properly and producing adequate amounts of enzymes and hydrochloric acid. Stress interferes with proper digestion by redirecting the body’s resources to deal with the immediate (perceived or actual) danger.
Hormones and sleep
After we have been producing melatonin for three plus hours in the dark, our bodies start to produce a prolactin, which besides promoting milk production also increases production of immune cells involved in cancer defense. Only humans and our pets (also bathed in artificial light) succumb to cancer. We need at least 6 hours of melatonin production to stay relatively healthy. Taking melatonin supplements only inhibits our bodies’ own production of it and is therefore dangerous.
When we get 9 1/2 hours of sleep or less per night, our bodies think it is the middle of summer and we should eat to prepare for winter’s lean time. In midsummer, a time of greater activity and the mating season, our carbohydrate cravings naturally increase. This is the time of year when carbohydrates are most available in the form of fruits and starchy vegetables. If these carbohydrate calories are not burned by activity, insulin is nature’s way of sending excess calories to the cells to be stored as fat to get us through the lean winter. In nature, summer’s bounty is short and is followed by winter’s short cold days, reduced food supply, and hibernation. We no longer live a natural life. We stay up and active in simulated daylight all year, eating too many carbohydrates, making lots of insulin and storing fat. Because sleep deprivation is a stressor, it wears down our adrenal glands. We are literally burning the candle at both ends. When we ignore the day/night rhythms of the planet we try to fool Mother Nature. Mother Nature is not amused.
So what is the answer? If we are relatively healthy now, we can stay healthy by making sure we get 9 1/2 hours of sleep each night in total darkness during the summer and more in the winter. We can do this by going to bed when it is dark out, eating a low carbohydrate- high protein diet from October until May, and eliminating all fake foods (sugar, white bread, pasta, margarine, Equal™, Splenda™, olestra, etc.). If we have diabetes, depression, heart disease, unwanted weight, cancer or other health problems, we need 14 hours of quiet darkness, even if we are not asleep, to get well. Wiley realizes that this could cut into our social lives, but so will a debilitating disease.
Lights Out combines important research from biochemistry, psychology, physiology, physics, sociology, and history. It contains nearly 100 pages of endnotes and a 7-page bibliography. I strongly encourage you to read this book - in the daylight hours, of course.
Perhaps the only downside of being a practitioner of Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) is that in the course of treating a patient, I handle vials of substances to which I am myself allergic. Then I suffer my own allergy symptoms. Fortunately, while testing patients, I touch the vial only a short time, then put it away.
But when I am treating a patient, she receives the treatment and I do not. Then she holds the vial for 15 minutes, during which time the vial is within my aura or electromagnetic field. I am being exposed to my allergen. If I become aware of a reaction in my body or mind, I make a note to myself and later I’ll test and treat myself with that item. At the end of a workday, I often feel exhausted mentally and physically. I know I ought to go back through the patient records of the day, to find which items may have caused a reaction of exhaustion, but I’m too tired and befuddled.
Some readers may need further explanation about the vials we use in NEAT. Two-inch, glass vials are filled with distilled water and corked with plastic. Information is transferred electronically to each vial from a computer that contains database software with energetic information for thousands of allergens. NAET practitioners can then use them as energetic carriers. This technology hooks up the healing art of homeopathy with those of chiropractic and Chinese medicine.
Some of the vials contain the energetic information taken from the biopsies of human patients with diagnosed diseases. In homeopathy, they are called nosodes. Dr. Devi Nambudripad gave me my first cancer vial, called mixed CA, in 1991. Through my 11 years of practice I’ve purchased from different companies an assortment of fifteen cancer energies taken from different parts of the body.
In my current thinking every cell in the body has an electromagnetic field as well as a cellular form and function. It is the sum of the cellular fields that produces the body’s aura or electromagnetic field. When the body’s field is in disharmony with other fields, the flow of chi is effected and symptoms appear. NAET looks for these disharmonies in a patient’s field when in the presence of allergens. Mind you, these allergens may be inside the body exhibiting symptoms or they may be in the body’s external environment.
The NAET treatment teaches the body’s electromagnetic field that the chi or meridian energy can flow unimpeded in the presence of an allergen, for example, mixed CA. Because the treatment keeps the meridians open for 15 minutes, the experience of the body’s field is non-reactive or benign. Each treatment is a learning experience.
A Case of Melanoma
My First NAET Ovular
Returning my story to 2002, for the last nine months I have added a very special vial of Dr. Devi’s invention, called bbf, short for body brain formula. In the basic ovular/seminar last September, which nutrition consultant Laura Knoff and I attended together, Dr. Devi introduced the vial to us. She taught us to add it to every test and treatment for every patient. The bbf vial amplifies the message of the body vial, thereby allowing the practitioner to find previously hidden allergy reactions. Though I’d been treated 10 years ago with the mixed CA vial alone, I was now exposing myself to cancer vials plus bbf. It was this combination that caused my symptoms of exhaustion after working with the cancer vials in the melanoma case.
After two treatments with mixed CA/bbf, my energy soared. I can now stay in her facility for many hours comfortably, leave with good energy and return two days later to spend more time there. Also, I have resumed treating my mother with NAET, with the usual good results. This is an amazing discovery for me and I want to share it with other NAET practitioners and patients, people who are also on this path to understand our electromagnetic bodies/spirits.
Fats and Cooking
I recommend that you completely eliminate all refined and manufactured fats from your diet. Good unsaturated oils are extra virgin olive oil or unrefined flax oil for salads and as a garnish to already cooked vegetables, or for cooking use organic cultured or raw butter or organic ghee (clarified butter—all the milk solids have been removed) or unrefined coconut oil. Unsaturated vegetable oils tend to break down when heated so do not fry foods.Speaking of cooking, I just read a wonderful article published in the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal Health and Healing Wisdom Vol. 26 # 2. The author, Nancy Appleton Ph.D., reports that carcinogenic acrylamide and heterocyclic amines are formed in foods when they are cooked fast and hot. Apparently every food has a heat labile point—a point at which the chemical composition of the food changes to become less digestible. Food that does not digest properly starts to ferment or putrefy and becomes toxic. Some of these toxins irritate the intestines leading to increased gut permeability and allergies. Pasteurization, deep-frying and barbecuing and microwaving are all unhealthy forms of cooking. Broiling and barbecuing expose foods to temperatures as high as 752°F. Dried packaged foods are also subjected to high temperatures. The best way to cook foods is the least way such as lightly steaming, stewing or using a slow cooker. Unless you are on an ileocecal valve diet include raw food in each meal to provide enzymes and improve digestion. As always, remember to chew your food thoroughly. Bon Appetite.
A naturopath and medical researcher from Canada, Hulda Clark has written three books. The titles are each more outrageous than the last: The Cure for All Cancer, The Cure for HIV and AIDs, and The Cure for all Diseases. I think she’s on to something important. And it’s so simple, it makes perfect sense. Yet because the products of the petrochemical industry - plastic, perfume, cosmetics, pesticides, fertilizers, food preservatives, medical drugs, cleaning products, even vitamin supplements—are everywhere in our lives, it would appear that her suggested cure for all diseases is too overwhelming to take seriously.
But let me back up and explain Hulda’s work in parasitology. There are no new diseases under the sun. Parasites have been living in plants and animals, including humans, for thousands of years. Why we have developed what look like new diseases is because in the last few generations in modern countries, our bodies have become polluted by petrochemicals. Polluted animal bodies provide parasites with homes in which to thrive and reproduce more easily than ever before.
Normally a parasite’s life cycle involves maybe four or five stages, one of which is a hard, encased cyst. In a cow or human intestine, where the cyst-stage forms, its excreted so that the weather and natural elements can break the cyst to release the next stage. So normally the parasite lives only a portion of its life in a host body. But in a polluted body, the cyst is dissolved by the petrochemicals that have accumulated in the host. This enables it to thrive, creating new conditions for itself.
Hulda’s proposed cure for all diseases is threefold: an herbal program which includes green black walnut hull, wormwood, and cloves; zapping the parasites using a nine-volt battery; stop using products which pollute our bodies. And it works, whether you have a dread modern disease, or a cold or flu. This past winter, along with many of my friends and patients who used this program, we noticed that while all around us others were perpetually sick, we were not.
I invited two wimmin who have been supplying my patients with inexpensive zappers to come teach us what they’ve learned of how to implement Hulda’s cure for all diseases. During a weekend ovular (not a seminal word was spoken) in January with Kate Ellison and Jes Ryn, ten of us stepped-up our knowledge, muscle testing skills and confidence in self-healing.
Now we are ready to tackle all diseases with a healthcare plan no HMO can touch: practitioners within the Labrys Healthcare Circle who can guide an individual through Hulda’s methods and provide the herbs and zapper; and facilitators of workshops along with coordinators of support groups within the Labrys School who can guide on how to avoid the pollution of our bodies.
I was in Dr. Margaret’s office several months ago and she suggested to my partner and me that we should get a zapper to take care of our parasites. While my partner was being treated that day, I picked up the flyer about the zapper and read of all the research that Dr. Hulda Clark had done. I was amazed at all the connections she had made between cancers, AIDs, and other diseases with parasites and industrial pollutants. I was a bit uneasy about how it worked, or if it even did, but I ordered a zapper. Upon receiving it both my partner and I used it, and then a bit leery about it, we did not use it again. We both felt sick a few days later, and as I finished reading the pamphlet I found out that this is a normal response. I had so many questions and no one seemed to have enough answers. I was in a premed program for three years at UC Irvine before I found my passion and began to study ecology. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a Concentration on Ecology and Environmental Biology.
Still being the biologist that I am, I never got rid of my Biology books, so I pulled out all of my books from everything that I had studied in premed, and did a bit of research on parasites themselves. What I found was amazing. Each different parasite uses a slightly different way to hide itself in our body. Our immune system is fine tuned to removing foreign matter that is in our body, it excretes it if it can, or stores it somewhere where it can not affect our well-being. But parasites, in order to live, must fool our natural systems. They have to convince the immune system that they are normal and natural parts of our body and over millions of years of evolution, parasites are VERY good at doing just that.
What Dr. Clark discovered was that if you put an electrical charge not into the body, but through it, you could disrupt the parasite’s ability to camouflage itself. She found a frequency which is not damaging to us, like sticking your finger in a light socket, but is just mild any of our body’s systems. As we hold onto the two ends of the zapper, our body is simply a conductor of the electricity. That means it really does not affect us, it just travels through, from one handle through our body and out the other handle, completing an electrical circuit. The parasites that are in our system can not do that, the electricity does not just pass through them. In fact, the parasites end up acting as resistors to this electrical flow. This is hard on the parasite and the parasite must expend a great deal of energy to protect itself and heal itself from this electrical charge. While it is doing that, it is not expending that energy in hiding itself from our immune system. Now our immune system can see the foreign object that it is and starts to kill it. This explains not only how the zapper works, but also why if you treat only once with the zapper and stop, you feel sick. You have just exposed all of your parasites to your immune system and as it begins to battle the parasites, you become more susceptible to infections and other mild illnesses that your immune system would normally have taken care of.
The other thing to note is that along with killing, or injuring parasites, the zapper also kills the bacteria that lives in our intestine. These bacteria are important for proper function of our large intestine and for killing other bad bacteria, or yeast. Without them we can often get sick, or as wimmin we can get yeast infections. So it is imperative that we take healthy cultures of bacteria after we zap, just as we should take them after we have been on an antibiotic.
Women have always been healers. In ancient times women used plants to heal the sick and to maintain health. Until relatively recent times, plants were the main source of drugs, and in many cultures they still are. In the west, women are turning once again to their traditions of healing and spirituality.
Women’s power, however it has shown itself, has been feared and suppressed by men many times over the course of history. Women who used their power to heal were sometimes considered dangerous. In Europe they were burned as witches, and here in North America, after the persecutions in Salem, they had to hide their knowledge. In modern times, women’s wisdom is debunked as nonsense and superstition, and women who choose to heal without the permission of the medical establishment (using ‘unapproved’ methods, or healing without an approved degree) are subject to criminal and civil penalties.
Let’s look at one of women’s oldest traditions—the wisewoman tradition of herbal healing. The wisewoman tradition is gentle and inclusive. It has room for diverse beliefs and for intuition and experimentation. It is a tradition of both/and rather than of either/or. A wisewoman healer to nourish and build, rather than to effect spectacular ‘cures’ that leave the person ‘cleansed’ and weakened. The wisewoman tradition doesn’t blame the ‘sick’ one, and although it encourages change and growth, it never demands blind obedience or betrayal of self.
Puberty and childbirth are normal events in a woman’s life, calling for mindfulness and knowledge. They are not conditions that routinely require medical intervention. Menopause is a step in the dance of life, and aging should bring honor and respect, not shame. There are herbs that can benefit women in all stages of their lives. Some herbs act as hormonal regulators, some as alternatives (which act to strengthen the whole system), some are most nourishing to specific systems, such as the reproductive system or the immune system.
One of the best-known herbs for women is raspberry leaf. It has a long history of use in pregnancy to assure an easy delivery and abundant milk production. But it is more than that. A cup of raspberry tea provides up to 200 mg. of easily-absorbed calcium (many herbs are high in calcium, too). Drinking raspberry leaf tea every day can help the body return to its normal hormonal and menstrual cycles after pregnancy or a long stint on birth control pills. Raspberry leaf is a superb toner of the female reproductive system.
Stinging nettle is another herb that can be a woman’s lifelong ally. Eaten as a pot herb early in the spring, it brings strength and energy back to a body depleted by the rigors of winter. Nettle revitalizes the body’s energy pathways, it is full of vitamins and minerals and is especially nourishing to the kidneys and the adrenal glands. Fresh nettle juice, and to a lesser extent, nettle tea, are gentle but effective diuretics (diuretics increase urine production, and diuretic medications can deplete the body’s potassium supply, and can be harsh on the kidneys and urinary system), useful during times of bloating and water retention. Recent studies show that nettle is effective in preventing seasonal respiratory allergies. Susan Weed, a woman who has done much to reintroduce the wisewoman tradition to the modern world, says that drinking infusion of stinging nettle every day will keep older women strong and sexy well beyond the change of life. An after-shampoo nettle rinse will leave hair sleek and shiny.
Herbs can help keep you strong and healthy. Some of them, like red clover, build strength and help the body rid itself of toxins. Both red clover and nettle are nourishing to the immune system. Some herbs, like oatstraw, chamomile and linden, soothe the body’s tissues and also calm the mind and spirit. These teas, when added to the bath water (strained, please) are as good for the skin as they are for the soul.
These are just a few of the plants that we can use to help ourselves stay healthy. We are experiencing an herbal renaissance as part of the growing interest in holistic health and healing. More and more women herbalists, among them Susan Weed, Rosemary Gladstar, and Adele Dawson have written books that are full of valuable information about herbs that can benefit women. Check in your bookstore or library; if they don’t have what you need, ask them to get it. You have a right to recast the debate about women’s Healthcare in your own words, and to make your own informed choices. The wisewoman way recognizes and insists on that right.
an excellent and simple way to detoxify the liver, clear the colon
and stimulate the kidneys. Cook 3 cups of brown rice (including 1/4
cup of aromatic rice) in 7 cups of water (spring or distilled). Use
no seasoning; if absolutely needed for taste, add to the pot a cutup
onion or garlic clove. Cook well, 1 hour or more. Do not eat anything
else all day, but eat frequently, every 3 to 4 hours, and as much as
you can. You may have normal activities, as the rice will provide you
with the calories you need and your blood sugar will not drop as with
a juice or water fast.
This is a great way to detoxify when you know you have been exposed to pollutants (painting a room, laying tiles, cleaning the house with toxic chemicals, anesthetics during an operation, etc.). Under normal conditions, we recommend it be done every three months. Excerpt from Simple Foods For a Simple and Healthy Life by Madeline Goulard, for sale in our office, $14.00.
Doctors who use applied kinesiology (AK) to test our patients for fungal problems generally find that about 80% need treatment for fungus infection. It can cause (directly or in combination with allergens) a long list of health complaints, including fatigue, brain fog, mood problems, headaches, ear aches, vaginal and intestinal yeast overgrowth, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, genito-urinary, immune, and allergy problems. Fungal problems are more prevalent than a century ago due to antibiotics, estrogen therapy, steroid therapy, tight houses and multiple sexual partners, all of which can promote it.
An article in the LA Times recently described the severe fungal problems experienced by tenants of rental apartments. From inhaling mold in her apartment, one tenant had 16 fungal masses in her lungs, the largest being golf ball size. The article mentions a 1999 Mayo clinic study, which found that nearly all of the 37 million Americans suffering from chronic sinus problems have them because of mold or fungus. Presently about 100 court cases in California alone are due to toxic mold exposure. If we suspect this problem, I’ll have a patient bring air samples from her home and work place for testing and treatment.
People used to believe a soul lived within the human body. While the body slept, the soul could wander freely and have many adventures. These adventures appeared to people in dreams. People believed everything in nature had a soul, and the souls of living things controlled the world around them, for example, the eruption of a volcano was due to the volcano’s soul becoming angry (Ellison). These ideas predated Samuel Hahnemann’s conceptualization of the Vital Force, or vital principle.
In homœopathy, health is the body’s ability to dynamically adapt to changes in one’s environment, to give and receive, to love, and to adjust to the creative, rhythmic energy of life. Heath includes both spiritual and physical energies. The vital force balances us between harmony and order. Disease is a derangement of the vital force, which regulates the organs and parts of the body. Without the vital force, there is no balance, no regulation, no adaptation; the body is dead. Homœopathy views patients wholistically, treating the patient as an individual. “The mind is the key to the man” (Kent, 26). Health is not simply a matter of repairing broken parts, like in a machine, but restoring motivation and understanding to the spirit, or will, so that one can think, and subsequently act to regain one’s health.
The vital force could be thought of as the conductor of our orchestra. It is our protector, our survival mechanism, which conducts our symphony of interactions with the environment. It increases, or decreases the tempo, brings in the strings, or quiets the wind section as needed in response to varying degrees of disturbance to our equilibrium. Our individual ability to react and adapt to dynamic stimuli affects the way in which the vital force chooses which piece of music we will perform on any particular day, at any particular time.
Disease is a transient, or continual, state of disharmony, disorder, imbalance, reaction, malfunction and dysfunction. This state of disorder is externalized by symptoms, which are the language of the vital force. In homœopathy, all symptoms are curative, all are important. They provide the homœopath with clues as to what is wrong and to what degree, and guide them to the correct remedy.
In our symphony, a descent into the minor keys, a deepening of the music (disease), is sometimes heard fleetingly before the main theme develops. Disease is a general change of state in an organism, but can begin well before this change of state is expressed (or heard) by symptoms. Symptoms bring the disease from inward outward, generally confining it to some part of the body, for example, the skin. Because we are largely energy, disease can be thought of as disruptive energy, like static on the radio, more or less severe according to our susceptibility to it at that particular point in time. Therefore, in order to counter disease’s disruption of our energy, another form of energy must be used. This energy would be the homœopathic remedy; which is a potentized and diluted form of natural substances used to produce a curative response.
The curative response is somewhat like the soloist’s answer to an orchestra’s challenge. The orchestra has been playing along quite nicely, presenting a certain theme. An excursion into the minor keys deepens the mood. Suddenly the soloist responds with a florid descant, brightening the whole movement, leading it out of the minor into the major keys, perhaps even changing the theme, while at the same time supporting the orchestra toward a dynamic finale. The soloist is the homœopathic remedy, whose song is similar enough to the orchestra’s that it augments and embellishes its spirit, but is influential enough to lead the orchestra to a vivacious conclusion (cure)!
Simply, a homœopathic remedy tickles (begins the curative response) the vital force, which has been depressed by disease, so that it is able to react against the artificial disease presented by the remedy, thereby regaining strength to overcome the original disorder. The audience leaps to their feet in thunderous applause, the conductor bows, she motions to the orchestra to bow, everybody bows, then they all go back to what they were doing before the concert...playing the music of life. However, the vital force remains alert, reading and checking the score, noting where all the players are and what they are doing, remembering the soloist, always ready to call the orchestra to order again for the next concert.
One of the big differences between medical and chiropractic schools is that the same course is called pharmacology in medical school and toxicology in chiropractic college. Most of us forget that drugs are toxins in our bodies. While the drug companies would have us believe that headaches are the result of an aspirin deficiency, drugs are NOT foods.
The latest fad in medical treatment of wimmin, close behind hormone replacement therapy (HRT), is the use of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). While it is true that our bodies produce this natural hormone from the foods we eat, a synthetic hormone is very different from the real thing.
A patented synthetic hormone is designed to bind to receptor sites on cell membranes, sites the body has created there for its own natural hormones. The receptor site recognizes a part of the synthetic hormone as identical to the natural one and attaches to it, thereby preventing any natural hormone from using that site. But the synthetic hormone is carrying a message in the invented part of it which is slightly different from the message in the natural one. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a patentable invention, thereby making big money for the pharmaceutical companies.
To quote Judith DeCava in “DHEA—Miracle or Mirage?”
Keeping in mind this background discussion, consider how we make sex hormones from foods. Our bodies digest foods in the mouth, stomach and small intestine, breaking them down into basic nutrients. For example, from potatoes and bread, we get sugar and from fats and oils we get fatty acids. The nutrients travel in the blood from the intestines to the liver, which makes acetate and cholesterol, and from them makes pregnenolone. There are two pathways by which the female body makes sex hormones.
A well-nourished body produces a healthy balance of all hormones. And being marvelously adaptive, the body can get along with less than perfect function temporarily. If a womon is malnourished and has insufficient pregnenolone to supply both pathways, her body will choose to make DHEA first, leaving her deficient in progesterone. Survival instinct dictates saving the womon over producing a baby. But, as a result, she will produce too much estrogen relative to progesterone resulting in an estrogen dominance.
Adding to the over-abundance of estrogen in our bodies is the synthetic estrogen fed to nimals fattened for market, then slaughtered for our tables. Birth control pills, plastics and other petrochemicals mimic estrogen throwing our hormones even further off balance. When you study the diagram of these hormonal pathways, notice another imbalance which occurs. The adrenal glands must have ample progesterone for making cortisol, the steroid hormone which enables us to handle stress, and aldosterone , for balanced kidney function. Therfore, a womon who is deficient in progesterone will have difficulty, for example, in handling stress and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Good questions arise, while figuring out how to restore our hormonal balance. If you have symptoms of weak adrenal glands or deficient progesterone, perhaps irregular periods or menopausal forgetfulness and “hot flashes,” is it wise to take a drug which further disrupts the balance? Wouldn’t you rather support the function and health of the adrenal glands as well as reduce or eliminate some stresses to allow for adrenal repair? And wouldn’t you rather eat nutrient-packed foods for making better, more plentiful hormones instead of replacing one hormone at a time in the form of a drug?
Also, you cannot overdose on food (please note, refined sugar is NOT a food). The cells take the nutrients they need and the body eliminates what’s not used. With foods and herbs there are no “side effects,” only direct effects. Drug dosages must be precise because too much can easily wreck havoc on the body’s natural system of checks and balances.
These are some of the questions I have been grappling with while treating hormonal imbalances in my practice. Too many of us have been told by medical doctors that we must take drugs. When drugs are prescribed for you, ask yourself if it’s really in your best interest, or is it for someone else’s comfort. Wimmin have been using animal products and herbs for millennia to feed our bodies the nutrients we need to regain and maintain hormonal balance.
In my office, we have used tablets made from animal glands from an excellent nutrition company, Standard Process Labs, which makes all its products from organically grown plants and non-steroid-fed animals. There are thousands of plants which provide nutrients for us to make our own hormones. Especially popular plant products are made from the wild Mexican yam. A new product we carry is Resolve, a skin cream of wild yam, from a nutrition company called Syringa. Dr. Royal Lee, who founded Standard Process Labs early this century, has said, “All synthetic drugs have had the same unfortunate history. Thyroxin (thyroid hormone) was made synthetically, put on the market, vast quantities sold on prescription, and its toxic properties discovered the hard way, simply because the unwarranted conclusion was drawn that it was identical in action to the natural hormone. Judith DeCava comments, “Is it deja vu all over again?”
The key to understanding the healthcare industry is that herbs and foods, including animal products, cannot be patented. Herein lies the ticket to inexpensive, gentle self-treatment. I say, Girlcott drugs whenever possible!