The Season of Giving

Standard
Holiday To Do List

Holiday To Do List

I don’t know if it’s cause we live in California and the lack of seasons has affected our perception of the holidays, but more often than not, I’m running into people who say it doesn’t “feel like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, etc.”

Understandably, age tends to weaken the initial excitement we had for the holidays as kids. Instead of just setting out cookies and milk while restlessly waiting for presents, we now struggle to finish deadlines, fulfilling hours at work, and mainly worry about Christmas shopping and sticking to our budget. If we let it, the responsibilities we have as an adult can get the best of us.

But this is not what the holidays are about. Too many people are stressing out, now saying they’re “not ready for Christmas,” and that’s a paradox within itself. (When people say they’re “not ready”, they’re usually referring to the state of money, finances, job, career and all things of this material world. Just ask them to expand on their line of thought and you will see what I mean.)

If you have family or friends, certainly you’re prepared to enjoy some quality time with loved ones. If you’re a Catholic, certainly you’ve planned to attend mass and celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. Too many people are fixated on the materialistic nature of the holidays, which has more so turned into 2 months of consumerism rather than joyful days of celebration.

In my spirituality class, we’ve been instructed to do the opposite of whatever leads us to sin: If you have a pattern of greediness, give more; if you know you’re inclined to commit gluttony, fast a little bit; if you are predisposed to lust, practice being pure; if anger rules your life, try being meek. For example, on black friday, a day dedicated to pure worldly consumption, my family and I donated 8 bags of “things” to Good Will. On a day everyone was buying, we were getting rid of clutter.

Don't Let Your Possessions Possess you!

Don’t Let Your Possessions Possess you!

Father says we have to go against the grain in order to keep any ounce of morality that we have. We live in a society that is consciously numb. We’ve numbed down our conscience so that we can be comfortable with our lives, but it’s actually the lack of conscience formation that creates all the negative feelings of stress, anxiety and despair.

So on Thanksgiving, my family and I actually spent the first half of our day in a juvenile hall to show some love and encouragement to the convicted children who have lost their way. Albeit unconventional, it was actually the most meaningful Thanksgiving I’ve ever spent. A former inmate shared his story of how he started out in the very same spot as these kids, and later ended up in prison, sentenced for 30 years to life. His story was tragic to begin with, but later unfolded with graces of forgiveness, enlightenment, motivation and inspiration. Through God’s mercy and a change of heart in a 20 year period, he was finally liberated, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Today this gentleman helps run a well known mission, giving back to his community, empowers the poor and the uneducated, while inspiring people with his story in his return to God.

That’s what holidays are about. Whether in a cozy home with loved ones, or sharing stories in prison, if it’s uplifting, then you’re OK. We don’t need to unwrap iPads under the tree or indulge in a fancy festive dinner, although that would be nice.

The priest from my church always says, “Wouldn’t it be weird to go to someone else’s birthday party and receive all their gifts?” Now, whether or not you believe in Jesus is not the intent of this post. But if we make this season more about giving than receiving, we wouldn’t stress out as much. And I’m not talking materialistic worldly presents, but more so your time and energy.

Instead of examining whether or not we’re financially prepared to buy a bunch of presents, we should look forward to these holy days as days of quality time-with our loved ones, with our community or even with complete strangers who will somehow ignite that light within ourselves and inspire us to do good.

The holidays are about taking the time out to help others in any way you can. It’s the little boy that opened the door for me at Barnes and Noble impromptu; it’s donating a bag of goods so that others may make use of your unwanted materials; it’s donating a can of food to charity; it’s about attending a friend’s sister’s Christmas concert just because you were invited; it’s the fragile old man who looks like he could use a seat, yet refuses to sit down in church so that all the ladies, young or old, may be comfortable; it’s giving the homeless your time to prepare them a hot meal; it’s taking time out to finish that project with your dad or simply smiling at a stranger blasting them with love.

In whatever you do, may you be mindful and especially more vigilant in practicing and developing conscience awareness during this socially chaotic month that consists of hectic shopping, extravagant purchases and parking lot road rage at the mall.

Whether or not you believe in Jesus, this season is about returning to God, returning to the light, and sharing our time and talents with others. Because positivity breeds light, while stress breeds anger, resentment, anxiety and despair. Let us not lose ourselves in this time of hedonism.

May you and your loved ones have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year filled with light, love and vitality.

What is Chiropractic?

Standard

Medicine is the study of disease and what causes man to die.  Chiropractic is the study of health and what causes man to live.

Chiropractic is a non-invasive, non-surgical, natural form of healthcare.  It respects the body and focuses on the healing process, rather than trying to attack disease via drugs or surgery.

As a Chiropractor, I view the whole person–taking structural, nutritional, chemical (or toxic status) into account, as well as emotional stress levels relative to each individual.

I don’t dissect the person by their symptoms, nor do I isolate body parts because the body is an interdependent whole unit.

I look at overall well being.

Because the spine houses the brain and the spinal cord, also known as the nervous system, a Chiropractor focuses on the health of the spine.

Through spinal adjustments, a Chiropractor removes interference to the body so that you can better adapt to stress and function optimally.

By maintaining a healthy spine with full mobility and agility, the nervous system is able to function at its full potential.

Therefore, Chiropractic care is one that honors the body and facilitates the healing process, rather than interrupt it.

Chiropractic

The spine houses the nervous system.

“It is the job of the spine to keep the brain alert.  The moment the spine collapses, the brain collapses.” –B.K.S. Iyengar

Anxiety & Sleeping Meds linked to Dementia

Standard

recover2It is estimated that 100 million prescriptions of Benzodiazepines are written each year.

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs used mainly to treat insomnia and anxiety.

A new study found that benzodiazepine use for three months or more was linked to an increased risk (up to 51%) of dementia.  The study involved about 2,000 cases of Alzheimer’s disease in adults over 66 years of age living in Quebec.  They had all been prescribed benzodiazepines and were compared with about 7,000 healthy people of the same age living in the same community.

Lead researcher, Sophie Billioti de Gage of the University of Bordeaux, France, and colleagues wrote “Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  Long-term use of these drugs should be considered as a public health concern.”

While it’s never a good idea to use drugs long-term, nor do I suggest using drugs as a first line of treatment, anxiety and insomnia can be severely debilitating, if left untreated.  If you experience anxiety or have trouble sleeping, these are clear symptoms of an even bigger issue.  It’s letting you know that your nervous system is off balance and that stress occurring in the body.

By taking Xanax, Clonopin, or Diazepam (benzodiazepines), you’re essentially masking one problem and potentially creating another.

So I’ve composed a list of natural remedies to try first.  Many times, it’s not a matter of short term effort in pursuit of relief, but an issue of lifestyle change and a tweak in perspective and attitude.

Lifestyle change trumps all medicine.  For some, it's a harder pill to swallow.

Lifestyle change trumps all medicine. For some, it’s a harder pill to swallow.

Here are some natural ways to get rid of anxiety and banish insomnia:

1. Meditate.  When you feel overwhelmed, it’s because you’re either thinking too much into the future or the past.  Try to be cognizant and one with your body in the present moment.  After all, tomorrow is never guaranteed, so why obsess over things that may or may not happen?  Using your breathe, try to slow down your heart rate and clear your mind.  Observe your thoughts and let go of the emotional charges you attach to them.

“Close your eyes, take a deep breath, relax. Imagine yourself sitting at the bottom of a beautiful pond. Each time you have a thought, put it in a bubble; watch the bubble float to the surface and disappear. Keep repeating this for every thought. You are now meditating.” -Dr. Brian Weiss

2. Yoga. The variety of techniques used in yoga all stress the discipline of holding poses.  It’s a yin and yang of strength and stillness wrapped into one.  Not only is it physically challenging, but mentally as well.  Challenge yourself to be still and feel the stretch, as you dig deeper into the pose.

3. Exercise.  Physical exercise encourages feel good chemicals called endorphins.  Keeping your body strong keeps your mental abilities and emotional capabilities resilient.  Train for happiness.  Channel all the unwanted energy into something productive.  Lift, run, hike, squat…

Be advised that exercising at night may get in the way of a good night’s sleep. It can suppress melatonin, and the adrenaline surge may make it difficult to relax. Try exercising as early as possible.

4. Stretch.  Stretching along with deep breathing can help relax you without raising your heart rate dramatically. It also loosens the muscles and improves circulation before sleep.

5.  Zen up your bedroom.  Make your bedroom a technology free zone.  Studies have shown that TVs, cellphones and ipads create mental overstimulation, so try to avoid using these devices in your bedroom.  Your mind is more powerful than you think.  If you associate your bed with games, text messaging, email, and Facebook alerts, then you set yourself up to be in an active state of mind, rather than a restful state.  Reserve your bed for sleep only.  

6.  Stay away from artificial lights.  Light suppresses melatonin, your body’s natural hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain should secrete more in the evening, when it’s dark, to make you sleepy, and less during the day when it’s light and you want to stay awake and alert. However, many aspects of modern life can disrupt your body’s natural production of melatonin and with it your sleep-wake cycle.  Make sure your bedroom is dark when it’s time to sleep and avoid reading from back-lit devices, like an i-phone, at night.  If you must use your phone or an i-pad, make sure you have a separate source of light, like a lamp.

7. Make a list or keep a bedside journal. If you find yourself consumed with to-do lists cycling in your head, keep a journal near so you can purge your thoughts on paper.  The act of writing is cathartic in itself and is a powerful catalyst for self-actualization.  Don’t worry about structure, grammar or format.  This journal is yours and yours alone-use it to doodle, make lists, emotionally vent or to write prayers.  Just write!

8. Get adjusted.  Chiropractic takes the pressure off the spine so you can optimally function at every level.  Being in proper alignment reduces the work load on your body, so you can move efficiently and freely.  Get adjusted to take the stress off your body.  Since a healthy spine restores balance to the nervous system, side effects include feelings of well-being and better sleep.  Your chiropractor may also recommend natural supplements to help you lead a vitalistic life.

9. Try N.E.T. NET is a mind-body technique that uses a methodology of finding and removing neurological imbalances related to the physiology of unresolved stress. NET is a tool that can help improve many behavioral and physical conditions.

10. Try Valerian Root. Valerian root is derived from a plant native to Europe and Asia. The root of this plant has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for various ailments including sleep problems, digestive problems, disorders of the nervous system, headaches, and arthritis. It is believed that valerian root has an impact on the availability of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.  Although there isn’t sufficient research evidence to support the use of valerian root in the treatment of anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder, anecdotal reports from those who take the supplement regularly indicate that it promotes feelings of calmness and reduces nervous tension and stress. Valerian root should not be taken if you are pregnant or nursing, if you suffer from liver disease, or if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Valerian root has the potential to interact with other medications, and may not be recommended in those cases.  Make sure you consult with your doctor before starting any new program.

11. Drink some Chamomile Tea. Traditional healers have long recommended chamomile tea as a simple, healthy way to relieve anxiety, and current scientific studies support this tea’s long-time reputation as a stress reliever and nerve relaxant, showing it to be an effective way to reduce anxiety and depression. Chamomile is most known for its use as a sedative in both adults and children who suffer from restlessness, insomnia and nightmares.

12. Quit smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant, which disrupts sleep, plus smokers experience nicotine withdrawal as the night progresses, making it hard to sleep.

13. Cut down on caffeine.  Caffeine can cause sleep problems up to 10 hours of drinking it.  So avoid that cup of joe after lunch time.

Medicine and Healthcare

 

 

 

 

Keeping the ALS Discussion Alive

Standard
Pamela Anderson challenges the ALS Foundation to stop animal testing.

Pamela Anderson challenges the ALS Foundation to stop animal testing.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the influx of ice bucket water challenges flooding your news feed, as well as the controversy its sparked.

“It’s wasting water”, “It doesn’t even educate people on the condition”, “Why don’t they just donate”, are among the many concerns most critics have of this trendy viral challenge.  I even read that Pamela Anderson refuses to participate because as a Peta Spokeswoman and advocate, she doesn’t want to support a foundation that utilizes animal testing in their research.

For whatever reason you do or don’t support this challenge,  I will share with you my thought process.

Waste of water or contribution?

Waste of water or contribution?

I love the intention of bringing awareness to the general public about lesser known conditions, especially one that is so devastating.  For this, I will accept your challenge.

Yet, you won’t see me splashing water over myself or jumping into a pool or ocean (if you want to see that, just look at my vacation albums.)

Instead, what I will contribute is knowledge and information.

I don’t know about a cure, but I’m all for prevention, management, and treatment options, especially holistic and natural methods because I am a Chiropractor–AND proud of it.

Again, if you’ve read my post on “Why There’s No Such Thing as a Cure,” a cure implies a one-size -fits-all, magical synthetic drug.  So, I’d like to offer my readers awareness in the conventional form of education and mental stimulation.

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  It is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that leads to weakening and wasting of the muscles. Depending upon which neurons are first affected, the disease will manifest differently among individuals, but eventually all four limbs become involved and there may be considerable cramping and stiffness that develops with the partial loss of nervous control over the muscles. According to the ALS association:

  • Based on U.S. population studies, a little over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. (That’s 15 new cases a day.) It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. According to the ALS CARE Database, 60% of the people with ALS in the Database are men and 93% of patients in the Database are Caucasian.
  • Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis. However, cases of the disease do occur in persons in their twenties and thirties. Generally though, ALS occurs in greater percentages as men and women grow older. ALS is 20% more common in men than in women. However with increasing age, the incidence of ALS is more equal between men and women.
  • There are several research studies – past and present – investigating possible risk factors that may be associated with ALS.  More work is needed to conclusively determine what genetics and/or environment factors contribute to developing ALS. It is known, however, that military veterans, particularly those deployed during the Gulf War, are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS.
  • Half of all people affected with ALS live at least three or more years after diagnosis. Twenty percent live five years or more; up to ten percent will live more than ten years.
  • There is some evidence that people with ALS are living longer, at least partially due to clinical management interventions, riluzole and possibly other compounds and drugs under investigation.

So as far as the public is concerned, riluzole (a drug) is the only thing that can treat ALS.  Further investigation on other drugs needs to be done, as drugs is the only answer or “semi-cure”, until they find the exact combination of compounds needed to completely “cure” ALS, right?

Well, if you’ve been following my blog, then you know what I’m about.  Of course there’s other treatments options out there, such as Acupuncture, Edgar Cayce holistic healing remedies, mind-body work, as well as a combination of treatments from multi-disciplinary practices.

Here’s an interview of a gentleman that’s been living with Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Winning over Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Here’s a delightful story of a health care professional that’s overcome ALS. Another Perspective of ALS

Some great literature on how Acupuncture can help treat ALS. Acupuncture Treatment for ALS

And last, but not least, how integrative multi-disciplinary medicine is the medicine of the future. Slow Medicine is the Medicine for the Future.

So, there is my contribution on keeping the discussion alive.

Stay well, think for yourself, ask questions, always do your research and think outside of the box, my friends! #icebucketwaterchallenge #ALS

Yours in Health and Abundance,

Michelle Lim, D.C.

Study: Women with disabling back pain face increased risk of death

Standard

A study from the Cambridge City over-75s Cohort suggests that disabling back pain puts women in their 70s at an increased risk of death.  

The researchers, led by Rachael Docking, say these findings confirm those from other studies of working age people, indicating a relationship between back pain and increased mortality.

They also present new data to suggest this association may be limited to disabling pain that is specific to women.

Comprehensive data on back pain and the degree to which it affected daily life for 1174 participants, who were at least 75 years of age ,was collected.

Back pain was considered disabling if it had interfered with daily tasks within the preceding month.

The average age of the participants was 85 years and 65% female.  Participants answered interviewer-administered questions on back pain and were followed up until death.

The date of death was known for 1158 participants, with 15 known to be still living and one un-trackable since moving abroad.

The relationship between back pain and mortality was examined using Cox regression and was adjusted for potential confounding factors. Separate models were computed for men and women.

A significant association was found between disabling pain and mortality.  Further, this association was found to vary with sex: women experienced a 40% increase in the risk of mortality associated with disabling back pain (1.4; 1.1–1.9), whereas no such increase was observed for men (1.0; 0.5–1.9). Participants with non-disabling back pain were not at increased risk of mortality.

In the European Journal of Pain, the researchers made note, “[That] chronic or disabling pain may be aetiologically different between men and women.”

They suggest that patients with disabling or chronic pain may have lifestyles characterized by factors that could increase the risk of death, such as lower levels of physical activity, manual work, or poor diet.

Further research needs to be done to investigate the mechanisms underlying the relationship between pain and mortality, as well as to examine the specific conditions causing disabling back pain for secondary prevention.

The relationship between back pain and mortality in older adults varies with disability and gender: Results from the Cambridge City over-75s Cohort (CC75C) study

Help your body function at its best-Drink lots of water, eat well, keep in motion, get adjusted and make sure you get regular spinal maintenance care (just like your car!)

Body Art & The Physiology of the Body

Standard

By Dr. Michelle S. Lim

Body Art, such as Tattoos and Piercings can affect the physiology of your body according to Acupuncture Meridians

Body Art, such as Tattoos and Piercings, can affect the physiology of your body according to Acupuncture Meridians

In Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, the study of the meridian system plays a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient.  Much like electricity, meridians are invisible to the human eye, but experienced Chinese doctors and Acupuncturists alike, can feel this energy pathway with their hands.

There are 12 primary meridian pathways, which work like a channel system for Qi (energy or life force) and are interconnected throughout the body.

Along these meridian channels lay acupuncture points.  Acupuncturists use specific points to tonify or sedate specific Qi (or energy) depending on the needs of each individual.

It’s important to take these points into account when getting any kind of piercing, since it can neurologically over stimulate or dampen one’s nervous system.

For example, my colleague had a patient who presented with vomiting, nausea and inconsistent bowel movements.  After visiting several doctors, she was told nothing was wrong with her and that there was nothing they could do for her.  The only solution they provided was fitting her for a feeding tube.

So, being the awesome holistic practitioner that my colleague is, she did some nutritional response testing through muscle tests and found that the patient’s belly button ring was negatively affecting the physiology of this patient. With supplements in tow and a new-found knowledge of how piercings can affect your body, the woman decided to take her belly button ring out immediately. Today, she is nausea free, no longer vomiting and has regular bowel movements again.

What a miracle to go from being told, “You need a feeding tube,” to “You have some nutritional deficiencies and you have a piercing that is offending the meridians in your  body.  Let’s correct that.”  This is the power of holistic medicine.

Ear piercings

Ear piercings

So if you have any recurring issues that fail to resolve, it’s important to look into one’s piercings, and tattoos even, as the majority of tattoo ink offered is filled with heavy chemicals.

The FDA and scientists say colored inks often contain lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, titanium and other heavy metals. Some are industrial grade colors suitable for printers’ ink or automobile paint. Black tattoo inks often are made of soot so they contain known carcinogens called PAHs.

You can see an Acupuncturist, Kinesiologist or any practicing holistic doctor to see if your body art is negatively affecting you in any way.

For more on Tattoo safety, read here: Think Before You Ink.

Ear Points in Chinese Acupuncture Medicine.

Ear Points in Chinese Acupuncture Medicine.

Feeling stuck? Try some emotional therapy using N.E.T.

Standard

By Michelle S. Lim, D.C.

Our emotional reality affects the physiology of our body.

Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all have conditioned reflexes that we’ve acquired in life. Much of these reflexes are necessary for survival and ensure the safety and well being of others. We hit the brakes when we see an animal on the road, we lift our hands up to protect us when we sense something is falling from above, and we pull our hands away when we feel a hot dish. These are all normal reactions that contribute to our well-being, but what happens when we have deep seated emotional responses that no longer serve us?

A classic example would be a soldier who has returned home from war.  Although he is safe and sound in his downtown San Diego neighborhood, the sound of a helicopter flying overhead might trigger his limbic system, dragging along old memories, making him think he was in combat again. He might drop down on the floor and instinctively look for a gun that is not there.  His pulse will beat hard, his breaths even faster, while his blood pressure goes through the roof, anticipating the worst. Obviously, this is a dramatic example of what we know as PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

You see, in the emotional brain (the limbic system), time doesn’t exist.  Due to the fact that emotions don’t have a linear sense of time, but rather, can effortlessly weave in and out of the past, we may be carrying around emotions that unknowingly dictate our lives.  Much like the veteran who’s safe and sound in his home town but still gets a sympathetic flight or fight response every time he hears a loud noise, we may be soldiers of our past, carrying around fears, burdens, anger, resentment, sadness or paralyzed will, unwillingly creating a mental block or emotional prison.

When the emotional aspect of the brain takes over, superceding all rational and logical thought processes, this is called neurological hijacking.  The limbic system takes control and as intelligent as we may be, we become immune to our responses because this is how we’ve always known it to be.

From the very first moment we encountered a not so favored situation, we’ve developed a way to cope with the problem and continue to use that emotional response time after time, much like an automated message.  We’ve trained ourselves to “feel” a certain way regardless of how different the situation is.  If it “feels” like a situation we’ve been in before, we already have a preset reaction to deal with it.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many times when our learned responses serve us well and ensure our survival.  But when it no longer serves us, like the veteran who’s returned home, then we need to retrain our neo-cortex to think differently and be “ok” with whatever’s happening.

Research has already proven that stress causes negative physiologic reaction to the body and science has shown that people under stress are more susceptible to getting ill and are slower to recover compared to those who aren’t under any perceived stress.  Whether real or perceived, stress directly affects the nervous system, which has a great impact on the immune system.

We are capable of measuring the physiologic effects of stress through monitoring heart rate, monitoring the respiratory system, assessing pulse rate, a Galvanic skin response, a polygraph test and muscle testing.

WHAT IS N.E.T.?

N.E.T. stands for Neuro Emotional Technique used by many health practitioners, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, M.D.s, Psychologists and MFTPs alike, who are in favor of holistic and conservative techniques.

Through muscle testing, N.E.T. is a mind-body technique that uses a methodology of finding and removing neurological imbalances related to the physiology of unresolved stress. N.E.T. is a tool that can help improve many behavioral and physical conditions.

WHAT CAN N.E.T. TREAT?

N.E.T. Practitioners are nearly unlimited in their ability to address the physical and behavioral stress-related conditions of their patients. These conditions include headaches, body pains, phobias, general anxiety, self-sabotaging behaviors, organ dysfunctions and so much more. It’s important to note that N.E.T. does not cure or heal the patient, but rather, N.E.T. removes blocks to the natural vitalism of the body, “allowing” the body to repair itself naturally.

N.E.T. has more than a 60% success rate in treating PTSD and is currently approved by the government as a conservative and cost-effective treatment for soldiers returning home.

To learn more, click here to go to the N.E.T. website.

 In the Bellflower, Lakewood, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Cerritos, Norwalk area?

Dr. Lim utilizes the NET technique in her practice.  Call for consultation (562) 920-6644

 

 

Bradley Cooper doesn’t wear deodorant

Standard

By Michelle S. Lim, D.C.

E! News recently reported that Academy Award Nominee, Bradley Cooper, doesn’t wear deodorant.  Apparently, he’s not the only actor with so called “terrible hygiene”.

Cameron Diaz told E! News, “I don’t believe in antiperspirant.  It’s really bad for you. I haven’t used it for almost 20 years. You’re stinky, because you use antiperspirant. It keeps all the stink in. Let it go and just trim your armpit hair so it doesn’t hold onto the scent.”

While in 2008, Julia Roberts confessed to Oprah Winfrey, “I actually don’t use deodorant.  I don’t like to share that with a lot of people.  It’s just never been my thing.”

Heartthrob Matthew McConaughey has also admitted that he doesn’t like to wear deodorant or cologne.

So why does Hollywood chose to smell?  Is this just plain inconsiderate, a trend, or something more than that?

Antiperspirants first raised a concern when it was suggested that there could be a link between deodorants and cancer.  Although there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants and the subsequent development of breast cancer, the ingredients used in common deodorants are still questionable.

Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredient in anti-perspirants.  They form a temporary sweat plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects. Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer

Research has also focused on parabens, which are preservatives used in some deodorants and antiperspirants.  They have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells. Parabens are used in many cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical products, but according to the FDA, most major brands of deodorants and antiperspirants in the United States do not currently contain parabens.  Parabens can go by the name: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben. The National Library of Medicine’s Household Products Database also has information about the ingredients used in most major brands of deodorants and antiperspirants.

So what should you do?  You can purchase crystal stones or natural deodorants at your local health store.  Avoid “Anti-perspirants”-it’s ok to sweat.

But how do I avoid smelling?  Holistically speaking, if you eat a clean diet rich in fruits and vegetables and stay away from processed foods, you shouldn’t really smell bad.  If you notice your odor is more pungent than what is acceptable by your co-workers, colleagues, neighbors, friends and family, then maybe it’s time to think about starting a detox, eliminating toxins and begin eating a cleaner diet.

Why There’s No Such Thing as a Cure

Standard
Chiropractic

Natural Forces within us are the true healers of disease.

 

By Michelle S. Lim, D.C.

Mainstream media loves to throw around the word “cure”.  Waiting for a cure, hope for a cure, raise money for a cure, walk for a cure, run for a cure-everyone wants one.

The thing about a cure, is that there is no such thing.  The problem with relying on a cure is that you shift the paradigm of health as an inside-outside model, to an outside-inside (intervention and drug based) model.  In Western Society, we transition the responsibility of health from our own actions to becoming dependent on doctors and surgeons.  

Our bodies have the amazing ability to heal.  We are intelligent beings who encounter illnesses, diseases and cancer everyday, yet our body is constantly healing and repairing itself.    It’s when our body loses its ability to the ward off malignancy that we become diagnosed and labelled as sick, diseased, or with cancer.  Devastating words that are very much fear-driven.

Disease is no joke, and once stricken, it’s easy to become vulnerable and leave your fate unto the hands of professionals.  Yet, no matter what treatment you chose to receive, the rate of recovery is based on the speed of your healing process.  Did you hear that? It all comes back to your body, your own immune system and your innate intelligence.  There’s no cure because no matter what the intervention, our ability to get well is based on each individual’s ability to heal.  

The health of humans will improve once we reclaim the power to heal and nurture it.  When we all become accountable for the status of our health, there won’t be a need for a cure.  A cure implies something of magic.  And where magic is simply just a mere illusion, I prefer miracles.

If we trust in our body and give it the proper ingredients for wellness, then miracles can come to fruition.  So, the word “cure” needs to be replaced with the word “heal”.  As dynamic beings, our bodies need no intervention, just no interference.  

From a holistic perspective, the only real “cure” is prevention.  Using food as medicine, efficient stress management, staying in constant motion while balancing a stillness of mind, maintaining agility, and living a lifestyle that is congruent to your core values are all different components of health.  When we disrupt the body’s ability to properly communicate within itself by feeding it hormone-ladden, antibiotic induced, bleach, processed, colored and sugared crap, while under constant stress and negative thinking, we set ourselves up for illness.  An imbalanced nervous system equals poor function and poor metabolism, dampening our body’s ability to heal and repair.  

There hasn’t been any progress to finding a cure, because there is none.  Nothing can replace the amount of healing our body has in the ability to perform.  We need to focus on mental, emotional, chemical, and physical health as one mechanism rather than trying to treat each part separately as different illnesses arise.  The more balanced we are in all aspects of our lives, the more we can move toward a constant state of wellness, rather than going up and down the ladder of health and disease.  

So we need to quit throwing around the word “cure” and instead, strive to be pro-active in our health.  We need to get out of this mentality that a magic drug, that is synthetically made, will assist in eradicating illness in disease.  Does it make sense that something “fake” would heal an organic substance?  It’s like giving a live, living plant Vitamin water and imitation sunshine.  Although a plant can grow under artificial lights, it’s vitality is not the same as a plant found in nature. 

We need to awaken and take back our health.  Take back the health that never left us.  Let us nurture ourselves with God’s pharmacy, be kind to the earth, be kind  to others, and especially be kind to ourselves.  It’s time to step up and take responsibility for our vitality.

 

 

 

 

What You Need to Know about Recycling in California

Standard

By Michelle S. Lim, D.C.

As I Yelp through my smartphone to find a local recycling center, I notice the variation in star ratings, ranging from 1-5.  Naturally, I browse through each business, curious to see what everyone is ranting and raving about, and mostly, what makes a Recycling Center worthy of such an extreme review.  After all, aren’t all recycling centers the same?  Surely, no one goes to a recycling center expecting stellar customer service.

After thoroughly reading different reviews and “tips”, there were indeed, those who complained about the lack in customer service (which every Yelper is self entitled to and is never afraid to use).  But the two common denominators amongst those who expressed dissatisfaction with the Recycling Center in question, is :

A) the amount of money they receive in relation to the quantity of goods they deliver.

B) that not all bottles and cans are accepted.

I understand that it’s each company’s individual responsibility to explain this to their patrons, so these people don’t walk away claiming shenanigans on Yelp.  As one reviewer wrote: “This place is a rip off!  Don’t go here.  This place is a scam!”

But after much recycling experience, I empathize with the recycling centers and felt a need to slightly defend them.  This prompted me to do a bit of research on the recycling industry.

BOTTLE BILL

To date, there are 11 states that have a “Bottle Bill” and California is one of them.

Bottle Bill, AKA: Container Deposit Law:  a state law that requires deposits to be paid on beverages sold in recyclable bottles and cans.  The deposit-refund system was created by the beverage industry as a means of guaranteeing the return of their glass bottles to be washed, refilled and resold.

CALIFORNIA REFUND VALUE “CRV”

So anytime you buy a bottle with a “CRV” label, or a California Refund Value, you pay a $0.05 deposit for any bottle under 24 oz. or $0.10 per bottle 24 oz. or greater, which is charged separately from the price of the product being sold at the store.  If you’d like your deposit back, you are encouraged to recycle in order to get cash back on eligible products.

Things to look for on plastic bottles, glass bottles and aluminum cans:  CRV, CA CRV, California Redemption Value, California Cash Refund. 

WHY NOT ALL BEVERAGE CONTAINERS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CASH

All glass and plastic containers are recyclable, but not all plastic and glass containers are part of the CRV program.  The reason being is that plastics are easier to recycle than others.

When recycling, a container’s recyclability is based upon a couple of factors 1) the resin it’s made from 2) the shape of the container and at the macro-level, a container’s recyclability is determined by the market demand for that specific type of reclaimed product (taking into consideration both resin type and shape).

Since glass weighs more and is inflexible, it costs more to ship, resulting in a lower resale value. If your community can’t make a profit collecting glass, that may be why it’s not collected.

Most beverages other than milk, wine, and distilled spirits are subject to California Refund Value (CRV).  If the beverage was purchased out of state, then it is not eligible for cash since you did not pay an extra deposit at check-out.

WHY ONLY BEVERAGE CONTAINERS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CASH 

It’s important to think of recycling as a business.  The cost of recycling is driven by the demand for recycled goods.  Unless we start asking for the use of more recycled materials and purchasing items with recycled material, then only certain materials will remain in higher demand, such as plastic bottles.

The reason why beverage containers are the only items eligible for cash, regardless of it’s recyclability, is the fact that beverage containers comprise a large portion of litter.  Americans waste about 425 beverage containers per capita, per year. 

In non-deposit states, beverage containers account for 40-60% of roadside litter, posing threat to life stock, wildlife and humans, who may come in contact with them.

RECYCLING FOR CASH

Each container under 24 oz. is worth $0.05 and anything over 24 oz. is $0.10 per eligible container.

California law allows the customer to be paid based on container count rather than per pound, but certified recyclers are only required to do so up to 50 containers of each type (aluminum, plastic, bi-metal, and glass) upon the request of the customer. Beyond 50 containers of each type it is up to the individual recycle center operator whether or not to pay the customer by pound or by count.

So before you complain about the amount of cash you receive for recycling, be mindful of the different factors that play a role in the recycling game.  It’s like any other business that relies on the basis of demand.  If we consumed more products with recycled materials, we would get paid more to recycle.  It usually has nothing to do with the individual center’s policies, although, if you do have a complaint about a business center not complying with issues, such as your not honoring your request to get paid by the bottle rather than by weight, you can contact the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) at http://calrecycle.ca.gov or use the recycle hotline,

1-800-RECYCLE.

For more information and tips on how to recycle, check out Eartheasy: Solutions for Sustainable Living.