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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wrist Pain and Capoeira

The all-too-common wrist pain/injury in capoeira is often misunderstood and although some issues may be involved within the wrist itself, the shoulder girdle complex is very often more the case.
There's no wrist brace in existence that can replace one's understanding of the body. Pain and injury are opportunities to learn more about ourselves.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Ginga

This is one of many more instructional/demonstration-type of videos that I'll be posting in the new year since it appears many are more interested in this stuff more than the lectures.

If there is any specific exercise or movement you have a question about, just shoot me an email.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It Itself Becomes Sign

The one to whom's unveiled the mystery of love
Exists no longer, but is annihilated in love.
Place before the sun a burning candle,
See how its shining disappears before those lights:
The candle exists no longer, is transfigured into Light.
There are no more signs of it; it itself becomes a Sign.

Odes
RUMI

Timelessness

There is a world without time and space and it is little known that it co-exists with the world of time and space that we know as our physical reality. There is no separation between timelessness and time. This is important because many of us have learned to become slaves to time where we think we never have enough so we live our lives attempting to do as much as we can in the little time we have available. The dark side to this multi-tasking is that we become disconnected from timelessness because we have built our own prison of time. And it is this wall that we have built which is the illusion that there is a separation between the two worlds.

I can share two vivid memories I have that are examples of pure timelessness. Timelessness is another way of saying living in the present. Time is a concept the ego uses to create boundaries and it is this separation that it uses to help identify it self in relation to others and its surroundings. The first example was when I was dating my wife and I had picked her up after work and we went dancing at the old Copacabana on West 57 th St. in NYC. I remember it as if it were yesterday and we were in the middle of the dance floor listening to the rhythms of salsa with the song "Lluvia" being performed live by Eddie Santiago and his band just a few feet away from us. The moment was as if no one else was in the room and Mimi and I were spinning around and I recall swirls of energy dancing with us and it literally felt like we stepped outside of time and what appeared like seconds was actually hours on the dance floor. The other example of timelessness was when our son was born. I remember standing there with the camcorder and when our son "popped out" everything stopped. I can still remember the smell of the room, the TV playing in the background, and my son's first outside cry. Words due no justice in completely describing the moment but one can get an idea if they imagine it being their first being born. In these two moments, I was not the me who I thought I was around those times. My petty neuroses, worries, fears, ambitions, and concerns were all put aside so that the moment was untainted.

Imagine being able to tap into timelessness at any given moment along side the world of time. When you thought your life could get no worse and at that instance stepping outside of time - what do you think it would be like? Please don't try to answer this right now. Just imagine it and see what happens.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Meet the Natives

I just recently watched a show on the Travel Channel called "Meet the Natives" where five indigenous tribesman from the little island of Tanna in the South Pacific visit cities in the United States. In this episode, they were in middle America, Illinois, where they stayed with a family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The beauty of this show is that it reveals the primitive innocence that these tribesman have as a result of living lives of simplicity on an island where modern civilization appears to be far away. They exhibit behavior of children in the sense that everything in modern society is new to them and in that respect display acts of presence, or "being in the moment" and "living in the Now". Now this is not my recommendation to give away all your material possessions and move to the island of Tanna so that you can live a life of Presence (unless that's what you intuit is right for you). But there are plenty of things we can learn from them:
- in one scene, a "native" was helping the wife prepare some Thanksgiving food by opening a can of yams and the chief of the group commented to the other tribesman "Doesn't she know that that food is lifeless?" And further accepted it as the way these people eat and left it at that without any judgment or condemnation.
- in another scene with the same family, the wife was preparing the turkey by cooking it in a plastic bag; the chief expressed his hesitation and concern about eating the turkey because he thought it might be poisonous from the toxins leached from the bag and with humility said he would eat it because he trusted the family's traditions.
- in another episode when they visited New York City and couldn't believe that there were homeless people living on the streets when there were so many "great" buildings around.
- also while in New York a gay couple asked the chief if same sex marriages existed in their culture and the chief explained that because their population is so small, marriages were of the opposite sex so as to produce babies as a matter of tribal survival and he acknowledged and understood that in modern society all the basic needs for survival are met and as long as two individuals have love for each other he didn't see anything "odd" or "wrong" with same sex relationships.

The show is full of these types of examples which remind us of how easily we can become distracted by our busy, modern lives. We are distracted from what it is to be Human and to be connected with this planet and with others. And rather than looking within ourselves first when we experience suffering or struggles or conflict, we seek everything from the outside in the forms of quick-fixes, results, answers, gurus, addictions, obessions, etc where we always chase after what feels good and run away from all that we are afraid of and cling to the past and worry about the future. One doesn't have to join a small tribe in the South Pacific or become a monk and live in a monastery to be Present and understand that we are all Co-Creators of this world and yes, you, reading this blog, can make a difference, as an individual. It all starts with awareness. Awareness of the body leads to awareness of the mind, which leads to awareness of the soul. Body, mind, and soul - watch "Meeting the Natives" and you'll see living examples of individuals who are living in alignment with these three aspects of our Human nature.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Self Realization and Shitting Yourself

This week starts the season of Advent where Christians all over are preparing for the coming of Christ with anticipation and vigilance which culminates with Christ’s birth on Christmas. This anticipation and vigilance does not end with Christmas. Advent is a reminder of the forgotten aspect of our higher nature. In the Christian-religious sense, it’s about being ready for the coming of Christ; and commonly it’s referred to as the second coming of Christ as well. Christians are taught to be at their best behavior because when the day of Judgment arrives (which can be at any moment) those who are prepared may enter the kingdom of heaven and those who are not, may have extra work to do. The anticipation and vigilance is not an expectant attitude but more so the emphasis is on allowing evolution to flow unheeded. Imagine right now where you are the full power of God being exposed to you and all that you believed to be real was wiped away. Do you think you’d be able to handle that? Do you think you’d be able to let go (completely) of your attachments to this world? Most likely you’d shit yourself several times over.

Now let’s walk away from the religious perspective and pretend you have no experience with religions and are without any past conditioning and beliefs and dogma. As you learn to acknowledge the non-physical aspects of you, the soul and spirit natures, you’ll come to the realization that this is a whole new ballgame. This can be viewed as the “second coming of Christ” which is the self-realization of mankind. Man transcends the physical world and no longer is split between the physical and non-physical but is of them both in unity. Anticipation and vigilance is a practice of astute awareness of one’s mind, body, and higher natures. In my practice of health consulting, I learned through trial and error that if you give a client too much too soon, your well intentioned help may backfire on you resulting in a very confused client. Some people need steps depending on where they are in life before “waking up” and having clarity and knowledge of the “higher worlds”. If ten feet of snow fell on a town all at once there wouldn’t be much of a town left and the same is true for self-realization.

The first step is to simply practice awareness and be the watcher or stalker of the mind. Without judgment and condemnation, acknowledge your thoughts for what they are: reactions to memory as knowledge and experience; all of which are based upon the past and assist one to speculate about the future. The mind that wants it all right now is merely escaping from the opportunity to unite the body, mind, and soul. Rather than escape, try hanging around for a bit and see what happens. Hang around outside your self-built comfort zone and be accepting of whatever comes your way. This is the Soul at work. Imagine how many times we’ve pushed the soul away only to satisfy our limited ego needs.

For this holiday season try being the vigilante of your thoughts so as to clear the path for the Soul.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Judging Others

"Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye', while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."

Matthew 7: 1-5

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Art of Pooping

The following is a complement to a recent youtube video post by Sean from UnderGround Wellness.com; This is an article I wrote about a year and a half ago for my JocsonHealth Newsletter. Some things are alwyas relevant.


The Art of Pooping

Let go of what you think this article is about. It’s a more serious matter than what you may expect. I could have used “shitting” in the title but felt that was too vulgar; or “defecating” but felt that was too boring; so I decided to use what my 4 ½ year old son refers to his bowel movements, “poops”. We are living in a nation of constipation. Modern society is more backed up than our ancestors could ever imagine. If you’re reading this and think that just because you poop 1-3 times a day, that everything’s okay, you’re in for a rude awakening. There are two things to consider in this situation: 1) The diameter of your pipe (intestine) becomes narrower as you become more backed up. Your bowels may be moving but through a smaller hole. This is what happens before a pipe becomes completely clogged; 2) Throughout the course of the intestinal tract, some portions may be narrower or wider than others due to an accumulation of uneliminated feces, mucoid plaque, and intestinal wall encrustation. So you see, just because your bowels are moving does not necessarily mean that they are flowing as freely as they can be. Everyday life stress, poor diet choices, lack of movement, prescription drugs, lack of direction in life, hating your job, negativity, faulty posture, stubbornness, hopelessness, etc. are all reasons that can contribute towards constipation. The colon is the “elimination” center where it literally packs things up and prepares waste to be removed from the body. It also reabsorbs things that may still be useful to the body. When you’re constipated, things that were meant to be eliminated hang around longer than usual leading to a toxic waste dump type of a situation. The body will continue to function with this extra toxic load but it eventually takes its toll. Laxatives may help to a degree but are not the”quick fix” solution that many people believe them to be. Years of uneliminated feces and other toxic waste will not be removed so easily from a round of taking laxatives. Although there are many things one can do to address constipation, I will focus on the physical, or mechanical, aspects that can help assist the situation. And quite possibly relieve or lessen the need for the other approaches.

The Modern Toilet

The “porcelain throne” was actually invented in the UK as a way to “civilize” such a “barbaric” act as defecating. Previous to about the late 18th and early 19th centuries, our ancestors didn’t have toilets and were pooping by the most natural way our bodies were meant to poop: by SQUATTING. In ancient civilizations, the only people sitting to poop were royalty and the handicapped. Squatting was considered too lowly and an act of the common folk. Sitting was a much more dignified posture as compared to the animalistic squatting position. The problem that arose is that the sitting posture was more for the satisfaction of the ego rather than the function of the body. If one looks at the anatomy of the human colon, what you’ll find is that humans are the only species where our bowels have to move upward against gravity. This is evident where the small intestine transitions into the large intestine by the ascending colon (as an anatomy refresher the ascending colon goes up on the right lower front ribcage and then across the lower rib cage as the transverse colon, to the left, where the descending colon goes down towards the pelvic basin and turns into the sigmoid colon before it turns into he rectum and then your anus). Before the small intestine turns into the large intestine there is a one-way valve called the ileocecal valve that prevents feces from re-entering the small intestine (which would contaminate it). Around this area attached to the ascending colon is the appendix. The appendix has an important function (despite what many in the medical community think) in “screening” toxins as they enter the colon. At the other end of the colon, by the sigmoid portion where it meets the rectum, there is another valve that prevents feces from leaking out of the anus until one is ready to go poop. This valve is called the puborectalis portion of the levator ani muscle. This muscle literally “chokes” the rectum so that we don’t poop ourselves.

The Art of Squatting

In the natural squatting posture, the pressure of the right thigh against the ascending colon allows for the ileocecal valve to completely close and creates pressure so that the feces can be mobilized upward through the ascending colon. At the other end of the colon, the pressure of the left thigh against the rib cage allows for the puborecalis muscle to completely relax and open, allowing for a clean evacuation of the feces. Ideally this process is effortless and there’s no straining involved. During sitting, the ileocecal valve is not supported enough and is loosely “open” allowing for the feces to back log into the small intestine. This can create a tremendous stress to the appendix which can also become back logged and lead to the condition of appendicitis. Also, as a result of sitting there is no mechanical pressure against the ascending colon to assist peristalsis, so the common way for people to get things moving is to strain. Straining involves holding one’s breath and pushing. This is called a Valsalva maneuver and causes the diaphragm muscle to be blown downward which causes the pelvic floor to also become “ballooned”, or pushed downward. Sitting also reinforces the “choking” of the rectum by the puborectalis muscle which is another reason for one to strain. Pooping while sitting is obviously possible, but my point is that it’s not as efficient or ideal as squatting. You’re creating unnecessary stress to the body from a lifetime of pooping on the modern day toilet. Conditions such as appendicitis, constipation, uterine/ovarian fibroids, prostate dysfunctions, bladder incontinence, endometriosis, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, Chrohn’s disease, and any other disease or dysfunction of the abdominal/pelvic viscera as well as degeneration of the lumbosacral spine, hips and knees can be linked to seated pooping.

When I physically assess clients, one of the movements I check is their ability to fully squat to the floor. This is not only giving me information as far as the mobility of their spine and lower extremities but the function of their digestive system as well its relationships to the rest of the body. If I find someone is unable to fully squat, part of their program is to get them as much as possible to do so. In this way, I’ve addressed many birds with so few stones. My recommendation for many of you right now is to get your ass off the chair and see how low you can comfortably squat towards the floor. Another thing I recommend is to either purchase or make your own “squat stool” to be placed around your toilet. A device such as the Nature’s Platform product is a fantastic way to allow for a natural squatting position. I no longer recommend the Life Step foot stool since it is not as effective as the Nature’s platform. The Life Step still promotes most of the weight on one’s ass (or sitting position) rather than the feet.

In summary, if you’re not squatting, you’re not pooping effectively. If you feel you can’t squat (for whatever reason), hire someone that can help you. This is something so simple and so effective that I put it on my list of “Simple Things Patients Can Do on Their Own before Seeing a Doctor”. I also classify it as a clinical pearl. Try it. It works.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Love Is All That Exists

Be drunk on love, because love is all that exists;
Without love, no one has the right to enter His house.
They ask, "What is love?" Reply: "Giving up your self-will."
He who hasn't given up his will isn't chosen.
The lover's an emperor, the two worlds are at his feet:
Does an emperor notice what is thrown in his path?
It is Love and the Lover that live eternally-
Don't lend your heart to anything else; all else is borrowed.
How long will you go on and on embracing a corpse?
Embrace the soul that is embraced by nothing else.

RUMI

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Meaning of Michaelmas

The following article was taken from this month's Jocson Health newsletter. I thought it was appropriate to post it to my blog so those who don't get my newsletter could also benefit. Enjoy!




The Meaning of Michaelmas

During the end of September (9/29 to be exact), around the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and the start of the Fall season is a little known celebration that is popular in esoteric circles but utterly unknown to the masses is the Feast of the Archangel Michael. Why hasn’t commercialism banked on this universal spiritual holiday? Well, for starters, I don’t think the selling of the mythological story of Michael slaying the Dragon and banishing it from the Heavens into the depths of Humanity where it forever dwells waiting for its opportunity to spark chaos throughout. Hmmm,..I just can’t imagine Walmart making a commercial for a Michaelmas season sale where dead dragons are featured with Michael’s sword of Truth and Wisdom piercing their hearts.

So what exactly is Michaelmas?

So as the story goes, Archangel Michael slays the Dragon, who is otherwise known as Satan, Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness, etc. The Dragon was also a Divine Being who chose to separate itself away from God (or the Creator) and because it was so influential, the impulse of Michael was warranted to send this fallen angel not into the depths of the Earth, but rather into the essences of Earth’s main inhabitants, Humans. The shooting stars that are so common during the late Summer and early Fall symbolize the flashing Sword of Michael battling the Dragon. This Dragon lives within each and every one of us and the way we feed and nurture it is by not acknowledging our soul-spiritual natures as well as ignoring the soul-spiritual natures of all living creatures. The greatest energy of this Dragon centers around our heart region. Imagine the phrase “having a heart of coal or stone” and this is what happens with a fattened Dragon. When one achieves the self-realization of the God within us (ie. discovering our true and original spiritual nature), the Dragon starves.

Despite the Dragon giving a sense of evilness, it actually serves a grander purpose and has its gifts. It is because of this Luciferic Being that Man has Free Will and the capability to be independent and free. And it is for this reason that we can not “blame” God when bad things happen to good people. We did that. And as one gains a deeper understanding of this, there’s no longer any need to blame because things are simply the way they are (if this perplexes you or confuses you, some study into karma and reincarnation may benefit). And on the other hand, because of our Free Will, we can choose to fulfill our destiny of accelerating our evolution of Humanity into Higher Spiritual Beings as “begotten sons of God”. The Dragon doesn’t want this to happen.

Michaelmas is a festival and celebration of the Individual resurrecting his/her soul-spiritual natures; it celebrates the realization of one’s Higher Self. The Michael Impulse is “inspired” during the Fall season infusing us all with the characteristics of courage of the Soul, strength of the will, and the wisdom of the Light received within us. Michaelmas is the polar opposite of the Easter celebration in the Spring just like where the Spring is opposite to the Fall. In Easter, Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross (Death) and His soul was then resurrected into Heaven. In Michaelmas, the Soul is resurrected from within and what is dead is let go of without. This reflects the rhythms of the planets and the seasons where during the Spring, the Earth is in a state of expiration (exhalation) and during the Autumn it is in a state of inspiration (inhalation). In Autumn, the Earth on a superficial level is experiencing death with the shedding of the leaves and the dying of its plants while within its greatest depths it is taking in (inspiring) the newly, Heavenly forces from the Cosmos in which new growth can be manifested and “exhaled” during the Spring and Summer seasons. This is why the spiritual characteristic of Autumn is Clarity. One can not take in (and be clear with) what is new if one does not let go of what is old.

Interestingly enough, one does not have to be a Christian to celebrate Michaelmas. In fact other religions have similar celebrations around the Fall season. In Judaism, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish “New Year” is typically around the Fall Equinox and is followed ten days later by the “Day of Atonement” of Yom Kippur. Michaelmas is about a week after the Fall Equinox and a day after Yom Kippur. In Yom Kippur, one makes amends for the past year’s sins and one can look at a sin as anything that brings one further away from their soul-spiritual natures. In Islamic religion the ninth month of the Muslim calendar is called Ramadan and it is believed that this was when the Holy Quran “was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation”. This is a month where Muslims intensify their worship and contemplation through acts such as fasting. Fasting is another way of clearing away the “death” within you so as to step fully into your faith. Hmmm, sounds like Ramadan, Yom Kippur, Michaelmas, and the Fall season are very much in line with each other. Ramadan changes every year due to the movements of the Moon and for 2009 it started on August 22 and ends on September 19 (the first day of Rosh Hashanah). With the coming years, Ramadan appears to be occurring earlier in the year. In the North East of the United States, we experienced some early Fall weather during the last couple of weeks of August demonstrated with a drop in the temperature and some early leaves falling in certain parts of New York. Coincidence? Probably not. The rhythms of the macrocosm and microcosm are rapidly changing and if you take an open-minded understanding of the Mayan calendar and all this 2012 talk, what you’ll find is that the times are definitely changing; and fast.

What does this all mean for you? Take advantage of the cosmic rhythms by doing some fasting and cleansing and detoxification during this Fall season. Know that the season’s characteristics of courage, strength of will, and wisdom with clarity are all there for you to use. Many of you may have already experienced some kind of upheaval in your lives within the past few weeks. Whether it be you lost your job, got sick, or someone close to you has died, or any other tragic experience, just know that you have so much more going for you at this very moment if ever in the history of time, where the rhythms are flowing and the planets are aligning and all you have to do is to get off your sorry-ass, woe-is-me little self and step fully into your True Authentic Self and “slay the Dragon” within you.

Have an Enlightening Michaelmas Everyone!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Despacho Ceremony


This is a traditional Andean shamanic ceremony that is an offering to all of existence. In Andean cosmology the offerings are specifically to the Pachamama (Mother Earth), the Apus (mountains), the Heavens and the Cosmos, and all of Nature. It is a gesture reminding us of how life is a celebration to be celebrated rather than a problem to be solved. The ceremony itself is a living energy that aligns itself with the rhythms of the heavens above and the Earth below and brings all that are involved in unity with the universe. One can imagine it as a living entity, a spirit, or a deva that works towards whatever the specific intention set forth by the participants. One of the most popular types of despacho ceremonies is the Ayni Despacho. “Ayni” is a quechua term representing reciprocity and right relationship. This despacho helps restore order and brings a balance throughout the continuum of energy of those involved helping the release of heavy, dark energies (hucha) allowing an individual to step fully into their lightness. The intention of the ceremony is key.

I recently held my first despacho this past week due to particular circumstances in a few of my clients lives (as well as mine). The intention was to fully surrender to life (to the Present) so as to allow balance and harmony to flow freely and to create right relationship between the mind/ego, the True Authentic Self, and the rest of the Cosmos. In other words, we step out of the way and let Spirit flow through. The despacho ceremony confuses the mind because the mind doesn’t comprehend things of this nature (which is often the culprit of one’s suffering). Instead, the ceremony takes one to a sacred level which is where the soul/spiritual natures operate. I noticed a pattern in my client’s lives, as well as mine, where once every bump in the road of the journey is cleared a tendency to want to go back to where one has already traveled arises. This is like the last temptation of Christ where once an individual gains freedom, newer responsibilities arise and those who are ready to accept them move on and those who are not have the option to go back to “Summer school” and review their lessons.

The above is a picture of the prayer bundle created during the despacho ceremony my client and I celebrated. Later that night I held a solo fire ceremony and offered the prayer bundle to the fire as a way to sign the dotted line and close the experience.

So if you noticed anything significant this past few days or week in your life, it could be your Higher Self trying to bring balance and right relationship into your life. Yes, it is true. If you are reading this, you were included in my prayers during the despacho ceremony.

Tupananchiscama (until our paths cross again),
Michael

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Consciousness is Accelerating

This week Time magazine's cover story by Bryan Walsh exposes on a national level our country's pink elephant which is the topic of the cost of cheap food. The "think big" American attitude has created an efficient food producing industry that as a result of being efficient to produce more for less has become tremendously inefficient if you factor in the costs to the health of the land as well as the individual. This story is riding the tide set by documentaries and books like Fast Food Nation and Food, Inc. and The Omnivores Dilemma. Consciousness is accelerating and for Time Magazine to publish such a sensitive topic, the hundredth monkey phenomenom is set in motion.

A highlight for me are some of the chart comparisons in the article such as the one comparing a grass-fed, organic, sustainably-raised cow and a conventionally-raised, feed-lot cow. Another highlight is about how runoff from chemical fertilizers used in the Midwest produces "dead zones" throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Dead zones are areas in the water that have almost no oxygen for sea life to thrive caused by chemical pollution.

Although this article exposes what industry does not want the public to know it will create a reaction from those tied to the agriculture sector. I find it fascinating reading both sides of the fence and it's clearly obvious to see the cattle and farming industries trying to defend themselves by defaming the author or saying such opinions are nonsense and unvalidated. Regardless of any arguements, which is simply school ground fighting, the article was published, front cover in a very popular media outlet. People are not innately stupid and and much respect is to be given for each individual to come up with their own conclusions.

Below is a website link to Walsh's article from Time.
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1917458,00.html



And here's a link to an opinion from the other side of the fence. See if you can get a sense of where each side is coming from and decide for yourself. You're not stupid.


http://www.cattlenetwork.com/Jolley--Time-Magazine-s-Cheap-Food-Story---Even-Cheaper-Reporting/2009-08-24/Article.aspx?oid=828872&fid=VN-HOT_TOPICS

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How can you change the world?

Early this morning when I went to take a walk to the local bagel shop (it's nostalgic for me; growing up having bagels on Sunday mornings) I noticed that every single person that I passed by and attempted to smile or say "hi" to, avoided eye contact with me and kept on walking. It reminded me of whenever I go out-of-state how different it is from New York and it's so normal for people to say hello to a stranger. Maybe the people I encountered this morning secretly knew I was picking up some bagels and were judgmental towards gluten-laden food and the people who can eat gluten without any problems? Probably not. This is fairly common in over populated metropolitan areas where people are more on defensive mode and their minds have so much going on at any given instant that the overstimulation distracts them from responding to a simple smile, or "hello", or even a "how are you?". Fortunately, where I live not everyone is like this. When I pass by someone I always try to make eye contact and give some sort of acknowledgment to one's presence and the response is commonly a previously dormant smile or reciprocal gesture. I can not say what effect a simple "hello" or smile does for the other person but I can say for me it brightens that moment and reminds me of living in the present. As a shaman, I can observe how an individual's aura shifts from a somewhat contracted and jagged state to a smoother, expansive form after such a novel act. A person's body, posture, and movements can tell a lot about an individual and I've noticed that by giving a smile every once in awhile can make a difference in a person's day.

I read in a Facebook friend's update a quote from a shaman who advised that we greet everyone we meet as ourselves and to feel with ALL of our heart. Hmmm. Isn't that what it means in the yogic philosophy and spirituality term "namaste"? Nasmaste - "My essence acknowledges and bows down to your essence". Isn't that beautiful?

I challenge everyone reading this blog to try this practice. The next time you come a cross another being, human, animal, or plant, or any other resident of this planet, make an effort to make eye contact and give a smile or "hello" or "how are you?" (or in Howard Beach, where I'm from, the old head nod as if saying "what's up?) without any expectation of reciprocity. This I know can change the world.

Thank You.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Which would you choose?

I recently experienced a client of mine who had a stroke last week. Now before you get your one-sided criticisms, judgements, and opinions of this story, put them aside and listen to the rest of it. My client has been on a healing journey for the past few years to renew a lifetime of pain and suffering from abuse and toxicities physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Earlier this year she made the decision to get off all of her prescription medications because she intuitively felt they were creating more harm than good in that she did not feel alive, or at least did not know what feeling alive was like because all her life she listened to others and the world outside of her to tell her what feeling alive was like, rather than listening to her inner voice. In other words, her soul has been screaming to break out of her numb, mummified, crystalized shell of existence. With each crises we experience in our lives, it is part of Nature's way for cleansing and upheaval and an opportunity for us to step up to finally become Human Beings - the realization that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Existence without acknowledging spirit is called materialism.With materialistic thinking, one may look at her situation as being a case of her not taking her cardiac medications resulting in her stroke and giving bragging rights and the "I told you so" degradations of her doctors and loved ones.

Let's zoom in a little bit more. Like any process there involves a peeling away of the many layers accummulated from a lifetime of bad habits, dogma, and conditioning from our parents, families, society, religion, government, the media, etc. Very few people understand what it is to be truly FREE human beings - "Free beings are those who can will what they themselves hold to be right" (Rudolf Steiner); and this occurs at every given moment. Making choices based upon fear is not freedom. "Take this pill or you'll die" is an enslavement (and insult) of our consciousness. It is when one decides to break free from the binds of conventionality that begins the path towards healing. How can one know freedom if they do not have the courage to move towards it?

Another perspective of this client's situation is that the stroke is symbolic of a wake-up call to completely surrender to the world of spirit; to intensify one's relationship with their soul-spiritual natures. What better time than a physical crises to start a path towards spirituality? What do most people who are facing death and the Grim Reaper unexpectedly say? "Oh my God!" The stroke can be viewed as a spark to reignite what feeling alive is all about. It is true that this client could have died from this brain insult; but she didn't, which further reinforces the urgency and "second chance" she's getting to live a life of freedom. This is what healing is all about. Sometimes you need to hit a few bumpy roads in order to appreciate and understand the smooth ones.

So I leave you with this question:
Would you rather live a life where you are numb, blind, and desensitized to life or to live a life where you experience something like a stroke so that you can feel alive? In other words, many people who appear healthy are actually truly sick because they are desensitized to who they are with respect to their soul-spiritual natures. This is what my client was experiencing from the side effects of her meds. She felt like one of those zombies from the movie "The Dawn of the Living Dead". This is an example of how society tends to keep the dead alive and kill the living. On the other hand, sometimes it takes a crises for one to wake up and smell the roses. And when you smell the roses, you can lift yourself to higher ground to get a better view of your life.

Please keep in mind that there is no wrong answer to the above question. It all depends where you are in life and from where your vantage point is.

What's my answer to the above? I'd rather live a life where my perceptions are filled with pristine clarity so that my mind can make clearer choices rather than be foggy and deluded which can give faulty sense impressions (and thus misconceptions) of life. To be free takes a lot of balls and a lot of responsibility. What most people lack is taking responsibility for themselves because they willingly tend to give it to anything external to them (ie. people, things, situations, etc). Your doctor may be able to save your life but they can never tell you how to live one.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Research Study: Hip Exercises for OA Knees

http://www.news-line.com/commander.lasso?-Search=Action&-Table=webinfo&-Database=newsline&-KeyValue=6617&-token.profession=PT&-token.target=onenews

This is a current study to see if strengthening the hip muscles while unload osteoarthritic knees. Duh. This is a good example of how the physical therapy profession is a bit behind due to its infatuation with evidence-based practice and desire for autonomy in health care. The good news is that it's drifting away from the isolationist's approach and somewhat expanding to a more integrated perspective. What typically starts as an investigation of the knee joints with studies of the quadriceps and hamstrings is now progressing to the hip's gluteals. Pretty soon studies will dare to step out of the box and look into improving intestinal peristalsis, bile flow, digestion, liver detoxification, and overall hydration of an individual to improve osteoarthritic cases.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Physical Therapists' Use of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Older Adults with Chronic Pain: A Nationwide Survey

http://www.ptjournal.org/cgi/content/abstract/89/5/456

The above link is about a telephone survey of PTs from across the USA regarding their use of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This was in response to evidense in the pain management field that CBT can be effective. The PTs surveyed used CBT techniques minimally due to several factors such as lack of training and time and reimbursement issues.

My take on this: What the conventional medical model is calling CBT is simply another form of connecting the physical body to mental and emotional aspects, which when imbalanced can manifest as physical symptoms. Duh. You see, physical therapy in the USA is trying to find autonomy in the medical profession with advancements in PT education transitioning into a doctorate level and with the evidence-based mind-set (ie. "if it's not perceptible by my five senses, it doesn't exist"). With increasing "got you by the balls" tactics of health insurance companies with decreasing reimbursement for services rendered, the PT profession is being blinded by their own need for autonomy. In other words, the route they're heading for now is a route already tread by the chiropractic and medical professions where trying to establish their "worth" to insurers who care more about the bottom line rather than the actual health care of individuals is an uphill battle.

I've been using so-called CBT approaches for several years now but I never called it that. Back when I was a student right into my early years working as a PT, I had observed a direct relationship between a patient's emotional and mental status to their offending complaint. But whenever direct intervention into the mental and emotional aspects was brought up, it was deemed out of line for our profession and that area of expertise was to be referred to some kind of licensed psychiatric professional. I know what you're thinking: pretty idiotic, right? So you see why if the PT profession continues to neglect the interrelationships of the physical, emotional, mental, and dare I say the spiritual components of the human being, how limited the profession will and currently is?

I walked away from the PT profession in 2007 because I found it to be too restrictive of my nature as a healing professional. Rather than tread the same path as others before me and become frustrated, angry, depressed, and lost, I chose to create my own path in health care.

The good news from this survey is that the PT profession has an opportunity to step outside of what is traditional and explore new avenues.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Meditation & Movement

Many people think they know what meditation is and still have not devoted any effort toward a meditative practice and thus can not really understand it unless they've thoroughly experienced it with open receptiveness and a willingness to change, or explore, their current "thinking"; of which is not truly living thinking but more so "dead" thinking. Thinking, in the ordinary sense, is based upon thoughts which are completed, finished, and the result of as compared to thinking for the sake of thinking itself; the actual process of thinking where the subject, you the "thinker" becomes the object. "Dead" thinking separates the subject from the object disregarding the "process" for the "result" (ie. the actual thought). This leads one "stuck" in the pre-conditioned realm of the subconscious which is based upon past thoughts and previous conditioning. The ego, as a vehicle for one's sense of self attaches itself to the subconscious because it can easily control and manipulate preconceived concepts and contain one's reality. This is how our parents, religion, the government, the media, and multi-national corporations can easily control us.

With "living" thinking there is no separation between the subject and object and it provides a direct link to the superconscious through our intuitions. Our intuitions allow our Soul to be guided by our Spiritual-Divine nature (rather than just our Ego-material nature). With living thinking, or pure thinking, we tap into our essence and experience our eternal capacity. When we are able to bring this capacity back down to earth, we are considered "enlightened", or awakened to a whole new level of existence.

Meditation as a practice allows one to tap into living thinking. Could you imagine if Copernicus did not practice living thinking that he'd ever find the balls to disagree with the norm of his day that the Earth was the center of the Universe?

With meditation, after awhile you become aware of the ability to cultivate refined "energy", or "chi" in the Taoist sense which you can use to harmonize your subtle energy bodies. When movement is added to a practice of meditation it further intensifies the experience and "re-educates" the flow that has become accustomed to stagnation. Stagnation leads to disease. Various disciplines such as qigong, taichi, and yoga utilize meditation and movement which explains their effectiveness.

One does not have to learn the traditional disciplines if one is willing to explore their self. Traditional disciplines may fall into the trap of dogmatism which further tethers one's Soul to the demise of egotism. Meditation and movement can be a free expression of one's Soul individuality which keeps in line with how energy operates, which is constantly in motion in a moment-to-moment dynamic, where nothing is ever the same and is constantly changing. Imagine your life right now if you could experience such presentness.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Who are You?

Two souls, alas, dwell within my breast,
Each wants to separate from the other;
One, in hearty lovelust,
Clings to earth with clutching organs;
The other lifts itself mightily from the dust
To high ancestral regions.

Goethe, Faust I, 1112

Friday, April 24, 2009

Brain Parasites

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PainManagement/story?id=6309464&page=1

Thanks to my friend Antonio for sharing this link. Parasites in the brain, one wouldn't normally think it's possible but it does make sense. The brain and the gut have many similarities. Just look at the way the structures look similar when you compare the convolutions of the intestines and of the cerebrum as well as the similar amount of neurological structures in both areas. Parasites flourish when the environment within allows for it. Think of them as squatters who take over when given the opportunity (that's why they're classified as "opportunistic organisms"). We normally are able to police parasites with a healthy functioning system. The brain is an organ for thinking and the gut is an organ(s) of metabolism. When the gut isn't functioning properly, other areas take up the slack such as in this case in the brain. The parasite travels to the brain through the circulation (blood).

From a spiritual perspective, the lady in the video may not be using her organ of thinking enough. The right side of the brain is more attuned for experiencing supersensible knowledge and this experience may be a way for her soul to get her attention towards some lacking aspect in her life.

When we do not fully utilize the potential of our organs, they can atrophy and become prey to microbes.

Something to think about.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Type of Nutritionists?

With the Spring comes gardening time in my backyard and while I was reconditioning and tilling a new plot for planting I came up with the following thought. I know there are different types of "nutritionists" available to the public and it just made sense to me that if someone is going to help others understand about nutrition and food and health and the effects/benefits from what we eat, drink, and breathe, would'nt it be great if that person was also a gardener? There's something about the whole process: from preparing the soils, planting the seeds, watering, pulling out weeds, to full blossoming into ripened fruit onto your plate for a cosmic experience we call a meal.

How many nutritionists or health/wellness professionals that coach clients about food, diet, and nutrition have their own garden? I'm not saying that they should and if they don't they're any less of a professional but my point is the whole process of the experience of taking care of one's own garden connects them deeper with the very subject in which they make a living on.

Consuming organic and/or locally grown produce is great, but wait until you've tried something from your own garden.

I've been in the medical/health/wellness profession for over 13 years now and it wasn't until last year that my wife, son, and I started our own garden. Previous to that I thought I had a decent understanding of food but now I've evolved into a deeper understanding and relationship to the Earth, the Universe/Cosmos, and Man in between. When you eat or drink something, what's your experience? What's behind the initial "it tastes good or it tastes bad" reaction? What's the process all about for you? It might be easier for you to answer these questions after you've consumed something fresh from your garden.

Maybe I'm on to something here. What if in order for one to graduate with a degree in nutrition they had to grow their own garden as part of the curriculum? In fact, everyone of us could be "nutritionists" if we tended our own food. Why go to school when you can start today and plant some seeds.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Successful Liver & Gallbladder Flushes

With the Spring comes the sense that it's time to clean up and many choose to do so with some liver and gallbladder flushing. Here's the thing: a successful flush is not in how many stones you poop out but in what did you experience during the process. What did you learn and come to an understanding about yourself, your body, and life in general? Focus on how many stones expelled is a reflection of how one lives their life guided by the misguided ego where it's all about the "results" and not so much the process. Focusing on the results takes one out of the present by living on expectations. Expectations inevitably brings suffering.

You have the power to eliminate suffering from your life.

Live the moment. Be the moment.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Billions of Dollars and Still No Cures

Ever wonder where all the money that goes into finding cures goes after all these years? Have they been effective? Cancer is still significant. AIDS doesn't seem to be going anywhere. And now we're trying to find a "cure" for obesity. Maybe it's time to look outside the box?

Here's the thing: It's quite possible that the human physical body is not too concerned about being cured. It'd rather be stimulated to wake up its healing capabilities. It'd rather learn through the process of healing rather than be given the result of a cure. What happens when someone always gives you the answers without you trying to figure it out on your own? You get lazy and lose the ability to think for yourself. Just imagine if this possibility was understood by those seeking cures. What would life be like? I'd probably be a very rich (financially) man but being that ours is a society that contines to look for the easy way out or the quick-fix, I'm actually very poor, for now. Emphasis on results leads to chaos; emphasis on the process expands the possibilities and allows one to break free of the "box".

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Humanity Ascending

I just saw a documentary with Barbara Marx Hubbard where she eloquently expresses our possible future by reviewing our past and present. It reminded me of what I've recently been observing where others are constantly "searching" for answers and data and information and are going from one source to another in the ultimate quest for knowledge. My question is: What are people looking for? My answer: Their Selves. Man has always had a yearning to find out who he is, where did he come from, and what's his purpose in life. I know one of my peers who's taken a lot of training this past year and has sort of opened up a Pandora's box of information and can't seem to quench her thirst to know more. Sooner or later she'll find her journey will eventually lead her to her spiritual Self. Times are changing and Consciousness is accelerating.