Honey Be Well

Honey falls in spiral patterns
 "If the dew is warmed by rays of the sun, not honey
but drugs are produced, heavenly gifts for the eyes,
for ulcers and the internal organs."
"The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth."
-Ecclesiasticus, 38:4
There proceedeth from their bellies a liquor of
various color, wherein is medicine for man."
-Qu'ran, 16:69 on bees

Let's give it up for the BEES!
Bees make powerful medicines. 
They provide not only honey, but propolis, pollen, royal jelly and venom--all of which are known for their healing properties. 
Honey through History
The oldest known intact book of medicine, the Papyrus Ebers (15 BC), houses over 800 remedies--over HALF of which call for honey. Hippocrates employed honey in many of his treatments and once said, "Wine and Honey are held to be the best things for human beings, so long as they are administered appropriately and with moderation to both the well and the sick in accordance with their constitution; they are beneficial both alone and mixed." In Chinese medicine, Shen Nong (2 BC) wrote that honey "helps to kill pain and relieves internal heat and fever and is useful to many diseases. It may be mixed with many herbal medicines. If taken regularly, one's memory may be improved, good health ensues, and one may feel neither too hungry nor decrepit." 

What Is It about Honey 
That Makes It So Good? 
Bees add an enzyme (glucose oxidase) to their honey that breaks down into hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria.  Like tiny flying apothecaries, bees choose they plants with which they interact. Different flowers contribute additional antibacterial properties to the honey. Manuka honey from the Tea Tree plant is known to be one of the most potent honeys available.

Manuka honey contains another antibacterial agent (called the "Unique Manuka Factor") that is non-hydrogen peroxide based--killing even more invading bacteria.
"Active Manuka Honey" is the only honey that has been tested for its antibacterial properties. 
You can read more about Manuka Honey by clicking here and here. Very interesting stuff.

When applied topically, the sugar in honey creates osmotic pressure within certain foreign cell bodies and shrivels them to death. The sugar also feeds the hardworking white blood cells. Goop it on-- the honey creates a thick, sterile bandage.

Why Keep Honey in Your Medicine Cabinet?
  •  Sore Throat/Cough -gargle with warm water, Manuka honey, and Himalayan salt
  • Open Wounds, Skin Infections, Burns -apply to cleaned wound as a salve. Change up to 3x/day. Read this for clinical studies on wounds.
  • Less Wrinkles -Apply as a mask and leave on for 20 mins. Humectant and draws out impurities
  • Dry/Tired Eyes/Night Blindness -Sounds scary, right? But it's supposed to work. Apply a lil honey under lid.
  • Anemia -Eat some.
  • Stomach Ulcers -Kills H. Pylori bacteria. Take internally.
  • Staph infections -kills staphylococcus
  • Allergies -eat local honey to adapt to pollen
The list goes on and on...
When buying honey, buy raw and local.
Manuka is imported from New Zealand and more expensive, but I think it's worth it. Click here to see example. 

"It's as if the bees have caught the flu..."

 30% of the world's bee colonies 
were lost last year.

Albert Einstein is attributed with saying, 
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left."

Here's a fascinating TED talk about the decline of the bee population on earth and the detrimental effect that will have on us. Support local bee farming!

The Feet Have to Understand The Pelvis -Ida Rolf

 A good background to this article would be the one I shared about one of my heroes, Ida P. Rolf. You can click on her name to read it, if you like. Dr. Rolf came up with ideas surrounding a tensegrity model, as applied to the body's fascia (sinews). 
Dr. Rolf getting down and dirty with her elbow
Her ideas have been expanded upon by some of the great thinkers in the bodywork movement, including Thomas Myers, founder of Anatomy Trains.
     I was lucky enough to take an Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians workshop for manual therapists in New Jersey, this past October. It was a phenomenal experience. I was able to put to words ideas that I have only experienced in my own practice, but never had explained to me. 
Vesalius (c. 1550) shows us the deep front line
Listening to the instructor, Simone Lindner, was inspiring. Her vast knowedge and passion about this work was contagious. I returned to Jacksonville full of excitement to share with you all that I learned.
Me, Simone, and a Skeleton
 According to the KMI website, 
"Anatomy Trains® maps the 'anatomy of connection' - the whole-body fascial and myofascial linkages. Anatomy Trains links the individual muscles into functional complexes, each with a specific anatomy and 'meaning'. Anatomy Trains leads to new holistic strategies for health professionals, movement teachers, and athletes to resolve complex postural and movement patterns. "
 More simply put, it's a map of how the muscles connect through the fascial networks of the body. This video helps:

To dig deeper into Anatomy Trains, click here or come get a session and let the work speak for itself.

You can study about your own body at your leisure, too. 
Click here to buy the book (I highly recommend it).

Your Magnificent 7 Layer Liquid Crystal Oscillator: Your Heart

The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart. -The Buddha

Heart Nebula

     Your heart is home to your vital energy and spirit. The primary function of the heart team is the development of blood and its transportation. The heart controls life and movement. According to eastern medicine, the heart is also the center or "king" of our emotional existence, so that any extreme emotion injures and afflicts the heart and its mate (the small intestine). A person who has no spirit, no zest for being alive, is said to be, in part, suffering from a malfunction of the heart team.The heart is also the supreme governor of thought and rational behavior. Feeling irrational or lackluster? Maybe your heart is out of balance.

Here is a 3 min. video of Anatomist Dr. Gil Hedley showing a heart in an unembalmed cadaver. He gets pretty emotional about it. Every time I watch it, I do, too. This fist-sized ball of muscle is so enigmatic, can you blame us?

The Heart produces the strongest electromagnetic fields of the body. Recent studies have shown that when people touch or are in proximity, one person's heartbeat signal is registered in the other person's brainwaves (EEG). Could it be the intermingling of these waves?
The above picture illustrates the electromagnetic fields that are produced by the life force/electricity generated by the heart in the chest.

Here is the magnetic field of the Earth. (Look familiar?)

The magnetic fields surrounding a bar magnet. 

And here are the magnetic fields generated by the heart, seen expanding outside the physical body (some believe that this field extends up to several miles outside the body, possibly ad infinitum).

"I was given a young man's heart--
and started craving beer."

     Ever heard of a heart transplant recipient who begins to crave the favorite foods of the donor or be moved to tears by songs the donor once loved? There are countless stories of this happening. Click here to read an article about it. This phenomenon is amazing and mysterious. Does the heart have memory? Which memories does your heart hold?

Separate studies show that the risk of developing heart disease is significantly increased for people who impulsively vent their anger as well as for those who tend to repress angry feelings.

An Exercise For Your Heart 
(that you can do on the couch):

"There are moments when we feel very grateful for the other person in our life...Withdraw yourself to a quiet room and write down your feeling of gratitude. [This is your Heart Sutra.] This moment of gratitude is a moment of enlightenment, of mindfulness, of intelligence. It is a manifestation from the depths of your consciousness...Keep your Heart Sutra in a sacred place. Try to chant your sutra often." -Thich Nhat Hanh

"A wise person nurtures and guards his heart energy with greater attention than he would show for all his physical possessions and wealth." 

Keep in mind that according to eastern medicine, the heart is injured by:
-excess walking, running, jogging, etc.
-"dark" or evil thoughts
-sudden fright or terror
-being too exuberant or dramatic
-excessive emotion of any sort
-hot clothing/drinks/foods/weather
-boozin' and usin'
-excess salt
-eggs (esp. whites) and dairy products

Nurture your heart with laughter, joy, moderate exercise, electrolytes (see ConcenTrace here), MASSAGE, and COMPASSION. Your heart has been working non-stop for you. Isn't it time to give it some attention?

I'll end with this funny video from a Happy Days episode--it's a good anatomy review of the heart and if it gets you to laugh just a little, is good for your, well, you know. 

"My boy don't cheat"-Fonzie

Enough Said

(snapped this today at Delicomb!)

An Apple A Day

I recently returned from a wonderful trip to New York & New Jersey. I  enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and attending an Anatomy Trains workshop. Here are a couple cool pictures that I snapped at my favorite store, Evolution

Here is a human skull that has been disarticulated and displayed under this shiny glass dome. Notice how the upper palate of your mouth, the maxilla, is a fusion of two bones and that your brain is sitting on boney pockets of air.  If we know that the human body is basically just a sack of sea water walking around and that living bone is flexible and spongey, do you think that there is any movement among the sutures of a living skull? That which isn't flexible breaks easily under pressure, right?

As a burgeoning anatomist, have I died and gone to heaven? Here is a collection of actual human skeletons--from a tiny baby up to a full grown adult. (Too bad there isn't a scoliotic 80+ skeleton.) Notice the head/body size ratio in the baby vs. the adult. Can you tell the sex of a body, just by studying its skeleton?

The human structure is an artistic, engineering marvel!

We Are One!

We are experiencing an illusion when we believe ourselves to be separate from others and the rest of the world. 

 It is time to realize that if you are kind to someone else, you are being kind to yourself. If you reach out and help someone, you are helping yourself. If you are peaceful towards others, it becomes difficult to be hard on yourself. Loving yourself and loving others are one in the same.

I invite you to enjoy this incredible video where two dogs demonstrate interbeing.

10 Facts about Wax


     I'll admit it. Last Saturday night, I cleaned my ears with a Q-tip. 

    My entire life I've always heard to never stick anything inside my ear canal that is smaller than my elbow but I had an itch that 
I couldn't scratch otherwise.

     And now I know why that old saying exists. 

     The next day, I felt something become lodged inside my right ear. I could barely hear anything, until a physician scraped out huge clumps of 
black wax .
What exactly is ear wax and was it normal that mine was black

Here are 10 interesting facts that I found in the process of my cerumenal exploration. 

1)  Ear wax (Cerumen) is mainly made of dead skin.

2)  Fear, Anxiety, and Stress increase production of ear wax.

3)  There are two genetically different types of 
ear wax--wet (found in people of Caucasian
 and African decent) and dry (found in people
of East Asian and Native American decent ).
Anthropologists have used ear wax to track human migratory patterns.

4)  Wet Ear wax (containing more fat) is golden orange, brown and black. It glows in a black light:

Dry Ear wax 
is white and flakey.

Dry Ear Wax

5)  Every time you chew, the movement of your jaw bone, or mandible, helps to push the wax up and out of your ear.

6)  Recent research has found that  wax has antibacterial/antifungal properties.

Ear Wax under Electron Microscope
7)  Ear wax has a slightly acidic pH (6.1).

8)  A 1938 article in a women's magazine suggested ear wax to be applied as a form of chapstick.

9)  In medieval times ear wax, and other substances such as urine, were used to prepare pigments used by scribes.

10)  Be thankful for your ear wax! It keeps your ear canal lubricated and clean.

Free Lindsay? How Bout Free My Kombucha!

Last week, I headed over to Native Sun to pick up some necessaries--which included some bottles of Kombucha.  
That's when, to my horror, I saw all the shelves empty 
and this lengthy note:

How could they take away Kombucha?! My imagination began running wild. Just the other day, a friend had shared a theory that the government was trying to keep Americans unhealthy so that we would be more easily controlled.  Taking away this healing tonic is one more example, I was quick to think.
Then, I heard this:
Lindsay Lohan is the reason. 
Lohan,  Kombucha in hand

That's right. Lindsay Lohan.
Click HERE to read a CNBC article about this mess. Turns out Lindsay was wearing a SCRAM bracelet to monitor her alcohol consumption. Lindsay enjoys her Kombucha, just like me, and she claims the alcohol content in the naturally fermented tea is what set off her SCRAM alarm.
 Lohan with Her SCRAM. Classy.

Unpasteurized Kombucha has been temporarily taken off the market to test the alcohol levels .
GT Dave, founder of the company that produces Lohan's Kombucha said that at the time of shipping, the product is compliant with < 0.5 alcohol content. However, these levels could increase while the product is being stored or shipped. 
In the meantime, I'll be making my own--why don't you try? We can have a kombucha exchange. 
These hipster dudes can show us how:

I'll keep you posted about how that turns out.

Interested in learning more about Kombucha? Click HERE.

Spare Your Kidneys: Arnica As Effective As Ibuprofen!

This little mountain flower packs a powerful healing punch

     Recent studies reveal that Arnica is as effective as Ibuprofen in relieving osteoarthritis pain and stiffness. A preparation of arnica extract was chosen for the randomized, double-blind study conducted by researchers in Switzerland. The study had patients with osteoarthritis of the hand joints apply arnica gel topically three times a day, for 21 days. At the end of the three week period, study authors concluded that short-term use of arnica gel improves pain and function in osteoarthritis as effectively as ibuprofen gel.

"Users of ibuprofen and other NSAIDs are at a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes. In addition, more serious side effects of ibuprofen include ulcers, bleeding or holes in the stomach or the intestine. Patients who are at greater risk for these side effects are people who use ibuprofen on a long-term basis, are in poor health or drink 3 or more alcoholic drinks while on ibuprofen."

          Want to buy the best Arnica gel 
    I've found in all my years 
    doing bodywork? This is it:

    Arnica Plus from Peaceful Mountain. I LOVE Peaceful Mountain products and am lucky enough to use them everyday at work. I first came across the brand in a Jacksonville Whole Foods.   
    Trust me. Get Some.

    Arnica, white willow* (aspirin is derived from white willow bark), devil’s claw*, witch hazel**, peppermint*, aloe, potassium sorbate, 
    originox (dont worry--this is Oregano), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, water, carbomer (less than 1%)
    (*certified organic | **certified wild-crafted)

    Click here to check out the Peaceful Mountain informative website and have fun browsing all the great goods. From Colloidal Silver to Chafe Rescue, Joint Rescue to Stomach Rescue, you'll have your first aid kit stocked.  

    And the best part?  
    Mention Marjorie Dickinson, LMT and you will get 30% off your order!   
    (And no, I'm not getting kickbacks.)

    Sunscreen: Snakeoil of the 21st century?

     How Sunscreen Has Been Messing With My Ovaries...Among Other Things
         Imagine my shock when I read that the sunscreen that I have been slathering on since the weather got warmer is actually luring cancer into my life and messing with my hormones.  In fact, the sunscreen that I bought at a Health Food Store in Sarasota, FL is listed DEAD LAST on a list of harmful sunscreens.

    What is it about chemical sunscreens that makes them so bad?

         Many of the chemicals that are in sunscreens are well-known toxic substances.  Ironically enough, most of them are used in chemical laboratories in reactions because when they are exposed to UV light, they produce free radicals. So basically, when you rub them all over your skin and step out into the sun, the UV light hitting your body begins many reactions and free radicals shoot through your tissues like bullets, destroying delicate strands of DNA, causing unstable cell growth (cancer)
         Another major problem with most sunscreens is that they contain gender-bending chemicals.  That's right--these chemicals mimic estrogen in the body (many when exposed to UV light) and can cause serious problems in sexual development in unborn and growing children as well as adult sexual dysfunction. This includes, but is not limited to: loss of libido, endometriosis, lower sperm count, diminished penis size, and undescended testicles

     Research shows that this sunscreen application definitely isn't helping out this couple's sex life.   

    Expected Effects of Estrogenic Chemicals in Humans
    In Women Endometriosis


    Severe PMS

    Erratic Periods 

    Increased Breast and Uterine Cancer

    Fibrocystic breast disease

    Uterine cysts
    In Men Lowered Sperm Counts

    Sexual Identity Confusion - Feminization

    Breast Enlargement 

    Smaller than normal penis size

    More testicular cancer

    Undescended testicles

    Block or reduce fetal imprinting of male behavior pattern in brain 

         New studies with rats have shown that the vitamin A that is added to sunscreens in anti-aging creams is also photoactive. When the sunlight hits, it becomes toxic and makes the wearer more likely to develop cancer. 
          The nano-technology in many of the sprays and zinc sunscreens is also being proven as harmful.  The tiny particles slip right through membranes and enter our lungs and organ systems.

         Benzophenone/PABA/Triethanolamine cocktail anyone??

    At least 35% of the cream that you apply to your skin enters into your bloodstream. 

    In other words, you're drinking it.  One of the most powerful free radical generators, Benzophenone (dioxybenzone, oxybenzone) is activated by...drumroll please...UV light.  Click on the word Benzophenone above and you will be taken to a cosmetics site where it is ranked as a level 9 health hazard (on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is the most concerning).  This chemical is a known carcinogen and much to my dismay, is one of the main ingredients in my Alba Botanica "all natural" facial sunscreen.  I have been rubbing this chemical over the thin skin around my eyes! I am not happy about this. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found detectable levels of oxybenzone in the urine of 97% of Americans over the age of 6! That means you, too!
         In 1998, Dr. Knowland at the University of Oxford did a study, proving that PABA, a common sunscreen ingredient, can damage DNA and cause cancer.  He stated, "I would not use a product containing PABA, Padimate-O or other PABA derivatives"If you're not looking at labels to buy PABA-free products (many of them clearly state it on the front of the bottle), you might want to start.
         In fact, after much of the reading and research I have done to write this post, I have continuously read studies that demonstrate that THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF THAT SUNSCREENS PROTECT AGAINST MELANOMA OR BASAL CELL CARCINOMA.    Some MD's believe that the increased use of sunscreen is actually the primary cause of the skin  and breast/prostate/cervical cancers epidemic.  *Don't get me wrong, there is some evidence that actinic keratoses (the precursors of squamous cell carcinoma) can be thwarted with sunscreen, but that's not the deadly cancer.  Dr. Marianne Berwick of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NY examined data and found "no relationship between sunscreen use at any age and the development of melanoma skin cancer". Sunscreens prevent sunburn, but a sunburn is not a direct cause of cancer.

        " Worldwide, the greatest rise in melanoma has been experienced in countries where chemical sunscreens have been heavily promoted  The rise in melanoma has been exceptionally high in Queensland, Australia  where the medical establishment has vigorously promoted the use of sunscreens. Queensland now has more incidences of melanoma per capita than any other place on Earth. (Garland, Cedric F., et al. Could sunscreens increase melanoma risk? American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 82, No. 4, April 1992, pp. 614-15)."

         In conclusion, most sunscreens on the market contain toxic unstable substances that when exposed to sunlight, become carcinogenic.  These chemicals easily enter our bloodstream, are stored in fat tissue, and accumulate over time. The FDA has done a terrible job, at best, in protecting us from these truths. I strongly urge you to click here and see where your sunscreen ranks on the list. And remember, the best sunscreen is a hat and some clothing or a nice shady tree.  Don't fear the sun! Go get some Vitamin D!!

    Further Reading: