Thursday, December 27, 2012

Foot Reflexology Chart

Here's a handy dandy foot reflexology chart that I found on Facebook. My cousin travels to China frequently on business,  and one of his first stops is for a foot reflexology session.  He swears by it. One of these days I will try it out, but for now I am extremely happy with acupuncture.

What is it? Wikipedia explains Reflexology (which also includes hands and ears) this way:

The Reflexology Association of Canada defines reflexology as:
"A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crèmes or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body."

Reflexologists posit that the blockage of an energy field, invisible life force, or Qi, can prevent healing. Another tenet of reflexology is the belief that practitioners can relieve stress and pain in other parts of the body through the manipulation of the feet. One claimed explanation is that the pressure received in the feet may send signals that 'balance' the nervous system or release chemicals such as endorphins that reduce stress and pain. These hypotheses are rejected by the general medical community, who cite a lack of scientific evidence and the well-tested germ theory of disease.

Naturally, Western medicine will categorize anything it can't explain as bogus, but if it works why not give it a try. It's not as if it can harm you.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Firmly press  the affected point with thumb for 5 seconds and then release for 3 seconds.  Repeat for 2-3 minutes for 5 to 10 days.




Source of chart and instructions: Sungazing Facebook

Monday, December 24, 2012

Priorities- Happy Holidays 2012

While some kids are thinking about what Santa will bring them on Christmas eve, others realize that there are priorities much greater than receiving the latest X-Box under their tree.

Chase Branscum from Owasso, Oklahoma, was turning eight, and instead of turning his party into an opportunity to make out like a bandit, the young boy decided to turn his celebration into a Toy's For Tots drive.  Around 100 people showed up with around 500 presents, all of which will be donated to the community through the Marine's Toys For Tots programme.

Then there's Bethany Arnold who told Santa that the only thing she wanted for Christmas was her dad home from Iraq, a contractor working on that country's electrical infrastructure. She had only seen her dad for 2 weeks in 2 years. The following video is from last year, but try watching it without grabbing for that box of Kleenex.





Both these kids are wiser than many adults, they know what's important in life, and it's not material things.

During this holiday season what's important is family and giving.

Happy Holidays to you all.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mayan End of The World Charity Game: Wheel of Destruction



It's 5 days until the end of the world (December 21), at least according to the Mayan calendar. So, here's a fun game you can play while earning money for various charitable organizations.

Fashioned after the Wheel of Fortune, this one is called the Wheel of Destruction. 




Can the much anticipated, possibly over-hyped, world-ending 2012 Mayan Apocalypse raise awareness for disaster-preparedness? Yes – so much so that we’ve made a fund-raising game around the much bally-hoo-ed Mayan End of the World.

Just log on (via Facebook or your Twitter account), choose your charity and match three-of-a-kind as you spin the Wheel of Destruction. When you match three destructors, you’ll see a wacky world-ending simulation and, more importantly, the good folks at WoD will make a donation to your chosen charity to help prepare for and relieve actual disasters.


How much money you raise for charity depends on what destructor you match three times:
Though we loathe to tempt Fate, we’re almost completely sure that the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse is a myth. But either way, play Wheel of Destruction and mankind will be better prepared for survival.

Note: you will only be allowed to play for charity once per day (from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm EST) but you can practice as much as you want. A total of $3,000 will be donated among the various charities on approximately December 28, 2012.

The only drawback is having to sign in with either Facebook or Twitter.

Click here for the game on www.wheelofdestruction.com

Here's a little low down on the history behind the Mayan Apocalypse from their website.

Mayan Apocalypse 2012

The countdown to the apocalypse is on. The ancient Mayan Long Count calendar allegedly marked as the end of an era that would reset the date to zero and signal the end of humanity. But will it?

The end of the world theories stem from a stone tablet discovered in the 1960s at the archaeological site of Tortuguero in the Gulf of Mexico state of Tabasco that describes the return of a Mayan god at the end of a 13th period.

"The Maya are viewed by many westerners as exotic folks that were supposed to have had some special, secret knowledge," said Mayan scholar Sven Gronemeyer.

The blogosphere exploded with more speculation when Mexico’s archaeology institute acknowledged on a second reference to December 21, 2012, on a brick found at other ruins. “Human beings seem to be attracted by apocalyptic ideas and always assume the worse,” Gronemeyer said.

Believers have taken the end-of-the-world fears to the Internet with hundreds of thousands of websites and blogs.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Vegg- Vegan Egg Yolk Now Available

Was poking around my Facebook news feed and noticed something Happycow.net had posted about a vegan egg yolk. Yes, there is now a vegan egg yolk called The Vegg which is available to veggie consumers, worldwide, it seems. I eat eggs, so I'm not sure I'll try it, but for those who love eggs and refuse to eat them, this might be a nice alternative for baking.

Apparently it's a powder you mix with water and it turns a thick, yellowish yolky color. It looks kind of yucky, but if you're baking with it, who cares.

There's a list of places you can buy/order it from including some online sources, and their website lists some yummy looking recipes using the product. The website also mentions that if you buy the product between now and 2014, the company will donate 10% to Compassion Over Killing.

The ingredients for all you label lookers:


 Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Sodium Alginate, Kala Namak, Beta-Carotene
Blend contents with one liter of water. (For Vegg users who wish to not mix all at once, use this conversion: Blend 1 teaspoon of The Vegg powder with 1/4 cup water equivalent to about two to three yolks!)

I had to google Kala Namak, since I had no clue what it was. Apparently it's an Indian black mineral salt used in cooking, that actually is more grayish pink in color and has a sulfurous taste, like hard boiled eggs, hence the use in an egg alternative.  It's also apparently used in Ayurvedic medicine for high blood pressure, and is said to help with flatulence and heartburn.

However, the sodium alginate (derived from brown seaweed) might be problematic for some.

If you purchase the Kala Namak salt through Amazon, I get a few pennies. In fact if you purchase anything from any of the sponsors on the right, I get a few pennies.



Please note, I get nothing from The Vegg other than satisfaction from sharing some interesting information.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mistletoe Extract Potential Colon Cancer Cure

Photo: Wikipedia
When I think of mistletoe, I think of Christmas, and songs like "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (underneath the mistletoe)", because that's all it's good for, right? Snatching a loving kiss from your sweetie underneath a hanging piece of Mistletoe. Wrong. I wasn't aware that Mistletoe actually had any medicinal properties, but it does, and it's a biggie.

Australian scientists at the University of Adelaide have been experimenting with Mistletoe extract and have found that it has huge potential for helping with colon cancer, either as a complementary holistic treatment along with chemotherapy, or even as an alternative healing modality.

What's amazing is that it was a student, Zahra Lotfollahi, who discovered the efficacy of Mistletoe extract while working on her Honours research project at the University of Adelaide. Comparing three different extracts in conjunction with chemotherapy on both colon cancer cells and healthy cells, she discovered that one in particular from the Fraxini species- grown on ash trees- was able to kill cancer cells better than chemo, and without the harsh side effects.  Lotfollahi said:

"This is an important result because we know that chemotherapy is effective at killing healthy cells as well as cancer cells. This can result in severe side effects for the patient, such as oral mucositis (ulcers in the mouth) and hair loss."

"Our laboratory studies have shown Fraxini mistletoe extract by itself to be highly effective at reducing the viability of colon cancer cells. At certain concentrations, Fraxini also increased the potency of chemotherapy against the cancer cells.

"Of the three extracts tested, and compared with chemotherapy, Fraxini was the only one that showed a reduced impact on healthy intestinal cells. This might mean that Fraxini is a potential candidate for increased toxicity against cancer, while also reducing potential side effects. However, more laboratory testing is needed to further validate this work."


According to her supervisor, Professor Gordon Howarth:

"Although mistletoe grown on the ash tree was the most effective of the three extracts tested, there is a possibility that mistletoe grown on other, as yet untested, trees or plants could be even more effective.

"This is just the first important step in what we hope will lead to further research, and eventually clinical trials, of mistletoe extract in Australia,"

Howarth claims the extract has been available in Europe and other countries overseas, but not in the the United States or Australia, hence the need for research. I'm sure much has to do with big pharma, since there's not any money to be made with natural alternatives, but hopefully something will come of this.

Although lung and bronchial cancer is the number one cancer killer in the West, colon cancer comes in second.

Some fun facts on Mistletoe that I had no clue about:

1. It's parasitic. Like a fungus, it grows on trees and shrubs. "As it grows, it burrows into its host, and draws nutrients from the tree", a little like a vampire.

2.  It can be slightly toxic to humans, so not something you'd want to munch on.

3.  Using Mistletoe as a holiday decoration pre-dates Christianity, and was considered  a fertility symbol.
According to legend, Baldur, the god of light, began to have terrible nightmares that he would soon be killed. To ease his mind, Baldur’s mother, Frigga, undertook a journey to make everything in heaven or Earth – plants, animals, weapons, and so on – swear an oath not to harm Baldur. Because her son was so universally loved, everything she asked gladly made this promise. Unfortunately, the goddess overlooked the humble mistletoe. Realizing Frigga’s mistake, Loki, the god of mischief and fire, fashioned a spear of mistletoe and tricked Baldur’s blind twin brother, Hodur, into throwing it at the light god. The mistletoe pierced Baldur’s heart, killing him and bringing darkness to the world. Being magical, the gods were eventually able to resurrect Baldur. To celebrate his return, Frigga declared that mistletoe would be a symbol of love, and commanded gods and humans to kiss beneath its leaves in memory of her son. Some versions of the myth, though, say Loki foiled the gods’ attempt to restore Baldur to life. In this case, it is prophesied that the light god will return at Ragnarok, the destruction and rebirth of the world, and the mistletoe kiss is a foretaste of the joy that is yet to come.

And more fun facts.

This is good news, now we just need the FDA to approve it. Of course that means it will be available, if at all, when I'm dead and gone.

Sources: Newswise