Our joints are so very important that in Chinese Medicine they call them “crossroads of energy”. In a similar manner, today, Ken Ditchwald (in his book – Bodymind) describes joints as psychosomatic crossroads.
Both descriptions suggest that a joint (elbow, knee, vertebra …), apart from being the union of two bones, is a place where we can find diverse energetic currents, a space where the mind and the body meet.
As an example let’s look at the knee joint which is the union of the femur and tibia: tendons and ligaments, cartilages and synovial liquid, make it possible to have a strong joint, avoid abrasion between bones and keep them lubricated: a perfect structure, but also fragile.
What makes our joints so valuable while at the same time so delicate?
Well, firstly they permit our bones to move (the elbow to flex, allowing us to lift food from our plate to our mouth; our cervical vertebra to rotate allowing us to see to the right and left, etc.)
Our skeleton is not rigid but articulated and this is what gives us mobility. At the same time, to insure good circulation of traffic in these “energy” or “psychosomatic” crossroads (remember your agility and flexibility in infancy and youth) requires special attention: our food needs to be clean and rich in nutrients. When the flow of blood at these crossroads is poor and residues accumulate in the joints, they inflame and deform (arthritis). We need in addition, to maintain a balance between exercise (physical work, sports etc.) and rest; we need to exercise our bones if we want to maintain them in good condition and use, but to over exercise them with rapid vigorous movements, as we frequently see in gymnasiums, can’t be good. Also it is equally not recommended that we should be seated in an office all day and then drive home. Finally, as always, our attitude towards life conditions the health of our joints: our “acid” emotions, and negative thought tendencies, like the wastes from a bad diet, deposit themselves in our joints and destroy them.
In other words, eat healthily, exercise moderately and manage your emotions wisely: three essential steps to maintain or recuperate the health of your joints.
Quietly growing through the concrete pavement under a bench in the centre of Madrid a herb that over the last month or so has come to the attention of nearly everyone one of us – Dandelion. It disseminates in the wind, children often have great fun and pick the fluffy ball seed heads and blow them into the air. The seeds have been distributed all over the city and suburbs appearing like little wisps of cotton wool. Where we live we had a week or so when we had periods when the air was full of the white fluffy seeds falling and drifting in the breeze onto the road, our terrace and parts of the garden looked like we had snow falling and accumulating around us. Windows stayed shut and many people stayed inside to avoid allergies and some only went out of doors wearing masks. There are still a few seed wisps floating around today as I write.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis)_ a pretty looking herb with its bright yellow flowers, its seed clocks (or balls), its lions teeth shaped leaves, a bitter white latex in the stem and leaves and a long tap root. A troublesome weed for many people!!!
It should be our biggest friend. It is perhaps one of the most powerful herbs for supporting our overall health and has traditionally been used as a spring tonic in Europe for many years. It works to gently improve liver function (detoxifying) and supports the gall bladder, urinary and digestive systems. It is also excellent for cleansing the skin.
It is high in minerals especially potassium and vitamins A,B.C and D.
Many herbal books on dandelion list several pages of remedies, from abscess and acne to varicose veins and arthritis. It clearly is a treasure trove of natural medicine and it is available to us all if we want it.
Next time you see a Dandelion think good thoughts, on what it could be doing for you.
As we love and appreciate nature and the right to eat natural foods, we are concerned by the cultivation of genetically modified cereals in our country (soya and maize) and the silent war that some multinationals _Monsanto is the best known_ are waging in the European Union and other South American countries.
A genetically modified plant is one that has had a gene from another species introduced into it. A well known example is cultivations that have had an insecticide gene taken from a bacteria introduced into their DNA. The effect of this change is that all insects (not only those that are harmful but also those that are not) are in danger if they come in contact with these plants. In addition, some insects develop a resistance to the insecticide gene making it necessary to produce a new and possibly more potent change to combat future plagues.
The real problem is that humankind have only very recently entered into this unknown field of manipulating genes between species in a manner in which nature never intended and we have no idea of the possible future consequences on our health or on the environment. Particularly for these reasons one would expect that prudence would indicate the necessity for extensive scientific studies over a period of time to ensure we are not been exposed to possible dangerous and unpredicted consequences in the future.
However the attitudes of the multinationals that are at the forefront of this biotechnical research are less than prudent: a good part of the scientific community is not satisfied with the rigor of the investigations carried out by the multinationals to show that their GMO products are harmless and this is supported by a grand majority of the consumers in Europe.
These multinationals apply pressure to governments and ignore the rights of the people to know what they are consuming by such subterfuges as_ persistently refusing to label those of their products that have been manipulated –“GMO“ (genetically modified) or those that have not been treated “no GMO”, to allow the consumer the right to choose.
It is alarming that 92% of the territory in Europe dedicated to the cultivation of transgenic soya and maize is in Spain. What do they use the soya and maize for? They use it to produce animal feed, which in its turn enters into the human food chain. In addition the derivatives of soya and maize (are present in thickeners, baby foods, bakery products etc.) and soya lecithin found in health food shops may also be from GMO sources.
What can we do? To start, consume ecological products _ at the moment, ecological, by law, can not contain GMO products. In the long term, reclaim our rights, and those of all living beings to natural and healthy foods which respect the laws of Nature.