We’ve taken the concepts from a T.V. program seen recently, where a psychologist from the university of Oviedo was analysing the significance of a supposed case of hysteria suffered by Ana Ozores, the protagonist in one of the major novels of the 19 th century, La Regenta.
The author _ Leopoldo Alas, sets the novel in the sad and boring town of Vetusta (Oviedo).The climate is humid with little sun and light during the year, although what most affects the young Ana, married to the Governor of Vetusta, is her husbands total indifference to her and the suffocating environment of a hypocritical and stagnant society. Like a plant that can’t grow freely, Ana has frequent “nervous crisis”, a condition that the medical science of the time diagnosed as “hysteria”.
The interpretation of the psychologist in the T.V. program who was analysing the novel is that the crisis of Ana Ozores would today be termed “depression” or “bi-polar disorder”, which are in fact caused by the problems of life, each persons individual life circumstances which, according to our psychologist, “can’t be cured by medicines”. The science of the time gives labels to the difficulties people have to face but in reality they are the same.
And this is the motive for our reflexion: how often behind an illness, such as depression, joint inflammation, persistent headache, nervous crisis, digestive upset etc., are the causes, problems of :- dissatisfaction , fear, frustration, deep sadness etc., _ in other words the problems of life? And if this is the case, wouldn’t it be beneficial for the person who is ill or those who are looking after them to investigate the hidden causes of the illness and try to change them? A conversation, a change in behaviour, a new activity, reflection and exercise …could well be more effective in these cases than any other remedy.
This last weekend we visited Josep Pàmies garden of medicinal plants in Balaguer (Lérida). When we arrived and approached the gardens where Josep and his associates cultivate hundreds of medicinal plants we experienced that sensation of harmony and beauty that comes from places in nature that man treats with love and respect.
No chemical products are utilized in Pàmies horticoles to grow the plants and they (probably because of this) look splendid. Many of the plants are well known such as echinacea, oregano, thyme, mint, calendula, nettle, dandelion or horsetail.
Others are much more exotic, like Perilla or Shiso, that the Japanese use to neutralize and kill the worm anisakis in crude fish; Sutherlandia frutescens, from South Africa, that can be used against Aids; The Kalanchoes, (originally from South America) with cancer fighting properties; Stevia which regulates blood sugar and can be of great help for diabetics.
We could go on indefinitely: Artemisia, that combats malaria; Hipericum,for people with depression; Epilobio, indicated for problems with the prostate; Chanca piedra (stone breaker) for kidney stones etc., etc.
We strongly recommend a visit to Josep’s paradise; not just to see the plants, but you also have the opportunity to attend a meeting where people exchange their personal experiences on how the plants have helped them. Everybody can ask for advice about their own particular health problems from two experts in the use of medicinal plants.
Don’t miss reading Una dulce revolución, by Josep Pàmies: pass some precious moments and learn about plants, health and much, much more.
On 26, 27 and 28 June we were at the Symposium of Médicos, Terapeutas y Sanadores in Donosti. We had a stand in the concourse and gave short shiatsu and chair treatments (+/- 15 minutes) on the Saturday and Sunday. We treated over 60 people and received many encouraging comments and a lot of interest in how we give and apply our work.
Among the many comments written, some people described as having felt the following sensations after their treatments:- “liberated, connected, unblocked, like new, aligned, energised, in harmony.
We are delighted and grateful that our short treatments were able to produce these healing sensations and thank all those who commented.
It has been many years since either of us has given so many treatments over extended hours to so many people and we expected some physical reaction in our bodies after the weekend. To our surprise we have suffered no tiredness or stiffness – on the contrary, since the weekend we have felt and still do, energised, agile and open. We see this clearly as a result of the way in which we use and have taught our students to use their bodies when giving a treatment. If we weren’t sure before, we are now.
We met many people and got to know about a variety of effective new and old, alternative / complementary therapies that are helping people every day.
We found it very encouraging to see that a growing number of traditionally trained medical doctors are open to discussing and accepting the validity and effectiveness of alternative / complementary therapies.
Lets all look forward to more Symposiums of this nature and a future where a true fully integrated medicine can be practised.
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.
A few days ago in a café in Madrid, I overheard a conversation between several friends that attracted my attention. They were describing an interesting incident in which someone reacted quiet unexpectedly and insulted a fellow citizen who was trying to politely bring attention to the inappropriate example and conduct she was giving to her child.
A few days earlier one of the friends walking with her husband behind a woman accompanied by a child saw the woman throw an empty cigarette packet onto the pavement when there was a waste bin close by. Trying to be diplomatic the husband called to the woman telling her she had dropped something. She turned around and replied “ it’s just an empty packet of cigarettes” and carried on walking away. The husband then pointed out that there was a waste bin close to her and that she wasn’t showing a very good example to the child. Her indignant reaction was to reply “ Machista!” and continue to march away.
Is he a machista for telling a woman in plain view of everyone to behave in a civic manner and to show a good example to her accompanying child? I don’t think so!!! And what an inappropriate response for the woman to give, A word to serve her interest at the moment as a woman victim.
In another article in our blog we refer to the inappropriate use of the word “ecological” to describe foods imported from the other side of the world. With just the environmental damages that are produced by transporting foods such large distances, how can we considered them to be ecological ( See Alimentos ecológicos “made” in China).
Unfortunately, this is not the only example of unclear definition in foodstuffs that are not conventional: only a few weeks ago we came across a company raising chickens for consumption and calling them “holistic” suspecting that the feed they had given them to gain weight was transgenic. The words holistic and transgenic are clearly incompatible. One can only assume they used the word holistic to serve their own interest!!!
Conventional and complementary / alternative medicine meet on the 26, 27and 28Th of June 2015 in San Sebastián (Donostia) to exchange ideas, debate, demonstrate with workshops, information and an open mind to see where each can help the other. This is an opportunity for anyone interested in healing themselves or others to learn, see, ask and experience the best of many healing practices. It is most encouraging to see on the programme a large number of medical doctors and a wide spectrum of therapists representing different healing modalities coming together with the object of healing together. It is long overdue – Let the programme begin. We ´re going and would be delighted to see YOU THERE!!!
Here is the web page, www.asociaciondemedicosysanadores.com
We have just been for a walk in the countryside near to where we live. It is alive with vibrant colours and smells. The predominant colours of the moment are yellow: (gorse, dandelion and a host of other flowers which we can’t put a name to); white (jara, chamomile, thyme); purple (mainly rosemary, cantueso, wild lavender, marshmallow and several others). Every now and again poppies add a splash of scarlet red to the canvas.
The subtle smells mingle – the combination of rosemary, thyme, cantueso, jara …. Giving us a marvellous freshness in the gentle breeze around us and an incredible feeling of being in total contact with nature – in oneness with all. A day in which to be really happy to be alive
To me the order of the colours seem to show that nature is nurturing our inner reserves: YELLOWS, purifying all our external energy inputs. WHITE, the fine balanced mix of all our chakra colours. Stimulating our capacity to express and work for higher ideals, PURPLES. And the odd splashes of scarlet (REDS) reminding us of our base, our humanity.
Many of the wild flowers and plants in their glory at the moment are healing plants which if gathered dried and stored can be used to help and heal us throughout the year.
It truly is a Splendid time in Spring – get out there and experience it.
Of course stress can be provoked from external causes (work, family, illness etc.) but clearly it is our inner attitude to adverse situations that determines the grade of stress we suffer and whether or not we are able to release it.
What occurs physiologically in our bodies when we encounter a stressful situation? The body prepares itself to flee or fight the situation by producing adrenaline and cortisone; blood pressure rises, breathing becomes more rapid, muscles receive more blood, digestion stops or slows down etc. Is this harmful? On the contrary it is a positive reaction that can give us the necessary forces to resolve a critical or dangerous situation. The concern is that these reactions can become installed in our life styles as a normal function which is not the way it should be. The person who lives constantly in a state of high tension, without time to “disconnect” and recuperate is liable to become ill as a result of the constant metabolic build up from their mental and emotional concerns.
O.K., once we recognise we are stressed – what can we do to reduce it and take on the situation that caused it? There are various possibilities:
Probably the most immediate is to express what we feel to those closest to us, family / friends. For some people it’s easier to write their feelings down. In either case after a time we become spectators to our own problems and are able to distance ourselves from them. They loose part of their terror and we can see them in perspective and deal with them.
Another way is physical exercise (running, walking, playing a sport etc…) are all excellent to lower pressure at all levels.
Shiatsu y Acupressure can help at a subtle level to bring attention inside the body to calm us and what previously was insoluble, after a treatment, can become manageable.
Finally, yoga, chi-kung or meditation practised regularly can have an effect similar to Shiatsu or Acupressure.