of the American Naturopathic
By: Dr. Curtis
Thanksgiving has passed, and as we now approach Christmas and the New Year, it is the time of year to reflect, to give thanks, and express hope for the future. Even though the entire world appears to be in great turmoil, there is a lot to be thankful for. We have had tremendous success in the naturopathic profession, killing all bills that gave any hint of the naturopath being a primary care physician. They are not primary care physicians and to masquerade as such is an insult to intelligent people everywhere. If you want to be a primary care physician and practice naturopathic "medicine", become a medical doctor, or an osteopath and top it off with an ND degree. Just because graduates of a few naturopathic schools travel around the country touting their services as primary care, doesn’t make it real. It’s merely a psychosis they must overcome.
In 2005 there will be a flood of legislation across the country that will attempt to deprive you of your practice. ANMA will be fighting hard to keep legislation fair for you. Additionally, ANMA will be supporting legislation that will recognize practice rights of the "certified" individuals. Such certification legislation is encouraged and necessary for our members to reinforce their right to practice Naturopathy in their state. ANMA will keep you informed as legislation is introduced in different states. It will take many letters, calls, faxes, and e-mail to convince legislators they should act in your best interest on a piece of legislation.
With a successful convention behind us and plans for a new one, I encourage you to continue your support for this hard working organization. ANMA will hold its next convention at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 29, 30, 31, 2005. A credible, rewarding program is being planned for you. I am happy to announce that the American Association of Nutritional Consultants, and the American Academy of Quantum Medicine will co-sponsor the convention. Mark your calendars now, and plan to attend.
In closing let me urge all of you to be thankful for life in this country. It may not always be perfect, but in my opinion, it far exceeds any other country around the world. Please say a special prayer for our service men and women, our Commander in Chief, and all those involved in supporting our freedom in America.
ANMA 23rd Annual Convention
Reasons To Attend The 24th Annual ANMA Convention
Gaining A New Perspective On
By: Asad Shahsavari, NMD, Ph.D., MD, (MA)
A staggering number of Americans top the list of their new-year resolutions with the familiar chant "I am going to lose weight." The unspoken part of this is: "even if it kills me." Unfortunately, both aspects of consistent weight gain and weight loss can be legitimate life threats. Underlying many weight gain issues are emotional traumas and lack of self-esteem, which generate an excuse for food as an escape, a pacifier, an antidepressant, and a delectable enabler. Dieting has become a national pastime and America stands among the world leaders as the most overfed, undernourished nation in modern times. Obesity in America is rampant. Even among children under 13 years of age, there is mounting concern over the predisposition of youth to sluggish circulation and excess body fat, which are shockingly the markers of arteriosclerosis. The resounding question is "Why?" The answer is multi-faceted.
Perhaps, it is partly due to our addiction with technology and the replacement of physical resources with machines. Or, it may well be our infatuation with stimul ation, pleasure, gratification and abundance. If something tastes good, then eat it. If it feels good, then try it. If it looks good, then buy it. America’s extreme indulgence principle is out of balance and drives us to more and more excess in work and less and less opportunities of quality time for relaxation and meaningful social interaction. A current billboard states: The one who dies with the most toys…is still dead. We need to align our priorities with the health and integrity at the forefront. Without them, little is left of a job, a bank account, a relationship, or life, itself.
The media hypes food as a panacea for everything from capturing someone’s heart to mending a broken one. The only catch is that food is highly reactive in the human system. It stimulates growth and growth creates mass and mass means gain. Weight gain. Knowing the reasons why we resort to food to ease our woes is a major step in understanding why we may be gaining weight and not gaining ground. Then, again, there are genetic factors to consider. Our ancestors are locked up somewhere inside of our genetic pool. The entire evolutionary chain of action is alive in our veins and may weigh heavily upon our systems. (No pun intended!)
Our original relatives were accomplished foragers and hunters. Similar to the rest of the animal kingdom, humans survived from day to day, instinctively choosing their food sources, before their prey either poisoned or ate them first. Yet, our ancestors did survive and thrive, initially as hunters, then as the original agrarians, and eventually evolved into the omnivores we have become today. We have gone a dangerous step further on the evolutionary journey. Unlike our ancestral beginnings, which were strongly based on instinct, we have bypassed instinct and intellectualized ourselves into a chemical mirage of sustenance and emotionally triggered eating disorders.
We have substances that look like, feel like and taste like their natural counterparts, but are, indeed, synthetic, fabricated, petro-chemicalized look-alikes or genetically altered clones. They are laced with flavor enhancers, colorings and imitation aromas, designed to fool our natural appestat and create a near gluttonous fervor for eating. Yet, while the human psychology may be fooled, the physiology, over millions of years of adaptation, isn’t as gullible. Our shapes are out of shape, our homeostasis is out of stasis, and our scales are tipped to the red alert zone. We are eating ourselves out of fantasy and into frenzy. Thousands of women internalize trauma from abusive relationships or lack of self-esteem as they compete with the social image of the prefect model’s figure. Many of them resort to fad diets, surgical implants or lyposuction and binge eating or starvation practices, better known as bulimia and anorexia. Distressed men often turn to alcohol and drugs as an escape measure, adding inches to their waistline and taking years off their lifeline.
Hundreds of weight loss programs have deluged the marketplace in the past decade, luring us into deeper arenas of excess and denial, surrender and absurdity. Everything from counting calories to measuring body fat to hypnotherapy subliminal tapes, thermogenics, marine fat-trappers, appetite suppressing drugs and electro-stimulant muscle workouts, entice us to experiment with the next miracle answer to this question of weight loss. Recently, a rather novel approach came onto the scene. It appears that there may be an inherent link to the blood type of an individual and their body’s subsequent metabolic reaction to food and digestive process. It has raised the interest of many and the eyebrows of a few who wonder about the viability and credibility of such a postulation. And, yet, on a purely scientific level, it has merit and the anthropological association is clearly a path worth investigating. The national best-seller, Eat Right 4 Your Type, by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, presents over thirty years of investigative research into the blood type diet protocol. There is rather impressive evidence to support the theory and weight loss is only one of the many metabolic factors involved in the application of the blood typing diet.
There are undeniable connections to our ancestors via a common genetic pool and the hematological markers known as blood types. It has long been known in medical circles that blood types may influence our susceptibility to certain illnesses and our capacity to serve as donors in medical emergencies. Certain blood types are antagonistic to others due to their carrying of antibodies against the other types. For instance, Type A carries antibodies against Type B, Type B against Type A, Type O against Types A & B, but Type AB has no antibodies. These antibodies are the most formidable in our immune system, having an agglutination process so dominant it can be observed with the naked eye on a lab slide. A similar agglutination reaction has been noticed in blood types when exposed to certain foods. That leads us to surmise that dietary considerations are quite plausible in relationship to blood type, metabolic reactions and pathological profiles.
Obesity is most assuredly a factor in many leading illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, gouty arthritis and skeletal stress problems, due to imbalanced proportions to structural integrity of bones and joints. Besides the cosmetic advantages, weight loss is mandatory in many medical instances. Excessive fatty deposits in liver and heart tissue, in particular, cause serious disorders, as the blood passes daily through the liver and into the heart and bodily tissues, causing build-up of these deposits along arterial pathways. Blockage of these passages is a major contributor to coronary heart disease and often requires major medical intervention such as bypasses, angioplasties and heart transplants. Despite advanced medical technology, heart disease remains the leading cause of death among Americans. No wonder weight loss is such a critical issue. Could blood typing and anthropological diet typing be the long-lost answer to obesity, as well as numerous attending problems?
Several aspects must be determined to make a fair assessment. First, it is important to understand the relationship between the blood and the body. Blood is the vital tonic, which flows through our veins supplying every cell with a genetic DNA blueprint as well as nutrients to sustain life. Blood contains several key components, among which are the red and white corpuscles, the red blood cells having iron for oxygen distribution and the white blood cells being the scouts for the immune system. The four different blood types, O, A, B, and AB, appear to have developed at progressive times in human evolution and have distinct antigens on them and antibodies within them. This creates a curious uniqueness to each blood type. As mentioned previously, just as the blood types agglutinate instantaneously in the presence of these antibodies, blood types agglutinate to certain lectins, diverse proteins found in foods, and consequently cause either a negative or positive reaction metabolically. In appropriate lectins for certain blood types may be at the center of allergic reactions, edema, digestive disorders and fat storage. This is a major concern for those seeking to control their weight through a management process as well as regenerate their health.
The human body translates food substances into energy-producing units through a complex series of digestive mechanisms. Once the food has been acted upon by the saliva and digestive acids, it is recognizable to the blood type as either a useful or abusive element. This is due to the peculiarities of the lectins and the response of the individual blood type to those lectins. As this motivation is rather complicated for such a brief article, we will move onto the reactive process, thus toward food being utilized by the body or stored as fat. Obesity is the result of fat-retention process in which the body conserves fat instead of burning it off as fuel for energy.
In certain individuals, the hormonal balance, especially the thyroid gland, is largely responsible for this lack of burning. A slow metabolism may be the result of a condition known as hypothyroidism, which in turn may be the downline of certain foods reacting against the blood type profile. The body of evidence suggests that, in order to correct the imbalance, an appropriate diet for the blood type be followed.
These dietary allowances are based on food factor influences, which interact with specific blood types. It is essentially this biochemical consideration which plays such a monumental role in food digestion; a process so vital that every cell depends upon it for survival. When food is not properly assimilated, the cells remain undernourished; malabsorption leads to deficiencies or excesses or imbalances. Obesity is often a result of this malabsorption and therefore may possibly be eliminated once it has been corrected. In blood typing for a dietary profile, certain foods are allowable, while others are to be avoided. This varies with the blood type. Understanding how the blood types evolved throughout human history is a key to equating the blood type with a certain food acquisition and selection pattern evidenced in anthropological data.
Blood Type O is the oldest of the blood types, deriving from Cro-Magnons of around 40,000 BCE (Before Current Era). These are the absolute hunters; hardy, resilient, powerful, resourceful. They lived primarily on meats until they caused a shortage of hunting areas, moving themselves into migration and eventual extinction as the new culture of agrarians was forced to develop other food sources from the land. The genetic carriers for Blood Type O hold a blueprint for carnivore protein lectins. Therefore the Blood Type O diet for weight management and health integrity includes a diet high in animal protein. (Apologies are in order to the vegetarian Type O’s!)
This blood type functions better with more acidic muscle tissues and doesn’t utilize beans as well as other blood types. Type O’s do well with flaxseed, linseed and olive oils, which aid in nutrition and elimination. Due to their increased stomach acids, Type O’s do well with tomatoes, but have reactions to the nightshades eggplant and potato. Fruit is acceptable as it has a good influence on cholesterol reduction and arterial cleansing. Dairy products are a major problem for this blood type. Seafood is the second most beneficial source of protein, besides meat, for type O’s, including cold-water fish. Wheat gluten, corn, lentils, cabbage, cauliflower, and mustard greens encourage weight gain in Type O’s due to interference in metabolic rate, thyroid production, and nutrient utilization. Kelp, red meat, seafood, iodized salt, spinach and broccoli increase weight loss as they contribute to better thyroid function and increased metabolism. Extreme physical activity is best for Type O’s. It speeds up the metabolic rate, flushes out toxins and serves their innate desire for intense activity.
Blood Type A evolved around 40,000-10,000 BCE. These ancestors were the first agriculturists. They learned to work with the land and had the patience and nurturing techniques to harvest crops and survive a gentler and more harmonious atmosphere. They are naturally suited to a vegetarian lifestyle. Type A’s are best suited to organic, natural, pure foods. This is most critical for their immune function as well. Meat-eating is not recommended for this blood type as it causes digestive sluggishness and overburdens the digestive system. While their predecessors, Type O’s, burn meat proteins efficiently, this blood type stores meat as fat. Type A’s are more prone to edema.
Type A’s have low stomach acid and do better with soy products, fruits and vegetables, seafood in modest quantities, avoiding white fish. For woman Type A’s, the snail (helix pomatia) contains a lectin that is beneficial in ridding the body of certain breast cancer cells through the lectin agglutination process. Certain low-fat dairy products are permissible. In general, all low-fat products work best in a Type A metabolism. Nuts and seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, almond, and walnut are good supplemental fat and protein complements. Beans and legumes are perfect vegetable proteins for Type A’s, as well as fruits, cereals and grains. Type A’s tend to have low-immune function metabolisms and react best to low-impact exercise, such as Tai Chi, Yoga and meditative stress reduction.
Blood Type B came onto the scene between 10,000-3,500 BCE. They were highly nomadic and may be described as chameleons. At times they resemble Type O and Type A as if it were their own, yet Type B, in typically nomadic fashion, takes off on its own, adhering to its unique genetic idiosyncrasies. They are quite immune-enhanced. Yet, because of this structure, if a weakness develops, it will most probably show up as an advanced immune disorder such as lupus, multiple sclerosis or chronic fatigue syndrome. Type B diet is variegated and contains a wide range of foods. It appears to blend the best of the vegetable and animal spectrum of nutrition.
Type B’s gain weight mostly from corn, buckwheat, lentils, peanuts and sesame seeds and can be victims of fluid retention and hypoglycemia, making them prone to high sugar foods for insulin boosts and weight gain problems. Such as Type O’s, Type B’s are wheat gluten intolerant as well, thus weight gain is inevitable with wheat products. Dairy products are acceptable in moderate amounts. Weight loss in Type B’s is encouraged by green leafy vegetables, meat, liver, eggs, low-fat dairy, and licorice tea, which counters hypoglycemia. Chicken is a no-no for Type B’s as it contains an agglutinating lectin in its muscle tissue. The same for red meats. They are not as digestible for Type B’s as they are for Type O’s. Type B’s are better suited to lamb, rabbit, or mutton. For Type B’s, chicken consumption on a regular basis may lead to strokes and immune disorders. Type B’s should avoid wheat, corn, buckwheat and rye. To complete a weight loss regimen, Type B’s should include digestive enzymes and licorice tea. Their best exercise programs are aerobics, tennis and martial arts.
Blood Type AB is the result of humanity’s most recent ancestral migrations, evolving between 500 BCE-900 CE. It is less than a millennium in age, yet is a multiplicative fusion of Type A and Type B dispositions. Most contradictive foods for Types A & B hold the same for Type AB, yet, certain lectins known as panhemaglutinans are tolerated by Type AB’s, while disastrous to Type A or Type B, individually. The adaptation process of survival is highly evidenced in Type AB. Also, the environmental changes, which caused variations in metabolic tendencies, are more apparent in Type AB than the other blood types.
Type AB’s need to be specifically aware of certain factors in losing weight. Meat consumption is to be restricted, supplemented with tofu and vegetables. Type AB systems are friendly to lentils and peanuts, while not so accepting of kidney beans, lima beans, corn, buckwheat or sesame seeds. The good news is Type AB’s are more accepting of wheat gluten, but for weight-loss, they should avoid acid-forming foods, since Type AB’s utilize calories more efficiently when tissues are more alkaline. Exercising for this type is best with Tai Chi, Yoga and Aikido.
These overviews of blood typing and diet are merely scratches in the evolutionary surface of human development. It is altogether fascinating to immerse oneself in the possibilities of these links and genetic co-factors in weight management and health promotion. Yet, while we have agreed that this protocol represents a highly plausible biochemical influence on the genetic make-up of every human being, we must not discount the power of the human psyche over the human cell. The very presence of such a highly evolved blood matrix system in an even more complex cellular system, gives rise to the possibility of an even higher developed spiritual component, without genetic limitations or depositions.
Humans have an anthropological history, a physiological structure and a psychological reasoning and emotionality. Where, then, are we to place the human spirit in this evolutionary pantheon? We, as humans, have given birth to many philosophies on creation, the nature of the divine and our own destinies. We have exhaustive bodies of literature regarding religious beliefs, spirituality and the powers of the mind. All of which gives us permission to stretch the boundaries of our genetic pool and push the envelope of metabolic inheritance.
We are far more than a group of cells, reacting to instinct. We are far more than animal magnetism being drawn to the call of the wild. We are far more than pawns on an evolutionary chessboard. Time, and time again, we express our humanity in almost godly terms. We risk our own survival to save that of another. We devise enchanting ways of bringing joy to a little child, with tales of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, or kindness to a lonely elder with a home cooked meal or a walk in the woods. We are artists who bring fantasy to reality by singing and dancing and painting our visions of life for all to experience and enjoy. We are doctors who constantly seek to ease the pain of trauma and resurrect the dying life.
Are we to be intimidated, bullied, or victimized by a microscopic society of blood cells? Think again. Surely, the person born into a deprived family in the heart of crime, may expect a life of desperation, destitution and incarceration. It is common under those circumstances. Common, but not inevitable. Many individuals defy their circumstances to rise beyond their own limitations. The annals of human history are filled with true stories of those who dared to live their dreams despite the immense challenges they faced.
Blood typing is a useful launch pad to better understand the probabilities of an individual’s metabolic tendencies. But, if a Type O, the proverbial hunter, the meat-eater, decides to become a vegetarian, and believes whole-heartedly in the need for a less war-like manner of eating and living, then who is to say that those beliefs, those desires, those consciously-directed passions will not influence and even supercede genetic code? To describe this possibility more clearly, let us ponder a study, which was done by a former professor at Stanford University who expressed a deep interest in genetics as well as the belief that love was a tangible universal power. He set out to prove this in a laboratory setting.
The experiment involved a control group who was wired with electrodes to a special machine which was then hooked to a high-powered microscope that could magnify the double helix of the DNA. The professor wanted to determine if the power of love was an actual force that could, in fact, influence the double helix to change. The subjects were instructed to think only loving thoughts. After a prescribed time, the double helix was analyzed and there was no reaction noted. Then, the professor requested that the subjects direct the thoughts of lovingness to someone or something. The double helix began to unwind. The experiment was repeated numerous times with the same result. Directed loving thoughts caused the double helix to unwind.
The results of the research significantly concluded that the power of loving thought, consciously directed, could influence structural alterations of DNA. As DNA is the primary genetic coding implicated in every cell and predisposition to illness and wellness, altering DNA by conscious will may be the medical breakthrough of the new millennium. Imagine the mastery of consciousness in our own lives if directed with lovingness and compassion. Consider the numerous accounts of cancers going into remission when the patient decided to live for the love of their family, or long-term coma patients who recount they knew there were those in the room who believed they would live, and that gave them the will to survive and regain consciousness. There is so much of health and healing we have yet to understand in relationship to the human psyche.
Genetics may be highly influential, but the power of the consciously directed will is perhaps the very essence which created genetic code to begin with. The will to survive, to be free, to be at peace, to be loved. This drove our ancestors across thousands of miles of landmasses, through millions of years of millennia to this moment where we are now, carrying their memories in our veins. Let us not forget that we are the ancestors of tomorrow’s children. We, ourselves, will be driven to create our own destinies and legacies and someday those children of tomorrow will carry the memories of us in their veins.
Perhaps, a new blood type will emerge. One that has no limitations, no offenses, no defenses. It will carry the genetic code of the peacemakers, the philosophers, the poets and the sages. The weight of the world may be eliminated in our quest for enlightenment.
We may no longer fill our lives with useless bulk and burden, or treat ourselves as padded cells to protect us from being hurt. Perhaps, there will be no need to lose weight, once we have gained wisdom. That is quite an enlightening thought in itself. And, after all, to be enlightened, or to lighten up, may be the first step to losing weight, no matter what blood type you may be. If we learn to use both common and uncommon senses in determining the management of our lives, we may discover that the ultimate master of matter is the belief, which empowers the being.
By: Bruce Berkowsky, N.M.D., MRN,
Vital Chi Skin-Brushing can sustain or reestablish the skin’s functional integrity and youthful glow. The skin is as major an organ as the heart, lungs and kidneys. Its primary functions include: respiration, excretion, blood and lymph circulation, immunity and the conduction of vital chi. However, unlike other vital organs, the skin can be non-invasively accessed and mediate systemic rejuvenation by a variety of therapeutic techniques, including proper skin-brushing. Vital Chi Skin-Brushing is a particularly powerful therapy which can positively impact the entire body.
Variations of skin-brushing have been practiced for thousands of years. For many centuries, the Japanese employed vigorous skin-brushing with loofa sponges as a prelude to their traditional hot bath. Prior to bathing (following a hard training session or physical competition) ancient Greek athletes used strigiles: specialized spoon-like skin scrapers to remove the grime of exertion and encourage circulation. Among the Cherokee Indians, skin-brushing with dried corn cobs to enhance skin beauty and durability was once a traditional practice. The Comanche Indians scrubbed their skin using sand from the Texas river bottoms; the Texas Rangers followed their example.
Adolph Just in his Nature-Cure classic: Back To Nature tells that he learned the importance of skin-rubbing by observing wild animals: "Higher land animals, especially wild boars and deer, in free nature, are in the habit of lying down in small muddy swamps and pools and rubbing to and fro in the mud. After awhile they rub themselves against the earth, trees and other objects. The birds go to brooks or springs, and, by immersing their necks, throw water over their bodies...then they rub or scrub the body using their head, bill and wing elbows."
Among long-lived individuals whose lifestyles reflect an understanding of The Laws of Nature, skin-brushing is almost invariably a primary aspect of their formula for longevity. F.O. Havens in his 1896 publication, The Possibility of Living 200 Years, describes 3 centenarians’ regimens as follows: "The first, for the last 40 years of his life used skin brushes vigorously applied. The second, Old Gabriel (who died March 16, 1890 at an authenticated age exceeding 120 years), induced perspiration by heated smoke and vapor while scraping his body with sticks. The third, now in his 100th year, has for the past 60 years followed this unvarying habit: Before retiring he has used a towel dipped in water at the temperature of the room, then drying by vigorous rubbing." Havens, after much longevity-research, suggested: "The following directions are adapted to nearly all conditions of life, and if persisted in, will be found sufficient to keep the skin in perfect condition: Before retiring, rub the body vigorously with skin brush, hair glove or rough towel until the blood is brought to the surface. Follow this immediately by a sponge bath with the water at the temperature of the room."
INTRODUCTION: The Skin’s Vital Functions
FUNCTIONS OF THE SKIN
No other organ is more actively engaged in discharging impurities from the body than the skin; it is a close relative of both the lungs and kidneys. Like the lungs, it absorbs oxygen and expels carbon dioxide and water vapor; and, like the kidneys, it excretes organic and saline matter in solution. The entire surface of the skin is impregnated with millions of sweat glands which constitute a vast drainage system whereby the blood, via perspiration, purifies itself of poisonous waste it has collected from the cells.
There are approximately 17 sq. feet of skin surface; when its capillaries are fully dilated, it presents 6-times the capillary surface area of the lungs. This vast blood vessel network is required for:
1) nutrition and oxygenation of skin tissue;
2) regulation of body heat (the blood is cooled when it moves through the surface capillaries);
3) distillation of waste matter from the blood;
4) the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between blood and atmosphere. The skin’s blood vessel network is as crucial as the heart for normal circulation. The vast storage capacity of the skin’s blood vessels enable them to act as blood reservoirs which release or store blood as needed.
The lymph vessels transport excess, waste-charged fluid away from the intercellular spaces and return it to the bloodstream. Lymph acts as a go-between medium for the transfer of vital materials from the blood to the cells, and for cellular debris away from the intercellular environment into the blood. Thus, the blood feeds the lymph, and the lymph feeds the cells, making the drainage of intercellular lymph one of the most crucial of all bodily functions. The superficial lymph vessels terminate just below the outer layer of skin and interjoin freely with the deeper lymphatic vessels. Any blockage at the superficial lymphatic level will result in congestion throughout the whole lymphatic system. Skin-brushing is an excellent way to stimulate the activity of the entire lymphatic system.
"Aliveness" derives from the presence of high-vibratory, vital energy within an organism. This energy, or natural force, which fills the universe is referred to in traditional naturopathy and homeopathy as Vital Force and in Chinese medicine as Chi. Hence, I have coined the term Vital Chi.
Vital Chi is the fundamental energy which sustains life and is present in the vibratory, biological processes of every cell. Vital Chi is not synonymous with the metabolically generated energy derived from the oxidation of glucose. Rather, it is the force that animates the metabolic processes which ultimately yield caloric energy. Vital Chi differentiates life from death; it circulates through channels, or meridians, throughout the body. Being an essential matrix for the Vital Chi channels, the skin is a crucial medium for Vital Chi movement. The places at which the various channels and vessels reach the skin’s surface are the "acupoints" used in acupuncture and acupressure. Aside from the Vital Chi which courses through the channels, a superficial portion of Vital Chi (which the Chinese refer to as Wei Chi or Guardian Chi) flows outside the channels in a non-differentiated layer beneath the skin. The Wei Chi serves as a defensive perimeter protecting against environmental influences such as varying weather conditions, pathogenic microorganisms, pollutants, emotional stresses derived from human interaction and other external challenges.
PRIMARY BENEFITS OF VITAL CHI SKIN-BRUSHING
The outermost layer of skin cells which serve to protect the underlying skin layers are not living cells, thus, they are continuously shed and replaced via the multiplication and upward movement of living skin cells. Inactive aging skin does not shed dead cells as easily as does youthful skin, so it is susceptible to cellular build-up which accounts, in part, for the dry, thick, leathery-look of older skin. The most obvious mechanical effect of skin-brushing is the detachment of dead skin cells.
Excites Physiological Functions:
Proper skin-brushing supports lymphatic drainage of the skin by:
1) accelerating filtration from the intercellular spaces into the lymph vessels;
2) the emptying of the smaller vessels into the larger lymph vessels;
3) assisting the flow of lymph through the lymph nodes.
Skin-brushing similarly increases venous blood flow. The veins carry the blood back to the heart. Return blood-flow through the veins is not propelled as much by direct heart action as by muscular contraction and vein constriction. Skin-brushing excites and tonifies the muscles and nerves of the skin, thus, it improves venous circulation. These same mechanical effects directly enhance capillary circulation as evidenced by the skin-flush and feeling of warmth that skin-brushing imparts.
The skin is impregnated with nerve end-fibers which play an indispensable role in nervous system activity. This explains the remarkable relaxing effect, including decreased muscular tension, elicited by skin-brushing. Decreased muscular tension affords better lung capacity, digestion, bowel movements, blood circulation, lymph drainage as well as clearer thinking.
Strengthens theBioenergy System:
Unimpeded Vital Chi flow is essential to the prevention and cure of disease. Since the Vital Chi meridians course through the skin, they are readily accessible to the ministrations of skin-brushing. When these channels are massaged, the movement of energy along their length is stimulated and the delivery of Vital Chi to their associated organs greatly improved. Proper skin-brushing can also exert a profound influence upon the Wei Chi: the undifferentiated layer of Vital Chi which hovers near the skin’s surface.
Benefits Mature Skin:
Decreased sweat- and oil gland functions are features of aging. The oil secreted by the sebaceous glands coats the surface of the skin and prevents excessive water-loss through evaporation. Proper skin-brushing stimulates both the sweat- and oil glands, and in this way, contributes to the restoration of moist, supple skin. Also, it strengthens the skin pores through which the skin is moisturized and cleansed, and oxygen and CO2 are exchanged. Aging and devitalization of the skin often results in pore-enlargement and flaccidity due to loss of skin tone and depleted Wei Chi.
Promotes Skin Beauty:
Skin-brushing makes a strong impression upon the dermis (the skin layer that contains an abundance of blood and lymph vessels), nerves, glands and elastin and collagen fibers. The dermis provides nutrients and moisture to all the skin layers and lends contour and flexibility. When the dermis ages, its connective tissue fibers reduce, rigidify, lose resilience and even break into pieces, causing the skin’s support muscles to lose tone and volume and the skin to dehydrate and collapse into sags, wrinkles and lines.
Healthy connective tissue and muscles are products of efficient nutrient support and oxygenation, a waste-free milieu, optimal water balance and moderate exercise, all of which are promoted by regular skin-brushing. The gentle stretching of connective tissues, afforded by proper skin-brushing, helps to increase and regenerate the production of collagen and elastin fibers.
Cellulite is a structural disturbance of fat tissue. The fat content of cellulite-containing tissue is normal, but fibrous nodules surrounding the fat cells give affected skin areas their typical orange-peel appearance. Cellulite formation is related, in part, to local vein and lymph congestion. Proper skin-brushing can help to alleviate this condition.
VITAL CHI SKIN-BRUSHING SYSTEM: GuidelinesAnd Technique
(Excerpted from Dr. Berkowsky’s Vital Chi Skin-Brushing System book)
My Vital Chi Skin-Brushing System, which required hundreds of hours of research and experimentation to develop, evolved from my training and experience in anatomy and physiology and various bodywork disciplines as well as the Oriental healing arts. I designed this system to support blood- and lymph circulation, the immune system, the movement of Vital Chi along the acupuncture channels, all the major physiological functions of the skin as well as to enhance skin beauty and encourage the breakdown of cellulite. Yet, my system is quick, concise and user-friendly. The following excerpts from my book will provide some insight regarding associated guidelines and technique.
1) Always treat the major lymph gland drainage site of a given body region before brushing said region, thus allowing for more effective regional lymphatic clearance. For instance: brush armpit (site of axillary nodes which drain chest) before brushing chest.
2) The body should be brushed in a strategic sequential pattern to allow for maximum drainage. For instance: as the neck and head drains into the venous system in the upper chest, and to a small extent, into the axillary nodes, the chest and armpit regions should be brushed before neck and head regions.
3) Brush-stroke direction always conforms to the route of lymphatic drainage. Example: The chest region drains into the armpit. Hence, the chest on each side is brushed from breastbone to armpit.
My Vital Chi Skin-Brushing System addresses the entire skin surface (with the exception of the breasts and genitals). The following excerpts from my book focus on the armpit and chest regions.
Brush Armpit Region (but not full armpit area) as follows:
Using circular strokes, exert firm pressure only when moving through headward arc of circle. Remainder of circle is executed as a very light stroke. Perform 7 clockwise, then counterclockwise, circles, each side.
Note: The axillary (armpit) nodes are the drainage center for a vast region, including: nape of neck, skin of chest, breasts, back, shoulder blades, arms, hands and parts of the ribcage. Hence, the armpit region should be activated first to facilitate better drainage from all the regions it services.
Brush Chest Region (up to, but not including, armpit) as follows:
1) Above Breast: Brush 7 times each side of chest from breastbone to armpit.
Note: The two major lymphatic ducts empty into the venous system in the left and right chest just below the collar bone. Puffiness above or below the collarbone is indicative of congestion in these ducts. Reducing lymphatic tension in the chest enhances tissue drainage of the entire body.
2) Below Breast: Using upward curving stroke (under breast), brush 7 times on each side from sternum to armpit.
3) Sides of Upper Torso: Brush upward 7 times along each side (in line with the armpit), from waist up to armpit.
Having studied and practiced traditional naturopathy for 25-years, I have come to appreciate the great value of many of the hydrotherapies and their particular synergy with my skin-brushing system. Hence, I instruct that a skin-brushing session should always be followed by an appropriate hydrotherapy. In addition to the Salt-Glow, described below, some of the other hydrotherapies which may prove of good service in this regard include: alternating hot and cold shower; full cold bath; blitz guss; Epsom salt bath; cold ablution (for a detailed discussion of these and other invaluable hydrotherapies see Dr. Berkowsky’s At-Home Health and Beauty Spa, Essential Science Publishing, 2004).
The Salt-Glow is a wonderful circulation-enhancing treatment. In Lectures In Naturopathic Hydrotherapy, Wade Boyle, N.D. and Andre Saine, N.D. list the following indications for salt-glow therapy: "...chronic conditions with inactive skin, including chronic indigestion, kidney disease, diabetes [if there are no skin lesions], sluggish circulation [especially in those who do not react well to hot or cold weather], low vital force, poor resistance, frequent colds, general weakness, neurasthenia, epilepsy, cancer [but not over a palpable tumor], joint problems [especially if followed by oil rub]."
1) Wet a goodly amount of Epsom salt (in unbreakable bowl) with sufficient water to create the consistency of wet snow. (Vigorous individuals may wish to opt for moistening the salt with ice water for extra stimulation.)
2) Add a few inches of warm water – 98o F. to 100o F. – to bathtub, then sit in tub and hand-rub or washcloth-rub body thoroughly using this warm water.
3) Stand up in tub (on non-slip mat) and apply moistened salt as follows: a) Begin with each arm, starting with fingers: rub vigorously until skin turns pink, or to-tolerance, whichever occurs first. b) Then, rub each leg similarly, beginning with toes, working up to hips. c) Rub salt into the rest of the body in the following order: chest, abdomen, back, hips and buttocks.
4) Follow with a cool shower spray of 1- to 2-minutes duration, being sure to hand-rub the skin throughout.
5) Finish with vigorous towel-rub by an open window in private area.
6) Rest for at least 1/2-hour to 1-hour before initiating activity.
INTERFACING AROMATHERAPY WITH SKIN-BRUSHING ANDHYDROTHERAPY
I have found that the application of a few drops of the appropriate essential oils can have a profound effect. Bear in mind that the absorption of only a few molecules of an essential oil may be sufficient to elicit both a physiological and emotional response. Homeopathy sets a precedent in this reference; it utilizes medicinal preparations which are essentially matterless. Through serial dilution, an ultramolecular entity is extracted which is an isolate of the original substance’s vital vibratory essence. This non-physical force field is considered to be the active, curative principle contained within this original substance. Biochemic cell salt therapy, a branch of homeopathy, utilizes mineral salts in minute quantities; cell salt tablets contain only a few molecules of the given mineral. In this way, the dose is provided in amounts approximating actual cellular need. Too, micro-dosing in this manner avoids the side effects associated with macromolecular doses. Similarly, 3 or 4 molecules of the essential components of an aroma oil, taken up by the blood, may not only be sufficient, but best suited (in conjunction with skin-brushing and hydrotherapy) to elicit a cellular response in a given individual. In fact, for hypersensitive individuals, this may be the most judicious course.
Suggested Aromatherapy Protocol To Enhance The Salt-Glow
I learned about using fresh lemon juice as a skin-application by studying the writings of Dr. John T. Richter, a popular naturopath who practiced in the early- to mid-part of the 20th-century. Richter writes in his book, Nature–The Healer: "The morning cold shower or cold water rub-down may be taken without the use of soap, and lemon juice applied over the body with the hands, either before or after washing. The juice will smooth the skin, is a good dirt chaser, disinfectant, and also will act as a mild astringent. Soaps often contain caustics; even those made of vegetable oils have a tendency to dry the skin, but lemon juice has no harmful effects...After shampooing the hair, lemon juice mixed with the last rinsing water will soften both the water and the hair. After the shower or bath, rub your body down with the juice of half a lemon while the skin is still moist. Massage until perfectly dry–otherwise the skin will have a tendency to be somewhat sticky. This massage will dislodge outworn skin. With the slightly astringent effect, you will feel clean and be clean. Only a few minutes are required."
Lemon juice base for rub: Add to the juice of 1 lemon, 1 to 2 drops of each oil listed below. Add 1 to 2 drops each of the same oils to bath water. Note: As a general rule to avoid potential skin-irritation, do not exceed a total of 7 drops of essential oils in either lemon juice rub or bath water.
Essential Oils, RelevantProperties & Indications
1) carrot seed—body purifier; reduces fluid retention; eases muscular tension; increases red blood cells; stimulates lymphatic system and immune system; supports cardiovascular system; beneficial for arthritis; rheumatism; abscesses; boils; skin ulcers and necrotic tissues.
2) peppermint—reduces muscular soreness, neuralgia, sciatica and arthritis; detoxifies connective tissue and skin; activates lymphatic drainage; supports kidney and cardiovascular functions; warming; soothes aching feet; increases white blood cells; useful in treating: itching, dermatitis, fungal infections, blackheads, colds, fevers, upper respiratory disorders, numbness of limbs.
3) rosemary—general detoxification; cardiovascular tonic; increases arterial and peripheral circulation; aids degenerative tissue; eases fluid retention; beneficial for: muscle pains, cramps, sprains, contractures, arthritis and myalgia; stimulates repair of damaged skin; reduces cellulite; stimulates circulation and metabolism of skin layers; helpful for obesity and varicose veins; counteracts debility and physical exhaustion.
4) thyme—increases excretion function of all glands; supports metabolism and fluid balance; strengthens circulation; increases joint mobility; useful for arthritis, sciatica and rheumatism; reduces swelling; beneficial for sports injuries; respiratory detoxifier.
5) yarrow—relieves sinus congestion and respiratory congestion; vascular tonic; stimulates blood renewal; reduces varicose veins; beneficial for backache and rheumatism; lymphatic stimulant.
Important Note: This article is intended for informational purposes. Each person is unique and advised to seek the advice of a qualified health-care practitioner to determine relevance in a given case. Never skin-brush during an active metastatic cancer state. All cancer patients are advised to consult an oncologist if considering a skin-brushing regimen.
BIO: Dr. Bruce Berkowsky is President of Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc., Natural Health Science Advisor to the Institute of Applied Biochemistry and Fellow and member of the faculty and Research Council of The British Institute of Homeopathy (1994 recipient of the Hahnemann Award). He is the founder/teacher of both Spiritual PhytoEssencing and the Natural Health Science Systemtm which he designed following 25-years of research and clinical practice, and includes herbology, nutrition, homeopathy, aromatherapy, exercise, traditional nature-cure as well as East/West healing arts/bodywork. Dr. Berkowsky teaches in-depth seminars/workshops to health-care professionals. He writes an internationally acclaimed journal: Nature’s Therapiestm , contributes articles to several national and international health magazines and journals and has been a popular guest on many radio- and TV talk-shows.
DrBruceB@cnw.com. To subscribe to his free e-mail newsletter: Nature’s Therapies On-Line or to learn more about his Spiritual PhytoEssencing Diploma and Master’s Courses workshops, tapes, books, and more, log on towww.NaturalHealthScience.com
HypoAdrenia: A Causative Factor in Impaired
Detoxification and Digestion
By: Paul Yanick, Jr., Ph.D., ND, CNC, CQM
Fundamental to the naturopathic philosophy is the concept of harmony between the individual and the environment (nature). While diet, detoxification, exercise and naturopathic therapies are needed to nourish and strengthen the body, our clinical results depend on consideration of adrenal-energetic physiology. Ideally, the balance between the polarities ofamaged organs and tissues in order to re-establish the functional unity of body's innate healing systems. This physio-philosophy teaches us how to observe (hear) the body's dis and excrete toxins via bile flow and out of the bowels rather than re-circulate them throughout the body.s Systems (PSNS) or vagus from sympathetic nervous system (SNS) over-stimulation inhibetting a handle on these vast, interconnected biological networks could lead to insights into a variety of diseases and greatly diminish or even eradicate them.
The views and opinions expressed in this online newsletter are not necessarily those of the American Naturopathic Medical Association, its officers or its members, nor are they necessarily in accordance or agreement with its policies.