How do we help?

by Pema Chodron on Monday, January 30, 2012 at 8:12am ·

How do we create a saner world or a saner domestic situation or job situation, wherever we may be? How do we work with our actions and our speech and our minds in a way that opens up the space rather than closes it down? In other words, how do we create space for other people and ourselves to connect with our own wisdom?…

It all starts with loving-kindness toward oneself, which in turn becomes loving-kindness for others. As the barriers come down around our own hearts, we are less afraid of other people. We are more able to hear what is being said, see what is in front of our eyes, and work in accord with what happens rather than struggle against it. The lojong teachings say that the way to help, the way to act compassionatley, is to exchange oneself for other. When you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, then you know what is needed, and what would speak to the heart.

(From Start Where You Are, chapter 17- Compassionate Action)

Massage Therapy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

choad“It’s all in the wrists!”

Research has shown us, once again, the therapeutic benefits of massage. The following talks about massage therapy’s effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome:

Field, T., Diego, Miguel, Cullen, Christy, Hartshorn, Kristin, Gruskin, Alan, Hernandez-Reif, Maria, Sunshine, William. (2004). Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are lessened following massage. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 8:9-14.


Coenzyme Q10

An in-depth article on CoQ10 from the University of Maryland Medical Center is here:

Also, the following comes from

Coenzyme Q10

The Wrinkle Cure

Air pollutants, toxins, cigarette smoke, cell metabolism, exposure to the sun, and other environmental factors initiate free radicals, which can cause dangerous reactions that destroy cells and damage DNA, proteins, and fats. Free radicals also interfere with collagen production and integrity, resulting in loss of elasticity and, ultimately, aging skin. Although this is a natural and unavoidable by-product of metabolism, an overabundance of free radical damage can cause premature aging and wrinkles. Fortunately, there’s a nutritional way to fight the elements.

Coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10 and ubiquinone, is a fat soluble, vitamin-like nutrient present in virtually all cells and considered the spark plug of the body, helping to produce and regulate energy as well as fighting free radicals as an antioxidant.

CoQ10 levels are highest during the first 20 years of life and decline with time, so much so that at age 80, CoQ10 levels may be lower than at birth. Yet the body’s demand for CoQ10 increases with age. Furthermore, statin (cholesterol-lowering) medications can further deplete the body of CoQ10.

The recommended daily CoQ10 dose is 30 mg, in combination with alpha lipoic acid and vitamins A, C, E, and selenium. Foods highest in CoQ10 include sardines, beef, peanuts, spinach, and albacore tuna. However, it would take a pound of sardines, two pounds of beef, or two-and-a-half pounds of peanuts to provide 30 mg, and cooking foods at high temperatures degrades the enzyme. Consequently, CoQ10 supplementation is likely necessary to achieve therapeutic effects.

CoQ10 can also benefit topically, as it’s a small molecule that can easily penetrate the skin. When CoQ10 is combined with vitamins C and E in creams or lotions, the synergistic effect can neutralize free radicals, thus reducing wrinkles.

Supplementing with CoQ10 is not only a good antiaging strategy for the skin, it can also enhance energy, cognition, heart health, stroke prevention, and immune support.


Magnesium? I Don’t Even Know ’em!

But I’d like to!

I especially enjoy how Jim McDonald talks about it:

There is also the NIH:

Don’t forget our talk about epsom salt!

Further expanded upon here:

Ginger, Garlic and Lemon Tea

It’s warming, soothing, and great for fighting winter colds. The health benefits of ginger, garlic and lemon are tremendous.
For a small pot of tea, try adding to the hot water a half of a lemon, sliced, a clove of garlic cut in half, and a piece of fresh ginger root of about the same size as the garlic clove, cut in half. Be sure to cut/peel the skin off, first. You can experiment with proportions, to taste. If you find it a little sharp, you can always add honey or agave syrup.
*Always use caution when trying anything new, even foods.

Shoulder Help: Codman’s Pendulum

The shoulder was designed for mobility, and it buys it with a relative lack of stability. Indeed, it dangles quite precariously off of the body. Thomas Myers writes beautifully about it in his article, “Pivotal Places: Help For Problem Shoulders.”

The shoulder is particularly vulnerable to injury. After an injury, the surrounding soft tissues will “splint,” or stiffen, in an effort to protect and stabilize the region. This can work quite brilliantly in the acute stages, but in the long run it can lead to a loss of range of motion.

A simple and effective excercise for relaxing the muscles around the shouldder joint and for regaining range of motion in the shoulder is the “Codman’s Pendulum.” I find it also provides a gentle traction and realignment of “jammed up” feeling shoulders. Here are a few helpful links to get you started:

There are a wide variety of shoulder injuries and dysfunctions, of course. If you have any, it’s always best to get an examination and diagnosis from a medical professional.

3 May 2011

Home Remedies: Baking Soda


Cat scratch? Bee sting? Splinter gone wrong? For minor cuts and thingys that are getting red, itchy, and a little swollen, a fantastic remedy is baking soda and water. Mix a few pinches of the powder with a few drops of water to make a paste, and spread it on the offending area. As the paste dries, it draws out the poisons. Fot “hotter,” more urgent pains like bee stings, it quickly gives a cooling and soothing effect. In many cases, this is all you’ll need to resolve the issue.

Cat scratches can sometimes go terribly wrong. Today’s splinter can be tomorrow’s staph infection. Before going down that dark road, it’s best to try to catch it early with the baking soda paste. The early signs of infection would be the localized redness/pain/itching/swelling. Don’t wait til it goes systemic! Draw out that poison when it’s local and more easily accessible.

11 April 2011

Sesame Oil Vs. Moisturizer

And the winner is: sesame oil! Do a daily full-body self-massage using organic sesame oil before your shower, and enjoy it’s many health benefits.Ayurveda especially likes it for it’s cleansing properties, as it draws out mental and physical ama, or toxins. It pacifies aggravated vata, and it’s warming and soothing, as well. Whose aggravated vata couldn’t use some pacifying, after all?

To determine your dominant dosha(s) check out Chopra’s Dosha Quiz.


14 March 2011