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meditation

There has been lots of talk over the years about these ‘negative ions’ and how they are so good for you.  It all sounded so confusing, how could something negative be good?

Well here you go.

A negative ion is an electrically charged molecule is all.  It has an extra electron floating about it.  Remember from chemistry that there are Protons (which have a positive charge) Neutrons (which are neutral or have no charge) and Electrons (these have a negative charge).  An electrically neutral or stable molecule has an equal amount of Electrons as Protons.  Since Neutrons have no charge they usually have something to do with the weight of that molecule (basically anyway).  Got it?  OK< so now we get to charged atoms (molecules are a combination of atoms… OK, enough of the chemistry already!!!

Where do you find these negative ions???  Here is a list; A shower, waterfall, rain, rain Forrest, mornings, sunsets, babbling brook, beaches… get the idea?  anywhere water moves, or when sunlight hits water vapor.  Notice you feel good enough to sing (or dance) in the shower?  It is the negative ions…   How about that you notice how good life is at sunset?  Yup, negative ions.

Now what about positive ions?  They are made by wind, electrical gizmos, air pollution like smoke and smog…(hydrocarbons) and plastics (synthetic materials) which tend to create a static electrical charge.

So what does the research say about this?   Unfortunately not much.  A lot of guessing at this point, but what we do know is exposure to negative ions makes people feel more relaxed and better (not everyone responds the same way so it is hard to study with double-blind, statistically controlled studies… blah blah blah.)  We do see an increase in Serotonin ( a neurohormone that makes EVERYONE feel better)(http://www.electrostatics.net/articles/air%20ion%20effects.htm) .  It has been studied with people with Seasonal Affective Disorder and other psychological issues related to enclosed environments.  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17151164).

So what do Negative ions do?  Here is a list; increase oxygenation of blood and therefore, the brain/ make physiological processes easier in the body/reduction of pain, reduction of stressed feelings (notice I said nothing about stress… that is already there and ions do nothing to stop bills from arriving (for example).   Negative ions reduce depression, they increase happiness, help with concentration… all kinds of things.   No, they do not cure anything.  That is up to your body to do, but having your body work better will help it cure from anything it comes across.  Negative ions reduce particulates in the air (bacteria, viruses, molds, fungi, dander et. al.

So how to get them going in your life?  Get a salt lamp, they are inexpensive and help ionize the room, they are also a great night-light and can be an excellent meditation focus.  Also you can get more plants, go outside more, see a sunrise or a sunset, stand in the rain, listen to it snow… take a nice shower… the possibilities are limitless, be happy for once…

 

 

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Here is a great post my wife did, I just HAVE to share it!

Today’s Sip…good news bad news! On this particular topic, the good is also the bad. The news (sip) is this…Your happiness is entirely up to YOU. Believe me, I know the struggle of looking for happiness in some one, some thing, some time, some activity, some idea…some SOMETHING that is in the grand ‘out there’. It ain’t ‘out there’. I know you’ve heard it a hundred times, and we all know the quotes about ‘happiness comes from within’, and all that crap – but tragically and fortunately it’s the absolute truth.
Today’s sip isn’t designed to burden you with the ‘oh great now I have to do THIS, too!!!” kind of mentality. Its designed to give you the feeling power…the understanding that this ‘ride’ is totally up to you, and you can choose to find your happy wherever and whenever you are. Its much easier to look in some other direction for that happiness, that peace, because that’s just one less thing you have to figure out today – but it’s also much easier to only rely on ONE person for that feeling of peace/happiness – its YOU!
You don’t have to count on someone else, or something else to get ‘right’, in order for you to be happy.
Stand in your own light, your own power, and your own SELF, and get your happy on!!! If for no other reason than…BECAUSE YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!
Please feel free to comment below…I always LOVE hearing your thoughts – and if you feel so compelled to share the happiness of happiness with others…SHARE on your own page!
Sending love and happiness from one end of the world to the other 

 

I was reading about Buddhism and Meditation and suicide.  (see the articles below)

I have had experience with suicide for many years, both as a peer counselor, health care provider, Medic and Buddhist Minister.  I have known people that have wanted to kill themselves, I know people who have.  I have talked people out of it,  I have seen people in the process of attempting to kill themselves, I have even (like everyone) have had thoughts of it for myself as well.  I do not have extensive experience, nor any ‘formal’ training.  (I’ll tell you why in a moment).  As a Buddhist Minister, meditation trainer/coach and natural health care provider I see some very interesting patterns in this mindfulness, McMindfulness and McMeditation trend.   I have been trained to practice Buddhism, and to relate that to “modern” psychological practices, to compare them.  To look at them from the outside…

As things like death, dis-ease and aging come more into focus since I notice myself aging, I find myself thinking and meditating on death more frequently.  Not to just ponder, but to become more familiar.  I get to looking up stuff and reading.  I have been a practicing and studying Buddhist Minister for nearly ten years, I have practiced meditation in one form or another for over 25 years, and in that time I have seen lots of advice and articles on all kinds of things ‘meditation’ and ‘Buddhism’.  What I see again and again, is watered down Buddhist thought and practice.  Failure to use the work, the construct of Buddhist practice in dealing with any problem.  I see (or perceive) a fear of getting Buddhist philosophy/practice entangled with anything psychological.  However, Buddhist practice is ALL about the mind, ALL psychology.  Not Jungian, Freudian… Human.

In college I was a psychology major for a while, this was the mid 80’s.  I really wanted to get to help people, maybe become a counselor or psychologist.  Here is the reason I stopped.  I was in my first upper division psychology class.  I think it was experimental psych or clinical psychology or something.  There was about thirty in the class, the professor was a well published and experienced man, a good role model and great teacher.  The first day he had us each stand and tell why we are choosing this line of work.  I was in the third seat back.  I was, at that time, very introverted and nervous about speaking in public so I did not hear the two preceding me.  When it was my turn I explained how I wanted to help people and understand the way the mind works, etc… simple and sincere.  No fluff.  I then noticed that almost every other person in the class was crazy!  They all were suicide survivors, addicts, rape survivors, real damaged goods.  Most seemed to think that by being though something made them better qualified to care for others.  Some seemed to think that they would get ‘free’ counseling and be able to work on themselves while getting a degree to help others.  I just saw a whole group of people that were suffering and in no way able or capable of helping themselves or others.  I completed the class, appalled by the dysfunction of these would be therapists.  It scared me.  I chose to look within…  That is when I found deeper meditation.  I also had the misconception that all these people were nuts.  Like having a blind person tell you they were going to help you look for a street sign.   Little did I understand that not only are we all suffering, but it is a vital part of that experience that we learn to help and be helped by anyone.  Everyone can be the teacher, student, guru, savior and victim.  It is all essential.  As Ram Das says, we are all just walking each other home…

In the articles I have listed, and many others I see TALK about how meditation and mindfulness can help, but only in a limited way.  (Mindfulness as a non-Buddhist way of talking about meditation so that people who are afraid/leery of Buddhists or are of some other Religious construct would not be scared off…)   There are few concepts that are missing in the discussion, that surprise me.  Now, practice is NOT easy, it takes effort and time.  People who are suicidal do not always have those conveniences.  One quick act will end the whole conversation.  Just like a person in a 12 step program cannot be around their ‘demon’ especially in the beginning otherwise they can fall back into the sickness and addiction activity again.

So here is what seems too light or missing in the following (and other articles)

Non-self (the Anattakhalana)  The practice, discussion and realization that your thoughts are not you, your consciousness, etc are all not YOU.  There is no independent you or ‘I’ or ‘me’.

Impermanence, a more difficult one I think.  One that is easy to logically grasp but not easy to hold onto.  W

Sila (Morality) This is the main one that I find missing in every article about meditation.  So many say that meditation does not really work for this or that, but fail to make sure that moral conduct is included.  That is a main premise in Buddhist practice.  How to live right and well.   You cannot do that just by sitting by yourself quietly.  You need the social construct of community and the support of those that are wiser, so you can follow them and become wiser yourself.  Not as a servant but as a student, to excel and eventually sit with the ‘wise ones’ and speak at the same level.  Discuss death, impermanence, loss, non-self, interdependence, and other concepts that give meditation structure and depth.  Sit and you just sit… A chicken sits.  A frog sits.  Are they gaining by it?  One cannot hope to do the same without some kind of thought process.  Yes, the beginning of meditation is to quell the thoughts, slow them down, but that is to get a chance to really see them and evaluate them, see how the mind and thoughts act.  Not to medicate and sedate.  That is (in my opinion) a very bad long term choice.  Short term, fine.

I like the article from ‘Living from the Heart’ it gives advice on watching what the mind does and picking apart the process of breath (as one breath is merely one life)  It also helps you associate impermanence with the breath. This, with some guidance and study can help you achieve a little more understanding of the frailty of the self, how the end of the breath can be the end.

The other articles emphasize the need for medical help.  I have seen and explored chemical imbalance and although an important part of well being, I believe we do not have a good enough grasp on chemical reactions in the body and the mind to really help people.  The vast majority of medications do nothing for the mind, they make you dull and heedless.  The fact that many people on these ‘balancing’ drugs often commit suicide does nothing to deal with inner or mind turmoil and lack of understanding and control of the five aggregates. Of course people will be upset with that, but people that are on anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressants are never ‘alright’  they will tell you.  They know.  They feel dull, sedated.  Sure that keeps them from overt outbursts, but maybe that is what they needed.  For sure, the mind and heart are complex.  There is no one answer, medication is not THE answer, meditation is not THE answer.  Not without some structure.  Not without some understanding of the self.    Hoping to just sit on a cushion will never help you if you have no plan, no process of thought.  Let the thoughts go wild and they will oblige.  They will give you all kinds of terrible things to dwell on.  Have a focus and you will naturally go for that.  The mind loves that kind of stuff.  Not just focusing on happy kittens and funny stuff but on understanding the conditions and accepting that there are all kinds of feelings and they are alright.  They are ok, it depends on how attached you become to them and how you can practice on letting those go.  Understanding your process and way of thinking and refining it wisely.  Only then you can see your suffering, only then you can do something about it.  Or, medicate and zombie out.

Unfortunately medicine (psychiatry and psychology) have gotten a hold of meditation and have stripped it to fit a clinical model.  ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy), and the like have all kinds of people thinking about thinking, not thinking about thinking, thinking about not thinking, or just sitting and breathing.  Breathing is a great start, but never picking apart or using a construct of moral self care or understanding which is essential to the practice is like watering it down in my opinion.  They talk about self awareness as if they are dealing with a machine.  As soon as the light goes on you take your medicine or do a breathing exercise.  Never do they approach the thought with some insight, how does it fit into any of the many constructs of practice?  The eight fold path, the five hindrances, the five aggregates, even the four noble truths…  et al.  Perhaps, and this is my assumption, is that Buddhist practice is too often considered a religious ceremonial process and not a way of being…  There are too many that would take any of the Buddhist concepts (I am talking the basic Buddhist stuff) and apply all kinds of bells, drums, esoteric chants, dances, smells, hats and other paraphernalia to somehow legitimize it and make sure that people have the idea that if you do not do it this specific way it will not work because you were not doing this or that in a specific way with a bell ring or certain hand motions.   Nonsense in my mind.  But wait… For Tibetans, Tibetan practice works, for Japanese, Japaneses practice works.  For everyone else?  Find what works.  For you.

One of the articles actually addresses that and expands by rightfully saying not to go it alone.  Your mind is a scary and weird place.  Without a guide or a friend that can help you or even just ‘Be’ with you.  My best advice, get closer to yourself in meditation, get closer to your teachers and therapists.  Discuss getting away from the medications in a slow and logical way.  It can and has been done many times.  Remember medication is not supplementation.  Those are completely different.  If you have a chemical imbalance you need to supplement the chemical, the co-factors, an enzyme of some thing else.  Medication is to quiet you down so you do not feel what you may need to feel.  Not to experience what you need to experience, not to think.  You need to guide your mind, train it, learn about it.  Get to know you.  You have the answer.  I just might be in meditation… Stop trying it by yourself, find a group, a guru a teacher.  No ‘bi-neural’ beats or subliminal music.  That is a distraction.  No chemicals no drugs, no videos and no music.  Those are all distractions.  (good to start a practice but not to get deep).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lodro-rinzler/meditation-isnt-enough-a-_b_5672580.html

https://iamheart.org/Puran_Bair/column/43suicide.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3383812/

http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/071514

http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/05/using-mindfulness-meditation-to-cope-with-suicidal-thoughts-and-feelings/

Meditation training and acupuncture for anxiety, panic attacks, stress, and worry…

Acupuncture treatments are well-known to facilitate relaxation and whole body harmony.  Meditation can enhance the effectiveness of that effect as well as train you to see anxiety rising in your body and give you effective and realistic tools to stop it in its tracks.  We find that worry, stress, and anxiety are common in today’s world.  We also have discovered that if you practice being upset, worried, or stressed you will automatically ‘go there’ when something occurs that is either out of your control or not what you wanted at the time.  Meditation PRACTICE allows us and trains us to see and be in the world in this present moment and to become aware of the changes in our minds and bodies.  With this powerful practice we can better control and guide our minds to live the life we want and deserve.  Not to become a slave to our ‘gut’.

Acupuncture has a very specific set of points that can change person to person for stress, anxiety, depression, worry, and panic disorders.  Once we have determined the pattern you are in, this therapy does not help you identify the cause but instead realize and acknowledge the process and stop it before it ramps up to a full-blown episode.  With a few treatments you can start to feel calm much more of the time, feel balanced, centered and in control.  Therapy will give you the why’s we work on HOW you are going to manage and get through it, effectively.

How the acupuncture will help.  1. It will harmonize the ‘Chi’ energy that flows throughout and around your body.  2. You must consciously ‘tune’ into each point as it is stimulated or tonified.  This will help you make a good contact with your whole body.  3. The points used will help the organs to work better together and send information through the Vagus nerve that you ARE relaxed and calm.

How the meditation will help. 1.  You will follow the breath and body, this will have a centering and calming effect on the mind and the coordination of the mind and the bodily action will help you be more’in tune’.  That will help you see (feel) an anxiety attack, panic attack, or feeling of un-ease sooner and enable you to use the techniques I teach you to stop it and calm back down.  2.  You will begin to understand through the practice that you CAN control your physiology and make a difference in your life moment by moment.  3. You will begin to feel more and more confident in your dealings with your anxiety on a day to day and even moment by moment basis.

The course of treatment lasts four months (about half the time of a medication regime).  Twice a week meditation and acupuncture in a safe, calm relaxing environment with an anchoring essential oil formula you can take with you.  The meditation practice will start with tuning into your body while in an acupuncture treatment session, appreciating and really understanding what it IS to BE relaxed.  Guided meditation, specific to YOU is offered along with techniques to use at home and work to enhance the benefit of being HERE NOW…  Total cost for the four months is $1000.00  as a discounted package, to go through the entire program is essential, as it is a practice of the mind and body,  would cost about $2,000.00.  ($60 per acupuncture treatment with personalized essential oil for grounding ($15), then guided meditations while you are getting treatment ($49) each)  The schedule is a minimum of twice a week for up to an hour each session, with the gradual decrease in frequency after the second month to no less than once a week. After the fourth month, maintenance is highly recommended on a once a month basis. (billed separately)

I have been practicing chiropractic for about 20 years now and have been exposed to, and taught a number of techniques to help realign and stabilize joints in the body.

One thing I have noticed is that none of the techniques* I have learned or studied have a grading system for the adjustments.  Mostly it tends to be a functional matter; pain decreases, mobility increases, etc.  But each adjustment can be so different and get the exact same results.  Likewise, the same adjustment, even on the same person, can get different results each time.  I generally use what is called a “diversified” technique, which really is not a technique at all, but a collection of procedures to move a vertebrae or other joint where you think and feel it should go.  Most of the time, we get a ‘pop’, but not always.

When doing such adjustments (especially the spine) I am always looking for how well it worked.  I have my own grading system… the “click, clack, clunk” range.  When you perform a simple P-A adjustment (pushing on the back when the patient is face down) you typically get a sound as the joint ‘cavitates’ (More on that later).  This results in  a click if it is a surface joint, like the facets, a ‘clack’ if it is a deeper joint like the rib head or neck, and a distinct ‘Clunk’ with the deeper part, that being the disc.

Now, I have absolutely no research on this, and there are no studies that I know of that have researched if this is at all true.  But, empirically, IN MY experience I see this as true.   I figure I have done well over 75,000 adjustments in my career and that is what I base my info here on.  I have also found that when we get the ‘Clunk’ the patient almost always has a great release of tension and takes a much needed and happy sigh.

Having said all that, the Click, Clack, or Clunk are really just sounds.  I prefer to get the right sound at the right time for the right reason.  This is all about personal preference of the patient, their goal for treatment and my sense of the issue at hand.  Sometimes a ‘clunk’ would be a bad idea for someone that has never felt a real adjustment before, or for someone that has lots of pain.  Again, I use common sense, compassion and experience…

We must also understand though, an ‘audible’ or pop, click, clack, or clunk is NOT at all necessary to have a good result.  In fact, many techniques offer no such sound but have all the benefit of the later.  Since anyone can push or hug someone and get a pop, that is not really doing an adjustment.  An adjustment is a very specific intentional movement of a joint just past it’s fixation point.  Sometimes now called a ‘High Velocity, Low Amplitude’ (HVLA) manipulation, or in the physical therapy sense, a grade 5 manipulation or mobilization.  To perform these types of treatments takes great skill and practice as well as a keen sense of anatomy of the area and possible pathological issues that may make the adjustment/treatment contraindicated…  Most are pretty obvious and do not need to be reviewed.

Feel free to contact me at 720-325-9886 or send me an email with any questions or comments.  Thanks!

Techniques that are used by chiropractors vary as wide as personalities it seems.  You can find a list anywhere.  Here are some that I use; Diversified, Gonstead, Full Spine Specific, Meric, Thompson, Cox Flexion Distraction, SOT, Activator, Motion Palpation, English Bone Setting, Tui Na, Mobilization, among others…

Of the techniques I use these are the ones that usually have no audible sound; SOT, Activator, and English Bone Setting.