Jolie Opts for Preventative Double Mastectomy Posted on May 16th, 2013
Actress and international beauty Angelina Jolie has recently opted for a preventative double mastectomy. This news may shock a lot of people but in Jolie’s case with her familial history of breast cancer, it’s a logical choice. Jolie carries the gene that gives her an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer.
I see hundreds of women each year in my work and I can attest to the fact that the fear of cancer, breast cancer in particular runs high. Reassurance is priceless. What we wouldn’t give for the reassurance that we would not have to endure the rigors of cancer treatment – and possibly death. To opt for a preventative double mastectomy is only undertaken if BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 (cancer risk and genetic testing) show positive. This is not a matter to be taken lightly, but should be considered if indicators point to a high risk for breast cancer. In the meantime, a simple urine test called the Estrogen Metabolite Index Test can determine if the body is either storing or metabolizing estrogen – a potential risk for breast and other cancers. A diet which includes the brasica vegetable family; broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts are well-known estrogen detoxifiers. Green tea extract and the spice turmeric can also be helpful. Lowering stress and making simple lifestyle changes while remaining proactive toward optimal health slows down the aging process and cancer risks. For some women, even though they are implementing these strategies, still opt for bye-bye breast. If I had those indicators, I might consider it myself as well.
So You Can Have a Baby Posted on April 15th, 2013
Most of us take having a baby for granted. We can have a baby through the normal channels, we can go to a sperm bank, we can use a surrogate, or we can go the IVF route. All of this is possible just so you can have a baby. But back before 1978 this was not the case and for millions of infertile couples the possibility of having a child was remote, even impossible until Dr. Robert Edwards opened a new era in Medicine. Dr. Edwards died this week at the age of 87. He and his colleague Dr. Patrick Steptoe essentially changed the rules for how people could come in to the world. And thanks to them, conception was possible outside the body in a petri dish and Invitro Fertilization IVF was born. Edwards and Steptoe achieved what they did in the face of the skeptical establishment and choruses of critics, in virtual seclusion, in a tiny, windowless laboratory at a small English hospital outside of Manchester. It was there that the first IVF baby, Louise Brown was born in 1978. At the time this was a huge breakthrough and it ruffled more than a few feathers – especially in the Catholic Church, but these two brave Nobel prizewinners paved the way for many people that you know to become parents and to usher in a whole new era in reproductive technology that has become common place today.
The Iron Lady Dies Posted on April 9th, 2013
Love her or loathe her, one thing’s beyond dispute: Margaret Thatcher transformed Britain. The Iron Lady who ruled for 11 remarkable years, died of a stroke yesterday at the age of 87. She imposed her will on a fractious, rundown nation – breaking labor unions, triumphing in the Falkland’s war, and selling off state industries at a record pace. She left behind a leaner government and more prosperous nation by the time a political mutiny ousted her from No. 10 Downing Street.
For admirers, Thatcher was a savior who rescued Britain from ruin and laid the groundwork for an extraordinary economic renaissance. For critics, she was a heartless tyrant who ushered in an era of greed that kicked the weak out onto the streets and let the rich become filthy rich.
“Let us not kid ourselves, she was a very divisive figure,” said Bernard Ingham, Thatcher’s press secretary for her entire term. “She was a real toughie. She was a patriot with a great love for this country, and she raised the standing of Britain abroad.”
Thatcher was the first, and still only, female prime minister in Britain’s history. But she often found feminists tiresome and was not above using her handbag as a prop to underline her swagger and power. A grocer’s daughter, she rose to the top of Britain’s snobbish hierarchy the hard way, and envisioned a classless society that rewarded hard work and determination.
She was a trailblazer who at first believed trailblazing impossible: Thatcher told the Liverpool Daily Post in 1974 that she did not think a woman would serve as party leader or prime minister during her lifetime – and we know the outcome of that famous phrase!
She was noted for her stinger quotes:
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”
“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions. He had money as well.”
“I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.”
“I fight on. I fight to win.”
“You turn if you want to; the lady’s not for turning.”
“Pennies don’t fall from heaven, they have to be earned here on earth.”
Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.”
“If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, at any time and you would achieve nothing.”
Where will you be when you are 87? And more importantly – how will you be? Will you suffer as Margaret Thatcher did from declining health before dying of a stroke or an age-related disease? Or will you be healthy and vibrant right until the end? My book The Body Knows ~ How to Stay Young offers a wealth of information for navigating through the pitfalls of the aging process. Sad about Maggie Thatcher – but a real motivator for you.
The Sacred Journey to the Heart Posted on February 28th, 2013
Recently I had the honor of interviewing film producer Ronna Prince, creator of Sacred Journey to the Heart – a compelling film about heart-based living and how to achieve it. Ronna came to her own personal heart-opening through shocking and tragic circumstances of childhood sexual abuse, perpetrated by her father, a well-respected band leader. It is hard for most of us to fathom how a person of respect and integrity such as a band leader could behave in this way. And it is difficult to understand how anyone could survive it. All though the circumstances are different, I too experienced a personal violation. My former husband, a well-respected registered nurse, specializing in oncology and medical surgery, a man with three university degrees, a professed Buddhist and healer, was discovered to be leading a double life on the internet and engaging in criminal and elicit online activities. Because of these shocking personal circumstances, like many others, Ronna Prince and I have both had to take our epic journeys of forgiveness and self-discovery. Choosing to view these catastrophic events from a higher perspective, we have both, in our own way, come to realize that these people came into our lives and are our “greatest teachers.” There is a compelling piece of my interview that may be difficult to grasp – the mind simply cannot handle it. According to Ronna Prince, “These agreements are made long before we are born. On a soul level, we agree to have these experiences. In essence, the perpetrator steps up and says, I am willing to be your perpetrator, I will love you so much, that I will come in to your life and give you this experience so that you can grow, move into your power, and become all that you were destined to be. And I will do this for you at the greatest expense to my soul.” This is a lofty concept that is almost impossible to wrap the mind around. But perhaps, this may make sense for people who have been in similar situations. Through our evolutionary process, both Ronna and I have been captivated by the work of author Colin Tipping author of Radical Forgiveness. One of the elements of the Radical Forgiveness work is, “that it is not what happens to us, but what happens for us.” So everything that happens – happens for us – for our growth and spiritual evolution. If we can embrace this concept in the wake of a tough personal experience, we can grow, evolve, overcome and live in joy again. Ronna’s heart-healing journey also took her to the Heart Math Institute in California where she studied proven and practical methods about how to live a heart-centered life – the result of that experience is her creative endeavor – a compilation of well-known authors, teachers and healers who tell their stories in the film Sacred Journey to the Heart. I know you’ll enjoy it.
Debbie Ford Earns her Wings Posted on February 21st, 2013
Debbie Ford best-selling author and personal growth guru died tragically of cancer a few days ago. She was best known for her book “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity Brilliance and Dreams” which deals with the shadow or hidden side of the self. In this enlightening guide, Ford explains that the dark side of our personality should not be hidden. By denying our dark side, we reject these aspects of our true natures rather than giving ourselves the freedom to live authentically. In her book she shows that it is possible to acknowledge and accept our so-called weaknesses, proving that these qualities may be important, hidden strengths. Debbie was only 57 years old – that’s too young to die! According to reports, she died of an incurable cancer. No one likes the word incurable and at this moment as I am about to enter my 69th year on the planet, and prepare to stare down that path to my 70’s and beyond, words like, aging; senior, inoperable and incurable conjure up a certain sense of discomfort and dread. Life is a mystery. No one knows the exact moment that death will occur – and that’s a good thing. Apparently Debbie Ford tried many complementary and traditional methods of cancer treatment and indeed they did prolong her life but did not save it.
Her sister, Arielle Ford comments, “Debbie wasn’t just my little sister; she was my friend, teacher, biggest supporter (and sometimes even my unmanageable client). She was always quite stubborn – which served her very well these past five years after she was diagnosed with cancer. Debbie did groundbreaking work around the human “shadow” and grew into her role as a teacher, sharing her insightful “shadow” work through her many books, lectures, workshops, coaching programs, TV and radio shows, and even a movie – helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world transform their pain into “their best life. She helped so many people go beyond their limited perspective of themselves and reconnect to the love, joy, and peace of their true selves.”
It is always puzzling to me how and why health experts are just as vulnerable as anyone else to disease and infirmity. Just because they teach, just because they are leaders in the field, they are not immune to the ravages of time, death and disease. They are not invincible. A death like Debbie’s, a young woman in her prime, makes us all the more cognizant that life is a journey and when it’s our time – it’s our time.
I remember a well-known medical doctor with a leading-edge holistic medical practice who died of cancer in his early 50’s. How could this be? The man’s diet was perfect, he took lots of supplements and had a seemingly happy life. I was in my early 40’s at the time and figured that anyone with the stature he had attained in complementary medicine would not get sick let alone die. But I was wrong.
Each soul chooses its moment and method of exit. Debbie Ford’s life was short, precious and she left a significant body of work to guide others on the path. This is a transitory life, we must live in gratitude and blessings for the life that we have!
Michael Gelman into Yoga?!! Posted on January 18th, 2013
Wonders will never cease – when you turn on the TV – you never know what you’ll see! This morning – the jaw dropping sight of the producer of Live With Kelly and Michael, Michael Gelman is a professed yoga aficionado. For those of us who have been tilling the soil in alternative medicine and complementary disciples for decades, this is an iconic moment. You know if the legendary, up-tight, anal-retentive Michael Gelman is chanting OM – you know that the alternatives have reached a tipping point! They have finally arrived – mainstream.
This year 2013, I am celebrating 30 years of emersion in complementary medicine, environmental medicine, and medical intuition. As an author, speaker and health educator, these Michael Gelman moments make me know that all the years of people thinking that I was “weird” have come full circle. This is all very gratifying.
Yoga, acupuncture, food intolerance and complementary disciplines of all kinds are an annual 50 billion dollar industry. One-by-one, people like Michael Gelman are realizing that there is a cornucopia of healing modalities just waiting to be discovered which are effective and life-changing.
Angels Help Grieving Children Posted on December 17th, 2012
We have all watched with horror as the tragedy unfolded at Newtown Connecticut and wondered what can we do? How could this happen? What could prompt a young man to go berserk and take the lives of twenty innocent children? No one has any answers. And they won’t have answers for a long time. But people do have solutions. And one of them is a project that I started way back in 1988, and the story of how the “Angel doll Project” was born, would take a long time to tell. We never know why we are called to start a project or when we respond to a dream or an inner prompting. It could be a few bars of a song, a poem or a book but we feel compelled to create something and somehow, we feel led from within. I have always loved dolls and I played dolls as a child until I was twelve years old. Girls now-a-days are having sex at the age of twelve! Me, I was playing with dolls. Little did I know that dolls would be an important focus later in my life. After I completed my diploma in Relaxation Therapy, I started seeing private clients, many of them children and I created especially designed CD’s that helped them to relax and heal from traumatic experiences such as head injuries and burns. One night I had a dream that I was to create a little angel doll that could be cuddly and washable and suitable for both boys or girls. The angel was to be coupled with a set of story music CD’s for children in a variety of situations – low self esteem, sleep problems, trauma, abuse or hospitalization. My project www.angels4kids.com has been in existence for over 20 years. The little angels have been called in to comfort children in Dunblane Scotland, Oklahoma City, September 11 and many other places when comfort and reassurance are badly needed. Never underestimate the power of a dream and how your creation might serve a greater purpose. www.angels4kids.com
Parkinson’s Disease – Michael J. Fox and 50,000 More! Posted on December 10th, 2012
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, coordination, eye problems and even dementia. Symptoms may be mild at first but progress with time. Risk of developing Parkinson’s disease increases over the age of 50. In the United States, each year 50,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Spokesperson for the disease, Michael J. Fox returns to television with a series, playing a father with Parkinson’s. Next year, Michael J. Fox will be making s triumphant return to series television in a comedy for NBC. The dad of four opens up about why he’s diving back into TV and the inspiration behind the new show. My thoughts on Parkinson’s Disease include, changing the diet, watching blood sugars and making sure they are balanced. Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Instituting a specific supplemental regimen based on blood work and nutrient deficiencies. I would also add acupuncture treatments and a whole food glandular product called Neurotrophin which feeds the neurological system. The symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease represent constant movement and agitation. Ask the Parkinson’s patient what he is agitated about? I also suggest calming exercise such as Tai Chi or Chi Quong, yoga and of course, meditation. The body knows what to do to repair. I believe that there are a number of alternatives that Michael J. Fox could research. In viewing his foundation website, it is obvious that he has embraced the medical route and is encouraging others to do the same thing. Complementary medicine means a mix of all disciplines. The key to health and healing lies somewhere in these disciplines – body, mind and spirit. http://bit.ly/S5rFJi
Making Lincoln – Presents Challenge Posted on December 3rd, 2012
Lincoln was released last week. Did you know that making the epic film almost dissolved.
Stephen Spielberg, known for great and challenging film projects wanted Daniel Day-Lewis to play Lincoln. But Day-Lewis turned down the part until fellow actor Leo DiCaprio intervened with one phone call. Lincoln is an absorbing intellectual look at the political machinations involved in abolishing slavery, which was a hard-fought effort not only on the battlefield but in the halls of Washington. Clearly, Abraham Lincoln was committed to the principals upon which the United States was founded. In the film, we are privy to the politics of the era and get a compelling view of Lincoln’s determination, as well as his ability to surmount hurdles and trounce the opposition in favor of the common good. Something we all must consider doing at times in our lives. Lincoln’s determination has meant freedom and equality for all – principles that are playing out in our daily lives and changing world. According to Spielberg, Day-Lewis initially turned down the part of Lincoln, because the idea was just too intimidating, “What if I don’t succeed, I don’t want to bring down the image of a great man.” Daniel Day-Lewis – thank you for agreeing to play the part!
Flight of the Butterflies Posted on November 25th, 2012
If you are like me, you are probably fascinated by the migration of monarch butterflies. Research started in the 1990’s shows that the migration of the monarch butterfly is quite predictable. The migration starts about a month before the first frost, and proceeds on a very regular basis through the middle of the country and it coincides with the declining angle of the sun. When the sun reaches somewhere between 56-57 degrees above the horizon at noon the monarchs start their migration at every latitude. This reminds me of the primal nature of all life. We and every species “knows” where we belong and where we must go. If we follow our instincts we will get there.
Find out more about the flight of the monarchs with a new 3-D film released at IMAX theatres – Flight of the Butterflies, which I am sure will be a thrill to see. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03soGDi4gSg