Archive | March, 2012

The Unmeasurable Source

16 Mar

I live in a cohousing with a family of mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists.  Thank goodness my husband is an artist type, and provides some balance (although if the truth is told, he still leans toward science to validate his experience).  I sometimes feel alone in my understanding of the universe:  that because we know basically nothing about it, we’re better off trusting the very things we can’t put our fingers on, or we’ll miss the information we seek- or worse, really screw things up!

My work as a bodyworker is based on listening- with my ears and hands, but also with my…intuition?  What’s the mechanism of what’s commonly called intuition?  Sarajane Williams, a harpist who wrote for The Harp Therapy Journal of Winter 2011-12, brings up this: “Well-designed, double-blind experiments have repeatedly shown that this technology [Wave genetics] works.  They also found that our DNA, which generates sound and light, can produce magnetized “worm-holes” (which are microscopic Einstein-Rosen bridges in which hyper-communication can occur outside of space and time- accounting for phenomena such as intuition, telepathy, channeling, distance healing). They realized that human DNA is an organic superconductor that is able to store light and information, it operates at normal body temperature, and its language is programmable.”

If we can’t put our finger on something and explain it to our satisfaction, does that make it worthless?  Or… worth less?

I’m grateful for the benefits I enjoy because of research done by the scientific method, but I feel we’ve become over-dependent on it to the detriment of the unseen world that makes up, I’m guessing, the 90% or more of the universe we don’t understand- that part that consists of dark matter.  Another article, this one in Wired Magazine, details a much-touted cholesterol-lowering drug that ended up increasing mortality in its subjects by 60%, because it triggered heart failure.  Despite the years of research leading up to its debut, the scientists thought they understood enough about the body and this drug to create a predictable outcome- nope.  Reducing the body to a collection of parts doesn’t help explain the whole- hence the word wholistic.  Mr. Lehrer, who wrote the Wired article, says, “We assume that more information will make it easier to find the cause…All those extra details end up confusing us; the more we know, the less we seem to understand.”  I liken our situation to a child with a gun:  we have just enough information to pull the trigger, but we can’t aim, and we’re not prepared or mature enough to foresee or deal responsibly with the outcome.

When I do bodywork, I listen of course to my clients’ words, and pull from my knowledge of anatomy and technique.  And when I “hear” a pull from one part of the body, say the ankles, when I’m working on the head, I go to the ankles and “do what I’m told.”  How does this information come to me?  It’s not a voice, nor a visual cue; it’s more like an echo of information, or a wave that laps up against my consciousness.  And if I ignore it or question it, invariably that client’s session is ok, or even great, but I’ve missed connecting to what Alan Watts and his ilk call “the suchness of life”; that which cannot be named, the Tao, God, the Holy Spirit, the ground of being, etc.  These are words to try and capture what we can’t see, but our various experiences say is there.

Over the several centuries since Sir Isaac Newton, science and the Age of Reason has tried to replace religion and its basis in what we can’t see, by taking apart nature .  Now we’re dipping our toes into quantum physics, trying to explain the substance of the unseen world whose presence we can only infer.  I say- when in doubt, go to source, even if you can’t measure it!

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Synthetic Fragrances vs. Essential Oils

1 Mar

In nicer weather than we’re having today, I like to bike around Longmont, enjoying people’s yards and the general hum of the city.  I don’t enjoy smelling synthetic fragrances wafting into the street from someone’s dryer sheets!  Our bodies have evolved with plants, and with the essential oils these plants contain; people have used essential oils for centuries for their health benefits.  Synthetic fragrance oils are primarily made from petrochemicals and attempt to duplicate the smell of a specific plant. I’m convinced that many of the central nervous system disorders we’re experiencing today (much more than in recorded history), are due to the use of petrochemicals.  In the 1940’s after WWI, chemicals were heralded as a savior for our “modern world”, and were used without much thought as to their consequences for the environment and human health.  I’ve done a little research to find out why my sinuses rebel against synthetic fragrances…read below to see why essential oils are a much better choice!

 *** 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxics and sensitizers capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.   [Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace, Report by the Committee on Science & Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, Sept. 16, 1986. (Report 99-827)].    Manufacturers of cosmetics (hair products, makeup, skin products) are not required by law to list the ingredients in the fragrances they use.                                                                               

*** Central Nervous System disorders (brain and spine) include Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

*** Chloroform was found in tests of fabric softeners: EPA’s 1991 study.

Bioaccumulation refers to the accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other organic chemicals in an organism.  Some environmental poisons are fat soluble,  including tetra-ethyl lead compounds (the lead in leaded petrol), and DDT. These compounds are stored in the body’s fat, and when the fatty tissues are used for energy, the compounds are released and cause acute poisoning. (taken from Wikipedia)  Children’s bodies are especially vulnerable to bioaccumulation, simply because of their smaller-sized bodies, and their less mature immune systems.

*** A room containing an air freshener had high levels of p-dichloro-benzene (a carcinogen) and ethanol: EPA’s 1991 study.

*** Thirty-three million Americans suffer from sinusitis (inflammation or infection of sinus passages). Synthetic fragrances can irritate the sinuses.

*** “Asthma and migraine headaches can both be associated with exposure to fragrances and are both leading causes of lost work time,” said webcast co-presenter Evie Bain, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN.

*** Headaches cost $50 billion in lost productivity and medical expenses and 157 million lost work days in 1991. “Focus on Fragrance and Health,” by Louise Kosta, The Human Ecologist, Fall 1992.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry-generated Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) from the 1990s, the following is a list of chemicals in fabric softener products, most in untested combinations. Liquid fabric softeners additionally may contain formaldehyde.

  • Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer.
  • Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant.
  • Ethanol: On the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders.
  • Limonene: Known carcinogen.
  • A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage.
  • Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.
  • Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders.
  • Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic.
  • Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders.
  • Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled.

To hide the chemical smell, companies load dryer sheets full of chemical fragrances, which are potentially carcinogenic. (From Annie B. Bond, author of Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999).