Archive for March 2012

For Love. . .   3 comments

cold-cuts-photo-from-alex-belths-bronx-banter-blog

cold-cuts-photo-from-alex-belths-bronx-banter-blog

(Things to Avoid List Below)

Things are so much easier to do when you are doing them out of love… or for someone you love.

I guess I must have loved myself enough to do all this research…. but I am sharing it because someone I love has pain issues and I don’t ever want someone to feel un-empowered.

We might be able to take away pain, but we can take away suffering.

My neurologist only did so much… well, he took me off of 7 different medications that could have killed me. . . that’s a lot. He told me dead on though that if I thought foods were a trigger, I needed to solve that on my own.

There were so many things that the pain psychologist, pain specialist, biofeedback technician, primary doctor, etc didn’t do and well, all I can say is I am grateful to Google and other search engines.

We can become empowered when we learn… doctors usually don’t take the time to teach which is a shame.  When I told the pain specialist, I want to figure out what part of my pain I am causing and figure out ways to stop it, he looked at me with a blank look… then he proceeded to say… well, you’re more sophisticated than most of my clients, they just want me to fix them and they won’t take any of the blame.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, it’s not about blame, it’s about responsibility, it’s about being an agent of change!

Never will I have a doctor (or anyone else tell me)… I’m sorry… it will be like this forever, there is nothing you can do.

Why?

Because even if I was diagnosed with something that could end my life, I still have choices, I still have my attitude, I still have my breath, and I still have hope.

Now, I’m not talking blind hope or something like denial.  I’m talking hope… the kind I had when I trusted my acupuncturist, like when I trusted my physical therapist and massage therapist.  Like when I trusted myself to keep data and do my homework, including reading everything that was out there.

These foods can create difficulties for a number of reasons:  having histamine responses, being high in tyramine, tannins, nitrates, etc.  And not all of these foods will bother you.  But this can give you a guideline.

Interestingly, if you look at diets suggested for some health conditions, like rosacea, there are a lot of similarities.. well, many diseases have at their root inflammation and so similar things will trigger inflammatory responses.

Now, I make my own choices… if I am craving pizza, (can you tell that I love pizza I keep writing about it)… I make sure I don’t do something silly like eat it with a bowl of soup or with a big salad with lots of cheese.  I can still have a headache, but I minimize the possible effects.  And I know to take my migraine medicine before hand.  I don’t make a practice of it but if the craving is there, I’ve tried some mindful eating, and it persists, I don’t beat myself up any more… I take cautious action.

So, I’m going to give you another tool… A list of Foods to Avoid if you have symptoms of migraine headaches.  Here it is:  foods to avoid Sheet1

I spoke with someone I love today and promised this list… so here it is to anyone who reads this blog.

I hope it helps you to feel empowered to change your own health.

I hope it helps you to find safety, deep peace, joy, and lasting success.

What’s next?  A list of foods that are usually safe.  YES, there are safe foods.

So, may this be a labor of love for the people in my life that have pain, particularly migraines.  May the merit of my work and my words bring some comfort and ease to others.

Namaste!

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Posted March 31, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

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Congress hates Veterans   1 comment

This is really sick on the heals of the debate about universal health care!
I think that we should stop all wars and bring our troops home. We can go back to war when we can figure out how to humanely treat these wounded warriors when they come back to us … which would mean no more war!
Thank you for sharing it with us Bill. We should be outraged and disgusted!!!!!!

FierceBuddhist

While at the Veterans Hospital today I read a disclaimer that the staff had put on the counter at the dental clinic. It said:

“We would like to advise you that if you do not have dental coverage the cost of an extraction as set by CONGRESS is $487”

It goes on to say “a private extraction is less than $152 and at Cook County Hospital $50”

I find this disgusting and unjust. How can members of Congress sleep at night.

Thank you to the staff for bringing this to the attention of Veterans!

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Posted March 30, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

  1 comment

Our bodies, minds, and spirits are connected, no matter how much we in the West want to ignore that fact. Here is a good post about depression and anxiety, which I am sure exacerbate all of our dis-ease…
May we find comfort, balance, and ways to use what ails us to creating healing for ourselves and our world.
Namaste

Posted March 30, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

Inflammation and Food   3 comments

Patsy's Pizza

Patsy's Pizza (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is a quick list of 10 kinds of food that seem to be linked to inflammation in the body.

Why is this list important?

If you live with arthritis, allergies, heart disease, diabetes, migraines, and several other illnesses, inflammation plays a profound part in your life.

I try to limit things like cheese (dairy) , pasta, citrus, nuts, and other things that I know either create congestion and/or pain.  It isn’t that I have totally gotten rid of them, but I’m a bit smarter now.

I try not to eat pizza… yeast dough, pizza sauce, mushrooms, cheese… a migraine waiting to happen (and this is tough for a girl from the East Coast who loves her NY style pizza!)

pppppssssttttt… hey you, I know a lot of people think MSG is only in Chinese food, but guess again… MSG and similar chemicals like yeast extract are in foods such as processed tomato sauce.  And did you know that Soy sauce is used in a lot of things for flavor… Olive Garden uses it in some of it’s dishes that you would not expect…  I know it’s a secret but share it anyway…

If I am going to have some orange juice, I try to watch what I have for the rest of the day or make sure that I don’t have something at the next meal that contains a food that I know increases the likelihood of me having a headache.  I would not have a salad with lots of balsamic vinegar on it for lunch.

There are some days, when I want that pizza… I might get a slice at Whole Foods and know that it is likely that I could get a headache.  I weigh that out now… somedays when the weather is changing and I’m tired after the 90 minute drive to Whole Foods, it’s not worth it.  Other days, no  matter what I say to myself, I want pizza and I don’t beat myself up… I just remind myself that there could be consequences.

I haven’t cut bread out of my diet but I eat less of it, try to buy it organic, and try to eat it while it’s fresh.  But I rarely eat pasta or potatoes anymore.  I love brown rice so if I need a carb that’s what I tend to go for.

In the next few days, I will be posting a PDF of common trigger foods for migraines.  I find that they are also triggers for things like rosecea… both dis-eases have an inflammation component to them.

I have also set up a PDF so all you have to do is check off  triggers that you experience daily and one sheet can be used for 7 days.

I hope you find it helpful.  I wish that I had been using something like this when I was trying to be a partner to the doctors in figuring out what was going on.

Like one of my posts said, when it comes to doctor appoints, data is golden.  Make sure you go prepared.

Let us know what are foods that you find cause joint achiness, headaches, etc.  Help us help ourselves to health.

Posted March 26, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

Dharma Medicine – Insight Bodywork   2 comments

There are some really incredible blogs out there tonight!!!

Hands-of-Faith Holistic Healing Centers® Blog

While developing a somatic healing practice, I found meditation and Buddhist teachings gave me incredible support in developing a logical approach to health and healing. The result? Insight BodyworkTM, a young branch on the well-established tree of Dharma Medicine.

Dharma Medicine is the liberation teachings laid out by the Buddha some 2,500 years ago. In its most complete sense, it is the path the Buddha mapped out for the spiritual seeker to reach total freedom. To end suffering, to heal what is deranged, the Buddha offered clear instructions based in experience. This teaching is called the Buddhadharma. Additionally, Dharma Medicine includes Tibetan Medicine, with its amalgam of conventional, yogic and Dharmic approaches to healing pain and suffering. Other examples of Dharma Medicine include mindfulness practices, like Buddhist yoga and qigong, Zen Archery, the Tea Ceremony or the Mindfulness Walking of Thich Nhat Hanh, the mindfulness-based mediation and peacework…

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Posted March 21, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

Data Does It   2 comments

One of the things I have learned at my job as a psychologist/behavior analyst (my current job) is that “Data is King” when it comes to the medical profession and what some people call Behavioral Services.

When going to see a doctor, of any kind — neurologist, cardiologist, pain specialist, psychiatrist, etc — having data with you for a visit will give you an A+ for that visit.  Why, because doctors like to see data; they believe in evidenced based care and for many, they don’t want to hear stories of what’s going on, they want just the facts.

It’s not how I work with people, but this is what I learned to do when I was going to see doctor’s and it has been reinforced as a practice with the team that I work on.  So do yourself a favor, set a doctor’s appointment which often will take a some time to get in… and start documenting.

Now, I know you will say, but I am in pain, I can’t think straight, etc.  You know what, you can start off by buying a cheap calendar and putting an “X” on the day of the week that you have a headache.  It’s a start and it’s data.  But using a journal like I have attached here as a PDF can help you to “make friends and influence” the outcome of your treatment.  Here is the document:  Migraine Journal

On this journal, you want to mark down the date and time… why?  Are you waking up with headaches?  That can be common with people who have sleep apnea.  Have them every Friday.. that could be a “let down” headache/migraine and stress reduction could help a lot.

Next, write down the severity of the pain on a scale of 0-10, with 10 unbearable pain. Why, it will help you to understand what treatments worked on what kind of pain.  It will also help if you look at the amount of triggers and the pain, or how quickly after you start to feel the pain you start some medicine.

Now, you want to fill in any warning signs that you might remember… why, because the sooner you start things like medicine, being in a dark room, ice, etc, the better your chances at having less discomfort.  Don’t assume that they are going to be auras — what most people think of like lights flickering.  Things that I realized were impending signs:  extreme mood shift for no reason, stuffy or runny nose, stiffening neck/shoulder muscles, food cravings, flushing in my checks, and many other things.

Next, document possible triggers… more about this in another blog post… but for now, common ones are food, menses, lack of sleep, dehydration, barometric changes, and stress.

Let the doctor know what has worked and not worked by marking down the treatments that you’ve tried… a frozen bag of peas on the back of the head and neck, being in a dark room, laying down/standing up, sleeping, caffeine, prescription medication, yoga, biofeedback, etc.

Why do all this?  Because you can change your life?  We have better treatment outcomes when we feel empowered and we feel like we can make a difference.  Think about the last time you felt like something was “done to you”, where your hands were tied and you had no hope.  That’s exactly what you feel, hopeless and hopelessness is not going to help with stress reduction.

Why am I suggesting all this?  Because it worked for me.  Read websites, books, articles, talk to people with pain-related illnesses, this is going to help.  You will start to see trends, learn that maybe you are waiting too long before taking meds, etc.  This gives you the power to change your life.

So do yourself a favor… get prepared, learn to speak the language of medicine (allopathic or behavioral)… show up with your data, a list of medications, and a list of questions.  Empower yourself.  Be your own advocate because I hate to say it, but no one else will be if you don’t!

Wishing you wellness and comfort.

Posted March 21, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

How Whole is It?   4 comments

Here is a great post on getting back to eating whole foods… not full of chemicals and not processed.

Can we get back to basics and stop living at full throttle?  Can we stop running and start savoring?

Why do we take our health for granted?

I know too many of us who have had to do radical things to get back to health rather than learn to be health….

So what’s it going to be radical or real?

Peace, Jen

Posted March 15, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

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