Natural healing, natural wellness

Archive for November, 2009

Oil-Pulling For Insomnia

I’m sitting at my computer now holding Billy’s paw while typing. In case you don’t already know, Billy is my tom-cat. He literally fell into my life four years ago when he tumbled off my neighbour’s roof – where he was born – into my porch where Ginger, my dog, found him. Billy was so tiny then at just a month old, at most.

Billy sleeping in his favorite position

Billy sleeping in his favorite position

Now Billy likes to sleep on my desk, and anywhere and everywhere I happen to be at home. He sleeps on the sofa, he sleeps on the pillow under my desk, he sleeps on the chair at the little writing table in my bedroom, he sleeps in his basket, he sleeps on the dining chairs, he sleeps on Ginger’s day bed. He particularly likes to lay his head on my computer keyboard, which drives my computer crazy. Basically, Billy sleeps all day and all night. He never seems to have any problems sleeping.

If only we humans could doze off so easily. Nobody would suffer from insomnia. Ever since Michael Jackson’s struggles with sleeplessness came to light, insomnia has been in the spotlight. Phillip, one of my friends, says that the health supplement melatonin helps him to get to sleep. Neways International has an easy-to-take one called Megatonin. It’s certainly convenient, as you only need to take it 30 minutes before bed and you can even travel with it.

If you prefer off-the-wall natural remedies, one remedy for sleeplessness is oil-pulling, a practice gaining popularity in India and elsewhere. Basically, you gargle a tablespoon of sesame oil on an empty stomach. For 10 minutes, gently swish and swirl the oil through your gums and teeth. The oil will become thinner and whiter during this time. After 10 minutes, spit out the oil and rinse your mouth thoroughly. The oil may be toxic after all this oil-pulling, so make sure you don’t swallow it. Doing this at least once a day is supposed to guarantee a good night’s sleep. The results are apparently better when you do oil-pulling two to three times daily.

Besides keeping insomnia at bay, oil-pulling is also said to alleviate gum disease, stabilise loose teeth and whiten teeth. It may even cure headache, backache and knee pain. Not having any insomnia or gum problems myself, and virtually never suffering from headaches and other aches and pains, I never found a reason to try oil-pulling. For good oral hygiene, I gargle with Neways Eliminator. It’s great for preventing sore throat and mouth ulcers as well, and you can even use it to banish body odours, clean wounds and sores and treat acne. Really handy stuff and it sure smells nicer and fresher than sesame oil. But hey, different strokes for different folks, right?

Freedom To Do Whatever You Like

Mmm, it’s misty today. A soft, gentle rain has been falling all afternoon and the river looks moody and mysterious. Flocks of egrets have descended on the open fields, to feast on the worms squirming to the surface. I’ve just woken up from a nap and I’m now enjoying a mug of mint tea and amaretto cake with marzipan. What bliss!

I can’t imagine working a nine-to-five job anymore. The thought of having to drag myself out of bed early every morning and fighting the commuter traffic wearies me. Working from home is just great. I get plenty of rest and I have time to do the things I enjoy, like reading, writing and going out wherever I like, whenever I wish. Lately, I’ve been so busy writing websites and blogs for clients that I’m afraid I haven’t had as much time as I would like for “Healing Pastures”.

A reversible pendant from Silver Butterfly Jewelry

A reversible pendant from Silver Butterfly Jewelry

I have a butterfly jewelry website of my own too, and I’ve been rushing to get new products and promotions ready for Christmas. My husband, Andrew, is the webmaster and designer, and I think he’s done a really nice job. Silver Butterfly Jewelry is ranked Number One by Google for many of our key search phrases. Fans love our jewelry so much that many designs are sold out. We even have customers e-mailing us to ask when certain designs will be available again, and whether we’ll be able to ship out their purchases in time for Christmas. This is one ‘rush’ I’m really enjoying.

Once this weekend is over, I hope to turn my attention back to “Healing Pastures”. Come December, though, I’ll have to get Silver Butterfly Jewelry as well as a client’s jewelry website ready for Valentine’s Day. It never ends, but I’m loving it. Nothing beats having your own business, especially when you can work from home. Working from home allows me to be more rested, less stressed out, and healthier. And I have more time to spend with my loved ones.

If your health and happiness isn’t to your satisfaction, have you considered working from home? It’s probably one of the most healing things anyone could do, and it could make a big difference to the quality of your life.

Obesity and Cancer Link

I was a skinny little thing when I was growing up. Maybe it was because playing was more important to me than eating. I had five siblings and we were always chasing each other or our menagerie of pets through the house. That’s unless I was climbing trees, of course, which I did almost daily.

Then puberty came along when I was only about 11 years old. And the weight started accumulating insidiously on my previously gangly frame. Before I realized it, I was chubby. By the time I was 13, I had ample curves. Boys were looking at me in funny ways. I was often teased about being well-endowed for my age. It was so embarrassing.

As the years went by, more weight crept on. Crash and fad diets helped me lose some of the fat, but the lost pounds – and more – always returned eventually. I put on weight gradually, just a pound or two each year, not enough to raise a red flag. I more or less accepted that I had a more womanly figure than most. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was around 135 pounds, way too much for a petite frame.

Since then, I’ve learned that being overweight or obese is a contributing factor for cancer. Fat is BAD NEWS. Estradiol, the most dangerous form of estrogen, resides in fat cells, so fat is particularly bad for those with estrogen-dominant cancer. Most breast cancers are estrogen-positive. Thank God, I’ve shed more than 20 pounds in the last couple of years. I’m looking forward to losing another 10 pounds.

Fat people shouldn’t be treated like pariahs, but do you know that the American Institute for Cancer Research just reported a few days ago that obesity causes more than 100,000 incidents of cancer in the US every year?

The group, which funds research on the link between diet and the disease, said 49 percent of endrometrial cancers, which originate in the womb, and 35 percent of esophageal cancers are linked to excess body fat.

“It’s clearer than ever that obesity’s impact is felt before, during and after cancer, it increases risk, makes treatment more difficult and shortens survival,” said Laurence Kolonel of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii.

Scientists have long seen a link between obesity and certain types of cancer, but the study — extrapolated from US cancer incidence data — is among the first to conclude the link exists on such a scale.

Researchers have yet to pin down the exact link between obesity and cancer, but some have suggested that fat tissue may produce heightened levels of sex hormones that spur cancer growth or that fat lowers immune function.

If the link is proven to be true, cancers could be expected to balloon in tandem with US body sizes. According to the government-backed Centers for Disease Control, 34 percent of American adults aged 20 and over are obese. Red alert!