Archive for Author Messages

Father Christmas in Bath

We Americans may have invented Santa Claus but Father Christmas was in Bath, England for many more Christmases, including mine.  I caught him in 1992, alighting from his ”Bath chair” on Queen Street, on his way to the Roman sulfur baths, so I painted his picture for a Christmas Card contest that year.

When the 18th century aristocrats were thronging to these baths, Queen Elizabeth brought her beaux, Dudley and Raleigh.  They all assumed that these baths, the only hot sulfur baths in the country, were medieval in origin.  So they razed most of the old medieval structures and created a heavenly Georgian city of yellow “Bath stone,” a fashionable spa center for all of England, fit for all the elite Pump Room diningwho converged there to take the waters.

They were carried to and from the pool by servants in “Bath chairs”  wrapped in towels, right up the stairs to their apartments.  Jane Austen set several of her intrigues here.   In the baths, they would have floating platters holding bits of rat hair skin to cover their small pox scars, or replace their eyebrows with the more fashionable arching rat hair.  Still today, one can dine at the 18th century Pump Room.  Pmp room fountainIts elegant fountain of flowing, drinkable sulfur water spurts into ceramic fish mouths, while chamber music plays.

In 1880, while digging sewers, they found a marble head of Minerva, and then uncovered a HUGE Roman bathing complex  with underground heating.  Originally a sacred Celtic Druidic spring, it was taken over by Emperor Claudius in 75 A.D. and added to extensively over the centuries.  The Pump Room looks out over the large Roman pool below, as seen in this photo, with many more pools adjacent.  It is quite a sight.  And the original Roman pump still spews out 240,000 gallons of water a day. 

After Steven’s first two years of study in the Caribbean, we lived in Bath, just east of Bristol on the same latitude as London, from 1991-93, where he did his clinical work at the Bath Royal Hospital, the London Hospital of Tropical Diseases, the London Homeopathic Hospital, and Canterbury Hospital.  Vaults Gallery show 1992I did this painting to enter a contest held by the Royal Theatre (referred to as the most beautiful theater in England.)  I’d had two one-woman exhibits of my paintings, one at their Vaults Gallery in the ancient vaults below the theater, here with Camille 13, and Adam 7. I didn’t win the Christmas card contest’s 50 pounds prize, but I did better by selling the painting and the rights to make Christmas cards to the little Canary Cafe pictured in the scene.   Father Christmas is slimmer than Santa and wears a long coat of red or green. But he does just as good a job.  Father or Santa-Saint, we had a great Christmas and here’s to a Transformative New Year!

Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

Honoring Our Fallen Kids

As we celebrate the holidays, can we also remember our Fallen Heroes? There are 743 Californians who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, leaving behind devastated families. California is home to the largest number of military who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Air Force Veteran Elizabeth England and I launched an outreach campaign  with HONORING OUR FALLEN.org. to provide grieving families with gift packages that will include my Vets Stress Relief CDs and ones for ‘civilians’ too.

To Donate to this Campaign or to purchase CDs: www.BrainBodyBliss.com
To Donate items, please call 310-470-4557.

VETCOVER blueMy Practical Stress Relief Cellular Meditation CDs can benefit Veterans’ families and friends who suffer loss and who also feel the indirect trauma of war. The guided relaxation meditations detail how to stimulate the release of endorphins and dopamine—our body’s natural ‘feel good’ chemicals—and spread them into receptor sites in EVERY CELL OF THE BODY. The easy self-help exercises and practical tools provide a self-healing empowerment for PTSD, depression, loss, and grief. STRESS RELIEF recordings are available for free listening on my website www.BrainBodyBliss.com.

 

Graham, meRenowned singer/songwriter Graham Nash has contributed generously to my project of acupuncture and my VETERANS STRESS RELIEF CDs.  I lectured twice at the Combat Stress Conference about the science behind my work, so many Vets groups request them. I learned at these conferences that more than a thousand young soldiers have suffered fatal heart attacks from too many meds for pain and mental suffering. We must find more natural methods to help them. Veterans Post Traumatic Stress Relief CDs which also addresses the military experience and how to redirect the skills and talents of military duty toward civilian life. For all Veterans, it complements their on-going therapies and helps them recover from PTSD and restore well-being and good sleep. CD sales fund free PTSD treatments and CDs for needy Veterans.
CherokeeLife is so fragile–this campaign was interrupted by a seriously drunk young woman who jetted her 2014 Mercedes through a red light, totaling three cars including mine and this Cherokee, and seriously injuring that driver.  Now another friend experienced the same thing which also involved watching someone die. What are people lacking that they need to sedate themselves That Much? My CDs are about feeling better inside our skin in a natural way.  Life is precious and now we need to console those who are suffering senseless losses abroad, even as we celebrate being alive. Let us feel the expansion of the Winter Solstice and send out love to those in pain…
If you can help us in gifting please join us through Paypal at this blog.

Thanks!!

 

My Media Gig about Cupping for Neck Tension & Hollywood Stars

I must share my media gig about Cupping away neck tension and its usage by Hollywood stars…  “Cupping,” is the term for an ancient technique used in Chinese medicine to eliminate the stagnant blood circulation that typically occurs around the neck and shoulders. Seems the sighting of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston with cupping marks on their backs has put this ancient practice in the news…  A small glass jar with a vacuum inside creates a suction that pulls this stuck blood to the surface capillaries. From there this old blood can easily return to the heart to be re-oxygenated so that a more active flow of blood circulation can be restored. (Here Jennifer’s marks have faded from red to white.) Other partakers are Victoria Beckham and Jessica Simpson.

I was recently interviewed by Agence France Press to do a demonstration of this procedure for their global media outreach. You can view it at this link: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/videonetwork/2571529145001/Remedy-of-the-Stars-Cupping-Leaves-Its-Mark-on-Hollywood.                                    I did two versions with different patients, one in French for some markets, and one in English that has already shown in countries all over the world. A French friend caught it on TV in Brazil.  When legendary actress Lee Grant was about to win an Oscar for “Shampoo,”  she declined this treatment right before the gala so as NOT to have marks.  We did it the day AFTER… It took 40 years for it to become fashionable!

What did not get included in the segment was my contrasting cupping with another similar technique called Gua Sah, a friction rub that achieves the same results with some added benefits. (The marks resulting from this style are visible on my patient in the clip.) In my estimation, it is more comfortable, more controllable, less labor intensive, and more thorough.  In my opinion, the second example of cupping performed by another acupuncturist shown in the video is an example of extreme over-the-top treatment that is potentially uncomfortable and excessive. Temporary raised red welts resulted from the strong degree of suction. This is not necessary to achieve results.

But both techniques perform a simple yet critical action of stimulating of blood, lymph and chi circulation around the neck and shoulders, and sometimes elsewhere on the body. These trapezoid muscles work overtime to hold up the 12 pound “bowling ball” that we carry around all day. And when it is hanging over a computer or a steering wheel, the head is more the equivalent of 20 lbs. Now with the trend among young people to slump forward, they will have even worse problems as they age.

This pandemic of poor posture across many groups and generations has become a pet peeve for me. I am on a crusade to help individuals learn to let their head ‘float’ evenly between the front and back by Leading with the Heart.  Pulling in the chin and pushing out the chest. Immediately one feels a relaxation of the neck muscles and a tingling in the nerves as they start to breathe. Meanwhile, one feels a new pressure in the chest and sternum muscles as they begin to work.  It is a good sign that they are engaging.  This constitutes a light work-out for these forgotten muscles, an isometric action that makes one appear taller, leaner, and more confident. I implore patients to let Vanity work for them! Work it—and your neck and shoulders will feel sooo grateful!

Furthermore, this area of the body is in the crossfire between brain and emotional center so there are tremendous psychological repercussions to creat tension there.  Even these actresses with great posture carry literally the weight of the world–and its attention—on their shoulders. Even for them– some form of emotional tension while working their sometimes stressful craft and maintaining careers. Here are two eye-opening links about them and cupping:

http://nky.cincinnati.com/VideoNetwork/2571546077001/Remedy-of-the-Stars-Cupping-Leaves-Its-Mark-on-Hollywood

and   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3879447.stm  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3879447.stm

What is old is New…!

PLEASE post your comments here.

 

Acupuncture for Veterans with PTSD

Acupuncture for Veterans with PTSD: How can we make acupuncture and meditation more available to them? If our military Veterans are returning with severe trauma and pain, it is ALL our problem.  These are OUR citizens.  300,000 Vets are homeless.  Suicides are averaging 26 per day. 171,000 of our current Vets have PTSD.  Instead of more drugs, there are other more effective ways to restore their wellbeing and functionality.  Let us use our efforts and our funds to heal early on, rather than hospitalize, subsidize, or incarcerate later.  We need their discipline and courage as part of our national prosperity. We need them BACK! Whole!

As a pioneer acupuncturist in this country, I have aided many Veterans suffering from PTSD through my multi-pronged Veterans PTSD Project: a therapy program for releasing deep-seated anxiety and depression. It includes:

  • Acupuncture treatment for physical and emotional pain.
  • Deep-state endorphin release achieved through herbs, specialized massage, breathing techniques, verbal programming, and other modalities.
  • The powerful Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Stimulator that can regenerate cell tissue anywhere in the brain or body, FDA approved for depression.
  • My  Cellular Meditation VETERANS STRESS RELIEF audio CDs.

Acupuncture or massage point combinations can open up blocked neural centers, waking up the right bio-electrical frequencies.  This can help “teach” traumatized cells how to unlearn states of fear and demoralization.  It helps remove physical imbalances such as inflammation, toxicity, pain, brain chemistry imbalance, physical injuries and overall systems blockage.  This treatment affects these issues by helping to break up intracellular energy trauma and revitalize subcellular metabolism.  This impacts the mental and emotional systems as well.

Acupuncture and the Stress Release CDs both address the entire body’s natural, feel-good neuro-hormones to regenerate the proper brain-body connections for restore wellbeing and good sleep.  I have lectured twice at the Combat Stress Conference, explaining the science behind the CDs and treatment therapies.  Many Veterans groups are requesting help.  Singer/songwriter Graham Nash has generously contributed, but much more is needed to fill this critical need.  Drug therapy alone is not adequate for many of our returning soldiers.  Two STRESS RELIEF recorded segments are available for listening for free on this blog site www.BrainbodyBliss.com.

We are working toward the opening of a clinical program for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder located near the West L.A. V.A.  This will help Vets transition to civilian life, eliminating both painful memories and painful conditions.

Cellular Meditation is the full-body form of meditation—made easy. It is about getting endorphins, our own feel-good chemicals into ALL THE CELLS OF THE BODY—by freeing them up, and sensing them from inside.  It is the ‘Feel Good’ form of meditation, easier to do than other meditation pratices, while also achieving deeper results.

Many Veterans and civilians have benefited from treatment and these CDs. Our non-profit Earth Harmony Foundation receives tax deductible donations from those who want to help our returning soldiers by funding their distribution to many veterans organizations who have requested these CDs.

Studies have shown that relaxing meditation techniques increase the feel-good neuro-transmitters that counter mood disorders, such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA; and beneficial hormones such as DHEA, HGH (human growth hormone), and melatonin for anti-aging and good sleep. Meditation also reduces harmful cortisol produced by stress.

Also available is a double CD set for the general public–one that can benefit Veterans’ families, and friends who also feel the indirect trauma of war.

 

 

Book Review Part II: Rene Daumal, The Life and Work of a Mystic Guide

Here is the second half of a review of the English version of my book, Rene Daumal: The Life and Work of a Mystic Guide, SUNY Press, 1999. The review is by Lee Irwin Associate Professor, Religious Studies, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC (IrwinL@CofC.Edu). The original French version was entitled: Rene Daumal: Au-dela de l’Horizon, published in Paris by Jose Corti, 1993.

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Rosenblatt presents the middle stage of Daumal’s life as influenced by eastern thought, particularly Hindu religious and aesthetic texts, and his study of Sanskrit. His reading of the Bhagavad Gita made a lasting impact on him and reinforced his natural bent toward asceticism, renunciation, non-attachment and the mystical quest for transcendence. Increasingly, Daumal viewed the material world as “poison ” (p. 91) and symbolizing a higher world that had been falsely reduced and controlled by religious institutions and various professional classes of church authorities. He interpreted the classic Hindu codex (The Laws of Manu) as a repression of the lower classes (varna) by self-glorifying Brahmans.

In general, Daumal was adamant in his rejection of organized religion and particularly the Judeo-Christian bourgeois institutional structures. Increasingly, Daumal gravitated toward a more “gnostic” orientation based on a direct personal search for spiritual knowledge. Influenced by themes of correspondence, Baudelaire’s “forest of symbols,” and such ideas as Swedenborg’s’s “universal analogy,” Daumal sought a coherent theory of relationship between the material and spiritual worlds. Reading Schopenhauer, the Theosophists, and finally Rene Guenon’s history of the decline of Western thought, Daumal sought to align himself with European esoteric traditionalists that looked to Islam and Hinduism as the only authentic representations of spirituality in the face of western materialism.

Rejecting the Freudian unconscious, Guenon emphasized the “supraconscious” sought by Yogi and Sufi masters–a teaching consistent with Daumal’s concept of the Beyond (l’au-dela). However, while Daumal agreed with much of Guenon’s writing, he apparently found him too exterme in his views. Rosenblatt’ s review of Guenon’s philosophical writing is particularly good and well worth reading as is her review of Hindu aesthetic theory; these were high points in the book for me.

In the final phase of Daumal’s life, he came under the influence of two followers of Gurdjieff, Alexandre and Jeanne de Salzmann. While the latter became his personal teacher, he also studied with Gurdjieff during his visits to Paris. The stage was set for Daumal to meet a teacher who could fulfill the role of spiritual director and the de Salzmanns and Gurdjieff filled that role to his complete satisfaction. A heightened “self-remembering” had long been part of Daumal’s practice and this was key to Gurdjieff’s “Work”–a breaking down of the automatisms of conditioned learning and unreflective habitual response.

Another of Gurdjieff’s teachings was the importance of suffering and sacrifice, both of which appealed to Daumal’s ascetic nature as a means for breaking down the “imaginary” nature of internalized beliefs, ideas, and socialized attitudes. The “awakening from sleep” prompted by the de Salzmanns through a variety of practical techniques such as breathing exercises and group practices with movements, song, and music, had a powerful, transformative effect on Daumal.

Further, Gurdjieff’s theory of “objective art” was compatible with Daumal’s belief in the importance of art as a way of confronting social malaise and as offering alternative pathways toward more authentic spiritual values. His prose works clearly reflect these ideas, synthesized with influences from his early poetic works, Hindu religious traditions, and Guenon’s attitudes toward the sentimental decline of European culture.

By 1938, Daumal learned he had advanced tuberculosis in both lungs. While he continued to write, he and his Jewish wife Vera were forced to constantly move about during the war years, often living in conditions of poverty. By the time of his death, Daumal had thoroughly internalized the struggle for spiritual authenticity and his later prose works, also discussed by Rosenblatt, show his deep commitment to an ongoing process of self-development, often in the face of social chaos. Today, Daumal stands out in the French cultural landscape as a true forerunner of an emergent global esotericism and this work is central for understanding how his struggle reflects this continuing search among many contemporary authors, artists, and scholars.

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