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One woman's views on living in LA, working in the natural products industry, and life in general!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Help Needed for MRIs

Hello All,

it has been a while since I've posted. Thank you to everyone who still visits-- I do appreciate it.

The last several months have been challenging, health-wise. For those of you who know me, you are aware that I've been dealing with MS-like symptoms for several years. But with no health insurance (and no room in the budget to buy any) my hands have been a bit tied.

Cut to the chase: I finally saw a neurologist six weeks ago. This fabulous doctor was a true God-send. She spent a great deal of time with me, and I left her office with prescriptions for two MRI's, brain and C-spine. In short, she does not think I have MS.

She does, however, think I may have a tumor, most likely on my brain (my balance is severely compromised, almost to being non-existent.) There is also the possibility my problems are coming from damage in my neck. I have degenerative disk disease, which has progressed since my last ex-ray, taken around a year ago. Hence the C-spine MRI.

 I need another full round of physical therapy, spinal decompression and two MRIs. And if it is a tumor...

Needless to say, I'm a little overwhelmed. I'm normally not one to ask for help. But this is a time in my life when I really need it. So a friend suggested writing this post and adding donate buttons.

I know it is a horrible time to ask for anything-- between the economy and all the devastation back east-- but even a small contribution can help make a huge difference. I don't need to raise huge funds. The MRIs are $900.00 and the cost of the PT is around $2500.00.

If it is a tumor, truthfully I don't even know where to start, and I don't want to get ahead of myself. First things first.

My beginning goal is to have the MRIs done.  (I've posted the actual prescriptions for visual confirmation.)

Thank you to everyone. 


Friday, June 15, 2012

Reviewing... Bioidentical Hormones

Chick Update: I originally wrote this piece over a year ago, but recently I've been asked several questions regarding bioidentical hormones. This post had gotten a bit buried, so I'm moving it up. Hormone replacement is a confusing subject for many women. At one time I did retail staff trainings for Emerita, one of the pioneering companies in natural hormone replacement. Because of this I'm often asked a myriad of questions, some I can answer, some I can't.

One of the main questions I get is whether to use over-the-counter products or go to a doctor specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement. Certainly, if you can afford to see a professional and have all the tests done, this is optimal. But the reality is that it is very expensive and most of us can't afford to go that route, myself included.

The main thing to know: Synthetic hormones are completely different from natural bioidentical hormones. The analogy often used is that of a lock and key. A synthetic hormone is like a badly made key-- it might work, but it will never be a perfect fit. A bioidentical hormone will "turn the lock" easily.

Although I haven't worked with Emerita for some time now, I still consider them one of the best on the market. They have been around for over thirty years, Dr. John Lee was involved with the company early on, and they clinically test each batch of product before packaging.

I don't know about now, but at the time I was working with them, they were the only clinically tested over-the-counter brand on the market. This is big, because independent assays have shown a wide variance in strength.

Women can start showing hormone fluctuation as early as the late twenties; PMS often starts with puberty. Emerita came out with a progesterone cream for young women, which is only slightly different from the original formula. Why another product? Younger women think of progesterone as being for menopause, not PMS. (Also See: Progest for PMS)

A few bullet points to know:

Creams should be applied to thin-skinned, hairless areas. Only apply to the belly area if you're not carry extra body fat. Adipose fat will inhibit absorption.

Over-the-counter products are made from plant sources.

Progesterone is derived from Wild Mexican Yam. However, the body cannot use straight Wild Mexican Yam cream. The active ingredient, diosgenin, is extracted in the lab.

Phytoestrogen comes from a variety of plants, mainly herbs.

It is important to rotate application areas, in order to enhance absorption through the skin.

As far as an exact usage schedule, the instructions will be inside the box when you purchase the product. But, phytoestrogen can be used non-stop, progesterone is usually cycled.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Reviewing... Orac-Energy Greens

I am very blessed to work with quality companies. One of my favorites is Paradise Herbs and Essentials.

Founder and formulator Scott Bias has over 24 years of training and experience in the natural foods industry.

This guy rocks! Purity is of the utmost importance to him, and he really stands behind his products.

I've used Paradise Herbs' ORAC-Energy Greens for some time now. Being that MS is thought to be an auto-immune disorder, I can't use many of the supplements I used to.

I'm grateful to have this in my arsenal. The ORAC value of each tablespoon of powder is 12,000, and its so concentrated its considered to be the antioxidant equivalent of 24 servings of fruits and vegetables.

Add in that its certified organic and the ingredients are ecologically wild crafted...

Okay, Scott rocks and so do his products!

Also see: Reviewing... Best Green Drink

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Views On... Whole Foods Torrance, CA

Last Saturday Whole Foods in Torrance had an event, which I of course attended!
Here I am with friends Jason (a Whole Foods employee) and Ilona (another demo rep).

Events are always a blast; fun for us and fun for the customers, who get to sample and try all sorts of interesting products.

In this picture I'm seen with friends Tom & Wendy Hess. (Tom is the sales rep I work under for Paradise Herbs.)
Tom was demoing Paradise's Orac-Energy Greens, a product I've profiled on my blogs more than once.

What makes this product different from the rest on the shelf (and there are many great greens on the shelf today) is the extremely high ORAC value, and the medicinal mushrooms that are used.

I highly recommend checking this product out! (The product shown here is Paradise Herbs Protein Greens-- a combination of the Orac-Energy Greens and highly digestible yellow-pea protein.)

As for me, I was demoing a new line for Emerald Labs, formulated by Dr. Mark Stengler. Dr. Stengler has written books that are considered by some in the industry as "manuals", and he has quite the reputation today. (A quick Amazon search will show you that he has several titles available, but the one I've chosen to link to is a best-seller.) The products he helped formulate are "condition-specific". There are too many for me to list here, but they all are raw-food based, contain digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics.

They are additive free (a big thing!), gluten-free (another big thing!), and come in a veggie cap. I'm sure I'm missing a few selling points, but I can't cover everything in a blog post. I'll just say, a lot of time, money and thought went into getting this line on the market. The result is quality the consumer will feel.

If you search Amazon for a particular product, be sure to type in "Emerald Laboratories" + the specific product name. I had a little trouble finding them at first.

Also See: Reviewing... Orac-Energy Greens

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Guest Views On... Hot Yoga

Decreasing Stress Utilizing Hot Yoga

by Cathy T.  Linton



For anyone who is just starting hot yoga, you might question exactly what benefits it can provide with regards to reducing stress. How can a challenging class that gets your heart pumping and allows you to push past your usual comfort zones be in any way soothing?

As many can confirm, hot yoga is actually a fantastic exercise for relaxation. Those who perform it often have reduced cholesterol levels, lower heart rates, lower blood pressure, and better rest at night. Hot yoga enables your internal organs to detox during class and leaves you with a sense of well-being afterward.

The poses in hot yoga are designed so that your lymphatic system is flushed and your detoxifying organs, such as the liver, are gently massaged. The tightening and release of muscles also stimulates your body in a way similar to receiving pressure point therapy.

Hot yoga is not only about bodily practices, but breathing. Breathing exercises allow you to release tension and get into a calmer state of mind. It is actually quite meditative to be so concentrated on your breath and the positioning of your body during a class and this sort of focus can be transmitted into other practices as well.

Hot yoga increases metabolism and blood circulation so that you will feel its healing effects once you are outside of class. Many participants feel that since they have been able to work through a hard scenario during hot yoga, they are able to deal with other, non-physical stresses throughout the day better as well. It is true that much may seem less taxing than usual after a hot yoga class, and having completed one is definitely something to feel confident about. This self belief leads people to feel more sure of themselves.

There is a specific stress reduction technique that is targeted during yoga, whether practitioners are aware of it or not. It is called "progressive muscle relaxation", which is fairly similar to how one prepares to sleep. Though hot yoga is of course a more conscious activity, the practice of tensing certain muscles and then releasing that tension allows people to slip deeper into a stress-free state of being. This is also an important method because it sets people up so that they are able to tell when they may be feeling increased discomfort or tightness in any specific portion of their body, and they can more easily work to soothe it.

Mindfulness has always played an important part in all forms of yoga, especially when it was first created thousands of years ago. By paying attention to every part of their bodies while performing hot yoga, practitioners are able to be aware of themselves to a greater extent than usual. There is also a "walking" meditation that hot yoga promotes that allows for people to be aware of the physicality of what they are doing without being distracted by other things going on around them. Hot yoga is a wonderful way to loosen up and grow more centered in your life and that can pass from you to others for a more peaceful attitude throughout the day.

Also See:  Yoga Benefits
   
Few careers provide the flexibility and satisfaction of being a yoga instructor.  Yoga teacher trainings offer the support and guidance essential to acquire your official yoga instructor certification.