November2015

Neck Pain, Back Pain, and Sciatica – Understanding Scoliosis and Other Abnormal Spinal Curvatures

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Curvatures of the spine are generally primary, as in the case of the thoracic and sacral regions, or secondary, as in the cervical and lumbar regions. The primary and secondary curvatures are important, critically so, to our ability to stand upright, hold our heads up, and even walk on two legs. When the spine curves in other ways, in ways that are counter to proper biomechanics, then we have a problem. We will discuss some of the pathological expressions of these curvatures in this article. We will be primarily interested in two, scoliosis and what is referred to as a list, a minor form or scoliosis caused by a breakdown in structure or function. Both scoliosis and list will cause varying degrees of pain, ranging from mild to severe and affecting the neck, back, and legs. Neck pain, back pain, and sciatic nerve pain or sciatica may be alleviated or even eliminated, depending on the severity of the curvature and the measures used to offset it. We will discuss treatment through exercise as an offset strategy below.

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine, often causing severe neck pain, back pain, and even sciatica in adults and adolescents. In most cases, scoliosis is idiopathic in nature, meaning it has an unknown cause or a cause that is not readily apparent. Interestingly, recent estimates maintain that more than one million individuals in the United States alone have the disorder, eight times as many women as men. Scoliosis is classified in one of two ways, structural or functional. Within the classifications, scoliosis may take on either a primary or compensatory role depending on the level, the severity, and other abnormalities present. In any case, and in all of its various manifestations, scoliosis can be a debilitating, even disabling condition with considerable neck pain, back pain, and sciatica associated with it. However, the affects of scoliosis, even in its most severe manifestations, may be alleviated by engaging in an intelligent, individualized, and medically supervised exercise program.

Scoliosis is most prevalent and generally appears most frequently in adolescence and, at this stage, is called adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. While many causes have been suggested, there is no consensus within the medical community, hence the idiopathic designation. As with classification and manifestations, scoliosis may present itself in one way if an individual has cerebral palsy or spina bifida and quite another way if these conditions are not present. The variable nature of the condition is part of the reason why there is no real consensus concerning etiology or cause. Scoliosis often worsens during the adolescent growth phase and, once again, depending on the manifestation and classification, neck pain, back pain, and sciatica are often present in varying degrees.

The curvatures of the spine associated with scoliosis are classified according to their location on the spine and consist of a primary, fixed curvature with compensatory curvatures above and below the primary location. Generally, the deformity will present slowly, growing increasingly severe with the adolescent growth phase or growth spurt. As scoliosis progresses, the hips will become unequal and the iliac crest, the blades of the pelvis on each side of the lower back, will be elevated, higher on one side than the other. Coincidentally, the shoulder blades will become more obvious, protruding on one side or the other, and upon bending over, the curvature itself will appear to be much worse, even exaggerated, compared to what is viewed when the individual is standing erect. In most cases, the earlier the manifestation in childhood and the higher up on the spine the primary, fixed curvature is found, the worst the potential outcome or prognosis may be. This is not to say that there is no hope, there certainly is. It’s just that in such cases, without surgical intervention, the outlook may not be very good. In worst cases, scoliosis will even affect the heart and lungs due to the restrictions placed on them for space in the thoracic cavity. Once again, this can and should be surgically corrected if at all possible.

Once again, the most common type of scoliosis curvature entails a primary, fixed curvature with a secondary compensatory curvature. In other words, the spine attempts to re-establish a center of balance, if you will, by curving in the opposite direction from the first or primary curvature. The body will attempt to correct itself and the results, particularly if the fixed, primary curvature is dramatic, may be drastic. The combination of curvatures may impact the vertebrae, the core musculature, and even the internal organs. Scoliosis may be structural, as in the case above and, if that is the case, the vertebrae may rotate on each other and the rib cage may become deformed. If the scoliosis is functional, as in the case of a curvature compensating for one leg being shorter than the other, the condition can and should be corrected as soon as it presents itself. Neck pain, back pain, and sciatica may be considerable in both types, structural and functional, particularly if the curvature is allowed to worsen over time.

While there are many presentations and manifestations of abnormal spinal curvatures, we will describe only a couple of additional examples, one is what is referred to as a list. A list is a lateral tilt beginning at T-1, the first thoracic vertebra. The first thoracic vertebra is situated high on the back or spine just below the prominent “bump” you may feel at the base of your neck called the vertebral prominens, the seventh thoracic vertebra’s spinous process (C-7). If you were to drop a plumb line, a string with a weight at the end of it, from T-1 it will fall to one side of the spine or the other at what is called the gluteal cleft. A list may be caused by a herniated disc or it may be due to severe muscle spasms, particularly those affecting the para-vertebral muscles. A list is generally the least severe and easiest to correct manifestation of a kind of scoliosis, one in which no compensatory curvature is present. In other words, the spine doesn’t attempt to offset the curvature with another in the opposite direction. A list is also the type of curvature most amenable to correction through exercise, although it may still be extremely painful, causing neck, back, and sciatic nerve pain (sciatica), it is not as structurally devastating as the more severe manifestations of spinal curvature may be. However, even the most severe categories individuals can and do benefit from an individually designed, medically supervised exercise program. Neck pain, back pain, and sciatica may be alleviated or eliminated entirely if the right procedures are followed properly and consistently.

Another condition worth noting is what is referred to as a “razor back.” The “razor back” is evident when a rotary deformity of scoliosis causes a hump, particularly apparent when the individual bends over. The last manifestation of an abnormal curvature we will discuss is the flattening of the lumbar spine or lumbar curve. The flattening out of the secondary curvature of the lumbar spine, one vitally important in weight bearing, is suggestive of either a herniated disc or ankylosing spondylitis. Both of these may cause considerable pain and, while medical supervision is absolutely crucial, an exercise program to strengthen the para-vertebral muscles and the rest of the core muscles should be pursued vigorously. The results should be immediately apparent with a significant reduction in neck pain, back pain, and sciatica.

The curvatures of the spine have developed over millions of years and they are crucial to our ability to hold our heads upright and to walk on two legs. However, once in a while nature goes a little off kilter and the results can be catastrophic. Abnormal curvatures of the spine, particularly scoliosis and what is referred to as a list, or the list, are only two of many. Whenever an abnormal curvature is present or begins to present itself, medical assistance should be sought out immediately. Once a diagnosis has been established, or even while you are waiting for a diagnosis, an exercise program should be considered. Once you are cleared medically, an intelligent, individualized, and supervised program of stretching and exercise should be integrated into your daily routine. Not only will you feel better, you may in fact offset some of the structural damage and significantly reduce the neck pain, back pain, and sciatica you are undoubtedly experiencing, as well.


Osteoporosis – Natural Remedies For Osteoporosis

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There are more than 25 million Americans who have Osteoporosis-which puts this nutritional deficiency at an epidemic level.

Most people believe Osteoporosis is a disease that is dependent solely on estrogen and calcium. Studies are now showing Osteoporosis can be slowed, (not stopped), through the use of calcium supplements and hormone therapy in menopausal women. Since it is now fairly common knowledge that hormone replacement could increase the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and heart attacks, we should look at all options for prevention and treatment of Osteoporosis.

There are several drugs out now such as Fosomax, Boniva and Actonal that increase bone density. Though as with all drugs they have significant side affects.

So what other choices do we have if the first two aren’t risks we want to take?

People can protect themselves without the use of drugs and take a look at protecting against bone loss naturally.

According to Dr. Ray Strand we need to look at bone as active, living tissue that is continually remodeling itself by “bone forming” and “absorption of bone ” activities. This means our bones are always involved in biochemical reactions that rely on different micronutrients and enzyme systems. So like any tissue, it has nutritional needs. Since the American diet is deficient in essential nutrients that our bones need to stay healthy-it would make sense that inadequate intake of these nutrients could lead to Osteoporosis.

Since nutrients work in synergy with each other it is imperative that calcium is not the only nutrient present.

Again, according to Dr. Ray Strand, in order for us to reduce fractures we must pay attention to these 3 factors.

-Preserving adequate bone mass

-Preventing the loss of the protein matrix

-Making sure the bone has ALL the right nutrients to repair and replace damaged areas of bone

The specific nutrients needed for bone health are:

-Calcium

-Magnesium

-Vitamin K

-Vitamin D

-Maganese

-Folic Acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12

-Boron

-Zinc

If you have normal bone density it is wise to supplement your diet with the above nutrients so your bones remain healthy. Also, begin weight bearing exercises 3-4 times a week as it stimulates bone growth.

If you have significant Osteoporosis, consider adding bone density drugs and follow the regime above.

The bottom line is Osteoporosis is clearly evident in both men and women and not solely a calcium and estrogen problem. If you supply your bones the proper nutrients and do weight bearing exercises, there is a much better chance of building bone and avoiding Osteoporosis.

Sue Ferenc has counseled numerous individuals to have the proper nutritional balance in their body to gain improvement in their health and reduce the risk of disease. To get her exclusive report on how to prevent and treat Osteoporosis naturally go to http://www.MyNaturalEnergySecrets.com right now and claim your free report.


Preventing Rounded Back, Hunched Back and Poor Posture

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Your teacher and your mother were right when they told you to sit up straight and stand up tall. Poor posture catches up with you, and the longer you sit the more likely you are to have poor posture.

Add poor posture to the changes that take place in your bone structure and body as you age,and you probably have problems. This is especially true considering the changes in your vertebrae that result from your bones thinning or osteoporosis. All of this may result in the forward rounding of the back known as kyphosis.

Granted, some rounding is normal but the term kyphosis usually refers to an exaggerated rounding, more than 50 degrees. It actually is a deformity often called hunchback or round back.

Kyphosis can affect all ages. It can occur from developmental problems, degenerative diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis which may cause fractures of the vertebrae, or a trauma to the spine. This article is about postural kyphosis in adults and what leads up to it.

If left along that rounded back can become more rounded and cause problems. A small hump on the back may start showing. If the hump becomes more prominent over time, the misalignment of the spine causes pain which can become severe and disabling. In severe cases, the curve may cause the rib cage to press against your lungs and there is trouble breathing.

Your doctor may ask you to do the Forward Bend Test. You bend from the waist while she views the spine from the side. With kyphosis, the rounding of the upper back becomes more obvious in this position. In postural kyphosis, the deformity corrects itself when you lie on your back.

If you are among the many who have less serious cases of postural kyphosis you can prevent it from getting worse with exercises to strengthen back muscles and training for the correct posture as well as sleeping on a firm bed.

In older adults kyphosis that is associated with osteoporosis is usually found in the vertebrae of the thoracic spine which supports your shoulders, arms, chest and trunk. Small fractures can also result in a loss of height and curvature of the spine. On the other hand, straight posture reduces the excess pressure on the front portion of the vertebra so you do not get the curvature.

The good news is that there are exercises you can do to prevent whatever rounding you have based on your posture from getting worse. You can strengthen your back muscles and minimize bone stress by doing exercises that gently straighten the trunk and back. You may even be able to improve your posture because minor cases of kyphosis can be corrected.

First talk to your doctor about specific exercises to help strengthen your back muscles and improve your posture before you try these.

1. Shoulder Blade Squeeze. Sit forward on a chair, tucking your chin to your chest. While keeping your chest high, with elbows bent and arms drawn back, pull your should blades together as you straighten your upper back. Inhale deeply while gently pulling your arms back. Hold 5 seconds. Exhale to return to starting position.

2. Dumbbell Shrug. This exercise calls for light weight dumbbells or use cans of soup. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the dumbbells at your sides. Then lift your shoulders as high as you can as if you could reach your ears with your shoulders. Hold 5 seconds and release.

3. From a hands and knees position on the floor raise one leg at the hip keeping your knee bent without changing the position of your trunk. Your trunk remains level and is parallel to the floor. Maintain this position for 5 seconds. Repeat with other leg.

These exercise use only a small range of motion but they should give you a start.


What To Expect From A Vertebroplasty Procedure

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Vertebroplasty is a surgical procedure designed to reduce pain caused by spinal fracture. Stabilization of the spine is achieved through a minimally invasive surgical procedure. In most instances, the procedure only requires an hour to complete. During the procedure, physicians make a small incision in the patient’s back near the spine. Patients suffering from compression fractures in the spine may require this procedure to relieve pain.

What to Expect From the Procedure

During the outpatient procedure, patients will be treated with local anesthesia and also light sedation medication as preparation. While sedated, surgeons guide the biopsy needle into the fractured vertebra. The needle is guided through the small incision by X-ray technology. When the area of concern is reached, acrylic bone cement will be injected into the fractured vertebra. The material should be under pressure for the best results.

After the needle is removed, the cement will harden within 10 minutes. An internal cast will be formed as the acrylic cement dries. This procedure will stabilize the bone by filling the spaces created by the fracture. After the procedure is complete, the small skin puncture will be covered with a bandage.

After the procedure is complete, the patient will be discharged and can go home the same day the procedure occurs. Restrictions may include: Patients cannot drive themselves home the day of the procedure or an overnight hotel stay may be required if home is a significant distance from the outpatient clinic.

In rare occasions, there are complications. If complications occur, patients may be required to remain in the hospital for a short period of time. Patients with no at-home assistance may also be required to remain in the hospital until they can resume normal activity.

Recovery from Vertebroplasty

Bedrest is typically recommended for 24 hours after the procedure. As the incision heals, normal activity may resume. For a few days, most patients experience soreness at the site of the incision. Most physicians recommend an ice pack to alleviate the soreness.

To prepare for the procedure, physicians typically request patients cease all medications. Most medications can be resumed within the first week of the procedure. Consult with a physician before resuming any medications. Certain medications may interfere with the healing process.

Most patients experience at least a 90 percent or better pain reduction within the first 24 to 48 hours. Once the pain is reduced by 90 percent, patients can resume daily activities. The procedure can relieve pain associated with compression fractures in the spine for up to three years after the procedure is complete.

What Type of Medical Professional Will Perform the Procedure?

Patients can expect a neuroradiologist, neurosurgeon, pain management physician, radiologist or orthopedic spine surgeons to perform the procedure. The medical professional who performs the procedure should understand acrylic bone cement preparation. Specialists should be trained to ensure the delivery of the material occurs in a safe manner. Patient care protocols and patient selection criteria is also important in the training of medical professionals specializing in this procedure.

Potential Risks Associated with the Procedure

There are few complications associated with the procedure. In fact, less than three percent of patients experience complications. When patients experience complications, the complications typically include bleeding, infections, paralysis, numbness and increased back pain. Some patients may also experience nerve root compression, venous embolism, pulmonary embolism or anesthesia complications.

Because of the cement injection and the level of pressure associated with the injection, there is a risk of cement entering the vertebral canal. No conclusive evidence shows that this procedure increases the risk of a second compression fracture in the same area, but it is always a possibility of a patient with stress fracture to experience another fracture.


Your Natal Astrology Chart – The Map of Your Soul’s Purpose

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What is it that allows you to wake up in the morning feeling energized and inspired?

The particulars are going to vary, but I think the majority of us feel most alive when we experience being aligned with some greater purpose. That purpose is often related to becoming more of who we are, to giving ourselves permission to freely and unselfconsciously use all of our natural gifts , and to having the willingness and the courage to continually grow, learn and stretch ourselves in order to live a truly authentic life.

We all know what it feels like when we are totally engaged in our lives, and how deeply satisfying it is when we experience being in the flow with all cylinders firing. But too frequently we lose our connection with that full on sense of “YES”. And when we do find it again we often don’t know how we got there or how to get it back when it’s gone.

So we need a map. How often have you heard someone say ” I wish I had gotten an instruction manual for my life.” Well, the truth of it is that there is just such a thing. And that thing is called a natal astrological chart.

Your astrology chart is essentially a blueprint for how to achieve your soul’s optimal growth in this life. Your natal chart paints a picture of your inner world that can help you understand your needs, desires and motivations more deeply. But it also answers the question of ” Why are you here?” What are the specific tasks you need to undertake to fulfill your unique destiny, what lessons are you here to learn, what are the challenges that you need to embrace that will allow you to feel like your life has purpose and meaning?

Your natal chart is more than just your sun sign. It includes all the planets in our solar system, and each of these planets is a metaphor for a different “operating system” in your psyche. Understanding these systems and how they all work together is like having a “guidebook for your life ” complete with detailed instructions about how to make the most positive use of your planetary energies and how to effectively deal with the challenges presented by your chart.

I have included a short description below of the individual planets and the psychological issues that each one addresses to give you some sense of the rich information that your natal chart can offer you.

The Sun gives you suggestions about how to maintain your greatest sense of vitality , sanity and joie de vivre and shows you where and how you need to shine in the world.

The Moon gives you clues about you what makes you happy and how to feed and nurture your deepest heart and soul.

The Ascendant gives you information about the best way to present yourself and the personality style that will give you the greatest ongoing sense of confidence and effectiveness.

Venus paints a picture of your natural soul mates, what you need to be fulfilled in love , and your gifts and talents in the realms of art and creativity.

Mars asks and answers this question: In what areas of your life do you need to develop more courage?

Jupiter gives you a good idea as to where you might be naturally lucky but also reveals where and how you sell yourself short, and in what areas of your life it is a good idea to take some outrageous risks.

Look to Saturn in your chart to see where you are being called upon to perform a great work thus developing a natural sense of authority.

Uranus shows you where you need to break any outmoded rules that are holding you back and in what way you need to follow your own individual path.

Neptune points you in the direction of how you connect most naturally with a sense of inspiration, intuition, and spirituality.

Where you find the planet Pluto is the place of your greatest wounding and the source of your greatest passion once the wound is healed.

And finally, the Nodes of the Moon give you a clear picture as to the nature of your evolutionary journey . The South Node of the Moon points out the deeply familiar patterns of your life that can feel frustrating and repetitive and ultimately like dead ends. The North Node of the moon directs you to the cutting edge path of growth that will put you on track with your life’s purpose leading to a greater sense of fulfillment and aliveness.

So take some time to look at your own chart with some of these concepts in mind or treat yourself to an in depth reading with a competent astrologer.

Copyright © Chris Zydel 2007


Bone Health: It’s Not All About Calcium

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Seems every time we read about supporting healthy bones we talk about Calcium. “Drink milk for strong bones!” Who hasn’t heard that before? Who hasn’t seen a concerned look from a doctor or pediatrician when you say you or your kid isn’t eating many dairy products? And who hasn’t in some time in their life taken a calcium supplement in hopes of preventing bone loss and osteoporosis?

Thing is, we love our bones. They are pretty cool. They protect our organs, provide structure to our body frame, help us move, and even perform many metabolic functions such as store minerals, help balance the pH in our body, and even store fat in the yellow bone marrow, among other jobs. Yes, bones ones are pretty darn cool. Unfortunately how to protect them, beyond more and more calcium, is not widely publicized. I’m not sure why that is.

You see, we need far more than just calcium to achieve optimal bone health. In 2007 researchers found no correlation between increased calcium consumption and decrease in risk for hip fracture (1). Another study in 2014 showed that increasing milk intake during teenage years did not result in lower hip facture rates as adults (2). These are just a few of the studies showing such correlations. Clearly something is missing. Let’s talk through some of the other, less popular nutrients that are critical for calcium utilization and bone formation.

Vitamin D

OK, Vitamin D is pretty popular, especially here in Washington State where we just don’t get adequate sunlight to synthesize enough of it. There is real cause for concern that some of us are deficient in this important nutrient. Its role is to help Calcium get absorbed from the bloodstream and therefore helps mineralize the bones. That seems pretty important. In other words, you can take loads of Calcium all day long, but without Vitamin D, it might not get where it’s needed.

If you are indeed Vitamin D deficient, what is the best way to correct it? Well, limited sun exposure during the warm months is one way. Supplementation all year, especially during the colder months, is naturally another way. Dosage? Unfortunately theories on dosing run all over the map, with standard intakes recommended at 400IU per day for ages 12 months and under and 600IU/day for kids and adults, up to mega high doses of 50,000IU and higher depending on the situation. Best course of action is to talk with your medical provider about what is appropriate for you.

Vitamin K

This is one under-appreciated nutrient. Most of us may think of it in relation to blood clotting, but it’s also a critical friend to calcium. Vitamin K helps create one of the most abundant proteins in the bone, Osteocalcin. Osteocalcin supports the bone matrix by binding calcium and promoting mineralization. Our bones would be at risk for weakness without it.

There are two forms of Vitamin K, K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is found in green vegetables and supports healthy blood clotting. Vitamin K2, which is made by bacteria lining the GI tract (partly by converting some K1 into K2), is the form that supports bone health. How do we get enough? Leafy greens and green vegetables, as mentioned above, are great sources of K1. Some of that K1 will get converted to K2 which is the form we want for bone health. Another option is to supplement with K2 which will give a direct dose of the stuff our bones need. If you feel your health is pretty good, especially in terms of digestion and gastrointestinal health, some Vitamin K food sources daily may be enough. If you question your ability to properly absorb and convert Vitamin K to its active bone-health form, you may want to consider supplementation.

Magnesium

About 50% of our magnesium is stored in the bones, so this mineral has to be important. Several studies have shown that bone density increases as magnesium intake increases. This is one mineral not to ignore as it also supports a host of other functions in the body. One problem noted in recent years is that our food supply is becoming increasingly deficient in this vital nutrient. As soil supplies become depleted, so also does our food. Therefore it’s becoming harder and harder to know if we are getting enough from sources that are typically high in magnesium. These foods include nuts, beans, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables. The RDA for magnesium in women and men is 310mg per day and 400mg per day, respectively. Thankfully supplement options are abundant if you feel you need a little additional support. One word of advice? Unless you suffer from constipation and need some laxative help, try avoiding Mg+ Oxide and go for another form such as Mg+ Citrate, Mg+ Malate or Mg+ Glycinate which tend to be more readily absorbed.

Calcium

Last but not least, let’s talk about calcium’s role. It is critically important, as much as I have underplayed it to highlight the role of calcium’s best friends. But truly it is one of the most important players in bone strength. There is roughly 1 kg of Calcium in our bodies and 99% of that resides in the bones. It makes up a mineral complex that provides strength and stability to our entire skeleton. When they say calcium builds strong bones, they aren’t kidding. But as we have talked about throughout this entire article, calcium can’t get into the bones and do its job without its main helpers. This complex interplay between a vast array of nutrients, most of which we talked about here, is what keeps us strong and functioning at our full capacity.

The RDA for adults is roughly 1,000mg per day. BUT, this is dependent on ensuring adequate intake of all the nutrients needed for bone health. Otherwise, as mentioned previously, those 1,000 mg of calcium are not going to be well absorbed. And if they don’t get absorbed? Well, that is when calcium starts roaming for other places to live, like in your blood vessels, in soft tissues, in the kidneys, and excreted in the bowels, sometimes causing constipation.

To get adequate calcium, food sources are your best bet. Obviously dairy is the most touted, but for those of us who are dairy intolerant and dairy sensitive, there are other sources as well. These include beans, salmon, sardines, figs, leafy greens, almonds, chia seeds, tofu, and dairy free products that are fortified with calcium.

Oh wait, one more: Exercise!

How could we adequately talk about bone health without mentioning exercise? You see, the cool things about bones is that they are a living tissue and do respond to external stimuli, like exercise. The more force that is placed upon the bones the more they respond by becoming stronger. This is why weight-bearing exercise is the best form of exercise to give those bones a boost.

Types of weight-bearing exercise? Well, anything that causes impact on the bones counts. Brisk walking, hiking, jumping, dancing, cardio gym classes, stair climbing, team sports, and good ol’ weight training. If you don’t need to do exercise for your weight, at least do it for your bones!

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the complete package when it comes to bone health. It’s not all about calcium, although its role is certainly vital. I think the real take home message is that a well-balanced, varied diet is key. These nutrients we discussed today, in addition to a host of others, play with each other in very intricate and complex ways to support this thing we call the human body. Rarely does isolating one nutrient alone solve the problem. All these nutrients depend on each other, like friends, to get important jobs done. As you can see it is a complex job, so give your body the tools it needs by eating a varied diet and incorporating daily exercise.

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18065599?dopt=Citation

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24247817

If you have specific concerns about your health, especially pertaining to optimal bone health, don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s never to late to start doing what’s right for your main support system, your bones!


Predictions From the Zodiac Zone

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The daily movement of the planets reveal the celestial weather of coming events.

Your zodiac chart is a map of who you. When you took your first

breath, the planets activated the energies of that map. A skilled astrologer can tell you with a great deal of occuracy what is happening to your inner psyche. To you. To your own Zodiac Zone.

How can this be?

All of us are composed of psychological patterns. That is, we are conditioned to react to life in our own unique way. We react according to the celestial patterns that were created in our Zodiac Zone. Because they spend most of their lives investigating these patterns, professional astrologers can explain them in a way that will make sense to you.

All of the planets in the heavens are moving through the energy field of our psyche, which I have called the “Zodiac Zone.” By studying the movement of these planets, a master astrologer can tell you what psychological patterns are or will be activated within you. Sometimes, he can even tell you what day these patterns will be activated and even describe some of the events associated with them.

Years ago, I had a client who had a tendency to violence. I determined this by recognizing a pattern of rage within his Zodiac Zone. I saw that the planet Uranus was presently entering this part of his Zodiac Zone and that on a certain day he would really be upset and have a tendency to violence. I told him that he would need to be calm and not let matters get out of hand. I told him that this seemed to relate to his wife in some way. He said, “That’s not possible. We are very close.” But, when the appointed time arrived, he discovered that his wife was having an affair. He blew up and walked out in search of the retreating lover.

This kind of psycholgical pattern can be seen instantly by a skilled zodiac master.

Let’s look at George Bush’s Zodiac Zone.

He was born with Mercury next to Pluto. Mercury represents the mind and Pluto is a coercive and powerful energy that knows no compromise. Throughout the centuries, astrologers have discovered that this pattern shows an arrogant mind that believes it is always right. Also, Pluto is next to his Venus in Leo which shows he is quite demanding in relationships and expects others to adapt to his needs. Venus also reveals what we love. The many stories that are emerging from the White House confirm these observations. Since his rising sign is Leo, there is a strong indication of self-love (Although this is not really true when we look at the rest of his chart.).

Bush’s Venus is at 21 degrees and 30 minutes of Leo. If an astrologer looks to see what is going on in George’s life, he will quickly sees that the transiting planet, Saturn, is at 21 degrees and 30 minutes on the morning of October 2, 2006, and will make a conjunction with his Venus at that time. A visit of Saturn to one’s Venus is not a happy experience. It is the nature of transiting Saturn to deny love and lead the individual to feel he is not supported by others. This could be a rude awakening for “our leader.”

These statements are being made in May of 2006. Time will tell us if this prediction is correct, but according to the heavens, it indicates a celestial fall from grace. If this turns out to be true, then surely we can predict with some degree of accuracy by reading the Zodiac Zone. This also suggests that more people should turn to the heavens for the deeper answers to their lives.

It has been said that “All things are already finished, but their events happen in time.” One of the great benefits of reading the Zodiac Zone is to see what events may likely occur within our own time.

© 2006 Randall Curtis


Interesting Facts to Know About Horoscopes

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From the beginning of time man has been fascinated about learning what will happen in the future. Many different things have been used in this endeavor such as crystal balls, palm reading and many other things. One of the most popular is the use of horoscopes.

A horoscope consists of a chart which represents the planets and is, many times, based on calendar dates, date of birth and other things. One will often see a horoscope chart in the newspaper with special significance given to one whose birthday is the same date. These signs are indicated by various names such as Taurus, Gemini, Leo, etc.

The signs which appear in the newspaper indicate certain predictions based on people’s birthdays. Following the sign and the date, a events will be related that are supposed to occur in one’s life. Time, the position of the planets and dates all are part of the calculation.

Chinese tradition is tied into the zodiac and they have each year named for a different animal. The year one is born in presumably indicates what one’s personality is and what one will become. There are also many different traditions connected with Yin or Yang. It is believed that there are five elements and a balance of yin and yang that can be beneficial to the person involved. Contrary to Western beliefs, in the Chinese Culture believe that things such as Earth and Metal, which are referred to with Yin or Yang, are an indication of energy, not matter.

Predicting the future or determining the meaning of current, future or past events has long been in use. Records show its existence over 3,000 years ago and it can be found in history books of ancient rulers. From the King’s sorcerer, in ancient times, to the educated person of today it is all trying to determine things which one desires to know but that is not readily apparent. Surprisingly, these horoscopes, when done by a talented person, do make accurate predictions.

Finding out what is going to happen in the future regarding love, employment, money and many more things is the reason that people who do horoscopes are consulted. Time, as well as planet locations, the date of a person’s birth and many other things goes into a horoscope reading.

Everyone would like to know what is going to happen in the future, if it is favorable. Even if it is unfavorable, warnings can be given to avoid certain things that might be harmful. Everyone has a birthday which can be used to make a determined horoscopes as to future activities.


Chakras, Galaxies and Black Holes

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Scientific researchers at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, using sophisticated scientific equipment, have shown that subtle energy has the properties of an electromagnetic current when flowing through acupuncture meridians but takes on the properties of coherent particle streams, similar to laser light, when projected out from the body through the hands of master Qigong healers who cure diseases by beaming their energy into the patient’s body. There are important chakras on the palms of the hands. To understand how we can beam energy (which is manifested as coherent light) from chakras, some understanding of the structure and dynamics of chakras would be useful.

How do Chakras Form?

Barbara Brennan, former NASA engineer and now world-renowned energy healer, describes chakras as “swirling cone-shaped vortexes in the human energy field.” From the perspective of plasma metaphysics, chakras (or “wheels” in Sanskrit) can be considered to be composed of two components: one, a magnetized node and two, a rotating cone structure or vortex that forms in the low density magnetic plasma that subtle bodies are composed of.

In laboratory experiments, it has recently been realized that a localized source at a fixed frequency excites a cone of radiation in a plasma crystal. The apex of the cone will be pointed towards the source and the angle of the cone is determined by its spin frequency. Excitations from fast moving particles in a plane below or next to a single-layered plasma crystal give rise to these cones. According to plasma cosmology, rotating galaxies in space are formed when filamentary currents pinch. This can happen when two currents move towards or cross each other. Dr David Tansely, a radionics specialist, says that, “The seven major chakras are formed at points where standing lines of light (or meridians) cross each other 21 times. The 21 minor chakras are located at points where the energy strands cross 14 times.” Based on these theories, we can infer how chakras develop in subtle bodies (composed of magnetic plasma or ‘magma’).

When meridians cross in our subtle bodies, they pinch each other, forming “knots” and collapse as compressed nodes of intense magnetic fields that pulsate at fixed frequencies. Super particles and objects are attracted to the magnetized nodes and are sucked into the subtle bodies at very high speeds using helical paths. This dynamical behavior of the incoming particles and the pulsations of the node excite cone structures on the surface of the body. The plasma of charged particles (known popularly in the metaphysical literature as “qi”, “prana” or “kundalini”), from the ionized environment, spirals into the nodes, swirling the magnetic plasma on the surface of the compact subtle body. It is then absorbed into the chakra and its energy is then transferred to various parts of the subtle body through the network of meridians (or filamentary currents) within the body.

Structure of Chakras

According to scientific researchers, a complicated elastic double vortex structure emanates from the excited region in a plasma crystal. Each region splits into an outgoing and inward-going vortex. The wave-fronts are circular near the source. This resembles how experimental metaphysicists, such as Charles Leadbeater and Brennan, have described and illustrated the spinal chakras – which come in pairs and have circular wave-fronts. A tube or channel connects the outward-facing chakra at the front of the body to the chakra behind the body – which faces in the opposite direction.

According to scientific researchers, the cones in plasma crystals possess an interesting multiple structure of nested cones. Nested cones within chakras in our magnetic plasma bodies have been observed by Brennan. According to Brennan, chakras appear “to be nested within each other like nesting glasses. Each chakra on each higher layer extends out farther in the auric field (to the edge of each auric layer) and is slightly broader than the one below it”. Each vortex metabolizes an energy that resonates with its particular spin frequency.

Alignment of Chakras

It is interesting to note that the cone structures of chakras are positioned at different angles in illustrations in the metaphysical literature. As noted earlier, the angle correlates with the frequency of the radiation source. It is well-known in metaphysics that not only are the spinal chakras positioned at different angles but that each chakra spins at a different frequency. The axis of each cone is aligned with the magnetic field generated by the node so that the apex of the cone of the chakra, which faces the central channels in the subtle body, has a different magnetic polarity from the base of the cone, which faces the environment. If we look at the central channel in the subtle body, the nodes would be distributed along the knots in the central channels at discrete intervals. This agrees well with metaphysical observations (and is consistent with the behavior of magnetic plasma, as noted in studies of plasma crystals). According to Brennan, “Their tips point into the main vertical power current and their open ends extend to the edge of each layer of the field they are located in.”

Absorption and Emission of Energy from Chakras

According to Brennan, each swirling vortex of energy appears to suck or entrain energy from the universal energy field. Chakras connect to the nodes of meridians which are areas of intense magnetic fields. They are therefore able to attract high-energy charged super particles and objects. The particles, after absorption, course through the meridians to distribute energy to various parts of the body – similar to what happens in the heart-lung and circulatory systems in the physical-biomolecular body in terms of distributing oxygen to the cells in the body. When particles in subtle bodies are energized they begin to respond to their environments. Leadbeater explains that one of the functions of chakras is to calibrate (or entrain) the frequencies of particles in order for them to be responsive to particular frequencies of radiations in the environment. Brennan also observes that the direction in which a chakra spins is important. When the chakra is spinning clockwise it is absorbing energy. When spinning anticlockwise – the flow of energy is in the reversed direction. In other words, it is emitting energy rather than absorbing.

Focused Beams of Light from Rotating Galaxies

According to scientific researchers, an ordered magnetic field plays an essential role in jet formation from a rotating accretion disk in an ionized environment. The process of forming jets (or focused beams of light) is thought to depend on how magnetic fields behave when they are swirled around by an accretion disk. Jets occur in cosmic plasma. As far back as 1918, astronomer H D Curtis noticed a jet from the centre of the galaxy M87, describing it as a “curious straight ray” emanating from the galaxy. Taking the form of a huge flashlight beam in space, a jet of electrons and protons traveling at near the speed of light can be seen in NASA’s image of the galaxy. The jet is a highly collimated plasma beam (i.e. like coherent laser light). Energetic astrophysical jets, with velocities approaching the speed of light, are seen on a variety of scales emerging from active galactic nuclei and young stars. It is thought that they result from the dynamics of accretion disks rotating around a large mass. The energy radiates from charged particles that are moving in a curved orbit (typically around a magnetic field aligned with the jet).

Focused Beams of Light from Rotating Chakras

The chakra is a rotating accretion disk on a relatively large compact subtle body. We also know (from the above discussion) that the nodes of chakras are locations of intense magnetic fields and charged particles move in helical or spiral paths around this field. Magnetic fields in plasma move with it. The effect of the movement of the particles, plunging into the subtle body at high speeds, is to effectively swirl the intense magnetic field around the axis of the cone of the chakra. This causes the magnetic field to twist, rise and eject-out as a jet of collimated light. The acceleration mechanism for most jets is magneto-hydrodynamic. (Magneto-hydrodynamics provides a general framework to study the activities of magnetic plasma.) The jet being issued will be parallel to the spin axis of the chakra.

Jets or directed beams of light have been seen in photographs taken during events where subtle energetic practices take place (for example: Reiki, Qigong and Christian “Praise and Worship”). There are also Hindu, Taoist, Buddhist and Christian images showing jets of light issuing-out from the palms of saints or deities. There are important chakras (and acupoints) on the palms of the hands. The frequency and spin rate of the chakra would have a direct effect in determining the energy and coherence of the beam. One of the seers of the Fatima apparitions of “Mary”, “Lucia”, revealed that during one of the apparitions, “Mary” opened her hands and “rays of light” issued from them.

This may be done simply by reversing the normal direction of the chakra spin (so that energy is emitted rather than absorbed) and increasing the rotational speed of the chakra in the palm (by mentally focusing on the specific chakra or acupoint in the palm of the hand). Jets may also be issued from other chakras or acupoints – for example from the heart chakra. For example, when ‘Jesus’ appeared to Saint Faustina, two beams of light issued from his heart – one beam was blue and the other was red. Interestingly, jet formations in cosmic objects such as galaxies also show two beams of light – one blue and the other red!

Black Holes and Chakras

According to scientists, black holes also issue jets. In fact the galaxy M87 (cited above) which issues jets, is suspected to harbor a black hole in its nucleus. (The black hole is then analogous to the node and the galaxy to the cone structure of the chakra.) This is surprising because, so far as we know, the strong gravitational fields of black holes absorb energy – letting nothing to escape. (Small black holes, though, give out Hawking radiation.) If we use the same explanation as we did for chakras, this may be because of the direction of the spin of the accretion disks around black holes. Does this mean that if the direction of the spin of the accretion disk of a rotating (“Kerr”) black hole is reversed it will start ejecting energy instead of absorbing? Black holes with highly energetic jets spin the fastest according to scientists.

If we further apply what we have learnt about the structure of chakras to black holes, we would expect black holes to come in pairs. Each black hole would then be connected by a tube (popularly called a “worm hole”) which connects to another black hole in another part of our universe. This worm hole may be long or very short – so that there is a double vortex structure (like in chakras) connected by a short tube – giving rise to jets that eject in opposite directions from astrophysical objects. Astrophysical jets that emanate from opposite directions of astrophysical objects have been seen. We would also expect black holes to reside within all galaxies as they are simply entry points into the network or web of “meridians” (in this case filamentary currents) that transfer energy from one point to another, throughout the universe.

To carry the analogy with chakras further, this would imply that black holes and galaxies are formations in an invisible subtle body – the subtle body of our universe already discussed in the author’s article Acupuncture Meridians and the Cosmic Spider Web. This also suggests that this subtle body is composed of (dark) magnetic plasma. We are living inside the subtle body of this universe – on a planet that is sitting on the edge of one of its chakras – a chakra we call the Milky Way.

© Copyright Jay Alfred 2007