I LOVE this story! Who thinks teenagers today are game-playing, internet surfing slackers?? Check out this story!
Here he is on Youtube:
I LOVE this story! Who thinks teenagers today are game-playing, internet surfing slackers?? Check out this story!
Here he is on Youtube:
I wrote the first version of this article over 12 years ago. And these natural remedies are still in my cold and flu arsenal. I have also added a few new remedies that I’ve collected over the past decade.
Cold and flu season has officially arrived. And now is the perfect time to stock up the medicine cabinet with remedies that work. Stock up now, before the kids bring a bug home. Some of the natural remedies that I personally use and recommend are listed below:
Water: My body needs moisture and lots of it when I am sick with a cold or flu. So, besides using a neti pot, I add 3-4 extra glasses of water to my day when I have a cold or the flu. Pure, fresh water is what my body needs to loosen up and expel all the mucous and secretions.
Vitamin C: When I feel a cold brewing, I start taking 2-3 packets of Emergen-C™ per day and I keep taking it until my cold is gone. Each packet of Emergen-C™ contains 1000 mg Vitamin C as well as a mixture of B Complex Vitamins and essential minerals. The human body uses Vitamin C to build strong, healthy cell membranes that are able to protect from viral and bacterial invaders. The B vitamins are known as the stress vitamins because they are used heavily by the body when stressed or fighting off an illness. Vitamin C also helps to thin down all that mucous, so you can get rid of it more easily. If I could only take only one cold/flu remedy with me to a deserted island, I would choose Emergen-C™.
Kick-Ass Immune: This is the first herbal remedy that I reach for when I feel a cold coming on. Kick-Ass from Wish Garden Herbs enhances and boosts infection fighting components of the immune system. If I start taking Kick-Ass Immune at the first sign of a cold, my illness is much shorter and less severe.
Echinacea: A tried and true herbal cold remedy that is perfectly safe for babies and kids. I personally prefer to use Echinacea tincture drops that can be added to water or juice. Echinacea is made from the root of the purple coneflower and its healing properties have been researched extensively. Echinacea works best when taken short term. Save this one and only use it at the first sign of a cold.
Herbal Tea: I find a warm mug of tea very comforting when I am sick. And tea is a great way to give my cold or flu an “herbal treatment.” There are numerous herbs out there that alleviate the symptoms of the common cold or flu. Here are a few herbal teas to try:
Decrease congestion & mucous with horehound, licorice, slippery elm, ginger
Soothe cough and sore throat with Slippery elm, anise, marsh mallow, mullein
Note: Many of these herbs are also available in tincture, capsule or lozenge form.
Neti Pot: This is an ancient Ayurvedic way to wash out the sinuses, removing debris, mucous, viruses and bacteria. Use a neti pot and a minor head cold does not have the chance to turn into a sinus infection. My clients with chronic sinus problems swear that it makes a huge difference. I “pour” a warm salt water solution from the neti pot into one nostril where it flows through my sinuses and out the other nostril. It may sound gross, but the relief is almost instantaneous.
Zinc Lozenges: I have found nothing better for relieving the pain of a sore throat than zinc lozenges. Zinc is a mineral that is used heavily by the body when fighting off an illness. The lozenges taste good and they work. I suck on a zinc lozenge 3-4 times per day if my throat is sore or scratchy, or I have a head cold.
Homeopathic Remedies: Homeopathy has been popular in England, France and other parts of Europe since the 1800’s. When used correctly, homeopathic remedies are the closest thing to magic that I have ever found. Based on the principle of “like cures like”, homeopathic remedies stimulate the immune system to kick on and heal the body. Homeopathy works quickly and is very safe and effective against numerous ailments including the common cold and flu. But there is a trick to using homeopathic compounds; you must match your symptoms up carefully with the right compound. A good homeopathic reference book is invaluable. Look for these remedies online or at your local health food store:
Oscillococcinum: This mix of several homeopathic substances is from Boiron: Forget about annual flu shots – this stuff works! Take it for flu with the symptoms of fever, chills, and all over body aches. And don’t wait! For best results, take it at the very first sign of flu symptoms.
Kali Bichromicum: Use it to treat nasal discharge that is thick and yellow or green in color. It also is recommended for thick postnasal drip.
Allium Cepa: use this remedy for nasal discharge that is profuse, watery and burns the nose and eyes.
Bryonia Alba: for dry, hacking cough.
Herbal Bath: Soaking in a hot, steamy bath is a great way to loosen up sinus and chest congestion. Add one of the essential oils listed below (available at health food stores) to the bath water for even more decongestant power.
Eucalyptus is a powerful antiviral and antibacterial compound. Add 6-8 drops of Eucalyptus to your bathwater or mix a few drops into 1/8 cup of oil (olive, sunflower or almond) and apply to the chest and neck.
Thieves is a powerful mixture of essential oils that dates back to the Middle Ages. This herbal “recipe” is said to have been used to ward off the plague by grave robbers! Wherever it came from originally, it is an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal wonder. The most popular brand of Thieves is made by Young Living™, but you can also find recipes for a Thieves essential oil compound online – just Google Thieves essential oil.
Garlic: This root vegetable is a very powerful anti-viral, anti=bacterial and anti-fungal compound. It also decreases mucous secretions. Raw garlic is the most potent, but I cannot stomach gnawing on raw garlic. So I cook with it. Add it to soups, stir fry, scrambled eggs, chicken and meat dishes, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, etc. Yum! You can also buy garlic capsules, if you prefer.
Castleman, Michael.The Healing Herbs, 1995, Bantam Books, New York.
Duke, James A., Ph.D. The Green Pharmacy, 1997, Rodale Press, New York.
Ullman, Dana, M.P.H. Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants, 1992, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York.
Ullman, Robert, N.D. & Reichenberg-Ullman, Judyth, N.D. Homeopathic Self-Care, 1997, Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA.
Winter Griffith, H., M.D., Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals & Supplements; the Complete Guide, 1998, Fisher Books.
“How can a three-pound mass of jelly that you can hold in your palm imagine angels, contemplate the meaning of infinity, and even question its own place in the cosmos?
… These atoms now form a conglomerate- your brain- that can not only ponder the very stars that gave it birth but can also think about its own ability to think and wonder about its own ability to wonder.
With the arrival of humans, it has been said, the universe has suddenly become conscious of itself. This, truly, is the greatest mystery of all.”
“We are the cosmos made conscious
and life is the means by which the universe understands itself.”
~Brian Cox, particle physicist
A love letter to my fellow therapists, doctors, nurses, healers
I know how much you want to help each client who comes to you. I know how hard you work and study to help them. I am right there with you; I have been a healer of one sort or another for over 25 years. I know how much you care for your clients and want to help them heal.
You love them and want to help. But what if you actually have very little control over whether your client improves and heals or not? What if your clients are in charge of what happens in each and every healing session, NOT you? And what if being a healer or therapist no longer meant you were supposed to have the answers, or know how to fix your clients’ problems? What if being a great healer / therapist / doctor does NOT involve dispensing advice and healing wisdom to the suffering masses like some kind of Healer Dear Abby?
How would embracing your lack of control change your healing practice?
Each client holds the keys to their own healing. Every client has their own answers – even if they don’t believe it yet! At best, you can be a helpful conduit or sounding board – someone who helps your clients find a new perspective on their personal journey of self-discovery and self-healing. At worst you will try to take charge and actually get in the way of their healing.
Stop and take a breath. Give yourself a moment to grasp the idea that you are NOT in charge and you CANNOT CONTROL if and when, much less how your client heals. Each client is responsible for whether they heal or not. Does this lack of control and responsibility for your clients’ healing fill you with relief or infuriate you?
No matter what you do or say, no matter how many classes you take or how good your therapy techniques are, your client will choose whether they heal or not. You don’t control that, they do. If one of your clients heals, it is NOT because you did an absolutely flawless massage, gave them the perfect pill or performed the best sphenoid release in the Midwest. It is not because you said just the right thing or executed a flawless lymphatic drainage routine. People have been healing from all kinds of illnesses and pains for thousands of years before your favorite drug or healing modality was even invented. And isn’t obsessing about technique how we healers handle our own discomfort with not knowing how to make everything all better for everyone? Honestly?
This idea of the client being responsible for their own healing probably bursts all your fantasies about “if I just get really good at the right and perfect technique, then my clients will heal.” In my experience, there is no silver healing bullet – so stop looking for the “perfect” therapy, the “perfect” medication or herbal remedy, the “perfect” modality. Besides, that search for the perfect healing tool will only make you feel like a failure over and over and over again.
Open to the possibility that you have never been in charge of anyone else’s healing and see what happens for you and your clients. Remember that it is their body, their mind, their emotional reactions that determine how much healing happens in each session with you. Each client comes to you with a unique set of issues and strengths. Each client will heal in their own unique and unpredictable ways. If you want predictable outcomes, give up healing work and become an engineer.
So, if you cannot control the outcome of healing sessions with your clients, why be a healer at all? What is the point? How can you help anyone?
Before you throw in the towel and completely give up healing work in despair, try a few radical healing acts in your sessions. Shift your focus and see what kind of healing magic is possible:
Each client who comes to you is on THEIR own personal healing journey, not yours. So, take a big breath, smile at your silliness and learn to let go of control. You never really had it anyway.
Love & Hugs
If you had met me five years ago, you would have never guessed I was a nurse. I managed a computer network group back then and I rarely mentioned my nursing background to even my closest friends. I left nursing back in the late 1980’s and for a very long time I was embarrassed to call myself a nurse.
I had been a good nurse, one of the best. I learned and applied all the latest technologies to my patients, from IV feedings to balloon pumps to SOAP charting and nursing care plans. Yet most of my ICU patients were not “fixed” by their treatment. Most of them died after a very expensive hospital stay. And worse yet, the treatments I gave caused many of my patients to suffer. I witnessed the failings of modern Western medicine up close; I watched patients held in limbo on the edge of death, only half alive. I watched patients suffer as they were separated from their loved ones by the very technology that was supposed to help them.
My nursing education had given me no framework to make sense of the pain and suffering I saw around me. The hospital where I worked was one of the best in the region and the nursing care I gave was state of the art. And yet I felt anger and a deep sadness within as I tried to care for patients the way I had been taught. I eventually left nursing and found a nice safe career in the computer field where the only thing that crashed and died was a poorly written computer program. When I left, I thought I put nursing behind me. But here I am back again.
Returning to nursing after more than a decade away was like peering down into a wild, raging river, seeing the whitewater and fast current and jumping in anyway. My friends and family looked at me in wonder and asked why was I going back? Health care is a mess, doctors and nurses are under constant fire and the nursing profession seems to be having an identity crisis. Plus, I earned twice as much money as a corporate manager. So, why did I return?
While I was away from nursing, I continued to search for meaning in all I had seen and experienced as an ICU nurse. My avocation became alternative healing modalities; Chinese medicine, herbal remedies, massage, acupuncture, spiritual healing. I read all the time about health and healing and became an avid student of mind-body medicine. I read studies on the power of guided imagery in fighting cancer, and on the power of prayer in helping open heart patients to heal. I learned how the simple act of massage helps premature infants to grow faster and thrive. A new world of healing possibilities slowly opened up to me.
As an ICU nurse I had focused on the physiology of the human body. Now I delved into the emotional and spiritual components of illness. I tried many of the alternative healing methods I read about, loved some and hated others. I went through a divorce, remarriage and a cleansing emotional healing of my own. And over time I began to miss nursing. At my core I was still a healer, a nurse, no matter how many computer programs I wrote.
So I finally came back to nursing. But I am not remotely the same nurse I was when I left in frustration years ago. My idea of what nursing is about has changed dramatically. I can still remember myself as a nurse, fresh out of nursing school. I remember believing then that “good” nursing was about mastering technology, understanding medication effects and curing an ailing physical body. My focus was on the disease and how it affected the physical body. Back then I thought nursing was science pure and simple; just apply the right technology or give the right medication and the patient would be fixed. It sounds a lot like car repair in retrospect. No messy emotional connection required or desired.
It’s been a long winding road for me. The shift in my definition of nursing has been gradual over many years. I cannot pinpoint when my idea of nursing actually mutated. Like the slow building of a sunset, my view of myself as a nurse has shifted moment by moment, experience by experience until today I look around to find that I am a totally different nurse.
Today I see nursing as more art than science. Nursing is not about passing meds and taking vitals for me. It is not about whiz-bang medical technology. And it is not about curing or fixing the physical body. Now nursing is about discovering how the emotions and the spirit of a person interact with their physical body. It is about connecting with a person and helping them to heal body, mind and spirit. And it is always personal and sometimes messy and emotional work. This time nursing is about relating to people one on one. It is about creating a healing space where the mind can rest and the body can heal. It is something I do with a person rather than to them.
Do I still find value in IV meds and CT scans and laparotomies? Absolutely. I also find value in meditation and prayer and acupuncture and herbs and the simple act of touch. I have come to believe that there are many paths to healing. True health is a balance of many factors; there is no one treatment, no silver bullet cure. Each person is unique and must find the balance of treatments, both conventional and alternative, that fits for them.
I have found my own balance. I have found a way to nurse that is uniquely mine and it gives me great joy. If you meet me today and ask me what I do for a living, I will smile and tell you proudly that I am a nurse. It is good to be back.
© 2002 Nancy Lankston
Note: I wrote this essay 10 years ago and it’s been buried in my files for years. But My nursing buddy and sister of the heart, Megan, asked me to pull it out and share it. So, here it is. Unfortunately, most of what I say about hospitals and healthcare in the U.S. is still true in 2012. Here’s to changing it in my lifetime.
Do you have any idea what you ate today? Really??!
Warning: the TED Talk Video link I share here may open your eyes and blow your mind:
My opinions about the sorry state of America’s food are well known to all my family and friends. Messed Up American Food is Nancy’s Rant #1A, according to my husband. Well, watch out hubby – Hell, watch out world! This TED Talk really got my Rant bit flipped on high!
Over the past 2 decades, I have done a ton of research on food – I did it in self-defense because both of my kids reacted to “normal” American foods like bread and milk from an early age. I had to learn about reading labels and what all those strange ingredients really are just to keep my kids sane and healthy.
But the new information in this short video about what is being added to our food and our crops in America has me so stirred up, so incensed – so MAD! I may have to open the windows and scream, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”
I am so mad, I may have to catch the next plane to Washington and show this video to ANYONE and EVERYONE in Congress who I can tie down for 15 minutes. Because I am CONVINCED – the SHIT that is being added to our food is hurting us and will eventually kill us. This additive, preservative and genetically modified madness needs to stop NOW!
It is time to draw the line. I am sick and tired of paying a small fortune to buy organic products just so I can get some food without chemical additives and genetic modifications! The short-sighted stupidity of decision makers in the American food industry absolutely STUNS me. How can this stuff end up in our food and NO ONE in the industry thinks twice about it?? And they don’t feel the need to test these additive and GMO’s??? The last 15+ years has been one big test on the American population – the only problem is, I DO NOT RECALL GIVING ANYONE PERMISSION TO TEST THIS ADDITIVE CRAP ON MY KIDS!!
I am reminded of reading how the elite class in Roman Empire poisoned themselves by wearing lead-based face powder in order to look paler. And now in America, we poison our own kids’ food just to make a bit more profit for Kraft and Coca Cola and Monsanto. WOW!
Please watch the video. Please – you owe it to yourself and your family.
And let me know if you decide to join my rant-fest.
As you watch the video, try to keep in mind that we lowly American consumers are NOT powerless herd animals. We still control which foods we buy and which we avoid, don’t we? And with the power of our pocketbooks, we can change the entire food industry, one purchase at a time.