This is a must read for every runner. I am know carrying Foot Wheels, a must have for every runner!
I’m still baffled when I look around me. I am by no means even close to perfect. I do a thoroughly believe in applying preventative care to my life. I am hoping that this reaches some people that can apply this formula that I have for self-care. We can no longer afford to do what our parents did. What this looks like for me as far as my parents where concerned was that she got sick and you went to a doctor and took a pill. I am sure that we absolutely cannot afford to live in that type of denial any longer. Doctors are not God. Pharmaceutical companies could give a damn about any of us, we are their guinea pigs. We all need to wake up and to do it now.
As most of us know most of the things that benefit our health are not covered by insurance. That upsets me as I am sure it upsets you. Living in the solution is the answer. The solution to me is self-care which includes massage therapy, chiropractic, exercise/yoga, meditation, walking and turning off the large screen TV and reading spiritual books that help us to grow and learn.
The other major and most important part of our lifestyle is what we eat. Whole grains, like oatmeal, oat bran and other fibers are key to good health. Fruits and vegetables are another key ingredients to good health. I found a product called Mona-Vie which I am a distributor of that provides a daily supply of high antioxidants super fruits, I also enjoy eating real food as well. When it comes to protein I can no longer eat animal products. My hopes to all Americans are to take a look at what it’s done to the animals that you eat and put on your plate for your family. I will say again I would not be able to sleep at night with a clear conscious with what I know about the brutal inhumane way our farm animals are treated plus was injected into them goes into you. There are plenty alternatives that probably cost less. Nuts are high source of protein, seeds and tofu. I am sure I have left out some other sources of protein. I still do eat fish but there are only a few fish that are low in mercury, some of these are Pacific by Atlantic herring, mackerel, wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, scallops and shrimp I always make sure that none of these are farm raised and all our wild Alaskan Canadian or Pacific as we know our oceans are being destroyed to. These are educated suggestions. It is also a very good idea to steam your vegetables. As I understand it, unless you’re a cow with two stomachs chewing raw vegetables is extremely hard on the digestive system. It’s up to you to do the research on what I say if question it.
I also strongly suggest that people acquire what is called a foam roller. It is very easy to Google the word foam roller to see what it does for you. I also suggest a foot wheel, for roller to take the tension out of your feet. There is also a wonderful local group here in Princeton New Jersey called the Art of living. The Art of living teaches us how to breathe and meditate. Most people’s problems are that they don’t breathe when they’re under stress which causes tension in the body which left untreated causes disease. I highly recommend cardiovascular exercise but I also believe we all need to learn how to breathe properly, most of us don’t all.
Stress is inevitable, I have offered solutions to stress above, yes they do cost money but you have to weigh out what is important to you. It frightens me to death to even think about being in the hospital. I get a massage every two weeks and I get chiropractic adjustments once a week and follow the above protocol. It works for me but also as important is to take a look at the people you surround yourself with, do they create drama or do they bring peace, joy, laughter and support to your life. If they don’t live in the solution and make the changes you need to. To wallow in pain and suffering does us no good. This is important to grieve when necessary, crying brings healing and looking at our pasts to make changes in ourselves is a good thing but living in the past would just bring pain. Your thoughts create your reality and I truly believe we are also blessed and most of us can’t even see it because we take things for granted. It’s time to look beyond yourself, to see what she can give back and together we can change this world for the better one step at a time.
Spring is almost here and it’s the year 2010 and I myself am looking forward to great changes and healing of what is now needed on this planet. It always seems to get to almost to breaking point before change comes about. I do believe we are at the breaking point. I see a lot in pressure on people at their workplaces, over sized or poor living conditions, traveling for work and money stress and of course it’s easy for me to see it in people’s bodies and energy as a body worker and healer. I do believe that people will start relying less on doctors and pharmaceuticals and looking more inside and paying attention to their bodies. I think that more and more people will start getting massages, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, therapy and using other healing modalities. I believe people will be practicing yoga, meditating and exercising more.
I think the biggest change that still needs to come about and will come about is our awareness of how farm animals such as all meats and poultry are treated and slaughtered and how that affects all of us. We still need to become more consciously aware that we are what we eat, the proportional sizes of food intake and why we are eating? There needs to be much more awareness on what is going on especially with poultry and beef and all animals on this planet.
I have come to admire and respect the Jewish community and have learned what the meaning of kosher really is. I’ve always believed that there was a proper way, if one chose to kill an animal. I would think as intelligent human beings that we would know that to cut the juggler vein on an animal is the most humane way of killing an animal. That is what is meant by kosher; a Rabbi watches and make sure that the animal is killed in the most gentle way possible. I think to myself, why of course would either way would you do it? That is what I came to find out and was mortified to the point of never eating the flesh of an animal again. I will speak for America because that’s the country I live in. We are barbaric in our treatment of livestock as well as pets! Then we are shocked when swine flu, bird flu and mad cow disease is found here and there. Did you think that the animals chose to give that to us???? Of course the answer is no, it is greedy, self-centered, barbaric, human beings. How you bring about change? You stop supporting that which is inhumane and barbaric. If you have no care for animals which is most certainly a large population out there of sick people then just look at the fact that meat is just plain bad for your health at least under the conditions we are in now and the over sized pieces of flesh people eat. I have more and more respect for Hannibal Lector these days than with the people I am hearing about and coming across. SMILE!
I am frightened for those that eat chicken, hamburger and any other meat as well as milk. My concerns are more for the animals I must say, always can count on me for the truth! I don’t know what your concerns are but, to give you the benefit of the doubt I would hope you care some what about the treatment of a life. What I think is there is so much disassociation with people from looking at that plastic wrapped, slab of meat at the not-food market to the fact that this was a once in animal and how brutally it was treated its whole life. The facts are there if you want to know them. The amount of hormones and other chemicals you are ingesting would blow your mind. The sick animals that you’re serving your children for dinner… you don’t even want to know. The glass of milk you pour to have your children drink again the amount of hormones and chemicals in that milk are more toxic than nutritional.
I believe we all want to know the truth and that we want animals to be treated humanely as we would want to be treated ourselves. They are not something we own. We are their guardians. They are not a piece of property. They were put here on earth the same as we were, we just decided how they be treated and it like shit and I am tired of it, sick and tired, What goes around comes around though and the simple truth is an animal that is killed with unnecessary stress sends toxins into their bodies, you in turn eat it. This is a subterfuge! A pandemic kept under tight guard for the people who chose to be blind. If it is not corrected soon we will see much more disease spread from animals to people, much more plagues, more unnecessary deaths and it is all due to uncaring greedy people. Wake up America! A lot of my blogs are graphic and videos are hard to watch but again you can choose to say I don’t want to see it and do nothing about it but, just remember the definition of insanity is, repeating the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Everyone on this planet needs to eat less meat and poultry and this will force change to come about. That is if you care?
I believe great things are possible if we take responsibility into our hands and make the choice to make a difference, watch it will affect everything, our thoughts, our energy, our health and well-being of our planet.
I started drinking whole milk for the first time since I was a teenager a few months ago. I found a dairy farm in Newtown, Pennsylvania where they sell wall milk. It was exciting to drink something that was almost a meal and also to know that animal was treated like a pet. The sweet cow wasn’t overused, over bread and allowed to see the outdoors; be an animal not a machine, what a concept and in return we are given a gift of raw milk. It actually helps with asthma, autism and some people that are lactose intolerant actually can drink raw milk because the enzyme is not pasteurized out of the milk, my heaven’s it is healthy!
It’s amazing the things that can happen when we don’t take advantage and become greedy. Can you take a look at your life and say I made the difference? If the answer is no, today’s a new day and you can start making a difference, in how you take care of yourself and others, including animals, in really and truly caring about everything that you do and also putting your foot down and speaking up for the truth and then do something about it.
I’ve worked on at least 20 people with knee problems ranging from people waiting for a knee replacement to dancers, soccer players and people with general knee problems. Once the Kinesio tape was put on the injured area and the client got up off my table they were out of pain and felt more stable. I’m quite shocked that doctors are unaware of Kinesio taping and in fact look at it as a sugar pill. How wrong they are! I challenge them in every way and I’m hoping that this blog will simplify how this miracle tape works.
First I’d like to explain the tape itself. Kinesio taping is light weight with adhesive backing. The tape has the ability to stretch when held by either end of the tape to then be applied on the injured area being working on. The tension on the tape varies on the injury at hand. I worked on a dancer who had problems as most dancers to with her knees. She did receive physical therapy to strengthen quadriceps and the muscles that stabilize the knee. This does not mean the issue is not still there. Playing sports requires repetitive motion on certain areas of the body which are used over and over. When the athlete’s muscles, ligaments and tendons are over used this causes weakness that can result in a serious injury if not caught in time. I find that Kinesio Taping enables the athlete/dancer or client that’s job requires repetitive motion such as, typing to continue free of pain. I see again and again people without any knowledge of deep tissue massage and it’s benifits and Kinesio taping people resort to unnecessary surgery or using harmful steroids.
It is important to make sure they are certified and using Kinesio books at their guides when needed. I know that I would rather have a person that is humble enough to make sure they are applying the tape properly than an arrogant physical therapist that put tape on completely wrong as he worked on 5 clients at the same time. Physical therapy was not a good experience for my neck injury or myself, the lack of one on one care was horrible and was a waste of my money and from my health insurance, what was charged for moist heat pad was crazy. After my surgery I went to a total of seven physical therapy groups only one impressed me, The Neurac Institute, 800 Bunn Dr Princeton, NJ 609-683-1010 A+.
A lot of people do not know any Certified Kinesio taping practitioners or have even heard of it. I am Certified and make sure the person is Certified and if you are in discomfort after being taped you will know pretty quickly and then re-apply the tape. I make sure once they have the tape on that I check in with them on how they feel. I am located right in Princeton Township, NJ @ 609-683-1608
Kinesio Tape can stay on the body for 3 to 5 days. Showering will not weaken the tape and can be patted dry after the showers completed. I worked with a dancer recently and she would benefit a great deal having her knees taped every time she dances. Taping will not weaken the area it will prevent injury and you almost feel as if you’re wearing nothing yet you can feel the support. The results I get are amazing. How long does it take to have the tape applied? Depending on the issue it can take one half an hour.
I’d like to list some of the injuries that Kinesio Taping is used for, carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal disc herniation, frozen shoulder, shoulder injuries, low back pain, hamstring and quadriceps injuries, stabilizing the ankle, shin splints, plantar fasciitis and much more. I am hoping to get the word out on how amazing this tape is. It brings me great joy to see a client is in pain completely void of pain by just applying tape to their body, truly amazing. Please feel free to call Gotcher’ Back Therapeutic Massage for a phone consult 609-683-1608. There is no need to get cortisone shots or use steroids for pain when Kinesio taping can in most circumstances heal and correct the issue.
I would like to tell all of the parents out there that your teens and college students perform better in sports due to practicing prevention instead of having to have surgery due to coaches not training them properly. The importance of addressing the issue right away by giving me a call can save a lot of pain and your child being immobile. The unfortunate thing is most people call me as a last resort and I can correct the problem before it goes to extreme spending weeks of time in physical therapy, getting cortisone shots and the issue/injury still exists and you have spent hours back and forth to doctors, PT’s and wasting money and your time. I’m trying to reach out to parents to help prevent this. I’m also reaching out to parents who have aging parents with severe knee issues that can’t have a knee replacement or bad back pain. When the knees are taped, prevention from falling increases ten fold and their pain is gone too. Please call my office for a free consult and any more information you need about Kinesio Taping and its benefits. Instead of making me your last resort make me your priority, so you can get on with your life pain-free. Again I am located in Princeton, NJ and my contact number is 609-683-1608.
The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation
Everyone seeks peace and harmony, because this is what we lack in our lives. From time to time we all experience agitation, irritation, disharmony. And when we suffer from these miseries, we don’t keep them to ourselves; we often distribute them to others as well. Unhappiness permeates the atmosphere around someone who is miserable, and those who come in contact with such a person also become affected. Certainly this is not a skillful way to live.
We ought to live at peace with ourselves, and at peace with others. After all, human beings are social beings, having to live in society and deal with each other. But how are we to live peacefully? How are we to remain harmonious within, and maintain peace and harmony around us, so that others can also live peacefully and harmoniously?
In order to be relieved of our misery, we have to know the basic reason for it, the cause of the suffering. If we investigate the problem, it becomes clear that whenever we start generating any negativity or impurity in the mind, we are bound to become unhappy. A negativity in the mind, a mental defilement or impurity, cannot coexist with peace and harmony.
How do we start generating negativity? Again, by investigation, it becomes clear. We become unhappy when we find someone behaving in a way that we don’t like, or when we find something happening which we don’t like. Unwanted things happen and we create tension within. Wanted things do not happen, some obstacle comes in the way, and again we create tension within; we start tying knots within. And throughout life, unwanted things keep on happening, wanted things may or may not happen, and this process of reaction, of tying knots—Gordian knots—makes the entire mental and physical structure so tense, so full of negativity, that life becomes miserable.
Now, one way to solve this problem is to arrange that nothing unwanted happens in life, that everything keeps on happening exactly as we desire. Either we must develop the power, or somebody else who will come to our aid must have the power, to see that unwanted things do not happen and that everything we want happens. But this is impossible. There is no one in the world whose desires are always fulfilled, in whose life everything happens according to his or her wishes, without anything unwanted happening. Things constantly occur that are contrary to our desires and wishes. So the question arises: how can we stop reacting blindly when confronted with things that we don’t like? How can we stop creating tension and remain peaceful and harmonious?
In India, as well as in other countries, wise saintly persons of the past studied this problem—the problem of human suffering—and found a solution: if something unwanted happens and you start to react by generating anger, fear or any negativity, then, as soon as possible, you should divert your attention to something else. For example, get up, take a glass of water, start drinking—your anger won’t multiply; on the other hand, it’ll begin to subside. Or start counting: one, two, three, four. Or start repeating a word, or a phrase, or some mantra, perhaps the name of a god or saintly person towards whom you have devotion; the mind is diverted, and to some extent you’ll be free of the negativity, free of the anger.
This solution was helpful; it worked. It still works. Responding like this, the mind feels free from agitation. However, the solution works only at the conscious level. In fact, by diverting the attention you push the negativity deep into the unconscious, and there you continue to generate and multiply the same defilement. On the surface there is a layer of peace and harmony, but in the depths of the mind there is a sleeping volcano of suppressed negativity which sooner or later may erupt in a violent explosion.
Other explorers of inner truth went still further in their search and, by experiencing the reality of mind and matter within themselves, recognized that diverting the attention is only running away from the problem. Escape is no solution; you have to face the problem. Whenever negativity arises in the mind, just observe it, face it. As soon as you start to observe a mental impurity, it begins to lose its strength and slowly withers away.
A good solution; it avoids both extremes—suppression and expression. Burying the negativity in the unconscious will not eradicate it, and allowing it to manifest as unwholesome physical or vocal actions will only create more problems. But if you just observe, then the defilement passes away and you are free of it.
This sounds wonderful, but is it really practical? It’s not easy to face one’s own impurities. When anger arises, it so quickly overwhelms us that we don’t even notice. Then, overpowered by anger, we perform physical or vocal actions which harm ourselves and others. Later, when the anger has passed, we start crying and repenting, begging pardon from this or that person or from God: “Oh, I made a mistake, please excuse me!” But the next time we are in a similar situation, we again react in the same way. This continual repenting doesn’t help at all.
The difficulty is that we are not aware when negativity starts. It begins deep in the unconscious mind, and by the time it reaches the conscious level it has gained so much strength that it overwhelms us, and we cannot observe it.
Suppose that I employ a private secretary, so that whenever anger arises he says to me, “Look, anger is starting!” Since I cannot know when this anger will start, I’ll need to hire three private secretaries for three shifts, around the clock! Let’s say I can afford it, and anger begins to arise. At once my secretary tells me, “Oh look—anger has started!” The first thing I’ll do is rebuke him: “You fool! You think you’re paid to teach me?” I’m so overpowered by anger that good advice won’t help.
Suppose wisdom does prevail and I don’t scold him. Instead, I say, “Thank you very much. Now I must sit down and observe my anger.” Yet, is it possible? As soon as I close my eyes and try to observe anger, the object of the anger immediately comes into my mind—the person or incident which initiated the anger. Then I’m not observing the anger itself; I’m merely observing the external stimulus of that emotion. This will only serve to multiply the anger, and is therefore no solution. It is very difficult to observe any abstract negativity, abstract emotion, divorced from the external object which originally caused it to arise.
However, someone who reached the ultimate truth found a real solution. He discovered that whenever any impurity arises in the mind, physically two things start happening simultaneously. One is that the breath loses its normal rhythm. We start breathing harder whenever negativity comes into the mind. This is easy to observe. At a subtler level, a biochemical reaction starts in the body, resulting in some sensation. Every impurity will generate some sensation or the other within the body.
This presents a practical solution. An ordinary person cannot observe abstract defilements of the mind—abstract fear, anger or passion. But with proper training and practice it is very easy to observe respiration and body sensations, both of which are directly related to mental defilements.
Respiration and sensations will help in two ways. First, they will be like private secretaries. As soon as a negativity arises in the mind, the breath will lose its normality; it will start shouting, “Look, something has gone wrong!” And we cannot scold the breath; we have to accept the warning. Similarly, the sensations will tell us that something has gone wrong. Then, having been warned, we can start observing the respiration, start observing the sensations, and very quickly we find that the negativity passes away.
This mental-physical phenomenon is like a coin with two sides. On one side are the thoughts and emotions arising in the mind, on the other side are the respiration and sensations in the body. Any thoughts or emotions, any mental impurities that arise manifest themselves in the breath and the sensations of that moment. Thus, by observing the respiration or the sensations, we are in fact observing mental impurities. Instead of running away from the problem, we are facing reality as it is. As a result, we discover that these impurities lose their strength; they no longer overpower us as they did in the past. If we persist, they eventually disappear altogether and we begin to live a peaceful and happy life, a life increasingly free of negativities.
In this way the technique of self-observation shows us reality in its two aspects, inner and outer. Previously we only looked outward, missing the inner truth. We always looked outside for the cause of our unhappiness; we always blamed and tried to change the reality outside. Being ignorant of the inner reality, we never understood that the cause of suffering lies within, in our own blind reactions toward pleasant and unpleasant sensations.
Now, with training, we can see the other side of the coin. We can be aware of our breathing and also of what is happening inside. Whatever it is, breath or sensation, we learn just to observe it without losing our mental balance. We stop reacting and multiplying our misery. Instead, we allow the defilements to manifest and pass away.
The more one practices this technique, the more quickly negativities will dissolve. Gradually the mind becomes free of defilements, becomes pure. A pure mind is always full of love—selfless love for all others, full of compassion for the failings and sufferings of others, full of joy at their success and happiness, full of equanimity in the face of any situation.
When one reaches this stage, the entire pattern of one’s life changes. It is no longer possible to do anything vocally or physically which will disturb the peace and happiness of others. Instead, a balanced mind not only becomes peaceful, but the surrounding atmosphere also becomes permeated with peace and harmony, and this will start affecting others, helping others too.
By learning to remain balanced in the face of everything experienced inside, one develops detachment towards all that one encounters in external situations as well. However, this detachment is not escapism or indifference to the problems of the world. Those who regularly practice Vipassana become more sensitive to the sufferings of others, and do their utmost to relieve suffering in whatever way they can—not with any agitation, but with a mind full of love, compassion and equanimity. They learn holy indifference—how to be fully committed, fully involved in helping others, while at the same time maintaining balance of mind. In this way they remain peaceful and happy, while working for the peace and happiness of others.
This is what the Buddha taught: an art of living. He never established or taught any religion, any “ism”. He never instructed those who came to him to practice any rites or rituals, any empty formalities. Instead, he taught them just to observe nature as it is, by observing the reality inside. Out of ignorance we keep reacting in ways which harm ourselves and others. But when wisdom arises—the wisdom of observing reality as it is—this habit of reacting falls away. When we cease to react blindly, then we are capable of real action—action proceeding from a balanced mind, a mind which sees and understands the truth. Such action can only be positive, creative, helpful to ourselves and to others.
What is necessary, then, is to “know thyself”—advice which every wise person has given. We must know ourselves, not just intellectually in the realm of ideas and theories, and not just emotionally or devotionally, simply accepting blindly what we have heard or read. Such knowledge is not enough. Rather, we must know reality experientially. We must experience directly the reality of this mental-physical phenomenon. This alone is what will help us be free of our suffering.
This direct experience of our own inner reality, this technique of self-observation, is what is called Vipassana meditation. In the language of India in the time of the Buddha, passana meant seeing in the ordinary way, with one’s eyes open; but vipassana is observing things as they actually are, not just as they appear to be. Apparent truth has to be penetrated, until we reach the ultimate truth of the entire psycho-physical structure. When we experience this truth, then we learn to stop reacting blindly, to stop creating negativities—and naturally the old ones are gradually eradicated. We become liberated from misery and experience true happiness.
There are three steps to the training given in a meditation course. First, one must abstain from any action, physical or vocal, which disturbs the peace and harmony of others. One cannot work to liberate oneself from impurities of the mind while at the same time continuing to perform deeds of body and speech which only multiply them. Therefore, a code of morality is the essential first step of the practice. One undertakes not to kill, not to steal, not to commit sexual misconduct, not to tell lies, and not to use intoxicants. By abstaining from such actions, one allows the mind to quiet down sufficiently in order to proceed further.
The next step is to develop some mastery over this wild mind by training it to remain fixed on a single object, the breath. One tries to keep one’s attention on the respiration for as long as possible. This is not a breathing exercise; one does not regulate the breath. Instead, one observes natural respiration as it is, as it comes in, as it goes out. In this way one further calms the mind so that it is no longer overpowered by intense negativities. At the same time, one is concentrating the mind, making it sharp and penetrating, capable of the work of insight.
These first two steps, living a moral life, and controlling the mind, are very necessary and beneficial in themselves, but they will lead to suppression of negativities unless one takes the third step: purifying the mind of defilements by developing insight into one’s own nature. This is Vipassana: experiencing one’s own reality by the systematic and dispassionate observation within oneself of the ever-changing mind-matter phenomenon manifesting itself as sensations. This is the culmination of the teaching of the Buddha: self-purification by self-observation.
It can be practiced by one and all. Everyone faces the problem of suffering. It is a universal malady which requires a universal remedy, not a sectarian one. When one suffers from anger, it’s not Buddhist anger, Hindu anger, or Christian anger. Anger is anger. When one becomes agitated as a result of this anger, this agitation is not Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim. The malady is universal. The remedy must also be universal.
Vipassana is such a remedy. No one will object to a code of living which respects the peace and harmony of others. No one will object to developing control over the mind. No one will object to developing insight into one’s own nature, by which it is possible to free the mind of negativities. Vipassana is a universal path.
Observing reality as it is by observing the truth inside—this is knowing oneself directly and experientially. As one practices, one keeps freeing oneself from the misery of mental impurities. From the gross, external, apparent truth, one penetrates to the ultimate truth of mind and matter. Then one transcends that, and experiences a truth which is beyond mind and matter, beyond time and space, beyond the conditioned field of relativity: the truth of total liberation from all defilements, all impurities, all suffering. Whatever name one gives this ultimate truth is irrelevant; it is the final goal of everyone.
May you all experience this ultimate truth. May all people be free from misery. May they enjoy real peace, real harmony, real happiness.
MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY
The above text is based upon a talk given by Mr. S.N. Goenka in Berne, Switzerland.