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Yesterday’s awesome gem faire



Ancient healers believed Earth’s energy could be easily absorbed through our skin and through the soles of our feet.
Studies proves earthing (also called grounding) can improve your blood pressure, reduce cortisol, and even help problems sleeping. It’s done by reconnecting your body with the free electrons that flow through the Earth’s surface and it’s as easy as walking barefoot outdoors.


Mediterranean diet seems to boost ageing brain power
A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet, indicates research published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
The authors from the University of Navarra in Spain base their findings on 522 men and women aged between 55 and 80 without cardiovascular disease but at high vascular risk because of underlying disease/conditions.
These included either type 2 diabetes or three of the following: high blood pressure; an unfavourable blood fat profile; overweight; a family history of early cardiovascular disease; and being a smoker.
Participants, who were all taking part in the PREDIMED trial looking at how best to ward off cardiovascular disease, were randomly allocated to a Mediterranean diet with added olive oil or mixed nuts or a control group receiving advice to follow the low-fat diet typically recommended to prevent heart attack and stroke
A Mediterranean diet is characterised by the use of virgin olive oil as the main culinary fat; high consumption of fruits, nuts, vegetables and pulses; moderate to high consumption of fish and seafood; low consumption of dairy products and red meat; and moderate intake of red wine.
Participants had regular check-ups with their family doctor and quarterly checks on their compliance with their prescribed diet.
After an average of 6.5 years, they were tested for signs of cognitive decline using a Mini Mental State Exam and a clock drawing test, which assess higher brain functions, including orientation, memory, language, visuospatial and visuoconstrution abilities and executive functions such as working memory, attention span, and abstract thinking.
At the end of the study period, 60 participants had developed mild cognitive impairment: 18 on the olive oil supplemented Mediterranean diet; 19 on the diet with added mixed nuts; and 23 on the control group.
A further 35 people developed dementia: 12 on the added olive oil diet; six on the added nut diet; and 17 on the low fat diet.
The average scores on both tests were significantly higher for those following either of the Mediterranean diets compared with those on the low fat option.
These findings held true irrespective of other influential factors, including age, family history of cognitive impairment or dementia, the presence of ApoE protein—associated with Alzheimer’s disease—educational attainment, exercise levels, vascular risk factors; energy intake and depression.
The authors acknowledge that their sample size was relatively small, and that because the study involved a group at high vascular risk, it doesn’t necessarily follow that their findings are applicable to the general population.
But they say, theirs is the first long term trial to look at the impact of the Mediterranean diet on brain power, and that it adds to the increasing body of evidence suggesting that a high quality dietary pattern seems to protect cognitive function in the ageing brain.

Gotu Kola is rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc. It is rich in Vitamin C and B Vitamins which accounts for its positive effects on the nervous system. It also contains phytochemical antioxidants including saponin, and beta-carotene.Gotu Kola is an adaptogenic herb with anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and anti-viral properties that stimulates mental functions like memory. This brain boosting herb is known for its effect on both mental and physical vitality. It acts as a glandular tonic, supports the nervous system, circulatory system, and immune system. Gotu Kola is a diuretic that supports circulation and wound healing and is used to treat a range of conditions including neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, varicose veins, fatigue and low mood.

One of my all time favorite herbs for calm clarity. 

Saying Good Riddance to the Clean-Plate Club

By Maryann Jacobsen

Dear Camp Counselor,

Thanks for making camp a fun experience for my daughter. When it comes to her lunch and snack, please allow her to decide when she is done eating and to eat her food in any order she likes. Thanks!

This is the note I include in my 6-year-old daughter’s lunch box when she spends the day at summer camp. I know from experience that she is often asked to eat more than she wants, or is instructed to eat her “healthy foods first” when others supervise her eating.

As a family nutrition expert, I don’t make my children eat more when they say they are done, and there is no order in which they must eat their food. But when I go to birthday parties and observe other families in restaurants, I can see I am in the minority. There was the 4-year-old boy at a Mexican restaurant who declared he was full, only to have his mom instruct him to finish his taquito, and the 6-year-old at the party who was told to finish her broccoli and ended up throwing it up at the table. Then there are the parents who tell me their toddlers beam with pride after finishing all their food, because they learned at day care that an empty plate is a “happy plate.”

Research tells a similar story. A 2007 study, published in Appetite, revealed that 85 percent of parents attempt to get young children to eat more at mealtime using praise, food rewards and reasoning. Another study, published in Pediatrics this May, showed that more than half of parents asked their adolescent children to eat all the food on their plate, while a third prompted their kids to eat more even when they stated they were full.

This isn’t about pointing fingers at parents. After all, getting children to eat all of their meal was a necessity for most of human history, when food was scarce. Children didn’t have the luxury of taking only a few bites or skipping a meal, because the next meal wasn’t certain. But today, we live in a food-plenty environment in which the next meal, snack and eating opportunity is certain and bigger than ever. Despite this reality, children are still born with the ability to regulate their food intake. Unfortunately, research shows controlling feeding practices, like “clean your plate,” negatively affect food regulation skills as children age.

Leann Birch, director of the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Penn State, first examined the effects of “clean your plate” in 1987. She found that preschoolers asked to focus on external signals of eating (like food on the plate) ate more food after a high-calorie meal than the children focused on internal cues. In 2008, Brian Wansink, author of “Mindless Eating,” found that boys required to clean their plates also asked for large portions of food outside the home. And in a 1999 study, obese adults remembered more food rules growing up than their leaner counterparts, with “clean your plate” being the most common. Of course, none of these studies prove cause and effect, but they are significant nonetheless.

Pushing food is not always about getting children to eat more — it’s also about the quest to get them to eat healthy. For example, caregivers may insist children eat fruits and veggies before other items, or reward children with dessert for eating more healthy food. Unfortunately, this strategy makes children less likely to (intrinsically) prefer healthy foods while making sweets even more desirable. And with all the negotiations at the table, children lose sight of their internal signals of hunger and fullness. By the time they are adults, the “shoulds” of eating rule over their body’s own wisdom and they don’t even know what being “full” means.

The good news is that we are starting to see research showing that approaches that focus on internal cues of eating have real benefits. For example, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that young adults who used hunger and fullness to guide eating not only had a lower body mass index than those who didn’t, they also had lower instances of disordered eating. The girls were also less likely to diet and binge-eat. In the latest edition of “Intuitive Eating,” the authors Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch highlight 25 studies to date touting the benefits of an intuitive eating style.

So I’m saying what we don’t say often enough in the age of obesity statistics. It’s time to say good riddance to the clean-your-plate club and other practices like it. A “happy plate” is one in front of a child who’s permitted to listen to her body, not our out-of-date “rules.” 



Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer. 

Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range. 

Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.


Amma Therapy – From Client to Student to Practitioner

I had my very first Amma treatment eight years ago and I can honestly say it changed my life in ways I never would have imagined. I found The Wellspring School by “accident” one day walking through my new (Boise) neighborhood. Curious I went inside and there it happened. I met Rylen along with the other school and clinic staff and discovered this thing called Amma Therapy. Being the Type A personality I was (ok, still am) I quickly booked an appointment to learn more about this modality I’d never heard of. I confess that I had just quit an 80-hour per week, stress filled job in the high tech industry and was definitely due some self care. I loved being the recipient of bodywork, so I figured it would be a win no matter what. I wasn’t wrong. I left my first treatment totally invigorated and I couldn’t stop saying, “Wow!” The bodywork alone was so much more than any other I had experienced before. Head to toe, front and back, lots of point work (without needles!), all came together to give my stressed out body some TLC in the form of moving my Qi and then some. My practitioner asked detailed questions about my diet, digestion, supplements, physical activity, stress levels, looked at my tongue and took my pulses. I had never had anyone pull together all of these assessment variables at one time to create such an incredibly focused and individualized experience. This was so much more than any massage I’d ever had. It was phenomenal. I was hooked.  read the rest: Amma Therapy - From Client to Student to Practitioner

Contributed by Rylen Feeney, Dipl. ABT & CH (NCCAOM), Certified Amma Therapist, Whole Food Nutritionist.


Herbs and spices are rich in phytonutrients such as flavonoids, antioxidants, carotenoids, inositols, isoflavones, and lignans, which contribute significantly to overall health and wellness. Phytonutrients improve our immunity, provide antioxidants, assist with estrogen metabolism, detoxify carcinogens, repair cellular damage and more.

From a Chinese Medicine dietary perspective herbs and spices are largely aromatic and pungent and thereby increase and circulate blood, qi and fluids, preventing stagnation and damp accumulations.

Here is a sample of one such common herb:

Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum; or Luo Le in Chinese medicine) belongs to the mint family and is referred to as the king of herbs. It is used medicinally and in culinary cuisines of Mexico, Spain, Italy, Greece, Thailand, Vietnam, and India among others. In addition to being loaded with phytonutrients, Basil is a good source of protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Riboflavin and Niacin, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.

Chinese Medicine categorizes sweet basil energetically as warm, pungent, sweet and bitter. It is a warming, drying yang tonic with an affinity for the organ complexes of the Lungs, Kidneys, Stomach, Spleen and Large Intestines. It can be used to transform phlegm in lung conditions, lift the spirit and brighten the mood by tonifying the yang. It also helps with upset and pain in the abdomen including stomach aches, bloating, gas and menstrual cramps due to cold in the abdomen.

Western Herbal Medicine recognizes basil to be antiviral, antifungal and insecticidal agent, anti-inflammatory, it lowers blood glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and said to be a remedy for headaches.

Along with pesto and Caprese salad, consider these additional ways to add basil into your diet:

Basil tea: coarsely chop a handful of fresh Basil and steep in hot water for 5 – 8 minutes, strain and drink. May add ginger and/or licorice for abdominal bloating, and pain.

Fruit salad: particularly good with berries, papaya, mango, peaches and apricots.

Eggs w/ basil (instead of parsley or chives)

Stir fry with ginger and green onion and meat for menstrual pain.

Blend handful of fresh Basil in blender with fresh apple juice for sinus congestion.

Here is a Wellspring School favorite recipe that contains Basil: Carrot & Cashew Pate … enjoy!

Photo by Hopkinsil on Flickr.

May / June Classes at The Wellspring School for Healing Arts in Portland, Or USA

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A place to share the glorious, the inane, and all other matters of the heart and spirit.

Rylen Feeney is an educator & practitioner of Chinese Medicine, Amma Therapy, Wholistic Nutrition and Herbs.

She is founder, co-owner & director of
The Wellspring School for Healing Arts and in private practice at Pearl Phoenix Health in Portland, Oregon.

Thanks for being here!


p.s. Very little of what you find here originates
from me.
Most is found and shared. If you see something that belongs to you, no harm or copyright infringement is intended. Let me know via a message (Ask Me) and I will promptly remove. I do my best to credit or link to originating sites. Otherwise thanks for sharing!


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