Sunday, February 19, 2006

Fire Dog Barks

Having read a few predictions, here and there, and given it some private thought, now and then, I have assembled the following recommendations for the Year of the Fire Dog. Bearing in mind that the dog in question is not a Pekingese but a larger dog, a guard dog, in fact a Foo Dog the Guardian of the Temple; an empowered and powerful dog, likewise a dog that knows his job. This is a year to really get things done. As a Fire Dog, this dog carries the elemental qualities of Fire resulting in a warm and joyful dog. According to Five Element theory, Fire is the mother of Earth. Fire Dog wants to protect and nurture Earth. This can refer to the environment from micro to macrocosm, from the bacteria inhabiting the lining of your large intestine to the entire planet. Due to the toxicity of our various environments cleaning and clearing is top priority. Let us clean each of our elements in turn. My suggestions all have to do with immediate surroundings and personal health, but if you feel moved to take a broader action I am sure the Fire Dog will help. By way of a disclaimer, this is neither a defining nor a final listing and the category entries are certainly debatable; e.i. Should Teflon go under Earth because it has to do with cooking food or under Metal because the pan is mostly metal?

Fire certainly has to do with heat and by extension electricity. Be sure your bedroom is free of electro-magnetic fields (EMFs); the usual suspects are clock radios by the head of the bed. If you don’t have a field meter or know someone with one and you are my patient you can borrow mine. Rearrange electronics so you are not sleeping in a field, and while you are at it make sure your bedroom is totally dark for best Melatonin production and optimum sleep. Get rid of electric blankets and heating pads (or don’t use them for more than an hour or so). Procure field neutralizers for cell phones and computers. Be prepared for emergencies, a good dog is ready for anything. This the year to have your earthquake kit together.

Earth is the next element. I have placed under this element a nutritional supplement check. Do your nutritional supplements contain any of the following: Magnesium Stearate (this is a toxic, hydrogenated oil used as a flowing agent), silicon dioxide (common sand used as a filler), natural flavors (could be MSG used to disguise “off” or bland flavors), methylcellulose, carnuba wax. There are others to watch out for, but these are the most common toxic tagalongs. Are your supplements tablets? Often tablets need glues or binders which can bioaccumulate and later create new symptoms, toxicity and absorption problems. To form a tablet the nutrients are often heated and then exposed to great pressure, both of these actions reduce the effectiveness of the nutrients. Gelatin caps are often hard to digest and can accumulate in the intestines causing digestive problems and often contain toxic preservatives. There is also the risk of “mad cow” prion exposure…….. Vegetable caps are your best choice in addition to herb teas and herbal extracts made with organic alcohol or glycerite. Get the best quality nutritional supplements. Eat organic foods. Check out the Weston-Price Foundation for traditional nutritional guidelines. Find out about good fats. Don’t cook in Teflon.

In terms of cleaning out your Metal element this may the year to get your amalgam (silver, but not really silver try mercury) fillings removed and replaced with a toxic biocompatible alternative. Follow up with an herbal heavy metal detox program. Underwire bras, yeah, get rid of them. I have read that they have been linked to breast cancer and benign lumps, and I thought it was a little over the top, honestly no pun intended. However I have seen in my practice cases of breast lumps, which were cured simply by giving up the underwire. The problem is two fold; firstly, that the lymphatic system is severely impeded by the pressure of the wire and secondly, the metal interferes with the normal flow of the Qi channels of the front of the body and the breasts. Is mammilary lift really worth it? Be sure your cooking equipment is aluminum free.

Water clearing should include having drinking water filter, a shower filter, and a bath ball to remove chlorine and contaminants. While you are in the bathroom you might as well examine your skin and hair care products for the following harmful, toxic chemicals; Propylene Glycol (petrochemical emulsifying base that makes the skin look smooth, but ultimately ages skin faster by denaturing the protein, can cause allergic and liver and kidney damage); Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS (lots of problems with this ingredient, it is a mutagen and causes cataracts, hair and skin damage); Fragrance (careful usually is synthetic and can bioaccumulate causing a number of problems from dizziness to memory loss to hyper- pigmentation); Mineral Oil (petroleum based leads to poor, saggy skin etc..); Parabens, Propyl, Methyl, Butyl, or Ethyl (preservatives that are highly toxic, linked to allergic and skin reactions); Imidazolidinyl and Diazolidinyl Urea (preservatives which are an established cause of contact dermatitis and also release formaldehyde, a toxin); Synthetic Colors (can cause allergy, skin and nerve problems); Triethanolamine or TEA (causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dry hair and skin, and can be toxic if absorbed over time).

In the 5 Element system Wood is associated with wind and by association, for the purposes of this writing, air. What is the air quality like in your home, office, and car? Is there off gassing from building materials? Do you live near a busy street? What about mold? The airborne spores can cause a number of health issues. This may be the time to invest in a good air filter, be sure it doesn’t emit toxic ozone, do some consumer research. Also a member of the Wood element is the Liver, clinically the first organ to feel the impact from stress is the Liver, resulting in irritability, headaches, digestive complaints, insomnia and more! Are there some stresses in your life you can ease to please your Liver? So many things can cause stress from deadlines and schedules to unresolved emotional issues. What can you do to take the pressure off?

There is much talk about detoxifying in our toxic world and many ways to do it. This year unload some toxins, your body will thank you for it. Try saunas, Nettterumani, caster oil packs, mudpacks and baths, a fast.

Add some righteous Qi. Get seasonal acupuncture treatments and treatments when ill to avoid lingering pathogens. Renew and restore your environmental Qi, Feng Shui your home or at least your bedroom. Promote your Qi with Tai Chi. Fuel the inner Fire with moxa. Enhance the Earthly body with good supplements and plant an organic garden. Colonize Metal’s organ, the Large Intestine, with probiotic Kefir bacteria. Renew your Liver and take it for a walk in the Woods.

That seems like too much advice for now. One last thing remains in this Pandora’s box; Fire is the element of the heart and joy. Be joyful, laugh and alight your heart!