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How to Cleanse your Crystals – Come Pulire i vostri Cristalli

Bilingual article, for Italian scroll down! Articolo bilingue, per l’Italiano far scorrere in basso!


Today I’d like to talk to those who regularly use crystals for regression, holistic therapies, meditation, etc. and give you some advice on how to cleanse them, purify them and recharge them with new energy once they’ve been used. All these precious information were provided to me by Federico Cella, whom I warmly thank!

PURIFICATION OF CRYSTALS IN WATER

After we have bought our crystals it is necessary to clean them and one of the fundamental methods is with the element of water. Running cold and clean water over the stones (the ideal would be pure water from a stream, but also tap water is fine) for a few seconds on the left hand, then dry with a cotton cloth. We should not use this method with all the stones, because contact with water can make some of them opaque and lose their shine: azurite, turquoise, chrysocolla, cyanite. In addition, these stones contain copper and may oxidize with water. Same thing for hematite, pyrite and magnetite containing iron, so in these cases use other methods listed below.

SALT METHOD

We put the crystals or stones in a crock, glass or wood and cover them with coarse sea salt. Let them rest for one, three or seven nights (these are three esoteric numbers, we choose the time to use based on our feeling). Once this is done, we place the entire container under a stream of running water which we let run for 30min / 1H, then dry it with a cotton cloth. If we have purified stones that do not “love water” we obviously remove them before rinsing. This procedure is not indicated for: cyanite, opal (loves water but not salt), azurite, aragonite, selenite, dioptase and other very delicate stones. Also remember to be careful when purifying jewels containing silver and copper that oxidize with water and salt. WARNING! THE COMBINATION OF WATER AND SALT TOGETHER CAN BE CORROSIVE FOR MANY CRYSTALS

SUN METHOD

We put our crystal on a window or rather in a garden or in a vase of plants / flowers and leave it there for at least three days, it is not important to collect them for the night. In resonance with the sun very dark minerals linked to the earth are perfect, such as obsidian, tourmaline, jasper etc. We pay attention to transparent colored crystals: do not expose them to direct sunlight, because they will tend to lighten, so we possibly use other methods for these crystals.

MOON METHOD

This is a great method not only to clean the crystal but also to boost it to maximum energy. During the waxing moon or the full moon night we put the stones near the roots of a tree or in a vase that we have on the balcony, or otherwise on a cotton cloth and leave them there all night long. If you want to maximize the crystal, perform the treatment for the whole crescent moon phase, placing the stones during the day, for example in a box, and handle them as little as possible. This method is used to purify and recharge the stones and crystals that are considered “feminine”: the amethyst, the moonstone, the celestine, opals, chrysoprase (all methods applicable to this stone), damburite, dioptase, fluorite (azure-violet), kunzite, meteorite, hyaline quartz (all methods applicable to this stone), so all transparent, blue, violet or stones working on female emotions: sensitivity, dreams and perceptions.

EARTH METHOD or WITH CLAY

The longest but also the most complete treatment consists in burying the stones during the new or full moon and letting them rest for the entire moon phase, or 28 days. This process unites the energies of Mother Earth with those of Heaven. There are also various types of clay, the most readily available and least expensive is the ventilated green clay, available in all herbalists. We put the stones in a crock, glass or wood and we cover them with clay, for three, seven, nine or eleven nights (they are other esoteric numbers, we choose which ones to use based on our feeling). After the days we have chosen, we remove the clay (which we can throw away or recycle using it as soil) and put the stones in a clean container, always in natural material, letting a stream of fresh water flow for about 1H. Then we take the stones and dry them with a clean cotton cloth. WARNING! This method with earth and / or clay is not recommended for particularly porous stones, as the clay or earth could stick in the micro-cracks with remote possibility of recovery. This method is good when the stones are not too “discharged”, as it helps them to discharge the accumulated negative energy. Never use hot water as it could crack the crystal, making it lose energy.

METHOD WITH THE REIKI

With the first level it will be sufficient to give Reiki to our crystal for a period varying from 15 to 30 minutes. With the second level, through the use of symbols, treatment times are shortened to 5/15 minutes.

METHOD WITH INCENSE

To all the stones we can sprinkle the sacred smoke of the holy pole or sage for at least 1 minute with rotary movements or with the figure of “8” horizontal, or the infinite, which is one of the main symbols of healing and energy.


Oggi vorrei rivolgermi a coloro che utilizzano i cristalli per terapie olistiche, regressioni, meditazioni ecc e darvi alcuni consigli su come pulirli, purificarli e ricaricarli di energia nuova una volta utilizzati. Tutte queste preziose informazioni mi sono state fornite da Federico Cella, che ringrazio di cuore!

PURIFICAZIONE DEI CRISTALLI IN ACQUA

Dopo che abbiamo comprato i nostri cristalli è necessario ripulirli e uno dei metodi fondamentali è con l’elemento acqua. Far scorrere sulle pietre acqua fredda e pulita (l’ideale sarebbe l’acqua pura di un ruscello, ma anche del rubinetto va benissimo) per qualche secondo sulla mano sinistra, poi asciugare con un panno. Facciamo attenzione a non utilizzare questo metodo con tutte le pietre, perchè il contatto con l’acqua può renderne alcune opache e far perdere lucentezza: azzurrite, turchese, crisocolla, cianite. Inoltre queste pietre contengono rame e al contatto con l’acqua potrebbero ossidarsi. Stessa cosa per l’ematite, pirite e la magnetite che contengono ferro, quindi in questi casi ricorrere ad altri metodi sotto elencati.

METODO DEL SALE

Mettiamo i cristalli o le pietre in un recipiente di coccio, vetro o legno e copriamo con sale grosso marino. Lasciamoli riposare per una, tre o sette notti (sono tre numeri esoterici – scegliamo in base al nostro sentire il tempo da usare). Fatto ciò poniamo l’intero recipiente sotto un filo d’acqua corrente che lasciamo scorrere per 30min/1H, poi le asciughiamo con un panno di cotone. Se abbiamo purificato delle pietre che non “amano l’acqua” ovviamente le togliamo prima del risciacquo. Questo procedimento non è indicato per: cianite, opale (ama l’acqua ma non il sale), azzurrite, aragonite, selenite, dioptasio e altre pietre molto delicate. Ricordate inoltre di fare attenzione quando purificate gioielli contenenti argento e rame che con acqua e sale si ossidano. ATTENZIONE! LA COMBINAZIONE DI ACQUA E SALE INSIEME PUO’ ESSERE CORROSIVA PER MOLTI CRISTALLI.

METODO DEL SOLE

Mettiamo il nostro cristallo su una finestra o meglio in un giardino oppure in un vaso di piante o fiori e lasciamolo lì per almeno tre giorni, non è importante ritirarli per la notte. In risonanza con il sole sono perfetti minerali molto scuri legati alla terra come ossidiana, tormalina, diaspro ecc. Facciamo attenzione ai cristalli colorati trasparenti: non esponiamoli alla luce diretta del sole, perché tenderanno a schiarirsi, quindi utilizziamo possibilmente altri metodi per questi cristalli.

METODO DELLA LUNA

Questo è un ottimo metodo non solo per pulire il cristallo ma anche per potenziarlo al massimo di energia. Durante la luna crescente oppure la notte di luna piena mettiamo le pietre vicino alle radici di un albero oppure in un vaso che abbiamo sul balcone, o in mancanza su un panno di cotone e lasciamole li per tutta la notte. Se si vuol potenziare al massimo il cristallo eseguire il trattamento per tutta la fase di luna crescente, riponendo le pietre durante il giorno ad esempio in una scatola, e di maneggiarle il meno possibile. Questo metodo viene utilizzato per purificare e ricaricare le pietre e i cristalli per così dire “femminili”: l’ametista, la pietra di luna, la celestina, opali, crisoprasio (tutti i metodi applicabili a questa pietra), damburite, dioptasio, fluorite (azzurro-violette), kunzite, meteorite, quarzo ialino (tutti i metodi applicabili a questa pietra), in pratica tutte le pietre trasparenti, azzurre, violette o che lavorano sulle emozioni femminili, la sensibilità, i sogni e le percezioni.

METODO DELLA TERRA o CON ARGILLA

Il trattamento più lungo ma anche il più completo consiste nel sotterrare le pietre durante la luna nuova o piena e lasciarli riposare per l’intera fase lunare, ovvero 28 giorni. Con questo procedimento si uniscono le energie di Madre Terra con quelle Celesti. Esistono poi vari tipi di argilla, quella più facilmente reperibile e meno costosa è l’argilla verde ventilata, disponibile in tutte le erboristerie. Mettiamo le pietre in un recipiente di coccio, vetro o legno e le copriamo con l’argilla Per tre, sette, nove o undici notti (sono altri numeri esoterici, scegliamo in base al nostro sentire quale usare). Trascorsi i giorni che abbiamo scelto togliamo l’argilla (che possiamo buttare via o riciclare usandola come terriccio) e mettiamo le pietre in un contenitore pulito, sempre di materiale naturale, lasciando scorrere un filo acqua fresca corrente per circa 1H. Successivamente prendiamo le pietre e le asciughiamo con un panno pulito in cotone. ATTENZIONE! Questo metodo con terra e/o argilla è sconsigliato per le pietre particolarmente porose, in quanto l’argilla o la terra potrebbero attaccarsi nelle micro-fessure con remote possibilità di recupero. Questo metodo va bene quando le pietre non sono troppo “scariche”, in quanto le aiuta a scaricare l’energia negativa accumulata, mai usare acqua calda poichè potrebbe incrinare il cristallo, facendogli perdere energia.

METODO CON IL REIKI

Con il primo livello sarà sufficiente dare reiki al nostro cristallo per un periodo variabile dai 15 ai 30 minuti. Con il secondo livello,attraverso l’uso dei simboli i tempi di trattamento si accorciano a 5/15 minuti.

METODO CON L’INCENSO

A tutte le pietre possiamo cospargere il fumo sacro del palo santo o salvia per almeno 1 minuto con movimenti rotatori o a figura di “8” orizzontale, ovvero l’infinito, che è uno dei principali simboli di guarigione ed energia.

5 Common Myths about Yoga

This is a guest post written by Emily Lopes (find out more). Thanks for this great article and for collaborating to Abundy Holistic Studio’s purpose!

 

Yoga has been making its way to the mainstream. According to a survey from the Yoga Journal and the Yoga Alliance, the yoga industry is booming in America. It grew from an approximate of 20.4 million in 2012 to 36.7 million yoga practitioners last 2016 in America alone. This 2019, the yoga industry is transitioning to be at the top of the fitness trends. The yoga revolution will continue to take place from 2019 to 2020, making the revenue projection to an approximate $11.6 billion in 2020.

But despite the rapid growth yoga shown within the years, there are still a lot of people who have a tweaked view about this practice. Here are the most common myths about yoga:

  1. If you’re not flexible, you can’t do yoga 

You have to do some stretching in yoga. That’s a fact. Practicing yoga regularly can improve your flexibility. But flexibility is not a prerequisite. With patience and dedication, you will become more flexible. No matter what your skill level is, you are always welcome to do yoga. Besides, nobody said that you have to be ripped or fit already before going to the gym. 

  1. Yoga is for the young

There is a stereotype that yoga is for the young, the slim, the active, or the beautiful. Since people think that yoga is for flexible people, there is a weight, body physique, or age requirement – which is generally incorrect. Just because we usually see people deemed to be perfect in figure or young and active individuals posting on social media, doesn’t always mean you have to be like that. While it is attractive and inspiring, it can be misleading. Yoga is for everybody. No matter what size, shape, color, or race, you are welcome to enter the world of yoga. 

  1. Yoga is not for men

In connection with the myth above, yoga has been associated with women. There are instances that when you visit a yoga studio, it is flocking with women. But to tell you the truth, yoga was pioneered by men. According to history, most of the best yoga teachers are men. In today’s time, more and more men are finally engaging and participating in yoga classes. The list includes Tom Brady, LeBron James, and Kevin Love. So if people say that yoga isn’t ‘manly’ enough, prove them wrong by joining a class or two. 

  1. Yoga is expensive 

If you’re worrying that you do not have the ‘right look’ for yoga, throw it away. You do not need a collection of branded outfits just to practice yoga. Yoga doesn’t care about who you wear. It cares about how you perform your salutations, how you keep up with the pace, and how great it is that you’re going to experience the amazing benefits of yoga. Though having such pieces of clothing can make you look good and feel good, yoga is not about the looks. As long as you are in your comfortable self in comfortable and yoga-appropriate clothing, you look good already.

In terms of yoga classes, there are a lot of studios from all over the world that provide free to less costly trial classes. Most of the yoga studios offer packages that help you save more than purchasing a single class from time to time. You can also attend yoga classes offered by different retreat venues for hire. The most important thing that yoga practitioners wanted you to know is that yoga is not an expensive practice. 

  1. Yoga is boring because it’s too slow and takes too much time

There are various formal yoga classes that run from 30 – 90 minutes. There are also lots of online yoga classes that you can try for 5 minutes or so. A class in a few minutes is not enough to unlock the whole package of benefits yoga has to offer. All good things take time. If you also worry that pace is too slow for you, you can find different yoga types that are more rigorous and that have more challenging styles and poses. 

Here are other misconceptions about yoga. Yoga is neither magic nor a religion. It is not just for the ‘hippies’ or the ‘cool ones’ but for everyone. Yoga is more than just an exercise or a body of work but a combination of it with psychology and spirituality. Yoga has a lot to offer and is best to experience for yourself. May we have the courage to debunk these beliefs if we hear them from someone somewhere.

Your tongue speaks for your health

“Stick out your tongue!” This is what a traditional chinese medicine (= TCM) pratictioner will say to you as soon as you are checked. But don’t worry, he is not making fun of you.

Your tongue does more than just taste food and articulate words, and that was well known since ancient times. Back then doctors had to practice the “tongue diagnosis” to check the overall patients’ health, when x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans did not exist.

But even now it is a very usefull diagnostic tool, because once this check is done and other aspects of the patient’s status are evaluated, the TCM practitioner may recommend treatment with such therapies as acupuncture, herbal medicine, diet and/or massage.

Why the tongue exam assess the overall health

In TCM, it’s thought that different areas of the tongue reflect connections in the body, both to the meridians and the 5 major internal organs (liver, lung, spleen, heart, and kidney). Therefore, it is very useful and important for confirming or not a diagnosis. It can show also strong visual signs of a person’s overall energetic balance or imbalance.

What to look for

There are mainly 4 features in a tongue that should be examined:

Color: An healthy tongue looks pink and vital. Of course the natural tongue color can vary individually, but taken in conjunction with other information, it is still a very good indicator of what is happening inside your body. Changes in tongue color are said to be te sign of a chronic illness.

Shape: Normal tongue shape is neither too thick nor too thin and the body is smooth with no cracks. This feature tells the amount of the fluids and moisture running through the whole body.

Changes in its shape may include a swollen or puffy tongue, presence of cracks and curling at the sides of the tongue.

Coating: Normally your coating is thin and white/yellowish, but if you are getting sick, you may see a thicker coating developing. The consistency of the tongue’s coating also indicates the state of the fluids and heat in the body (more or less dry tongue).

As the coating is the feature that changes more rapidly, it provides an indication of acute illness in process.

Cracks: When ulcers, wounds or open areas appear on the body tongue areas usually indicate an imbalance problem (deficiency) in that organ and/or meridian. For instance, horizontal cracks are commonly associated with Yin deficiency.

Some tips and key point

  • Remember that some disorders don’t show up in the tongue, and that’s why the TCM pratictioner evaluates the patients’ health considering more diagnostic tools.
  • The tongue should be examined for no longer than 15 seconds at a time, otherwise the extending position may cause changes in its shape and color.
  • Color can be changed by food and beverages, smoke or lack of personal hygiene. Please brush your tongue and avoid oral intakes such as coffee, green tea, beet, or artificially colored candies before your assessment.
  • Patient’s age, gender and weight can influence the tongue look. For instance, overweight patients can show a larger and lighter color tongue and infants tend to have white thick coating that is easily removed, or commonly peeled tongues.
  • The season of the year can affect the look of your tongue. Infact it should be normal during spring, but it may tend to be more dry during summer or more damp in the winter.
  • The time of the day could also be an influencing factor. The coating of the tongue usually becomes thinner as the day progresses, while the color becomes more red and shiny.

I bet now you are very curious to look at your tongue in front of the mirror and check your health. So…which tongue are you?

Discover the properties of Hawthorn

Hawthorn, also known as Mayblossom or Mayflower, is a medicine for the heart on all levels and one of the oldest known medicinal plants. Centuries ago tribes across the northern hemisphere, from North America to China, used this small thorny tree as a wonderful treatment. For instance its berries were the favourite of the Native American Indians as a heart tonic and used against gastrointestinal complaints.

But hawthorn’s effectiveness as an heart medicine was first described by AncientGreek physician, Dioscorides, in the first Century AD. Medical herbal research then has validated this use nowadays, and we can all benefit from it.

How does it look like?

 All the parts of this amazing plant (leaves, berries, and flowers) except for the root, can be used to create an herbal medication. As a plant species, hawthorn was only native to the northern hemisphere, where there are a variety of different types, which produce slightly different fruits. The most common hawthorn fruit is quite small, has a berry shape and is tart, red to pink in color. If you noticed, I did not say that they are berries, but that they have a “berry shape”. This is because they contain a single seed stone inside, much like peaches or plums.

How does it work?

Physiologically hawthorn can help improve the amount of blood pumped out of the heart during contractions, relax the the blood vessels further from the heart, and increase the transmission of nerve signals. It seems that all these effects are due to a component called proanthocyanidin.

Research also suggests that hawthorn can lower the accumulation of fats in the liver and the bloodstream levels of cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”), and triglycerides (fats in the blood). All these thanks to the increase of the excretion of bile, the reduction of the formation of cholesterol, and the enhance of the receptors for LDLs. It also seems to have antioxidant activity.

In 2002 a 10 week study was conducted on 38 volunteers who had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Half of the subjects were given 500mg of Hawthorn extract and 600mg of the mineral Magnesium daily, while the other half received a placebo.

After 10 weeks, the Hawthorn/Magnesium group showed a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure, whilst the placebo group did not improve. Additionally, the Hawthorn/Magnesium group reported an improvement in mood as well as lower anxiety levels.

The benefits

  • Improves heart health
  • Stabilizes blood pressure
  • Reduces chest pain
  • Boost the immune system

In addition to the antioxidants eliminating dangerous toxins from the body, the vitamin C contained in hawthorn also helps in boosting the activity of your white blood cells to increase your overall health.

  • Reduces anxiety

Very often, this herb was offered to people who had recently had a broken heart, a loss of a family member, etc. because it was said to improve mood and mend a broken heart. Enzymatically, it turns out that hawthorn may have an impact on our hormonal levels, which then would explain why in the past it was believed so.

  • Increases energy

Hawthorn is known to expand the coronary blood vessels, which allows for more blood to be circulated through the body, which can result in a higher level of energy or alertness.

  • Improves digestion
  • Helps against skin conditions

The antioxidant content in hawthorn makes it useful for applying topically to the skin, particularly on burns, sores, or acne.

On an energetical level, this amazing herb can be used as an energy medicine for the heart. Infact as a flower essence, hawthorn helps open the heart to giving and receiving love, and can help in healing heartache. It encourages self-love and self-acceptance. As with many heart-acting energy remedies, hawthorn helps us to develop courage.

Interactions and side effects

Hawthorn is a gentle medicine that, when indicated, is safe and effective for long term use. It is also safe to use with common cardiovascular medications, but in some people, hawthorn can cause nausea, stomach upset, fatigue, sweating, headache, dizziness, palpitations, nosebleeds, insomnia, agitation, and other problems.

This herb is definetely not indicated if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or you recently had or are going to have surgery.

Hawthorn can also interact with prescription medications (such as digoxin or some beta-blockers), so you must always check with your doctor or medical herbalist before embarking on an herbal treatment plan!

Massage Techniques – Part 2

There is a lot of misinformation and prejudice towards Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and oriental techniques in general. Since this is what I specialise in I decided to talk about few manipulative techniques that can be used together (or separately) to restore the natural energy balance and body wellness.

Hopefully this small contribution to the body of knowledge on the web will help setting the record straight about the true and proven benefits of TCM.

This is the second part, and if you missed the first one you can find it here.

CUPPING

Cupping therapy might be trendy and “new agey” now, but it is definetely not new. It goes back to ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures, described first also in an Egyptian papyrus dated 1,550 B.C. This therapy consists in placing special cups, heated with fire using alcohol or herbs, on the skin for a few minutes to create suction. The cups can be made of glass, bamboo or silicone, and the session can be described as “wet” or “dry”.

During a dry session of cupping only suction is used, and the cups can be removed and replaced quickly or simply dragged along your skin. During the wet cupping instead a tiny cut on your skin is made and the suction of the cups is used to drag out a small quantity of blood. Your practitioner, your medical condition, and your preferences will help determine what method is used, but to be honest I have never seen wet cupping being used in a Western country.

At the base of cupping’s principles there is the belief that the suction facilitates the healing with the flow of blood and “qi” in the body. This may relieve local muscle tension, but generally improve relaxation, overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the scars. Cupping has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including migraines, anxiety, fertility, rheumatic disease, blood disorders, skin disorders etc.

Before you get concerned, I must say there aren’t many side effects associated with cupping. But the ones you may experience will typically occur during your treatment or immediately after. These includes feeling lightheaded or dizzy, sweating or nausea. If you will experience wet cupping there is an higher risk of infection, burning or bruising, although some red bruises left by the cups are perfectly normal and will disappear in maximum 3 to 4 days. Extra caution should be taken also for children, seniors, pregnant or menstruating women, but generally always check with your GP or pratictioner first.

GUA SHA

Gua sha is a natural, alternative therapy coming from ancient China that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. The name comes from the word “gua”, that means “scraping” and “sha”, which are the transitory therapeutic petechiae intentionally created by the pratictioner with the tool.

Usually before the session the pratictioner applies massage oil on the skin, then starts scraping it with short or long strikes and always towards one direction. Generally gua sha is performed on a person’s back, buttocks, neck, arms, and legs, but a gentle version of it is even used on the face.

This technique is intended to address stagnant energy, qi, in the body responsible for inflammation. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to help break up this energy, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. That is why it is usually used to relieve muscle and joint pain and relief musculoskeletal disorders. But gua sha can also boost the immune system healping treating a cold, fever, or problems with the lungs, and other benefits include helping women during menopause, insomnia, anxiety and fatigue.

But, does it have any side effect? As a natural healing remedy, I can say gua sha is safe. It should not be painful, but because it involves rubbing or scraping skin bruises can occur, although you should not bleed. Bruising usually disappears within a couple of days, but if you take blood thinners or had recent surgery you should not have the treatment done. As always, check with your GP and pratictioner.

Massage techniques – Part 1

There is a lot of misinformation and prejudice towards Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and oriental techniques in general. Since this is what I specialise in I decided to talk about few manipulative techniques that can be used together (or separately) to restore the natural energy balance and body wellness.

Hopefully this small contribution to the body of knowledge on the web will help setting the record straight about the true and proven benefits of TCM.

TUI NA

The term “Tui Na” (pronounced “twee naw”), which literally means “pinch and pull,” refers to a form of Chinese manipulative body therapy often used in conjunction with many other therapies, such as moxibustion, acupuncture, cupping, herbalism, etc.

During a Tui na session, the pratictioner may use a variety of manipulation methods, from gentle to very firm, such as brush, knead, roll, press, and rub the body areas. Tui na is not generally used for pleasure and relaxation, but rather as a treatment to address specific patterns of disharmony and iillness. Infact, like acupuncture, Tui na aims to harmonize yin and yang in the body by manipulating the Qi in the acupuncture channels. It also includes what is popularly known as “acupressure,” where practitioners use finger pressure instead of needles to stimulate the acupuncture points.

In ancient China, medical therapy was often classified as either “external” or “internal” treatment. Tui na was one of the external methods, although it can be used to address both internal diseases and external injuries. Many people seek it to relieve multiple disorders including insomnia, constipation, headaches, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, and emotional problems. It can also treat disorders related to digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems, stiff neck, distension of shoulders, sciatica, and sore back.

MOXIBUSTION

Moxibustion (or “moxa”) is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. Usually the material used is Chinese mugwort (aka Artemesia), but it can be made of a mix of other substances as well.

Moxibustion can be direct and indirect. During direct moxibustion, a small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acu-point and burned. This type can be scarring and non-scarring, depending on the fact that moxa stays on the skin area until it burns out completely, or it is removed before it burns the skin. I must admit I have never seen a scarring moxibustion technique in Western countries, while in China was quite common.

Infact indirect moxibustion is currently the most popular form of care because there is a much lower risk of pain or burning. The practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red. Another indirect form combines moxa on top of acupuncture needles.

Benefits of moxibustion

The general purpose of moxibustion, like several forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is to strengthen the blood, maintain general health and stimulate the flow of qi. That is why it is very common for patients receiving moxibustion to report a sudden flowing of warmth that quickly radiates along a specific pathway, away from the site of application. This is a good result, as it indicates the arrival and flow of the Qi in the freed energy channel. Usually the patient also experiences a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but should not feel any pain, blistering or scarring unless the moxa is left in place for too long.

Moxibustion can be used for several general diseases as well, such as pain due to injury or arthritis, digestive or bowel problems, gynecological conditions (quite common breech presentation in late term pregnancy), protection against cold and flu strains, and many more conditions that follow a “cold pattern” and naturally feel better after heat application.

Moxa can be easily used at home and itt is not uncommon for some practitioners to train their patients to use moxa on themselves to strengthen the effect of the clinical sessions between appointments. But although it is a very safe practice, to gain the best benefits from a Tui na and moxibustion treatment right for your condition, it is always better to check with a professional pratictioner first.

 

 

Photo: G. Olivetti

Read about the Akaschic Records

First of all, sorry if it took me a while to come back to my blog, life got a bit hectic. But today I am back to write about the Akaschic Records, a very “mystical” topic which is usually complicated to explain without being looked at like “you are a bit crazy, eh?”.  Anyway, if you are reading this you must have been curious to know more so…

Akasha” is a Sanskrit word meaning “sky”, “space” or “aether”, from whom the Records took their name, because they are generally known to be a collection of mystical knowledge that is encoded in the Universe. But let’s take a step backwards to the origin of these books.

Akashic Records: The origin

From a theological point of view, the Akashic Records are understood to have existed since the beginning of the Creation and even before. Just as we have various specialty libraries (e.g., medical, law), there are said to exist various Akashic Records (e.g., human, animal, plant, mineral, etc) containing universal traditions, knowledge as well as all phenomenal experience.

Culturally speaking instead, some state to have proofs (I invite you to search for them) that they were accessed by ancient people of various cultures all around the globe in different times, including the Indians, Moors, Tibetans, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Chinese, Hebrews, Christians, Druids, Mayans and many others. Then this concept was passed towards our time and now is prevalent in the New Age discourse and holistic philosophy.

A database of the souls

So, following this notion, it can be said that the Akashic Records are nowadays known to be the energetic records of all events, our collective wisdom and all souls about their past lives, their presents and possible future lives. Basically everything you can think of. No matter how new or ancient your soul is, the Akashic energy (which is stored in the “Hall” or “Library” in the Universe) holds all your thoughts, feelings, actions and decisions from each lifetime, like a series of books with each book representing one lifetime. Some people also look at the Records as a computer with all your info stored in the hard drive.

Great thing is, you can actually read your Akashic Records and they are a great resource, but it’s only a resource. How you utilize it in your life is up to you!

When you realize that you came into life with a plan, it becomes very useful to access information about that plan, especially when we feel a bit lost, as we all do at some point of our lives. We might came to complete some Karma, fulfill our past life vows or to be with someone special and so on, but we won’t remeber clearly, as the human challenge is that as soon as we are born we forget this plan.

But don’t worry because accessing the Hall (or the Library) of the Akashic Records is not difficult, you do not need to be a guru or special, and there are many ways to access. Just choose the approach and the ritual that feels comfortable and efficient for you.

How can you use it?

I suggest you to start reading the Records that are relevant to you (and not your girlfriend/ boyfriend/ parents etc.), simply because it comes easier since you already carry a copy of your Records. Also, start your reading with an intention or a clear goal, otherwise a mere curious question like “I want to see what I was doing in my past life” (which one of the many? why? etc.) can lead to rejection or misinformation and misunderstanding.

Anyway, you can find on the web different ways of diy your reading and many people who are able to help you (including me), so I will let you search for your right path. I hope you had and will enjoy you reading!

Your eyes’ color reflects your health

If you have never heard about a complementary discipline called “iridology“, very briefly, it is the study of our eyes’ iris (the coloured part of the eye) as associated with diseases or potential developing illnesses.

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, first described it and it was rediscovered in 1860 by Ignacz von Peczely who devoted his life to this study. Iridology can help you understand what ‘optimum health’ means for an individual person, which behaviour you should stop or pick up for a better health condition and so on. The iris infact displays a unique insight into our health potential and disease dispositions and its patterns and pigmentation reveal the history of our genetically inherited health.

In this article I will talk briefly about the iris main pigmentations (colours) and their meaning. As you may know, the final adult colour is not present at birth, when it actually is either blue or slate grey depending on ethnicity. An individual’s true colour develops between 3 to 5 months and generally does not change, just variations in lighting can give an illusion of change of colour. Only some conditions that cause a dispersion of pigment or use of certain drugs may cause a colour change.

Iridology basics

There are three primary colour groups: blue, brown or mixed. Within each of them there are many different shades and all irises can be placed in one of these color groups. I know it can be hard to believe, but green eyes do not really exist as the green appearance of the iris is usually due to discoloration or yellow patches in a blue or mixed color iris. Let’s have a closer look at these three groups:

Blue Iris

Called also “lymphatic“, the colour can vary in shading from blue to blue/grey. Blue eyes are associated with fair complexions, often with blond hair. Young people with blue eyes tend to have ear, sinus, throat and breathing problems, such as asthma.

In later life these people may develop conditions such as arthritis, rheumatics and/or osteoporosis as they age. The lymph system of the body is often overloaded and this is a good reason why lymph drainage massage works well for people with blue eyes. The kidneys can be sluggish and this may lead to water retention.

Brown Iris

We associate brown eyes with people who have an olive complexion and dark hair and from physically strong ethnic backgrounds. Known also as “haematogenic“, brown eyed people are generally prone to have digestive disorders and gastrointestinal weakness.

People with deep brown eyes usually need more vitamins and minerals in their diet. This genetically low mineral status often leads to glandular disturbances, which can lead to blood and circulation disorders, such as varicose veins or haemorrhoids, and problems such as anemia.

Mixed Iris

Mixed colour, also called “biliary“, is a combination of blue and brown and can appear to be various shades of hazel, green and/or with a visible blue base. People with these eyes have a tendency towards sluggish liver and gall bladder conditions and have an emphasis on digestive weakness.

This group often suffers from blood sugar imbalances, particularly connected to the liver and gall bladder and pancreas function. Fluctuations in blood sugars may cause hypoglycemia (diabetes), with its symptoms of sudden, extreme tiredness, chocolate cravings and mood swings, among others.

From just color alone, the iris reveals much information. But remember the eye is a complex structure, a web of fibers forming a unique pattern of lacuna, defects, pigment spots and other iris markings. It is this the very individual pattern that is studied by an iridologist, and not only the particular type of structure marking is noted, but also its location on the iris chart is important to establish the iris/body connection and other individual information you will give before your consultation.

To read more about iridology itself: A look into Iridology

To find an iridologist near your area, check online in their professional body The Guild of Naturopathic Iridologists: Find your Iridologist

An interview with Mikao Usui

This interview has been taken from the Reiki International School website, but it is public and well known around all over the world. Mikao Usui responded for real to the following questions, but the date and the name of the interviewer are not known. According to the date mentioned in the text, the interview should had occurred  between 1922 and 1926, the year Mikao Usui passed away.

Question: What is the ‘Usui Reiki Ryoho?

We have received with gratitude the principles prescribed by the Emperor Meiji and live abiding by them. In order to follow the spiritual path, humanity has to live according to these principles. This means that we have learn to improve our body, our feelings and our thoughts with constant practice. In this way first of all, as we heal the spirit, consequently we will restore the body. When our mind is on the healthy path of honesty and seriousness, the body finds itself the full health. Since the body and mind are one thing, we can all live in peace and joy. We heal ourselves diseases others too, intensifying and increasing our happiness and that one  of others. This is the aim of Usui Reiki Ryoho

Question: The Usui Reiki Ryoho is based on a form of psychotherapy, self-suggestion, hypnosis or other therapies notes? Is it a therapy already known but under another name?

It is not similar to the forms of therapy that he described. After many years of hard training, I met a spiritual secret that is used to rid the body and mind.

Question: Reiki is a psycho-spiritual healing method?

It is pretty accurate, we can call it that way, but we can also call it physical therapy, since the energy and the light radiating from all parts of the body of the person allow the treatment. The energy and the light are radiating from the eyes, mouth, and from the hands of those who give the treatment, and he/she may, at the same time, fix his/her eyes on the afflicted parts, blow and gently massage. Toothache, headache, stomach pain, swelling in the chest, neuralgia, bruises, cuts, burns, etc.. heal easily, while chronic diseases are not so easy to treat but also a single treatment of a chronic illness shows a positive effect. I wonder how this phenomenon can be explained by medical science. The reality is increasingly affecting the theory, when you see the results, you will agree with me. Even those who do not want to believe can not deny the  reality.

Question: Have we to believe in ‘Usui Reiki Ryoho healing to occur?

No, because the Reiki Ryoho is different from other methods of psychic healing. Consent and faith are not needed, because the Reiki does not work through suggestion. It makes no difference whether a person is incredulous, skeptical or biased. For example it also works with children and people who are seriously injured and unconscious. Out of ten people, perhaps one will trust to the first treatment. Already after the first treatment the majority of people feel the effects and benefits and they will increase their confidence.

Question: What diseases can be cured with the Usui Reiki Ryoho

Any disease origining from mental or physical disease.

Question: Does Usui Reiki Ryoho heal  only illness?

No, not only diseases of the body, but also bad habits and psychological ailments such as despair, weakness of character, lack of courage, the difficulty in making decisions and nervousness. With Reiki energy, our spirit finds its divine part or his Buddhahood, and we can develop the ability to treat other human beings, our brothers. In this way we make happy, healthy and serene both ourselves and others.

Question: How does  Usui Reiki Ryoho heal?

No one has started this method. I did not make efforts to obtain extraordinary powers of healing. While I fasted, I came in contact with an intense energy and, in some mysterious way, I was inspired. For a set of coincidences it became clear that I had been given the spiritual art of healing. Although, even if I m the founder of this method, is difficult for me to explain it in more details. Doctors and researchers are moving  passionate researches in this field, but so far it has been difficult to reach a conclusion that is based on medical science. There will come a time when the Reiki meet science.

Question: Does The Usui Reiki Ryoho use medicines or special tools? If so, are there any side effects?

They do not use medicines or instruments. We use only the look, the breath, the caress, the light taps and the touch of the hands. That’s what heals diseases.

Question: In order to practice the Usui Reiki Ryoho is it necessary to have medical knowledge?

The Reiki Ryoho is a spiritual method that goes beyond medical science and therefore does not rely on it. When we look, we blow it, we touch or caress the diseased body part, we get the desired result. For example, touching the head when we want to treat the brain, abdomen when we want to treat the abdomen and eyes to eyes. You do not get bitter medicine, or using the moxa or moxibustion but it heals quickly and easily. So this spiritual method is an original creation.

Question: How do physicians consider Reiki?

The scientific authorities are very honest in judging the Usui Reiki Ryoho. Recently some famous European doctors took a critical stand against the administration (indiscriminate) medicine. Dr. Sen Nagai of Teikoku Medical University said: “We doctors know how to diagnose a disease, save it and understand it empirically, but we do not know where it comes from or how to treat it.” Dr. Kondo said: “It ‘s arrogant to say that medicine has made tremendous progress when modern medicine neglects the spiritual balance (the patient). It’ s a great disadvantage.” Dr. Sakae Hara said: “It ‘ s insolence treating the human being, who has a spiritual wisdom, like an animal. Believe that in the future we will have a great revolution in the field of therapy.” Some doctors and pharmacists understand this problem and start asking to be initiated into Reiki.

Question: What do you think about the government?

On February 6, the eleventh year of the Taisho period (1922), Congressman Teiji Matsushita did, at the meeting of the shareholders’ meeting of the Federal Parliament, the following question: “What is the government’s position on therapists currently practicing psychotherapy and spiritual therapy without a title? ” Mr. Ushio the government commissioner said: “Ten years ago, hypnosis and other similar forms of therapy were judged inadequate treatment but today, after long researches, are applied effectively in psychiatry. It ‘s hard to want to solve everything about being, with human medicine. To heal diseases physicians follow certain ways, which are based on the principles of medicine. The use of hands and electrotherapy to combat the disease are not part of the methods of medical school. ” That’s why the Usui Reiki Ryoho is not subject to laws regarding the right medical health or those involving acupuncture, shiatsu or moxa.

Question: In this therapy, are the skills of spiritual healing given only to those who are spiritually developed at birth? I do not think this can be learned. What do you think?

All living beings have received the gift of the spiritual ability to heal. The same thing can be applied to plants, animals, fish and insects, but humans, representing the culmination of creation, have received a greater power. Usui Reiki Ryoho appeared in the world to make this capability available and accessible to all.

Question: Anyone can be initiate to Usui Reiki Ryoho?

Of course you. Men and women, old and young, doctors and uneducated people who live according to the moral principles can learn in a short time.  I initiated more than a thousand people and not even one of these has failed to achieve the desired result. Everyone, even those who have just learned Shoden (the first level), are already able to heal diseases. If we think about it, it is rather strange to learn in such a short time to heal disease, although this is for the human being the hardest thing. I am myself amazed and this is the characteristic of our method of spiritual healing, we can learn something so difficult so much easier.

Question: With the Usui Reiki Ryoho you can heal others. And what about yourself? Can  someone  heal also his/her-own illnesses?

If we could not  heal our diseases, our body and our mind, how cannot we heal others’?

Question: What should I do to learn Okuden (the second level)?

The Okuden consists of a number of lessons to apply: I Hatsurei, tap, stroke, put pressure with your hands, healing on distance, heal customs etc.. Before you learn Shoden and then when you have achieved good results, the correct behavior, honesty and morality and you will be thrilled with the Reiki, then you will be ready to receive initiation into Okuden.

Question: In the Reiki Ryoho is there any other teaching after Okuden?

There is still the Shinpiden, the highest level, namely the fourth, it is the degree in which we can send Reiki and teach others.

Create your home made herbal remedy

Nowadays deciding to be treated only with herbal/holistic/homeopatic remedies is becoming a thing. People want to go back to the oringins, being more healthy and natural, find a way to cure themselves minimizing the risks and potential side effects. DIY is becoming generally very popular as well, maybe for the lack of trust in the health system or for feeding our curiosity and improve our own skills. No matter what are the reasons for both these tendencies, but I thought it would be interesting writing about it, combining the herbal remedies with the DIY side. Obviously you need some knowledge in order to treat yourself properly, so I suggest you to take these advices only if you have some experience or after you have spoken with a professional herbal therapist for the dosage and type of herb you may need to use.


Let’s start from the very beginning, so by collecting herbs from field or garden. For a number of good reasons you should gather your own herbs: you are assured of their freshness and potency, you also know their source, if they are clean, pure and wholesome. You will also save yourself money and gain self-sufficiency and with time you will build an increasing knowledge of plants and their medicinal uses. Although each herb is different and some may require unique handling, the following general principles can be used for gathering herbs:

  • Herbs are generally gathered according to their particular growth cycle: annuals (plants that have one growing season, the seed germinates the plant flowers and bears fruit and then dies), biennials (plants which germinate and establish a good root system during the first year, flower and bear fruit at the end of the second year, and then die ), or perennials (plants that live and bear fruit a number of years before they die).
  • Herbs must be gathered in dry weather, as those collected in moist or rainy periods are generally weaker and more apt to spoil.
  • Gather in the cool of the morning after the dew has evaporated or in the evening before the dew forms on the plant. Also before the sun is high in the sky.
  • Preferably gather wild plants from high, dry soils, exposed to clean air and abundant sunshine.
  • In all cases, gathering must be selective according to the type of plant and the part to be used (flowers, leaves, roots, etc.).

It is an excellent thing to do cultivating your own herbs in the garden, and I would encourage you to consider it, but try to be selective in the number of herbs you are going to grow. If you do not have enough time, space or knowledge, just purchase what you need from a health shop or a recognised herbal supplier. This is the most quick method to start herbalism.

Once collected your herbs, you need to know how to dry and storage them in a proper way, in order not to lose much of their medicinal value. Dry all herbs carefully outdoors (spreading a layer of herbs on a drying screen in the shade as quickly as possible), indoors (in a dust-free room, at mild temperature, on a drying screen covered away from direct sunlight) or with artificial heat (be very careful, oven drying under 38°C is difficult and often done improperly).

To store them, place them in a tight appropriate container, not made of formaldehyde or certain damaging plastic types, and seal with sealing wax to keep the air from getting to the herb. Always label and date them, and make sure they are used within a year. Never put them under direct sunlight or in room too hot or cold. If its a oil, use a brown bottle or can.

General guidelines should be also followed when starting making your own preparations, for example never use aluminium ware as it poisons with its gases and metallic acid, stainless-steel ware is the best because it does not break, although you should watch for over-high temperatures that cause burning.

It is time now to describe the most common various herbal preparations. Remember that dosages must be adjusted according to personal need.

Capsule: Take the herbal powders and other materials that, because of their nauseous taste or smell, would otherwise be difficult to administer, and place them into a soluble gelatin shell or capsule. These capsules are easy to buy and they are made in different sizes for easy swallowing, with numbers 1 to 4, 0, and 00 being the most common. To fill the capsule, simply take the two halves of a capsule apart and push these halves into the powder and towards each other, pressing the halves together again and at the same time compressing the powder. Dosage depends on the age, size, vitality, condition being treated, and the strength of the ingredients in the capsule itself.

Decoction: This is a process used with hard materials such as roots and barks, chips, etc. Decoctions are intended for immediate use within a twenty-four hour period (72-hour maximum limit when stored in a very cool place) and are generally made by pouring cold water upon fresh or dried herbs. The harder the material, the longer the simmering and extractive period will be. Consider to pulverize them first by mechanical means or pounding; next, soak the ingredients for twelve hours, then set this liquid on the fire and gradually heat to a slight boil. After the extractive period, drain off the liquid while hot and press the herb hard to make sure that all of the therapeutic ingredients are removed, then let stand until cool.

The usual preparation is 1 ounce of herb placed into 1 and half pints of cold water (the half pint will be lost in the extractive process). The herb and liquid is then brought slowly to a boil. The decoction differs from the infusion in that heat is applied and continued over a period of time, because roots and barks generally need longer heating to extract their active principles. When cool, pour off the clear liquid on top, separating it from the settlings and, finally, sweeten to taste. Add more water when decoctions are too strong. Dosage depends on age, size and temperament, but generally 2 fluid ounces to a cupful of liquid three times a day.

Infusion: An infusion extracts the active principles of herbs in water, or other fluid, without simmering or boiling;. Pour a liquid over the raw or powdered herb. The liquid may be hot or cold, but the flavour of the herb is generally much stronger and the action is much faster when made and administered hot. Generally a standard infusion is used with the lighter herbs (such as the leaves, flowers, etc.), and is made by placing one teaspoonful of finely cut dried herb or two teaspoonfuls of bruised fresh herb into a cup and adding boiling, distilled water; cover and let steep for 15 minutes; strain and drink.

Be sure to cover the vessel and stir occasionally, and then carefully strain off the clear liquid. Dosage varies according to type of herb and problem condition, but usually one cupful three times a day. Regulate the quantity to fit the patient’s strength, kidney problems, extreme debilitation, etc.

Oil: This preparation is made from the plant oils. For instance, with the mints (peppermint, spearmint, etc.), the oils come from the leaves. Many of these oils, when properly made (with olive oil), do not go into rancidity easily. The amount of herbs used depends upon the quantity of oil desired, but often a pound of fresh herbs to a pint of olive oil is used. Simmer the herbs for hours until the oil comes out of the herb. In the case of cloves, grind up fine, and simmer the powder in olive oil at a temperature of 50-65°C. Never use mineraloils. For olive oil, which is high in nutritional value, massage as much as the skin will absorb; it can be also used in small doses internally, except when for gallstones or kidney stones.

Ointment: It is a soft, semi-solid fatty herbal preparation used for a protective and emollient effect, liquefying when applied externally. Ointment bases are generally composed of various mixtures of waxes, animal and vegetable oils and the medicinal substances are mixed with them. Start with a melted base, such as olive oil and beeswax, and combine with herb. A good standard is 14 ounces of olive oil, 2 ounces of beeswax, and 1 pound of fresh or 1 and half pound of dry herbs. Place into a closed container, put into the oven and leave there at low heat (around 80°C) for 3-4 hours. Periodically, take a fork and lift the fresh herbs to see if they aregetting browned and brittle, and whether the oil has drawn the value from the herb. Vaseline as a base is generally inferior to animalor plant oils, but may be used if you do not want the preparation to be absorbed quickly into the skin.

Pill/Tablet: In this case the herbal agent is ground into a very fine powder and mixed with a mucilage of gum Arabic (made by dissolving gum Arabic in water), slippery elm, or a syrup, etc. which is then worked up into a pill mass. A portion is then cut off, sliced into small strips and then into smaller pill-sized pieces, which are then rolled into little round balls for easy administration. A small amount of powdered rhubarb or flour on the board in preparation will keep the mass from sticking, but keep the pill mass in a quite firm consistency, or else the excess mucilage or syrup will absorb too much rhubarb or flour.

Pills can be coated or uncoated, but the pearl-coated pill is a favourite and is readily soluble in the stomach. Pills are usually made so that one pill equals about 300-400 milligrams of the herbal compound. A pill differs from a tablet in that a pill needs mucilage or other substance added to keep the herbal agent in an adhesive mass, whereas the tablet will adhere by its own characteristics upon compression.

Poultrice: This herbal preparation is a soft, semi-liquid mass made of some cohesive substance mixed with water, vinegar or other substances, and used for supplying heat and moisture to an area, or to act as a local stimulant. Have the herbs ground or granulated. When using fine powder, just use enough moisture to make a thick paste, and when using the granulated form, a thick paste may be made with a mixture of water and cornmeal. If fresh green leaves are used, simply heat, bruise, triturate or chop the leaves up finely, and apply to the affected parts. Be generous in making poultices, covering the afflicted area thickly.

Spirit: It is an alcoholic or hydro-alcoholic preparation containing ordinary alcohol and a watery liquid that has been distilled from an alcoholic tincture or mash. It is a volatile prepared by distillation, whereas a tincture is prepared by infusing the volatile substance in alcohol. These are used as tonics, etc.  A few drops on up are used as specified.

Syrup: A thick, sticky liquid preparation made by dissolving sugar into distilled water, decoctions, infusions, juices, or other aqueous solution, and it is used to suspend medicinal or flavouring agents for easy administration alone, or to combine with other preparations. For making a syrup with herbs, settle out the heavier matter and pour off the clear liquid; then add to that 1 and 3/4 pounds of sugar, place into an appropriate vessel, heat until the sugar is melted, cool, and store for future use. Another formula for making a simple syrup is to pour 1 pint of boiling water over 2 and half pounds of sugar, place on a hot stove and stir until the liquid begins to boil, and then instantly remove. Dosage varies from 1 teaspoonful to 1 tablespoonful once or few times per day.

Tincture: This is technically a fluid extract, but the medicinal virtues are extracted into solution with grain alcohol or vinegar, which are better preservative for long term storage of extracts. Take approximately 4 ounces of ground dried herbs or 8 ounces of finely chopped fresh herbs and place them in a glass bottle with at least 16 ounces of alcohol or vinegar, until the herb is completely submerged under the liquid. This is tightly capped and each day for 10 days to 2 weeks the bottle is shaken vigorously at least 3 times a day or more. Extract all liquids, squeezing the herb residue thoroughly, with a regular juice press, or wring out by hand through cloth, etc.

After the liquid is extracted, place the tincture extract in dark or painted bottles, stopper thoroughly and store. When administering a tincture internally, you may evaporate the alcohol from the solution by putting it into hot water, or it can be taken as is. Dilute at least 1 teaspoonful of tincture to each cup of water.