What is in a Name

I’m not a marketing expert.

Changing the tone, tenor, content, and name of my Tarot identity was mildly terrifying. “Re-branding” doesn’t begin to capture it, probably because name, nature and self-identity are so enmeshed. Changing from Modern Oracle to TaoCraft Tarot was certainly one of those life learning expanding experiences which triggered several posts musing about names and labels.

It is a little bit of that same process here. This blog & website has always been a catch-all side project. Initially I envisioned it to be an “about the author” promotion site for the back of books. Natural health services were added after my dissertation and things only got more scattered and less focused from there. It is time for this site to get a makeover too, new blog name included.

On one hand, I want to keep this blog neutral, nonthreatening, and a little milquetoast to serve as an online resume of sorts. On the other hand, I want this blog stay the friendly, welcoming, chatty catch-all that it evolved to be. On the other other hand I want it to be fierce and fearless, unafraid to difficult subjects. Of course, there is no reason it can’t be all of that. If an employer doesn’t hire me because of the views expressed rather than the quality of the writing expressing those views, then that discrimination is on their heads.

So friendly fierce fearless chatty catch-all blog it is. Welcome.


 

“…being normal is not necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage.”

– Alice Hoffman

“If you’ve got an idea you genuinely think is good, don’t let some idiot talk you out of it”

– Stan Lee

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(creator unknown)

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Update July 2019

If you are new here – Welcome.

If you have visited before, or followed the blog for any amount of time, you have probably noticed the new look.

In 2018, I officially re-launced Modern Oracle Tarot as TaoCraft Tarot.  This website and blog is being streamlined to match. Here are the key changes

  • All of the Tarot content has been moved to the Modern Oracle Tarot / Tarotbytes Archive (posts prior to October 2018) or to the current TaoCraft Tarot Blog
  • From here forward, Reiki, Meditation, and Taoism related content will appear on the TaoCraft Tarot Blog
  • The Vampire Diet, Baihu’s News Haikus, Merry Monday, Tao Tuesday, and Browncoat Whovian Epiphany content has been discontinued.
  • This blog will be any eclectic, random or natural health posts that do not fit with the Tarot/Meditation/Reiki/Taoism/Magick milieu of the TaoCraft Site.
  • Some posts may deal with sensitive or controversial subjects. Reader discretion is advised. Comments are closed.
  • Constructive reader feedback and Natural Health questions are welcome via email at rondajsnow@gmail.com
  • Not all emails will receive a reply. There is a zero tolerance spam policy

 

Please read disclaimer below before submitting Natural Health Question. This is for general interest ONLY. No information on this website or by this author can diagnose, treat, or cure any disease and does not in any way replace professional health / mental health care. No liability of any kind real or implied is accepted. Use rondasnow.com, taocrafttarot.com and all information or entertainment services entierely at your own risk.

Water of Life

Water makes a news splash – again

I know “water of life” sounds like an exaggeration, but as a science fiction fan, I couldn’t resist that little shout-out to “Dune”, one of my favorite sci fi novels.

But if you think about it, associating water and life is no exaggeration at all. We die from lack of water much faster than from lack of food. There has been seemingly unending buzz in the popular media about how much to drink, contaminants in tap water, plastic bottles leeching chemicals into the water they contain (which might just be filtered tap water anyway), you name it. The latest ruckus is the First Lady’s “Drink up ” campaign. While it is true we need to drink enough fluid to maintain optimum health, it is easy enough to get that optimum. I don’t think the point is to drink a higher volume of water, I think the point of the thing is to drink more water INSTEAD of all the sugary, or artificially sweetened beverages. Instead of ‘drink more water’ the message should be to “stop polluting the water you already drink with processed corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.”

But let’s dial all that back a bit. In the bigger picture, water has been associated with health and healing for hundreds of years.

Mostly because the water we take for granted was a difficult thing to get in the past. It was hard enough to get decent water for drinking (often impossible…leading to a panoply of diseases still found in developing nations today) – much less get enough water for cleaning and bathing. Basic hygene could have gone a long way to mitigating the great epidemics of the past.  Mineral and natural hot springs were thought to have miraculous healing properties (although it may have been less a matter of divine intervention, and more an instance of heat and minerals killing germs) Even ‘normal’ water was a revered healing method in the 18th and 19th centuries. Extended showers, mineral spas, hot and cold compresses, saunas, and “Kniepp therapy” are just a few examples.

We often take our water supply for granted. We are able to drink all we want without fear of disease or parasites. We can easily keep ourselves and homes clean. A study from Kyoto University proves that simple gargle with plain water 2 or 3 times a day can help reduce colds and flu.

Simple water is a wondrous thing – drink up.

Related posts and sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Kneipp

http://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc130.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16242593

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/09/12/first-lady-michelle-obama-ask-everyone-drink-more-water

How to drink water

Q&A: Face Pressure After Intense Meditation Practice

Q and A about pressure sensation and meditation

Q: I have been having pain and pressure in my forehead and face. I’ve been doing intensive concentration meditations, and know this to be the cause. I went to an accupuncturist with no result. What is your advice?

A: There is a saying in medicine, “when you hear hoof beats looks for horses and not zebras”.

How do you know the facial pressure is from the concentration exercises? Alternative medicine is still a logical, analytic process. Just because two things happen at the same time does not mean one caused the other.

Do you have any allergies? Have you had any colds or flu recently? Facial or nasal injuries in the past? Who is your meditation teacher? How long have you been doing the “concentration exercises”? How long has the pressure been there? Is there anything other than the exercises that makes the discomfort better or worse? There is much to be considered…that’s why my first recommendation is always to get an in-person evaluation. If you aren’t happy with the accupuncture results, you might want to try an homeopathic evaluation, or an herbalist. Those are both too detailed to do online here.

Mainstream medicine isn’t the enemy, either. It is one tool in the healing tool kit, just as all of the alternative methods are. You really can have the best of both worlds. You may want to try to find a MD or DO (doctors of osteopathy are trained in a more holistic manner and typically are more open to natural / alternative techniques). It isn’t impossible, even here on the East Coast, to find a doctor that is knowledgeable about alternative practices and willing to work with them.

You know about sinuses, right? They are air spaces in the bones just behind the eyebrows and to either side of the nose. They normally function to warm and moisturize the air we breath in, while the cilia (little hairs) on the mucous membranes help clean the air. If there is infection or allergies, that normal system becomes overwhelmed and overactive… all the extra mucus and inflammation can cause pain and pressure. On one hand, you may be going through a physical ‘detox’ of sorts because of your meditation practices which has overwhelmed the sinuses. On the other hand, you might have just picked up a low grade, generic, garden variety sinus infection. A doctor can help you sort that out.

From the mainstream part of our healing toolkit…as long as you don’t have high blood pressure or any other chronic medical problem that contraindicates its use, there is a mild decongestant you can buy over the counter…pseudoephedrine (brand name Sudafed) It is based on the active ingredient of the ephedra plant, which is the “ma huang” herb from traditional Chinese medicine. Follow package instructions carefully, and if that doesn’t help, it may be worth while to find a doctor to take a look…it might be something as simple as a short run of a mild antibiotic to give your body the head-start it needs to get your sinuses back on track. Also that would rule out any less common “zebra” problems…deviated septum, nasal polyps or what have you.

From the alternative side:

Aromatherapy: Peppermint is soothing for headache. Both peppermint eucalyptus globulas aromatherapy oils are decongestant (pressure relieving if that is the cause of your discomfort) Moisture would help soothe the mucus membranes as well, so putting a few drops of oil on a pan of hot water and inhaling the scented vapor through your nose may help.

Ayervedic Medicine: Regular maintenance with a neti pot and salt water – 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup (8 oz) of water – can help keep the sinuses clear and in good working order… if congestion is the pressure problem, that is. Ayervedic doctors and even some yoga instructors can help you learn to use a neti pot if you have trouble with it just using the package instructions. Neti pots are widely available in drugstores and health food stores.

Energy / Spiritual: Who is guiding your meditation? Ask them, they may know what is going wrong. Meditation should never cause pain or lead to ongoing problems! If you are working on your own…get a teacher!

Except for maybe, maybe, some fairly uncommon marital arts practices, “Intensive concentration” is not  part of meditation. “Concentration” is very mind, very ego, very “yang”. The whole point of meditation is to remove mind and ego, to observe but detach from thoughts. Meditation is “yin”. This problem may be a big message for to you to reconsider your meditation path.

If you are already working with a meditation teacher they may also know some accupressure routines (where you massage chi points with the tip of your fingers) that you can use on your own more frequently than going to see the accupuncturist. ALL natural healing takes time, so you may also want to consider giving the accupuncture & traditional chinese medicine more time. You didn’t mention the time-frame of all of this in your message at all.

Dietary: Avoid dairy for a few weeks. It increases mucus production. Drink tea and water, avoid sodas, get plenty of sleep and proper exercise…you know, the basics.

What may be going on is a blockage or imbalance of the sixth and / or seventh chakras. If that is the case, changing your meditation, perhaps some Reiki treatments, and wearing gemstone attuned to those chakras (like lapis for the third eye and amethyst for the crown chakra) might help get things back on track.

I hope this gives you a few ideas to work with, although I’m sure you know already that internet information can NOT take the place of an in-person evaluation – mainstream or alternative either one. NONE of the information here is intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease, and can not take the place of professional medical care.

With your permission, I would like to share a redacted, private version of your question with my blog readers. A lot of people don’t realize that some forms of mediation or chi gong can lead to problems if done improperly and that it is necessary to work with a skilled advisor when working with the more intensive forms of energy work and meditation.

Good luck!