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Critters are often a big part of families, so it's fun to introduce you to Ray Hunt, Herbalist and holistic pet care advocate. Ray and I have enjoyed our interactions over the phone over the last couple of months. Besides discussing his pet meds, we are experimenting with an herbal detox body wrap he formulated a number of years ago--perhaps with the intention of adding it to our product line, or sharing it with the volume of health care practitioners and spa owners we have made connection with over the years. Take a special look at Ray's "Holistic Pet Meds Offer" link in our Sponsored Links at the bottom of this message. Ray is offering all three of his bio-energized herbal pet formulas for the price of one, just for our readers!
We've gathered some very interesting reading further on in the newsletter this month. I hope you'll take some time to read these important items--especially the piece about the value of our communities, friends and social support systems that research shows support longevity. I'm sure I'd die an early death from loneliness with just me to talk to myself...also it'd be pretty boring! Besides, some of the most difficult relationships are often the ones we learn the most from, as long as you're open to transformation. That's something that's become more clear to me over the past couple of weeks. Not all relationships are perfect, but there is something in each of them can can help you move forward.
Also, please note the article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. about thimerosal, the mercury-based vaccine preservative. I have been following this outrageous issue through the Yahoo Enzymes & Autism discussion group. I find it very annoying that mainstream media has not ever fully picked up this story. So, we feel a responsibility to spread the world on this issue. The increase in autism in the world is an epidemic, running neck and neck with childhood diabetes. There are other types of effective preservatives than thimerosal for our vaccines, especially for our children.
Enjoy the summer, and happy 4th of July! Let's celebrate liberty wherever it can be, and all the freedoms and priviledges we have in America. There are so many.
In vibrant health,
Pure Energy Rx
Featured This Month: Pet Herbalist, Ray Hunt
After "hearing it a hundred times" from his human clients at the holistic health clinic where he was an herbalist, Ray Hunt decided to develop herbal formulas for pets. With demand exploding for holistic pet care over the last 18 months, Ray's formulas have become particularly popular among dog breeders and groomers, with his "Purrs 'N Wags" product line helping to win several Best In Shows at recent dog show events. Ray's secret ingredient for his product line's effectivenss? READ ON
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F.Y.I. - Interesting Health News Tidbits
More than just friends...
A network of good friends, rather than close family ties, helps you live longer in older age, suggests research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The research team drew on data from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging (ALSA), which began in 1992 in Adelaide, South Australia. The study aimed to assess how economic, social, behavioural and environmental factors affected the health and wellbeing of people aged 70 and upwards. In total, almost 1500 people were asked how much personal and phone contact they had with their various social networks, including children, relatives, friends, and confidants. Survival was monitored over 10 years. The group was monitored annually for the first four years of the study and then at approximately three yearly intervals. The research team also considered the impact of factors likely to influence survival rates, such as socioeconomic status, health, and lifestyle. Close contact with children and relatives had little impact on survival rates over the 10 years. But a strong network of friends and confidants significantly improved the chances of survival over that period. Those with the strongest network of friends and confidants lived longer than those with the fewest friends/confidants. The beneficial effects on survival persisted across the decade, irrespective of other profound changes in individuals' lives, including the death of a spouse or close family members, and the relocation of friends to other parts of the country. The authors speculate that friends may influence health behaviours, such as smoking and drinking, or seeking medical help for troubling symptoms. Friends may also have important effects on mood, self esteem, and coping mechanisms in times of difficulty. An accompanying editorial suggests that feeling connected to others may provide meaning and purpose that is not only essential to the human condition, but also to longevity, conferring a positive physiological effect on the body in the same way that stress confers a negative effect. MORE
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s "Deadly Immunity" Exposť...
June 16, 2005 - In June 2000, a group of top government scientists and health officials gathered for a meeting at the isolated Simpsonwood conference center in Norcross, Georgia. Convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the meeting was held at this Methodist retreat center, nestled in wooded farmland next to the Chattahoochee River, to ensure complete secrecy. The agency had issued no public announcement of the session--only private invitations to 52 attendees. There were high-level officials from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, the top vaccine specialist from the World Health Organization in Geneva, and representatives of every major vaccine manufacturer, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth and Aventis Pasteur. All of the scientific data under discussion, CDC officials repeatedly reminded the participants, was strictly "embargoed." There would be no making photocopies of documents, no taking papers with them when they left. The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children. According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency's massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines--thimerosal--appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children. "I was actually stunned by what I saw," Verstraeten told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism. Since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants--in one case, within hours of birth--the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold, from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children. Even for scientists and doctors accustomed to confronting issues of life and death, the findings were frightening. "You can play with this all you want," Dr. Bill Weil, a consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the group. The results "are statistically significant." Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado whose grandson had been born early on the morning of the meeting's first day, was even more alarmed. "My gut feeling?" he said. "Forgive this personal comment--I do not want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on." But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry's bottom line. FULL ARTICLE
About that muscle between yer ears...
Exercise your brain. Nourish it well. And the earlier you start, the better. That's the best advice doctors can yet offer to ward off Alzheimer's disease. There's no guarantee. But more and more research shows that some fairly simple steps can truly lower your risk of the deadly dementia. Also, if Alzheimer's strikes anyway, people who have followed this advice tend to do better--their brains withstand the attack longer before symptoms become obvious. The goal: build up what's called a "cognitive reserve." "Cognitive reserve is not something you're born with," Dr. Yaakov Stern of Columbia University told a meeting of Alzheimer's researchers Monday. "It's something that changes, and can be modified over time." In fact, there's now enough research backing this theory that the Alzheimer's Association is offering free classes around the country to teach people of any age, but especially baby boomers, just how to do it. They call it "maintain your brain." "There is tremendous interest in making sure that by the time you're 80, your brain is there with you," explains California psychologist Elizabeth Edgerly, who leads the program. A healthy brain weighs about 2 pounds, roughly the size of a cauliflower. Networks of blood vessels keep oxygen flowing to 100 billion brain cells. That growth starts in childhood, when parents read to tots, and depends heavily on getting lots of education. The less educated have double the risk of getting Alzheimer's decades later than people with a college education. Likewise, people who are less educated and have a not-so-challenging job have three to four times the risk of getting Alzheimer's, Stern says. If you're already 40, don't despair. What's the advice?
- Your brain is like a muscle--use it or lose it. Do a new type of puzzle, learn to play chess, take a foreign language class or solve a vexing problem at work. Try to challenge your brain daily.
- A healthy brain isn't just an intellectual one. Social stimulation is crucial, too. Don't sit in front of the television. People who are part of a group, whether it's a church or a book club, age healthier. Declining social interaction predicts declining cognitive function, new government research shows.
- So do stress and anxiety. People who have what's called chronic distress--extreme worriers--are twice as likely to develop some form of dementia, reports Dr. Robert Wilson of Rush University Medical Center. Why? Autopsies show these people actually had fewer bush-like tentacles, or dendrites, linking their brain cells, meaning their brains were more vulnerable when disease struck.
- Getting physical is crucial also. Bad memory is linked to heart disease and diabetes, because clogged arteries slow blood flow in the brain. Elderly people who were less mentally and physically active in middle age are about three times as likely to get Alzheimer's as they gray. A study from Sweden found the obese are twice as likely to get Alzheimer's.
- Go for the triple-whammy of something mentally, physically and socially stimulating all at once: Coach your child's ball team. Take a dance class. Strategize a round of golf.
- And don't forget diet. The same foods that are heart-healthy are brain-healthy, so avoid artery-clogging saturated fat and try for omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and nuts.
Massage is not just for adults...
Touch and massage are not new to human civilization. Massage can be found as far back as 3,000 years ago. Many cultures used massage as a healing remedy to the body and mind. It was utilized for prevention, intervention and recovery of disease and illness. In modern times, scientists began to question whether or not hormones and other bio- chemical process were stimulated by massage. As you will read further on in this article, scientists were right to ask these questions.
Vimala McClure, a yoga practitioner who served in an orphanage in India during the 1970s, discovered among the people of India, a sense of peace and calmness, in drastic contrast to the abject poverty of the land. She became very conscious of the tenderness with which people of India treated each other and their children, in spite of their dire circumstances. Ms. McClure noticed the women used nurturing touch with mothers in labor and often as a way of expressing compassion with those who were ill. As she left the country of India, she passed a mother who was sitting in the dirt on the side of the road gently massaging her baby. This left an indelible impression on Ms. McClure's mind which prompted her to self-discovery, and helped form her career as a prominent expert on infant massage. FULL ARTICLE
USDA Organic cosmetics, M.I.A....
The Department of Agriculture has a new message for consumers looking for organic cosmetics: Buyer beware. The agency recently said it will not allow its label certifying when products such as foods can be considered organic to be used on personal-care products or cosmetics. "We don't have any standards for personal care or cosmetic products," said Barbara Robinson, deputy administrator for the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. "There is nothing in the law that contemplates extending this to personal-care and cosmetic products. Those commodities are under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration." The announcement has outraged some manufacturers, who said it amounts to a reversal in policy that will harm their businesses. Congress ordered the USDA in 1990 to help the public navigate the numerous and sometimes confusing claims of products being organic by developing national, uniform standards. The agency wrote up a number of rules and definitions stipulating how those hoping to win the government seal must produce and handle their products. Those guidelines barred, for example, the use of genetic engineering, irradiation and most synthetic substances. The department also certified private inspectors who, in turn, decided when individual farms and processors met the USDA's criteria. Those who won approval were allowed, beginning in October 2002, to place green "USDA Organic" labels on their products. It was never entirely clear whether makers of cosmetics and personal-care products could also win the labels--which, they said, became more valuable and recognizable as organic products became popular. Robinson acknowledged that the department's policy has been at times unclear, but said it has never authorized cosmetics and personal-care manufacturers to receive the labels. Some manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products disputed Robinson, saying they were approved for the labels after making costly investments. "We are very, very upset," said Lynn Betz, the president of a Pennsylvania company that manufactures soaps and lotions that, she said, won the USDA's approval last year. "They are harming our business," Betz said. "To be legitimately certified and to have them approved under those standards and then say to us, a year later: 'Oops, we've decided that you can't put the seal on personal-care products' is unbelievable to me." Some consumers with allergies or particularly sensitive skin are also concerned. "If you're not able to put it [the label] on the product, it's hard to differentiate a product that has a few token organic ingredients from one that meets the national organic standards," said Craig Minowa, of the Organic Consumers Association. SOURCE ARTICLE
Ranking sustainable cities...
In November 2004, SustainLane began to take a look at 25 US cities across 12 major categories, to measure their relative levels of sustainability, and in the process create the most comprehensive study done to date on the topic. By May 2005, we had collected information from dozens of cities, non-governmental organizations and experts in other organizations, and completed our inaugural SustainLane US City Rankings, a peer-reviewed, non-partisan study that promises to set the standard for measuring how successful American cities are in implementing sustainable practices. Specifically, we take a look at some of the newer areas generating exciting economic growth opportunities, including the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Environmental & Energy Design) building certification, the fastest growing construction category in the United States. There are several high-rise office building planned in New York City pursuing LEED's highest (gold and platinum) standards, including the 2.1-million-square foot 56-story Bank of America Tower in Manhattan. With each such LEED project come new technologies, products and services, which benefit the local economy of that metropolitan area, displacing less sustainable industries. Another exciting trend is the national explosion of farmers markets, which according to the US Dept. of Agriculture grew at a clip of 106% from 1994 through 2004. Farmers markets generate $888 million in yearly revenue across the United States (USDA 2005 estimate), and work to bring the consumer in direct contact with those that grow their food. This trend quickens the movement to understanding the complex connections between our daily lifestyles and consumptive habits (the food we prepare and eat every day). Sustainability concerns are driving the development of renewable energy for buildings and clean fuels for vehicles. In Berkeley, California, 200 city trucks burn 100% biodiesel fuel from used cooking oil. Meanwhile, other cities are examining and deploying alternative fuels from corn and agricultural byproducts in vehicle fleets numbering in the thousands, significantly cutting US dependence on increasingly costly fossil fuel sources and reducing local air pollution. FULL ARTICLE