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Castor oil

The Real Reason I Love Castor Oil Packs

When I was 20 years old, I was unstoppable. Nothing could stand in my way. Not even the minor car accident (in which a drunk driver rear-ended my car and I ended up with “just” a whiplash). Not even the excruciating pain in my neck which lasted years.

20 years later, “suddenly”, with no apparent reason, I could not move my arm. Only after visiting a chiropractor, who showed and explained me how big is the damage I have caused to my neck and spine, just from neglecting the injury, I realized what I have done. If I would only stop and do one of the things I know now (even just resting or applying a castor oil pack) the whole picture may have been different.

After few visits, I felt much better and pain was gone. Still unstoppable at that time, I then understood that this was just the beginning of my healing journey. Fixing a damage that has been accumulated in 20 years is not possible in a week. And this was my “Stop sign”. Up to that point, the easiest way for me to handle these “stop signs” was to ignore them. However, opening my eyes to view this sign, made me realize that this is my own responsibility to attend my own health. This is my own responsibility to find the time to give attention to my body or seek professional help to guide me how.

This has become a life journey, and as it keeps unfolding, I am fascinated by all the unstoppable souls who are crossing my way, seeking my friendly or my professional advice, and one thing keeps repeating over and over again:

Applying a castor oil pack has brought many of these souls to a very deep state of realization that a change needs to take place. Witnessing this phenomenon, either in my office or hearing from those who I suggested to apply the packs, brought me to the belief that deep state of relaxation has the amazing power to change lives – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Castor oil, a very thick oil derived from the castor bean (Ricinus communis) seed, has been praised for many benefits. Among them: Enhancing relaxation, Decreasing inflammation, Increasing circulation of blood and lymph thus enhancing the immune system, Improving elimination of toxic substances, Promoting tissue healing, Decreasing pain, Lubricating ligaments, Improving digestion, Easing many conditions including uterine fibroid, non-malignant ovarian cysts, endometriosis,  headaches, migraines, constipation, intestinal disorders, gallbladder/liver conditions, and probably many more.

A castor oil pack can be done in many ways. The way that works best for me is simply applying the oil on the belly, covering with a hand-towel, topping with a hot water bottle and laying down for at least one hour.

When applying the castor oil pack on the belly, the oil lubricates and stimulates all the tissues, organs and systems in this region. Along with that, the heat draws the blood vessels up closer to the skin as they vasodilate, and oil is being absorbed into the blood circulation as well, thus distributed through the whole body.

Lubricating and stimulating organs as the small intestine, bladder, colon, liver, uterus, which are part of systems that are inhibited when body is under stress (when the autonomic nervous system functions at its sympathetic / fight-or-flight state), signals the nervous system to shift to the relaxed state (parasympathetic state). This may cause a confusion for the person experiencing it, since many of us may have not “visited” the parasympathetic system for a very long time. We are trapped in the fight-or-flight loop and do not know how to find the moment to breath and recover.

Shifting to the parasympathetic system creates a space, allowing to view life in a clear and focused perspective. It allows me to be more centered into my own body, realizing that so many things are happening inside, while I keep myself very busy outside. This deep relaxation opens my mind to ask the real questions, which I have been avoiding for a long time:

  • Am I so busy working for others that I cannot find an hour for myself to walk outdoors or to engage in some movement?
  • Am I so busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I don’t have an hour to seek a professional guidance resolving my own issues?
  • Am I so busy being busy that I cannot find an hour to understand what relaxation really means?

 

In my eyes, a castor oil pack can be a major life changer. Such a simple action with such a powerful result. Even if at this moment, I am not able to answer all these questions, I have planted the seed, so when time is right – I will be ready to take the ownership over my life and start my journey.

 

And this is the real reason I love castor oil and I would keep telling everyone again and again and again that they should try a castor oil pack….

 

***Anat Shlagman is a Traditional Naturopath specializing in Relaxation, utilizing a unique tailored session, combined of Reflexology, Castor oil pack, Abdominal massage and Energy work, designed to bring the autonomic nervous system to its parasympathetic state.

 

Some sources

The Edgar Cayce ARE – http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/holistic-health.aspx?id=9467&terms=castor

The oil that heals – A physician’s successes with castor oil treatments – William A. McGarey, MD

Herbs of grace – Farida Sharan

 

Blog, Self Heal

Mushlemet / perfect; splendid; wonderful; excellent; complete; total

The first time hearing this song happened exactly at the moment I needed it.

I am sharing this song here as I am sure that we all have those days, where our perception does not reflect the reality. This perception can be expressed by feeling hurt from words (spoken or unspoken) or actions (performed or not performed) that may never mean to hurt us, and still, in our minds, they get a completely different meaning.

Mushlemet – one powerful word in Hebrew that is a combination of so many words in English: perfect/ splendid/ wonderful/ excellent/ complete/ total.
And even though the Hebrew word refers to women,  I know we all can relate to the message sent in this song:

You are perfect (mushlemet),  just as you are.
It’s just the world, you see,
That may sometimes be a little messed up ….. 


It’s in Hebrew, but beautiful and worth listening – just click on the song’s name. The words are translated here:


You want to hear that same tune
To go back to your protected space
Thunders are frightening
And it is dangerous to be afraid
So, you are adding numbers in your head
Like the rain-men who count drops
Only your eyes never get wet

And while everyone are swimming with the stream
You are not swimming at all
How can they not see how radiant you are –  
Shining like all the stars above

you are perfect (mushlemet)
you are perfect (mushlemet)
Just as you are
It’s just the world, you see
That may sometimes be a little messed up

Sometimes you’re obviously angry
And it is not clear at all about what
I want to rescue you
Explain to you that you are not the one to be blamed
You sing the same tune again
Repeating the exact same melody again and again
It sounds afresh to me
every time you sing it again

And while everyone is dancing together
You are dancing in the corner by yourself 
How do they not see that this is what’s good for you

you are perfect (mushlemet)
you are perfect (mushlemet)
Just as you are
It’s just the world, you see
That may sometimes be a little messed up

You’re perfect (mushlemet), you’re perfect (mushlemet)
Just as you are  – with your mysterious look
You’re perfect (mushlemet), perfect (mushlemet)
With these two laughing dimples 
And this mouth which does not answer

but I
I hear you all the time
Even when you are there
I am always here

We are all whole. We are all complete. We are all perfect.
Exactly as we are.

Blog, Reflexology

My Vision of Feet Reflexology

As a Traditional Naturopath, I specialize in relaxation, since I believe that when body is deeply relaxed, it can start healing itself. My main tool (along with castor oil packs, of course..) is reflexology. For me, exploring a person’s feet is like reading the book of their life. There is so much information hidden in feet, which contain these reflexes, that are connected to internal organs, and actually express their story: physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

Before delving deeper in reflexology, I would like to take a short detour, talking about our body, since I meet so many people living in fear, that a horrible disease will fall on them. And it keeps amazing me how most of them truly believe that it will be a sudden thing. Really? Are there no signs?

Truth is that signs do not start at the moment we drop on the floor. Signs starts many many years before that: With our first acid reflux. With our first head ache. With our first pain or discomfort any where in the body. Because our body doesn’t speak English (or any other language learned at home or taught at school). Our body speaks to what we Feel. If I feel pain, I must have done something that my body doesn’t like. But what do we do when we feel pain? We take a pill.

So, not only we insult our body with chemicals, we insult our body by not listening. Basically, sending our body a message like: “Hey, you better be quiet there, since I have million and one other things to do, that are much more important than listening to you whining!”

And we forget that our body is our buddy. Our room-mate. We reside together in the same building. For life. No exchange. No return (yes, even in America!).

The first thing we need to have as room-mates is respect.

Respect starts with Listening.

When our body talks, we need to listen.

In my eyes, one of the best ways to listen is reflexology, because it is making the connection between what I do and how I feel. Foot reflexology is described as the study of the areas in the feet, corresponding to all parts of the body, and when being touched they manipulate the corresponding part. Either through our nervous system, meridians, energy pathways, combination of all, or possibly other means.

I believe that reflexology works is two ways, which, at first, may look opposing to each other, but when we understand them better, we can see how they compliment each other perfectly.

First and for most, reflexology deeply relaxes the whole body. With that, it stimulates every cell, every tissue and every organ that are being touched. Nature has a very sophisticated way to teach us how deep relaxation and stimulation work beautifully hand in hand.

When body is deeply relaxed, it can tap into wisdom that resides in our genes. Knowledge that exists in our body and has been descended from generation to generation for thousands of years. Body has the knowledge to deal and heal itself, but we cannot tap into this knowledge when we are busy surviving. We cannot reach this information while our nervous system is in a fight-or-flight mode. We have to bring our nervous system to  a very deep state of relaxation in order to utilize this wisdom.

And then we stimulate. This wisdom resides in every cell, every tissue, every organ and is being stimulated with reflexology. This is how our body can start healing itself.

While a reflexology session can be amazingly relaxing, we cannot underestimate the power of self reflexology. As I have witnessed time after time in my workshops, when asking the participants at the beginning of the workshop to work for 2 minutes on one foot, and then place both feet next to each other and compare. It never failed to reveal the liveliness of the foot which was touched versos the dullness of the untouched foot. Only 2 minutes of care can  make a remarkable difference. Will all the healing mentioned above happen in one session of self reflexology? Probably not. It is a practice. Like yoga, like meditation, the best is to make it a routine, even for few minutes a day. Then body learns to trust our intentions and opens up  to deeper relaxation.

Healing our bodies starts inwards. The more we connect with our body, the more we understand its messages and the more we can be proactive in helping it to create the perfect environment for healing. It is a process. And may be a long one. But truly the most rewarding for each one of us.

Further resources:

The complete guide to foot reflexology – Kevin & Barbara Kunz

The family guide to reflexology – Ann Gillanders

The parent’s guide to reflexology – Kevin & Barbara Kunz

Blog

Nourishing with Touch

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“Healing Resides At The Roots of Nature & Touch,
and Is Drawn Up By The Eternal Flames of Our Traditions”

~Traditionally Empowered Healing~ 

 

As living beings, nourishment is a fundamental need. However, as living beings in our era, we may all be deficient of it. Either deficient of nourishing foods or deficient of nourishing touch.

Nourishing foods are rich in materials that feed our cells and help them function efficiently. But what is nourishing touch? How would it benefit our body?

Exactly like foods, touch comes in many varieties and not every touch is nourishing. Nourishing touch is most naturally associated with parental touch, as we tend to refer to our parents as nourishing entities. If you want to create such a touch, simply imagine the person you are touching to be your kid, and touch them exactly as you would like your child to be touched.

This kind of touch is not only physical. It is mostly emotional and mental, as we allow our cells to open. Everything we kept closed inside, suddenly has the permission to come to light: Every feeling that we buried,  every thought that we concealed, and even memories that we dismissed without processing. Once these memories / thoughts / feelings start to flood us, we have the choice to hide them again or to accept them into our lives.

Any issue we are dealing with requires lots of energy from us. But hiding that issue (mainly from ourselves) requires much more energy, which eventually can deplete our vitality.  The wiser (aka older) we grow, the more energy our body requires for daily functions and we have less energy to spare for other purposes.
As we grow wiser, we may feel more exhausted and sense that our body is not servicing us as before. Physical check would be a great venue to take to see what is happening, but along with that, it is imperative to take a deeper look and watch for hidden burdens. Since we are so accustomed to keep moving through our routines, it is not very obvious to us that we may disregard our feelings. When we learn to use our energy in the most efficient way for our body, healing can rise.

This is a process. A whole new world of inner discoveries. Nourishing touch should be regarded as a practice, like yoga or meditation, in order for our body to start trusting and letting go. The more we nourish, the healthier we get. The closer we are to real things  – real food, real touch, real outdoor activities, real relationships, real emotional expression, real/honest reactions – the faster we can approach real healing.

Nourishing our Emotional, Mental and Spiritual aspects is essential. Simply because Physical nourishment is not enough. And Touch will probably cover them all…

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Blog, Workshops

Who Are You Not To Be?

We ask ourselves: “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?

-Marianne Williamson

 

Many hesitate to ask me for an advice fearing that I would force them to make a change. The truth is that when I tell you to do something, you would probably choose to cover your ears and not hear me. This is why I stopped talking and started teaching. Not teaching how to make a change, but teaching how to listen to your body and understand the messages its sending.

Now, when your body is telling you to do something, and you are able to understand what it’s telling you, it is harder for you to ignore – You have to listen.

Should you choose to make a change when you know what your body is telling you? It’s your own call! I have nothing to do with it…Except offering you tools which can help you be in your own body and take action for your own health.

These tools are offered through my workshops and sessions, which are both designed for everyone – flowing at each one’s pace. I believe that minor (almost invisible) changes are much more powerful than major ones. Tiny steps will eventually lead to a meaningful shift. There are no magic answers out there. Everything is inside each one of us. Our body knows what to do, but needs the space and environment to do it. The effort in creating this environment should be individual and not outsourced to someone else.

Taking our health in our hands is the best way to reach vitality, and it is something all of us can do. This is why I am inviting you to join me, as new dates are posted for my workshops in September and October:

Thursday 9/1311:00 amCastor oil Party and Forgiveness Meditation

Wednesday 9/266:00 pmSweet Twist – Cacao Treats

Monday 10/156:00 pmTea Party – Holistic Care with Herbs

Tuesday 10/236:00 pmWhole Body Care – Self Reflexology

 

My workshops are designed to be different than usual expectations: They are small, up to 6 participants. They will take place even with one registered participant – if you made the commitment, I will not be the one to break it. And they will probably bring new enlightenment about your own health.

I plan to offer all my workshops throughout the year, however if you would like to have any of them sooner (or any other that you may think of), let me know and we will figure something out – can be at my location or at yours.

Hope to see you!!

Anat

Blog, Salves and Oils

How I fell In Love With St. John’s Wort

In summer 2014 we traveled to Israel to visit our family. It was one of the roughest experiences we have ever encountered, as it was war time. Known as Operation Protective Edge (and/or Operation Strong Cliff and/or Mivtza Tzuk Eitan), The 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict was not a welcoming party for us.

We arrived at 2 am from the airport to my parents house, in Beer Sheva, a city which was under a constant heavy rocket fire. The kids regarded it as a game: every few minutes, when siren went off, they ran along with their nieces to the sheltered room, waiting for the “boom” sound and afterwards exiting the shelter to continue to play their games. This is how the night went on and then the day, as the siren goes off very frequent.

But when the next night has arrived, we needed to go to sleep, and then we realized that it will not be so simple. Kids started to show anxiety signs, fearing they will not be able to wake up if siren goes off. Also, hearing “boom” sounds all around was not helping either. Energy work, calming words, cuddling and any other way we tried to calm them down had no influence. It seemed as we will never sleep again.

Luckily, I remembered bringing with me special gifts to give to our family and friends to help them relax. I infused vinegar with st. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) and put it in small spray jars to keep in the pocket and spray straight into mouth as needed.

In my despair, I took one spray bottle and spritzed into my kids mouths. Lo and behold!! In less than 30 seconds the kids were sound a sleep. I could not believe my eyes! They completely dropped dead and slept through the night (and woke up when siren went off…).
That summer, no one got any special gifts from me… we have used all these spray bottles constantly through the whole month of the war, and I personally kept using them for more than a year after that.

Two years later, I have noticed a change in my vision, and could not use my glasses any more. At the vision test, the eye doctor told me that there was a dramatic shift and I do not need glasses any more. From -1.5 (for the past 20 years) it shifted to 0 (!). These news were so incredible and I regarded them as a result of my lifestyle: eating real foods, often castor oil packs, daily Epsom salts baths, regular massages, regular chiropractic care, yoga, meditation, drinking herbal teas and using home-made herbal products on my skin, and probably many more..

So, I decided to try working on my hearing issues, as I suffered from some tinnitus/ringing in the ear since my army service.  To my deepest amazement, I realized that for the past year or even more, I did not have any ringing in my ears. Whoa. This made me think about other changes that I made in my life in the past year or two in conjunction with my healthier life style.

Talking with Jim McDonald, a local wonderful herbalist in White Lake MI, he said that st. John’s Wort is known for its abilities to heal nerve damage, many times unnoticeable until long time after healing took place.

At that moment, I fell in love with st. John’s Wort!

This beautiful plant, with almost magical touch, has so much to offer! Among its many benefits, these are the main ones I use st. John’s wort for, sometimes externally as an oil or a salve, and other times internally as a tincture or a tea:

*****For internal use,  if you take any medication, ALWAYS check with your doctor for interactions, especially for depression or muscle relaxant meds*******

  1. Pain is one the most popular issues that I am using it in my practice. Either internally or externally. Sciatica, joint pain, facial nerve pain, bruises, sprains and more.  You can add some meadow sweet, kava kava or solomon seal to the salve and it would be awesome. According to Jim McDonald, adding Mullein root can enhance st. John’s action when dealing with spinal issues. I love to add cayenne and turmeric to my pain salve, just to help carry the st. John’s wort deeper into the body.
  2. Nerve damage or Nerve injury – st. John’s wort has the ability to restore nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy can be relived, injuries to nerves can be restored, burns and traumas to the skin can benefit from applying it and so many more conditions.
  3. Anxiety – my own experience had brought me to offer the tincture to those who suffer from anxiety. Just carry a small spray bottle with the tincture, either alcohol based or apple cider vinegar based, to spritz when needed.
    It has been a life saver for many.
  4. Liver and digestive – st John’s Wort can help the liver detoxify. As a bitter and aromatic it affects the digestive system and aids it to function better. For these purposes I love to use it as tea.
  5. Antimicrobial properties – Awesome for infections of wounds, bites, staph bacteria…
  6. Stagnant depression – As an aromatic plant, it can help in situations where we feel stuck. Add some lemon balm and make a tea that will help you ease out of the perception of reaching a “dead-end”.

 

St. John’s Wort is a remarkable herb. Even though the oil will probably stain your cloths, I am sure you will keep rubbing it on your injured area until you are healed.
Prepare yourself to fall in love with this amazing herb…

 

 

Sources:
Jim Mcdonald – http://www.herbcraft.org/
Herbs with Rosalee – https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/st-johns-wort-health-benefits.html
Kiva Rose – http://kivasenchantments.com/gifts-of-the-solstice-native-st-johns-wort.html
James Green – The Male Herbal
David Hoffmann – New Holistic Herbal