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I have been practicing the Wim Hof breath and cold water immersion therapy for about three to four months, and am finding it helpful on many levels. I highly suggest this video  as a 10 minute guide for the basic breathing technique link here. My exposure to both Pranayama (breath work) and Cold Water Therapy began many years ago, but I was not able to do the Cold Water Therapy for any notable length of time. I was also resistant to doing conscious breathwork, but did it despite that resistance. Here is a little bit about my knowledge of, and somewhat limited experience with, Cold Water Therapy:


There is a woman named Victoria Boutenko who, in the past, has written about her and her family as they lived a Raw Food Lifestyle. I recently learned from this video that Victoria is no longer a Raw Food proponent, as an exclusionary diet.  I am sure she has received more flack, than the bit I have read, for changing her perspective, and I greatly respect her honesty. Anyway, many years ago Victoria touched my life by sharing her bathing in very cold water upon getting out of bed in the morning. If I remember correctly, she had a clawed foot tub on her porch that she would jump into. Victoria is originally from Russia. The  use of Cold Water Therapy is documented and celebrated here in the USA  by the Polar Bear Club of Rockaway Beach located in Brooklyn, New York. Rockaway Beach is a Russian Immigrant community of many years standing. Also, I have done saunas with cold water dips afterwards for a number of years while living in NYC. The Russian Baths are a place to look into if you live there.


Over the 20 years that I tried Cold Water Therapy I had no success in maintaining any consistency as a practice. I always felt better after a cold shower but that memory faded fast and the idea of cold water running over my body made me reach for the hot water knob first. I also was ambivalent about using cold water due to, what I felt was the misuse of it, by Sports Medicine doctors, trainers and physical therapists. Cold water therapy can enable athletes, dancers, and injured people in general, to re injure themselves by driving the inflammation deeper into the body. Cold can often give people a false sense of well being when used in this way. This is not the perspective from which the Wim Hof Method  of Cold Water Immersion is presented.


There is a Facebook support group for the Wim Hof Method that I have found helpful. My experience is that it took me a bit of time, about two months, to immerse my entire body in a body of cold water. I started with showers, as is recommended. I know it is important to go step by step with this process. A 10 week Wim Hof Course is available online. On a more critical note, I feel there is a hard core male driven force behind the Wim Hof Method. What do I mean by that? Well, there is a lack of a feminine voice and input. Yes, there are women sharing their experience, but the general presentation can have a competitive edge to it, and that is something to take into consideration when reviewing the material on youtube and Facebook. There are a  generous amount of free videos to watch. The Wim Hof community is, as far as I can tell, supportive and the basic desire is to help, get help, and share information.


I have found that it is very important to take things at my own pace. To not get wrapped up in the competitiveness that often comes from an athletic competitive base of members. Also, my lessening of inflammation from the Wim Hof process is not going to be the same as others. People often find protocols and talk about them as though they are the be all and end all. One step at a time. I think watching and listening to the videos available on youtube will help anyone reading this come to their own conclusions about how to proceed.

Here are two more videos that I like. This video is 3 minutes and change in length. It is beautifully spoken by Wim Hof about his discovery of Cold Water Immersion combined with Breathwork. I do want to say that Wim Hof is a disarmingly, in the best sense, communicator of his vision. Listening to his interviews and talks on youtube are very helpful. This second video is a breathing guide with no instructions, so it is for those who are more familiar with the breathing technique. The voice of Wim Hof is used as a guide for the timing of the breathing.

There is a great deal to benefit from practicing The Wim Hof Method. Again, at your own pace, and one step at a time.



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I recently wrote a post (link here) about my newbie experience with Cannabis. As of right now, it has been about four months that I have been smoking Cannabis for better sleep. I am able to buy Cannabis legally because I live in California, and  have a Medical prescription through HelloMD. I receive my order from Highway1 Organics (home delivery service) located here on the Central Coast. I had done very little research about Cannabis before making an appointment with HelloMD. I trusted my instincts as I listened to the accounts I heard from others that have found help from Cannabis for sleep, pain, and other ailments. The people I listened to stem from their mid 30’s to their mid 80’s. All these people consumed Cannabis in every way it is available. They are using Cannabis in tincture, edible and Pre roll – Joint form. So far, this is what I can share about my experience…

While smoking Cannabis I discovered that it took time for my body to adapt to the strain and level of THC that I was exposing myself to. I have discovered that I am best off keeping the THC level no higher than 13. Higher than that is too strong for me. What does that mean? Well, I feel more groggy than relaxed. So far, I have found that the best results  I have with Cannabis is for better sleep and not so much for pain, or better appetite. Also. one full inhalation does the trick. If I inhale deeply Cannabis has an immediate result of my being able to fall asleep immediately. A deep inhale sometimes irritates my throat a bit, but the does not happen often. The Pre rolls have a filter on them, and all materials are organic. I use a match to ignite hemp string to light the joint. Hemp string is available on Amazon. Yes, I know you can use a bong, or use the vape form.


I have chosen to smoke Cannabis instead of taking the tincture or eating edibles because it seems to be the most direct and efficient way to reap the benefits. I have also chosen to not use a bong or vape form because my use is very limited, more stuff I do not need. On nights where I feel like I may not sleep I take a hit before getting into bed. If I need to, I take another hit in the middle of the night. As my health improves I have been needing it less often. Times around the New and Full Moon I often do not sleep as well and I am grateful to the Cannabis for helping me get the rest I need. It gives me peace of mind knowing that it is there.

Over the past few years I have come to understand why people take meds for pain, sleep, and depression. In my lifetime I have not taken medications, either prescribed or over the counter, for sleep, pain, depression, etcetera. I am very aware that my dosage, and THC strength of Cannabis will be different than some other people looking for help. I do not feel hung over or groggy from smoking Cannabis when I wake up in the morning. Again, the THC level of the Weed I am using is not above 13 and the volume is low. Even if I take an inhalation at 2 am and get up at 5 am I am alert and do not feel out of it.

My sense is that offering Cannabis in other forms, other than smoking it, may legitimize it for some people.  I am talking about tinctures and edible forms. Smoking Cannabis may feel too much like a party “drug” to some and that stigma, if it keeps them from trying to smoke it, might be their loss. I have a strong sense that smoking Cannabis and taking it as a tincture might be more economical than the packaged edibles. Eating Cannabis in  chocolate, or in other food forms might be more expensive because it is easier to over consume.

In summary, Cannabis has enabled me to get better rest and heal. I am not using it as a way of avoiding eating well, or following the program I am complying with under the advice of  Dr. Jennifer Daniels, MD. Knowing that I can pretty much be assured of a more sound and restful sleep gives me a greater sense of ease on a daily basis.

Each person has a unique health situation and biology. Each person will have a need for a different dose, form, stronger or weaker THC level than I have. What I have written here is my experience and I hope it may help you, or someone you know. Thanks for reading.



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There seems to be more awareness among many people around the world of the negative impact of environmental toxins on the health of all life on this planet. Partly due to this awareness, cleansing and detox products and programs have become more and more popular. Some of these products, used either long or short term, have little to no real value for those who are grappling with Chronic Illnesses. What does that mean? Well, my experience is that a more specific strategy is needed for those who have tried everything, or what feels like everything, and have not had improvement in their health. Again, I am talking about people who have reoccurring health issues. A health issues that after years of trying and trying a resolution has not been found. When this is the case, most people end up turning to Traditional Medicine. I have turned to Traditional Medicine for dental problems. I regret some of these decisions. I have not turned to Traditional Medicine for other health dilemmas, but after my own long and frustrating search for answers I understand why someone would go the Traditional Medical route.  I truly have more empathy for, and understanding of these people after my own personal search for  as solution to my own problem.

I have written many posts recounting my own decades of experience with everything from wheatgrass to MMS, Neuromuscular Therapy to Colonics. The list is quite long. Many products, therapies and protocols were somewhat helpful to me, but did not get to the root of the problem. Why is that? Well, the root of my problems go quite deep, and are due to a myriad of reasons and circumstances that you can read more about within the archives of this blog. A thumbnail sketch would entail family health, where I grew up, exposure to environmental toxins, decisions that were made for me as a child, and decisions that I later made for myself.


Finding what works to heal is an experiment within both Traditional or Holistic Medicine. Learning how to not aggravate a condition while treating the heart of it is very tricky. Some things that seem like a good idea can be for certain periods of time. However, if there is no resolution to the problem that they are being taken to resolve these same ingredients, therapies, etcetera very often become counterproductive. Of course, this very much pertains to prescribed and over the counter pharmaceuticals, etcetera but that is not what I am talking about here.

In my experience, the use of Castor Oil and Gum Spirits of Turpentine as written about by the person who advises me, Dr. Jennifer Daniels, MD, is one very effective way to address the nagging symptoms of Chronic Illness. Castor Oil and Gum Spirits Turpentine is only a fraction of the protocol that Dr. Daniels uses to unwind the spiral of sickness that so many people are knowingly, or unknowingly, caught up in. Are Castor Oil and Gum Spirits of Turpentine for everyone? I can not say that for sure, but in general nothing is. I bet you knew I was going to say that, but I am sincere.

Getting back to the original premise, it is important to reevaluate things that are not  getting the results you are seeking after years of trying. I am going to use the word tricky again, because it is. This is a confusing and abundant world of choices that are exponentially exaggerated by an internet filled with information that often leads to more confusion. Who does one believe? With poor health often comes poor judgement, and gullible desperation. Fear and mistrust of everyone and everything is the other side of the coin. Alice down the rabbit hole is a fitting analogy and story.


A Traditional Medical education combined with heightened curiosity, a unique level of intellectual prowess, and the willingness to take risks is what makes Dr. Jennifer Daniels a doctor of an entirely different order. If you are a person who has tried many different approaches to healing and has still not found a resolution to poor digestion, joint pain, etcetera check out Jennifer Daniels, MD. You may decide not to work with her, or her with you, but it may open your mind to a world of healing that you did not know existed before and point you in a whole other direction of healing.





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For a few years I lived in the desert of Southern California where there is a store called Dining and Stools. I thought the name was unattractive and weirdly funny. Dining and Stools, hmmm… Well, it may be a fitting name considering the desert has a large population of senior residents. Oy! Another weirdly amusing stool reference was when my aunt and uncle traveled with my cousin and her family to the east coast. They needed to bring a stool along so my aunt and uncle could more easily get out of the van they had rented. Something about the word stool and my aunt and uncle’s “condition” got big laughs from everyone. At the time, I did laugh, but the joke had a somber reverberation on my consciousness. Look, it’s just who l am.


It is clear to me from my conversations with numerous people over the years that there is not much of an understanding about inflammation. Most people do not know how inflammation leaves the body, that it can leave the body, or most importantly, if long term relief can be had without surgery. That is assuming that long term relief can be found through surgery. It may be the answer for some. As a society, we are constantly told that pain can be numbed by drugs of all kinds until the drugs just do not work anymore. Injections, such as cortisone, are the next step in the Western Medical World and then there is, as I previously mentioned, surgery. Surgery is a very drastic step, and the lack of understanding most of us have as to what exactly causes pain is astounding. It is financially advantageous for Pharmaceutical Companies and Hospital Corporations to keep people ignorant and many of us are knowingly, and unknowingly, compliant. When a person is in pain they often do things that may not be in their best long term interest.


Commercials for drugs like Humira give big clues as to how inflammation builds. What do I mean? Well, if you listen closely, it is expressed by the conditions these drugs are marketed for, specifically inflamed skin conditions, bowel inflammation and joint pain. Whatever is not contained in the gut is often felt in other parts of the body. Many people have eczema, psoriasis, etcetera along with gut and joint problems. The normalization of these poor health conditions, mostly by how they are characterized in advertisements and commercials, dim the depth of their seriousness. Our need to work, fit in, our addictions to food, lifestyle, etcetera keep people ignorant in many ways. For some this is a conscious choice, but for others, I think most, it is unconscious. It is just what you do. Doesn’t everyone? Remember, mom’s don’t take the day off, they take NyQuil.


Pain is experienced as inflammation and it can be contained for only so long. For some, living a sedentary life without pushing the boundaries of what their body can do, along with medications, keeps inflammation contained until it just can not be contained any longer. However, when inflammation / toxins are not excreted naturally and begin building up the body starts screaming bloody murder. The other thing that happens is that the body contains the inflammation in others ways such as tumors, cysts, or expresses itself in neurological disorders. At this point in time we have all been exposed to so many different kinds of environmental contaminants, medications and chemicals it is hard to pinpoint specifically what causes what. So, what does that mean? Well, this wide and constant exposure to toxic substances makes it difficult, if not impossible, to write a playbook as to what is doing what, when or where it will show up.


Before you flush do you look? Examining or acknowledging  what comes out, or does not come out, in the toilet is not an inviting task. It is important to take note while we are able. Sadly, many aging adults end up in a nursing, or employing a underpaid health aid to pick shit out of our asses, or change our diapers. I DO NOT believe all aging adults need to have this outcome in later years. Pour me another one, so I don’t have to think about it is not a solution, it is a distraction.


What comes out through the anus, or what does not, says everything about what is going on in our bodies. The pain and agony that many people sustain each day around defecation is encapsulated in an astounding silence. The silence is broken on television and other media commercials that sell products to makes us go, or slow it down. These advertisements are a telling comment on the state of health in the Western World. The focus on the booty is often sexualized, but it is where the poop comes out. What an irony.


If pooping is a problem there are other things brewing within our bodies that need to be addressed. No shit, right? Well. for some this is a revelation. You may not be one of these  people, but you assuredly knowingly or unknowingly are acquainted with many in this category. Many, many people are living in uncomfortable silence and embarrassed ignorance.


Take action while you can. Taking care of ourselves is not always convenient. Who we marry, live with, have sex with, has a great impact on our lives. Being healthy for those we love, mostly ourselves, is so deeply important, and something we do have some control over.

In past blog posts I have chronicled people and products that have helped me. I am presently a patient of Dr. Jennifer Daniels, MD. I do see this relationship continuing because Dr. Daniels is an active participant in her own healing, and that of her patients. In my experience, a doctor/health practitioner like Jennifer Daniels is highly unusual and inspiring. I have learned a great deal from Dr. Daniels. Her insights and practical advice are invaluable. There are other practitioners out there that you may resonate with, some of whom I have written about in past posts.



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Over the past few years I have had several people recommend Cannabis/Medical Marijuana to me for relief of interrupted sleep/insomnia, low appetite/nausea and pain. I was hesitant in trying it because I had spent so much money on different products that were not very effective. My symptoms were, at times, very strong and I did not have much faith that they could be masked, nor was I sure it was such a good idea to mask them. Why? Well, pain is a warning and I am looking for long term solutions and not short term ones that could possibly cause more harm than good. So, as things have improved overall with less symptomatic peaks, I took action. Through research I was able to receive a prescription for Medical Marijuana through HelloMD. I began receiving deliveries from Highway1 Organics  who are located near me on the Central Coast of California. So far, my experience has been very good on all accounts, from HelloMD to receiving my delivery from Highway1 Organics, to the use of Medical Marijuana/ Cannabis for interrupted sleep, and inducing appetite. There is a salve that Highway1 Organics sells (Heaven’s Cure) that I find soothing for pain.

Because I am new to the use of MMJ, my experience is one of a novice. What I can share at this point is that I have needed very little Cannabis to help improve appetite, sleep more soundly, and alleviate some other symptoms that can make it hard for me to relax, especially after dark, and around the New and Full Moon. Also, with opening up joints and breaking up adhesions there will be an increased release of inflammation that can peak symptoms. Itching, aching, increased gut irregularity, feeling tired, mood shifts, bladder urgency. Basically all the exit points in the body are going to feel the pressure of the increased amount of toxins being disrupted and bursting at the seams to exit. Cannabis provides some buffering of discomfort for me while pursuing healing on a deeper level.


After asking her about the use of Cannabis, I  was instructed by my health advisor, Dr. Jennifer Daniels, MD, to use a puff, or half a puff, before bed and meals. It took time to acclimate to the dose that I am using, but my consumption adds up to about a puff on a preroll three to five times a day. The most effective dose I use is consumed before bed, and once during the night for sleep. There are different strains of Cannabis and finding the one that is right for me has been made easier due to HelloMD, and the Highway1 Organics website and staff.


Just to be clear, Prescribed Cannabis can be purchased in many forms, a tincture being one. Using Cannabis in a Preroll (joint), that I purchase from Highway1 Organics, has taught me about my own prejudice and ignorance about Marijuana. I have come to realize the stigma of “Pot” from growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. How smoking something feels illicit. Taking medicine in  pill form is highly acceptable and what we are all use to. Drugs in pill form are not questioned because they are no muss no fuss and widely prescribed by doctors.

Through my first hand experience I am finding that there is a very effective healing use for the Cannabis plant. It can be ingested for healing without the side effects of Pharmaceuticals. This is a touchy statement for  many people. With all the Prescription Drug addiction to Opioids, Medical Marijuana is a choice to be seriously considered  for people as an adjunct in their healing regimen, both long and short term.

I plan to share more of my experience with Cannabis as it evolves.



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A few years ago, when I started to write these blog posts, I hoped that I would reach other people who I had things in common with, and I did. What I discovered was revealing and not always very flattering in terms of what we shared. In conversations of all kinds I found myself looking in a mirror, and I did not often like what was being reflected back to me. It was an eyeopener because of my willingness to acknowledge that what angers me about others is often something I need to look at in myself. Part of what connected me to some of the people I met were characteristics I did not like about myself, something I wanted to resolve, and not justify through our knowing each other. Fear is not an attractive characteristic and that was pretty much what we all shared.


So, fear is at the root of not feeling safe. It was hard for me to face that I  definitely did not feel safe most of my life. Feeling safe in the world was not my strongpoint. My life circumstances did not read like a person making decisions from a place of fear, but I knew better. A poorly functioning Gut and Weak Immune System did not make me feel  protected from the inside out. I can admit this while acknowledging the acts of violence and threats going on in the world. Also, despite living in New York City on 9/11/2001I, an incident that did change my feelings of personal safety, but my fear was more systemic than that. I was sure the basis of my fear, no matter what I had been through, was greatly determined by something deep. If I wanted to be healthy I had to look at my reaction to others fears. I needed to look at the underbelly. The things I did not find attractive about these other people, like me, who were also struggling with their Chronic Health issues.


The spectrum of opportunity stretches far on the internet, so through this blog I have met people from all over the world. Here in the USA, some lived on the coasts, some in the middle of the country. People from all over the world. I came to understand from listening to their gripes that the fear of something being taken from them caused feelings of fear and defensiveness. That fear greatly determined much of what was coming out of all our mouths. I came to understand how this thinking greatly influences all our decisions. It was clear to me that Poor health, Chronic Illness, Weak Immune Systems all contribute to this kind of “Fear of the Other” thinking. If a person feels that they can not defend themselves from within (Weak Internal Health Defense) the world outside themselves is a much more scary place.


People I met through this blog often had more Right Leaning political views on Politics, Race, and Immigration that I did not share. There was a pattern of characterizing people that seemed so different than themselves as a threat. My anger toward those who felt this way was screaming at me to take a good hard look at myself. To understand their fears and not judge them with the same fear that they were judging people who were different than themselves. I forced myself to look at what I had in common with the people who had the  unexamined fear of “The Other”. The kind of fear that diminishes health and, in my experience, develops from feeling defenseless and unable to fend off Opportunistic Bacteria, a Weak Immune System.


Here in the USA, and from what I see and hear around the world, the behavior that is prevailing in society and government is attack and defend. Sadly, the United States has become more of blatant divider politically  in words and actions. The money that goes to building an even stronger military is defended and rationalized by people every day. Keeping people feeling unsafe is a strategy for the ever increasing Military Budget. I deeply feel that this way of thinking is greatly impacted by their own poor health and Weak Inner Defense Systems. This may sound simplistic, but I strongly stand by it.


From my experience with myself and others I have come to the realization that even pain staking healing of Chronic Illness does not always mean  an awareness and ability to change fearful thinking and behavior. Emotional wounding runs deep and needs to be handled in therapeutic ways that are healing and build understanding. Ways that do not only threaten the tribal alliances people have, their relationships, their work and finances. Most people, here in the USA, do not own a Passport and therefore, depending on where they live, do not often interact with people from other cultures. Meeting new Immigrants from unfamiliar places changes that.


My observation is that healing on a physical / biological level does not magically wipe away the historical patterns of perception that are deeply imbedded in our collective psyches. The images of enslaved Black and Brown people shackled, barefoot, in ragged clothing, whipped and hung from trees, the degrading use of the N word are imbedded in our collective psyches. Just from the political climate around the world I am sure that most white people do NOT understand the shameful scar Slavery has left on us all. I hope more of us are learning, I know I am.


Deep change may have to entail leaving behind people who are not wiling to grow and change. How we handle all this determines our health and personal growth. Tough decisions are made by action and inaction. Judging others takes on a whole new meaning when we face these situations head on. When we all face ourselves.

I have found help from Dr. Jennifer Daniels, MD. Check out her website. She may not be for you, but she provides well researched information on her radio shows and in her other communications.




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I am a person detoxing from Mercury, Mold and other Heavy Metal and Chemical contaminants. These are substances we are all unwillingly exposed to in our air, water and soil. As these contaminants leave my body I feel the burn, itch, aches and pains. There are ways to help cushion those unwanted feelings, but sometimes they are unavoidable and felt in our organs of excretion. To be exact, through the bowel, bladder, lungs, skin, etcetera.


Maybe you have noticed that burning, itching, etcetera release of inflammation often accompanied by chemical like odors. They are often followed up, or proceeded by agitated behavior. A behavior that passes as normal for many people today. A caffeinated feeling, energized in an unnatural hyper way.

In the not so long ago past, maybe 5 or more years ago, I would almost enjoy this feeling. Hey, I have energy to get things done! Problem was I was getting done. Burned out from the inside out. I was doing out of fear. the fear of not getting things accomplished and falling behind. This behavior tells me I am feeling the irritation of being the host of opportunistic bacteria like Candida and other Parasites in my body.


There are different levels of OCD / Obsessive Compulsive Behavior. This is my personal experience with my own body, and from what I have observed in others, is pretty universal. It can go something like this: I  need to go to sleep, but feel compelled to finish something that is not at all necessary to my imminent well being. The task I need to stop doing  is going to get in the way of my going to bed earlier. It is going to get in the way of my doing something that would enhance my life and healing. I have mentioned this to other people and they tell me that this behavior, feeling compelled to do something / finish a project, is not abnormal. I know that normal these days is not often healthy, or a good idea. I take note of the response I get. I then don’t use their words as a justification for my not being able to stop and get some much needed rest. Unplug.

I admit, what I described above is not the most severe or stereotypical example of OCD behavior, but one that a reader might find they can relate to, maybe an eyeopener. What I said could cause a person to question their behavior. Is it really helpful? Even though everyone around us is engaged in it and way, way more extreme. How will I get ahead if I do not push? Time is ticking, etcetera. This is a  normalized amped up feeling that is so the norm today. Starbuck’s ain’t everywhere just because people like the taste of coffee.


I do know we all often have unavoidable deadlines, etcetera. I am not specifically talking about those specific kinds of situations. However, if you thrive on pressure, or those creatures inside you do, this is the issue I am raising here. If that does not make sense to you, maybe down the line at some point it will. Living in a city like New York, where I am originally from, it is easy to not feel how amped up everyone is with, or without caffeine. I have to add that since living in Arizona and California I have come to realize that even the most rural communities (Patagonia, Az. as one example) have wound up citizens. Of course, people often move to these areas to decompress and that takes time. I am not sure moving is the solution for many. With  the exposure to toxins I mentioned above, I am certain it takes more than time for most people to heal up from an amped up Metropolitan Area life.


In summary, I have learned to question my thoughts about people, cautious in judging their behavior, and to never take the anger of other people personally (not so easy) unless it is obviously in response to something I did, or said. Keep the peace without being a doormat by deciding what is important to address. We as human beings are subjected to so much we do not understand that impacts our health. In view of that, it is important to keep all this in mind when dealing with ourselves and others. This is a daily lesson for me that you might be able to relate to in your own life.

Over the past two years Dr. Jennifer Daniels, MD has helped me heal. In past blog posts I have written about other forms of healing help I have received.