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Posted: September 22, 2006

Spiritual Caregiving

A Potpourri of News for the Caregiver's Soul

Becoming the Healing You Wish to Bring to the World
 
Feel like you're losing your heart in the maze of the modern health care system? Transformative Medicine: Personal Ecology for a Healing Life may help you find your new path.
 
Sponsored by the Global Medicine Education Foundation and the American Holistic Medical Association, this 18-month pilot program is designed to help practitioners define a new era of heath care. Starting next June, the professional certificate program will comprise four week-long retreats every six months, plus monthly curriculum -- with phone and web resources -- for work at home.
 
The program fosters evolving holistic clinical, personal, and global perspectives in the healing arts, creating a foundation for being more effective and compassionate health-care providers. For more information, visit www.globalmeded.org.
-- By Stephen Kiesling
 
_____
 
 
Foods That Cool Your Pain
 
Imagine filling your medicine chest with food from your kitchen.
 
A newly identified compound in extra virgin olive oil, oleocanthal, relieves pain in the same way that ibuprofen -- a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent -- does.
 
Although it will probably not cure headaches and sore backs (indeed, the researchers calculate that about 3 tablespoons of olive oil each day is less than 10% of the ibuprofen dose suggested for adults as a pain reliever), regular olive oil consumption may prove to be enormously healthful long term, according to Gary Beauchamp, Ph.D., a scientist from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Beauchamp collaborated with the University of Pennsylvania on the study.
 
Why? Because inflammation in the body is linked with a plethora of chronic ailments, such as stroke, heart disease, breast cancer, and some dementias. Other studies support Dr. Beauchamp’s enthusiasm for olive oil. For example, researchers recently discovered Zyflamend, an herbal extract derived from olive oil that has anti-inflammatory effects potent enough to suppress the growth of prostate cancer cells, and in turn, induce prostate cancer cells to die, according to a new study published in Nutrition and Cancer.
 
Spanish scientists have also announced the discovery of other anti-inflammatory micronutrients in olive oil that reduce the risk of heart disease. Called phenols, these compounds also prevent blood clots. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, recommends consuming virgin or extra virgin olive oils because they are the most phenol-rich olive oils.
 
Other anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing substances in food, herbs, and spices can help prevent or manage rheumatoid arthritis. These include omega-3 fats (abundant in wild salmon); the capsaicin in chili peppers (the hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains); and naturally occurring ingredients in ginger, rosemary, oregano, and turmeric (the Asian spice that makes curry yellow). Green tea, too, contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds called polyphenols that can help protect you against developing arthritis, or diminish inflammation if you have it.
 
-- By Deborah Kesten. Ms Kesten is an adjunct professor at California Institute of Integral Studies where she teaches about her Integrative Nutrition research, model, and program. Her latest book is The Healing Secrets of Food: A Practical Guide for Nourishing Body, Mind, and Soul.
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Ashes to Ashes, but Sprinkle Water and Words
 
Gone are the days when most of us lived and died within easy reach of the family plot in the hometown cemetery. The Rockefellers still have their private burial site at Pocantico Hills in New York, but growing numbers of us are content to have our ashes scattered, without monument or headstone, on good earth in a place we love.
 
An ashes-to-ashes ritual sounds simple and romantic, but it's not always. My first wife's brother, Curtiss "Happy" Hawkins, directed that his ashes be taken from his church in Atlanta to be scattered on the family ranch at La Luz, New Mexico, just north of Alamogordo. Perhaps our experience will help others with such a ceremony.
 
Happy's widow, Diane, planned for other family members to fly to El Paso and drive together 100 miles north to Alamogordo. The town was founded by Happy's grandfather, Judge William Ashton Hawkins, whose likeness in bronze graces the town square. Judge Hawkins, who wrote the legislation that brought New Mexico and Arizona into the Union, managed to prohibit the sale of liquor everywhere in Alamogordo save one lot next to the railroad station, so the bars and better restaurants huddle along the city limits.
 
We found the Hawkins family tombstone standing tall in the cemetery in La Luz, and picked an uninhabited site nearby. To our surprise, the plastic bag contained enough ashes to whitewash an area as large as a king-size bed sheet. A restless breeze blew Happy's fluffy ashes back into our faces, over clothes and shoes. I rushed to the car for half a dozen plastic water bottles, so we could soak the white stuff into the good brown earth.
 
Suddenly we found ourselves helpless without a minister to direct us, but Diane's many years on her vestry had prepared her. She passed out sheets copied from The Book of Common Prayer: "We commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust . . . ."
 
-- By T. George Harris


This article originally appeared in Spirituality & Health magazine, www.SpiritualityHealth.com. For subscriptions call 1-800-876-8202 or see www.SpiritualityHealth.com/subs. Editor Stephen Kiesling and his staff contribute weekly columns, features and articles published every Friday as "Spiritual Caregiving" at www.caregivershome.com. Contact staff directly via email at ASKspirituality@spiritualityhealth.com.

© 2006 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

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