Red Phoenix Healing Arts Blog - Feng Shui, Herbs, Acupunture, Chinese Astrology
Alzheimer's is a progressive disorder that is characterized by the decline in intellectual abilities, eventually leading to dementia in elderly patients.  The cause it not known, although it has been estimated 40% of people over 85 years old suffer from this condition.

Closer examination of the brains of people who have died from Alzheimer's has shown a loss of cells that release a chemical called acetylcholine ~ those cells that are used for thinking.

The first signs of Alzheimer's are loss of short-term memory for names and recent events. This then progresses to a difficulty learning new information, possibly eccentric behavior, depression and loss of spontaneity.

As Alzheimer's continues to affect the sufferer, they will lose the ability to carry out everyday activities, questions will be asked repeatedly, and they may lose the ability to recognize friends and family.

Eventually nearly all mental functions will fail, a similar symptom to those suffering from multiple small strokes and severe alcoholism.

Natural Remedies for Alzheimer's:

• Phosphatidyl Serine::
Phosphatidyl Serine is one of the many substances involved in the structure and maintenance of cell membranes.  It was asserted by the US Food and Drug Administration in May 2003 that "consumption of Phosphatidyl Serine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly" and further, "consumption of Phosphatidyl Serine may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly". Numerous studies back this up with evidence showing patients who took Phosphatidyl Serine orally showed significant improvement in their symptoms.
Thumbnail image for ginkgo-biloba smaller.jpg                  
• Ginkgo Biloba:
Ginkgo Biloba is an extract from the Maidenhair Tree that only grows in a small part of China.  It contains a special extract called EGb 761 that has been shown at the Psychiatry Department at the National Medical University, Kyiv in the Ukraine to have demonstrated significant improvements in cognitive functioning and behavioral symptoms in patients suffering from Alzheimer's.   Further studies have also concluded that the Ginkgo Biloba special extract EGb 761 seems to produce neuro-protective effects in neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

• Choline
A naturally occurring compound, Choline is part of the B Vitamin group and has been shown to consistently help slow the progress of Alzheimer's and improve
neurol functioning of suffers.

** Always check with your Doctor or Practitioner before taking supplements.  Ginkgo is contraindicated in some antidepressants including SSRI's.
Source: Elements4Healthci
Cenacchi T, Bertoldin T, Farina C, Fiori MG, Crepaldi G. Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration. Aging (Milano). 1993 Apr;5(2):123-33. PMID: 8323999.
~ Check back for more natural remedies ~
Today I'm going to vent about a pet peeve of mine.  I've tried to control myself for years, but now we are facing serious viruses and bacteria and I can no longer be quiet.
Yesterday I had an appointment and as I was standing at the office window the receptionist coughed into her hand ~ I started to say "Hey ~ Cough into your elbow" ~ it is all over the news so she must have heard this.  I restrained myself.
Then she put her index finger in her mouth to moisten it and started to go through papers contaminating each page with her sputum.  When she finally found the page red no small.jpgshe was looking for she pulled it out of the pile with the same hand she coughed into and the same finger she sucked on.  She put the paper in a clipboard with that hand and then again with that same hand she thrust a pen at me.
To say that I was repulsed would be an understatement ~ trying not to reveal my revulsion I took the clipboard trying not to put my hand where hers had been but knowing it was a lost cause.  I found the strength to refuse the pen ~ she looked offended so I lied that I had carpel tunnel and needed to use a special pen.

I proceeded to try to fill out the form without touching the paper or the clipboard.  Then I went in for my interview and cringed every time the person touched that Paper of Germs.  As I left, the interviewer handed my papers to his assistant and the unknowing woman walked off with the germs.   I'm sure that this scenario was repeated all day long. Eventually people in that office will get sick but it will be blamed on the visitors ~ like me.

I've thrown out books borrowed by those Finger Suckers ~ Often I've spoken up trying to get them to see how they were endangering their own health ~ what do they think that they are putting in their mouths when they do this?

If they won't consider other people ~ I wish that they would realize that this is very risky behavior ~ germs can live a long time on those surfaces.  So please join me ~ call people on this behavior or give them an old #2 pencil with an eraser like my teachers used.  I have decided than I'm going to buy a box of finger sleeves like proctologists use and when I see this behavior again I will hand them out to the offenders.

This is not rocket science ~ people are screaming about not enough vaccines being available but please remember that we have some responsibility for our own health and don't be selfish.

This is a warning to all those Finger Lickers in the produce department  ~ Stop putting your fingers in your mouth, to moisten them, in order to separate those plastic bags ~ you are being watched.    

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Dr. OZ_.jpg The following is taken from The Dr. Oz show:  "The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat.  In a Global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions.  Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection;  in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps can be practiced...

1. Frequent hand-washing.

2. Resist all temptations to touch any part of the face (unless you want to eat or bathe.)

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (you may also use Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide).  H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat / nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation.  In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one.  Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water, or hydrogen peroxide... Not everybody may be good at cleaning nasal cavities, but blowing the nose softly once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down the viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C ~ Amla and other citrus fruits.  If you have to supplement with Vitamin C and Vitamin D tablets make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can.  Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction.  They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm."

**Please check out these earlier posts for additional information

Nasal Irrigation ~ ancient Ayurvedic technigue to promote Health

Update ~ Nasal Irrigation ~ Allergies

Pay the doctor only if he keeps you well

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_monkey.jpgThe Monkey must be very careful with their health this month ~ do not expose yourself to viruses.  You will also be more vulnerable to accidents.   Keep Peacock Feathers in your car to protect you against accidents.  You will be surrounded by needy people this month ~ try not to get dragged down with their problems ~ you can be sympathetic but be cautious.~ you can only do so much.  Wealth luck is not good so be careful with your finances.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_rooster.jpgDanger for the Rooster ~ you could be robbed or cheated this monthWatch out for superficial friends.  Be careful what you share with people as it could be used against you in a disastrous way.  As bad as your Money and Career luck is ~ your Romance luck is just the opposite.  You will have lots of romantic attention but avoid a one-night stand as there is potential physical danger.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_dog.jpgGood Luck returns ~ a great month for the Dog.  You are Lucky in both Money and Love.   Business decisions you make will be successful as will any financial investments you make.  Wear an amethyst bracelet to improve relationships with others.  Alert ~ watch your health and guard against food poisoning.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_boar.jpgAnother great month for the Boar ~ you are lucky in both Money and Love.  Your social life heats up ~ Be Sociable!  Get out and meet people!  If you have any unfinished bad business with anyone ~ let it go.  Avoid wearing Red this month ~ it could weaken your good luck.

* If you don't know your astrological sign ~ check

*Astrological characters by WOFS
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_dragon.jpgThis is a good month for the Dragon to reconnect with those whom they have not recently been in contact with.  This is a month to build relationships ~ make the effort to catch up.  Place an Amethyst Geode in the Southwest corner of your living room to enhance relationship luck.  Caution however ~  there is danger of unwanted attention from the opposite sex.  Students will do well this month.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_snake.jpgLove Luck continues to be good for the Snake ~ easily attracting members of the opposite sex.  If you're looking for love ~ use your sense of humor ~ You can have your pick.  Career luck is also good.  Friends are there when you need them.  However be careful of poor health this month.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_horse.jpgGood Luck also continues for the Horse ~ opportunities abound ~ especially in relationships ~ including romance.   If  single you might get lucky this month ~ put a Rabbit in the East corner of your bedroom to boost Romance Luck.  Troublemakers will try to upset things ~ so friends and relatives will be very important this month.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_sheep.jpgIllness visits the Sheep this month ~ with a risk of Infection and Sickness.   This month the Southwest poses a danger to your health ~ make sure that you keep things very quiet in that area.  The elderly and infirm should not sleep in the Southwest this month if at all possible.  Watch your diet and make time for exercise ~ but be careful as accidents are possible.  Wealth and Career Luck are positive.

Check back for Part III ~

* If you don't know your astrological sign ~ check

*Astrological characters by WOFS
On November 7, 2009 we will enter the 10th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This is the year of the Earth Ox and is considered a well-balanced year.  The Chinese believe that it is always better to prevent bad luck from occurring than to try to reverse it ~ so it's helpful to know what to expect.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for _rat.jpgThe Rat should avoid gambling or playing the stock market as Wealth Luck is only So So.  At work you will reap what you sow and nothing more ~ Be Competitive.  Love Luck is just average so this is not a good month for a new relationship.  This month shows risks for accidents ~ be careful while driving and forget dangerous sports

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_ox.jpgIt's a great month for the Ox ~ There is Money and Success Luck this month ~ but the Ox will have to work for it ~ Focus on your Work ~ Do not miss deadlines.  There is a possible promotion at work ~ This month it's all about Hard Work.  Spend time with your family ~ but accept loved ones for who they are.  Single Ox should turn on the charm if they are looking for romance.

Thumbnail image for horoscope_tiger.jpgThe Tiger is also in for a Great Month.   You enjoy it all ~ Wealth ~ Career ~ Romance.  But ~ You must make it happen ~ No other tactics but hard work   Throw parties ~ invite friends to your home.  The energy this month is very good ~ do not let it get away!  Wear Blues and Blacks to harness the good energies of this month.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for horoscope_rabbit.jpgThere may be Money Problems for the Rabbit.  Keep an eye on your Finances ~ careful with joint checking accounts. You need to protect yourself from people who do not have you best interests at heart.  Watch your temper ~ there will be Quarrelsome energies all around you ~ you must seize control.  You should wear a 18K Gold Apple to control these argumentative tendencies.  It's best to lay low before starting anything new.

  Check back for Part II ~

* If you don't know your astrological sign ~ check

*Astrological characters by WOFS
A recent study determined that ingestion of only 30 grams of protein per sitting was much more effective and efficient at building lean muscle mass than consuming a 90 gram portion.

t appears that our bodies can only use the first 30 grams of protein to build muscle and the remaining protein is converted to glucose and fat.

Ingestion of sufficient dietary protein is a fundamental prerequisite for muscle protein synthesis and maintenance of muscle mass and function.   Elderly people are often at increased risk for protein-energy malnutrition, sarcopenia, and a diminished quality of life.  In a recent study ~ despite a threefold increase in protein and energy content, there was no further increase in protein synthesis after ingestion of 340g lean beef in either age group.
ngestion of more than 30g protein in a single meal does not further enhance the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis in the young or the elderly.**

highproteinfoods.jpgShortcut: An ounce of meat or fish has approximately 7 grams of protein.

    * Hamburger patty, 4 oz - 28 grams protein
    * Steak, 6 oz - 42 grams
    * Most cuts of beef - 7 grams of protein per ounce
    * Chicken breast, 3.5 oz - 30 grams protein
    * Chicken thigh - 10 grams (for average size)
    * Drumstick - 11 grams
    * Wing - 6 grams
    * Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz - 35 grams
    * Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ½ oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
    * Tuna, 6 oz can - 40 grams of protein
    * Pork chop, average - 22 grams protein
    * Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz - 29 grams
    * Ham, 3 oz serving - 19 grams
    * Ground pork, 1 oz raw - 5 grams; 3 oz cooked - 22 grams
    * Bacon, 1 slice - 3 grams
    * Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice - 5 - 6 grams
Eggs and Dairy
    * Egg, large - 6 grams protein
    * Milk, 1 cup - 8 grams
    * Cottage cheese, ½ cup - 15 grams
    * Yogurt, 1 cup - usually 8-12 grams, check label
    * Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) - 6 grams per oz
    * Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) - 7 or 8 grams per oz
    * Hard cheeses (Parmesan) - 10 grams per oz
    * Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of  cooked beans
    * Split peas, ½ cup cooked - 8 grams
Nuts and Seeds
    * Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons - 8 grams protein
    * Almonds, ¼ cup - 8 grams
    * Peanuts, ¼ cup - 9 grams
    * Cashews, ¼ cup - 5 grams
    * Pecans, ¼ cup - 2.5 grams
    * Sunflower seeds, ¼ cup - 6 grams
    * Pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup - 8 grams
    * Flax seeds - ¼ cup - 8 grams

* *  Courtesy of  The Journal of the American Dietetic Association
Inflammation ~ The Fire Inside

more campfire-flames.jpgResearch into the underlying causes of inflammation and its effects on human health has exploded in recent years and much has been discovered and clarified which is giving the medical community a deeper understanding of how inflammation works and how it is connected to many of the deadliest disease of the 21st century.  Researchers are discovering that inflammation, the body's basic response to infection and injury,  may be at the root of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and Alzheimer's disease.

For some time, studies have indicated that there appears to be an association between depression and inflammation and subsequent cardiovascular disease.  Until recently, it was difficult to determine whether the inflammation led to the depression or the depression led to the inflammatory state.

A recent study has clarified the issue somewhat by demonstrating that depression may actually precede certain inflammatory processes that may directly impact cardiovascular health.

Cross-sectional studies have found that individuals with depressive disorders or symptoms have elevated levels of inflammatory markers predictive of coronary artery disease, including interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP).  

The present findings indicate that depressive symptoms may precede and augment some inflammatory processes relevant to coronary artery disease among healthy, older adults.  Therefore, the results imply that depression may lead to inflammation and that inflammation may be one of the mechanisms through which depression contributes to cardiovascular risk.

In the future I will be discussing supplements and herbs to combat inflammation ~ stay tuned.
* Thanks to DFH for this Friday's Facts.
halloweenghost.jpgOne of the superstitions regarding Halloween is that it's believed that the veil between the spirit world and that of mere mortals is so thin ~ that ghosts and spirits can walk among us and on this evening we can actually see them.  For this reason, many people leave food outside their houses in the hopes that it will please the spirits of their loved ones who have passed on ~ this may be one of the theories behind Halloween treats.
Some traditions also say that we should bury apples in the garden to nourish the souls of any loved ones who have passed over within the last year.
One of the favorites I've heard is to stand in front of a mirror anytime after sunset and make a secret wish.  While staring into the mirror, actually try to 'see' the fulfillment of your wish as you silently whisper what it is to the spirits around you. Your wish should come true in some fashion before this same time next year.  

Thumbnail image for apple.jpgFinally ~ eat an apple ~  legends has it that eating an apple after midnight on All Hallow's Eve will bring  bushels of fortune and good luck in the year to come.   

Do you need a morning cup of Joe to wake up and need sodas or energy drinks to power Coffee cup.jpgthrough the afternoon?  Have you ever wondered what all that caffeine is doing to your brain?
In his book Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, Dr. Amen covers the subject of caffeine in great detail. Caffeine works in the brain by messing with a natural process involving a chemical called adenosine, which is involved in sleep, and adenosine receptors. When adenosine is produced in the brain; it attaches to adenosine receptors, and this causes the brain's blood vessels to dilate, causes neurons to slow down, and induces drowsiness.

When you drink caffeine, however, the adenosine receptors mistake the caffeine for adenosine and bind to it.  When caffeine is attached to the adenosine receptors, it does just the opposite of adenosine.   It constricts the brain's blood vessels, speeds up neuronal activity, and signals your body to go on high alert by producing adrenaline.

This gives you that Java Jolt, which makes your heart beat faster, your breathing become more shallow, and your muscles tense up. It also boosts dopamine levels, which activates the pleasure centers in your brain.

The bad news is that when the effects of the caffeine wear off, you feel sluggish. So you consume more caffeine to re-energize. Soon enough, you are hooked on the stuff. And it may take more and more caffeine to achieve that same feeling.

What happens to the adenosine receptor system when you consume large amounts of caffeine on a regular basis?  For years, scientists have assumed that the adenosine receptor system could learn to compensate for the vasoconstrictive effects of the caffeine.  Not so, according to a new study from a team of researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

The Wake Forest researchers used brain imaging to test the effect of low, moderate, and high caffeine intake on cerebral blood flow.  What they found is that habitually high caffeine intake (about 950mg a day) results in diminished blood flow to the brain, showing that the adenosine receptor system, in fact, does NOT learn to compensate for the effects of caffeine.

After years of studying brain scans, Dr. Amen assures us that reduced cerebral blood flow leads to brain drain. It lowers cognitive function and can exacerbate emotional and mental health problems. It can also wreak havoc with your sleep system and reduce the amount of deep sleep you get at night, leaving you feeling even more fatigued.

If you're addicted to caffeine, try to wean yourself off it. If you want to avoid the fatigue and headaches that come from caffeine withdrawal, do it slowly by reducing your intake each week.

Try boosting dopamine with natural treatments ~ such as intense aerobic exercise.  Green tea or supplements like Rhodiola can also help. Other supplements, such as NeuroRest, that promote relaxation and sleep, can help reset your sleep cycle.

Courtesy of Brain in The News
 Amen Clinics, Inc.

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Mary Chamberlain, LAc.

I started out in New York City as an actress. Eventually I went behind the camera as a television producer and traveled the world producing commercials and staging large events like Avon’s 100th Birthday. Through my travels I developed a love for all things Asian especially the art and science of Feng Shui. When I worked for NBC on the Olympics in Seoul, Korea I decided then that I would study Acupuncture. I went back to school to earn my Masters in Oriental Medicine and become a licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist. From Oriental Medicine to Feng Shui there is so much ancient wisdom to share - where better than in the city of the Healing Springs.