Sunday, December 31, 2006

SHIRLEY MACLAINES ANUAL LETTER

ShirleyGram
January 2007
Affirmation
May 2007 reflect the light and energy of the Universe on and into me.
May I understand that I am responsible for what I behold and may my
energy reflect light throughout the Universe.

My Reel Life
I'm still writing and re-writing. There are a few movies that are
looking pretty good, but in Hollywood these days, even a picture
that is funded is not written in stone, so we'll see.


Health Notes
Sneeze, sniffle, cough, ache; yes, it is cold season again. I
came a cross this article from Northwestern Health Sciences
University and thought it was worth sharing.

While the common cold may be incurable, inconvenient, and at times
incapacitating, naturopathic remedies may offer relief to those
stuck with the sniffles this winter.

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct form of health care that blends
centuries-old knowledge of natural, nontoxic therapies with current
understanding of health and human systems. Focusing upon whole body
health, naturopathic medicine concentrates upon the prevention of
disease and encourages the body's inherent healing abilities.

The simple naturopathic approach to combating a cold is to stimulate
the immune system. According to Paul Ratte, ND, associate clinic
faculty at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington,
Minn., steps can be taken to stimulate the immune system, thereby
lessening the duration and severity of cold symptoms.

The first naturopathic treatment for the common cold is a preventative
step. "Treatment of the immune system must first address unhealthy
dietary habits that impair the ability of the immune system to
respond properly," says Ratte. Ratte practices in the Natural Care
Center at Woodwinds in Woodbury, Minn. The Clinic is one of six
operated by Northwestern Health Sciences University, which is the
largest provider of natural health care services in Minnesota.

According to Ratte, the following habits should be avoided to ensure
that immune system performs to the best of its ability:
Excessive consumption of pro-inflammatory fats, such as red meat and
dairy products;
Excessive alcohol intake, which debilitates the detoxification system
and limits immune response;
Excessive sugar consumption, which results in a 50 percent reduction
of immune activity for one to five hours after consumption;
Inadequate consumption of proteins that manufacture antibodies in the
body; and
Immune nutrient deficiency - specifically zinc, selenium, vitamin E,
vitamin C and vitamin A.

(It's time to tune into Cooking in the Lite)

Although avoiding such habits may help support a healthy immune
response, there are times when getting sick cannot be avoided.
According to Ratte, nutritional and herbal supplements may be used
to support a healthy immune response. "Taking echinacea at the first
signs of illness may help decrease the duration of the cold," says
Ratte. This herbal supplement has a stimulating effect on the immune
system. It is also a non-toxic and safe alternative to medication.

Ratte also recommends goldenseal. "This herb contains berberine,
an alkaloid that demonstrates significant antimicrobial activity
against a wide range of organisms." Not to be taken during
pregnancy, goldenseal also holds immunity stimulating properties,
and may be taken throughout the persistence of symptoms.

Astragalus, a traditional Chinese herb, can be used as a way to
strengthen the body's ability to resist to disease. According to
Ratte, this supplement has been shown to reduce the frequency and
duration of the common cold. In addition to herbal supplements, Ratte
also recommends that common cold sufferers utilize various
nutritional supports such as vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, beta-glucan,
thymus and colostrum.

"However, it is important that patients understand the quality of
nutritional supplements," says Ratte. While people may opt for a
lower-price version of herbal and nutritional supplements, price
is greatly dependent upon quality of product. "I suggest that
people purchase remedies at the clinics of health care practitioners
such as the Natural Care Center at Woodwinds. We assure the highest
quality product available, full disclosure labeling, and the use of
hypoallergenic labeling."

These are excellent tips and as always you should consult with your
physician before embarking on any medical, herbal or naturopathic
program.

And this is from Brigham and Women's Hospital:
Hydrotherapy: Running Hot and Cold
Hydrotherapy, one of the most celebrated of all naturopathic
remedies, involves the application of hot and cold moisture to the
body to improve circulation. Naturopathic physicians use this to
treat everything from ear infections to cancer. Dr. Kelly Cohen
is a doctor of naturopathy who practices in New York City. She
has used hydrotherapy for the common cold, especially in children,
with great success.

"The first step is to wrap the feet in warm towels and then heat
the feet for five minutes. Then take cold, wet, white cotton socks.
Wring them out well and replace the hot towel with the socks.
Place wool socks over the cotton socks and then send him back to
bed." This procedure can also be done on the neck using a wool scarf.
The premise is that the alternating fluctuations in temperature
improve circulation and stimulate the immune system. Dr. Cohen adds,
"Parents give you funny looks at first but then call you in the
morning to tell you how amazed they are by the results."

One of our members shared her version of an old remedy and I wanted
to pass it on to you.

Dear Shirley,
This is my personal twist on an old remedy. The emphasis is on
freshness!
Most pantries have these simple ingredients on hand and when
illness strikes, it's nice to have something so simple, comforting
and effective readily available. I keep them all in stock, not only
during the season but year-round, as this tea is a great immune
system tonic.
All my best,
Donna Davis

Feel Better Tea
This tea is great for the winter season and despite your first
impression, it really tastes great!

Garlic has antibacterial properties and inhibits cough and cold
microbes and is an effective decongestant. It contains an
ingredient called Allicin, which is most effective when raw,
uncooked cloves are used as soon as possible after being 'crushed'
instead of diced, or cut.

Honey can act as a respiratory tonic and is also anti-microbial.

Lemon juice reduces and thins mucus and makes the body's pH less
hospitable to viruses and bacteria. Plus, Fresh squeezed juice
delivers a healthy dose of Vitamin C.

Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Turn off heat when water boils and
immediately add:
1 clove Freshly Crushed Garlic (use more garlic if you can handle
the potency; the cloves can easily be crushed in their shells by
laying on a clean surface and pressing with a wooden spoon).
2 to 3 Tbls. honey
2 to 3 Tbls. of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Cover and Steep mixture for 3 to 5 minutes.
Strain. Sip warm mixture at least 3 times daily.
Even though you may not feel like doing much when you are not
feeling well, make the tea fresh each time for maximum effectiveness.


Environment
Speaking of colds, flu and sniffles and their source...
Look no further than the air around you. It could be teeming with
more than 1,800 types of bacteria, according to a first-of-its-kind
census of airborne microbes recently conducted by scientists from
the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
(Berkeley Lab).

The team used an innovative DNA test to catalog the bacteria in
air samples taken from the Texas cities of San Antonio and Austin.
Surprisingly, they found a widely varied bacterial population that
rivals the diversity found in soil. "Before this study, no one had
a sense of the diversity of the microbes in the air," says lead
author Gary Andersen of Berkeley Lab's Earth Sciences Division.
"This work underscores how much we don't know about airborne
bacterial populations, or where the bacteria come from."

In the past, scientists relied on bacterial cultures to determine
what microbes are present in an air sample. In this method, the
culture media is exposed to the sample, and whatever grows is
counted. Unfortunately, this approach leaves out all of the
organisms that can't survive in the culture, which in some cases
is as much as 99 percent of the bacteria in a sample.

To conduct the study, daily air samples were taken at several
locations in San Antonio and Austin over a 17-week period. The
samples were sent to Berkeley Lab where they were analyzed by
the microarray. It found 1,800 types of bacteria, including some
pathogens, wafting in the air over the two cities. This diverse
population matches the complexity of soil populations, which is
considered to be one of the richest habitats for microbes.

An airborne bacterial census will also enable scientists to track
how climate change impacts the microbial composition of the
atmosphere. This process is already occurring. Wind-blown dust
and biomass from Africa's expanding Sahara desert are reaching
North America in significant quantities. Recent research links
this dust to an increase in asthma cases in the Caribbean.

"We need to determine what's in the air, so we can determine how
climate change affects microbial diversity," says Andersen. "We found
that there are a lot of airborne bacteria, including pathogens, which
we did not know are out there."

To me, the question is, "How did they get there?"

Environmental Fun Fact
Did you know?
There are no garbage dumps here, no piles of rotting trash or
oozing waste, no incinerators belching smoke. That's because all
refuse generated by the U.S. Antarctic Program is shipped to the
United States in an act of extreme recycling.


Heavens Above
Mark January 3 on your calendar (if it isn't too cold). The
Quadrantids emanate from the constellation of Bootes, but they get
their name from a now defunct constellation called Quadrans
Muralis. The Quadrantids are rich in faint meteors and are of
moderate speed.

On January 8, we celebrate Stephen Hawking's birthday; it's his 65.


Fur People
Our New Year's resolutions may include dropping a few pounds, but
keep those sugarless treats out of your fur person’s reach.
Veterinarians warned that a commonly used sweetener might cause
liver failure in dogs, and perhaps even kill them. The report in
the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association appears
to strengthen the suspected link between the sugar substitute
xylitol, thought to make dogs sick, and possible liver failure.

Xylitol, is found in many sugar-free chewing gums, candies, baked
goods and toothpastes and ingesting even a small amount of xylitol
can trigger significant insulin release, which drops their blood
sugar and can be fatal.

Did you know that pets may prevent allergies?!
Recently, doctors have concluded that the very clean environments
we try to achieve for babies and young children may leave them
susceptible to allergies as they grow older. Doctors at Ford
Hospital in Detroit say their 10-year study shows that kids who
were regularly exposed to pets during their first year of life
(when the immune system is still developing) are less likely to be
allergic to grass, dust, and mold, as well as to dogs and cats.

The doctors theorize that exposure to animals' bacteria helps
children lower their susceptibility to allergens. Though allergies
run in families, even kids whose parents had them were less likely
to be allergic themselves if there was a pet in the home.

I knew there was a reason I had my crew of 13 dogs.


TidBits
While the Southern Hemisphere is heating up and areas of Australia
suffering horrible wildfires, the Northern Hemisphere is in a big
chill. Here are some tips to help you overcome the little obstacles
that might crop up:

Frozen Pipes.
Some areas that are not accustomed to hard freezes are dipping
below the freeze mark on the thermometer. Should your pipes freeze,
plug in your hair dryer and set about defrosting them. It is a slow
steady heat that won’t burst your pipes like a propane torch might.

Steam Away the Chill
Set a pot of water on the stove, add cinnamon sticks or fresh cloves,
and simmer. The steam will help your sinuses, the warmth will make
you feel warmer, and the cinnamon or cloves will scent your home.

Reduce Heating Bills
Simply turn your thermostat down when no one is at home or you
are headed for bed and your heating bills can drop by as much as
30 percent.
Don't forget to change the filters for your heating unit.
Make certain your furniture or drapes are not blocking a heating
vent. Arrange furniture away from vents to keep the air circulating
and your heating bills lower.
If you have ceiling fans, remember that during the winter the fans
should pull air up which keeps blankets of cold air from forming near the floor.
When you are not using your fireplace, close the damper.


Calendar
Dec 31 - Special ReConnecting chat
January 1 - New Year's Day
January 3 - Devra and Archangel Michael in a Moderated Chat
January 6 - Epiphany (Let's all have one!)
Januray 7 - IE Radio
January 8 - Dr. Georgina Cannon in a Moderated Chat
Coming of Age Day - Japan
January 14 - Moderated Chat
January 15 - Cooking in the Lite Radio
January 16 - Rochelle Sparrow in a channeling chat
Martin Luther King Day - US
January 21 - IE Radio
January 25 - Burns Night Scotland
January 26 - Australia Day
January 28 - Moderated Chat

Remember to login on the homepage to access the member's area. Then
use the upper menu bar to navigate. Click on Live Chat to access the
chat room and IE Radio to access IE Radio programs and Cooking in the
Lite to access the CL Radio programs.

The Chat room is open 24/7.

And as a special gift to you:
One of our sponsors, The Organic Wine Company, wants to offer you a special
savings on their organic wines. Just access the link below.
http://www.ecowine.com/lotus/

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