All Posts for November 2012

Reflections & Transitions: Dec. ’12-Jan. ’13

Friday, November 30th, 2012

I took this photo on Fri., Nov.30th, with the sun shining through the bare limbs. Even bare, I love the trees!

For the past 6 1/2 years I have been posting on Menupause, sometimes three times per week. However, I am going through a transition. Many years ago, before I owned a computer, I was a struggling freelance writer, sending articles to the few health-oriented magazines that were then in print. This was a complicated affair of photocopying and sending an SASE with every article. I finally abandoned that and turned to writing cookbooks. (See MY BOOKS)

Now I am in the process of gathering all my rhymes into a notebook. While doing that I came across essays and articles that I wrote and never published or put in a small newsletter I printed when I had a health food store. Now that email makes submitting easier, I plan to attempt freelancing again, which will cut down on the number of times I post on Menupause. If I do have an article published, I will announce that.

Above is a photo of my family and me in California, celebrating my 75th birthday the week-end of Thanksgiving. (My actual birthday isn’t until Sunday, but I already feel I celebrated.) Being together with my children put me in a reflective mode, which I will share soon. I think I have entered “middle old age” and that is a cause for reflection. (I’m in front with the ruffled scarf.)

During the next two months I plan to catch upon my reading and review several books, including one on quilting, one on essays about peace, and a few food books. I received several books (mostly gifts)  in the last couple of months or so and I think that most of them are worthy of review. So be prepared for multiple book reviews!

I spent Thanksgiving day in Berkeley with part of my family and joined the rest in San Luis Obispo (family photo above). I asked my youngest daughter if she had a lemon I could use to make lemon juice and water in the morning. To my surprise, she sent me to the back yard of her apartment (in a house) and picked fresh lemons from a year-round producing lemon tree. What a treat! And the lemons are juicy! I put a few in my suitcase and hope to feature a recipe or two with lemons. The photo below are the actual lemons I brought back with me.

With the Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and Solstice holidays coming, you may be too busy to read my postings.  This is one reason I am grouping both months together, so you won’t feel pressured to keep up.  You can use January to catch up, since that is generally a month that everyone seems to avoid after the hype of the holidays.

Whatever your plans, take it slow and enjoy family, friends, good food and good spirits!

P.S. There were still a few trees with brilliant leaves before I left for California. There were also lovely trees there,  just beginning to turn. Here is one I took at home before leaving. I just can’t let go of Fall!

Bras: Friend or Foe By Pamela Howard, DC, CCT (Leftover from October)

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Note: Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness Month & I forgot to post this. I profiled Dr. Howard when she was my thermographer. Now I receive my thermogram from my local D.O. She presents a very interesting case about bras based on books by the authors below. I read the first one and the second one looks interesting. Dr. Howard’s contact info is below. es

Every morning women put on their bra as part of their daily routine.  Since breasts have become fashion accessories we must make sure they take their rightful place, but what if your bra was harming your health, would you forsake it?

Syndy Ross Singer & Soma Grismaijer, two researchers boldly studied the effects of bras on women’s health published their findings in Dressed to Kill; The link Between Breast Cancer and Bras with a follow up Get it Off! Understanding The Cause of Breast Pain, Cysts and Cancer.  Despite lawsuit threats by the Intimate Apparel Council,  Singer & Grismaijer noted that the cancer industry has never looked at bras and breast constriction as a possible cause of breast cancer concluding that getting rid of bras would cost the medical industry billions.

Surrounding our breasts is the greatest number of lymph vessels and nodes.  When the breast region is constricted by a bra, the lymph system cannot flow freely causing a buildup of fluid, less effective feeding and cleansing of the tissue, an increase in accumulated toxins and restriction of lymphocytes which destroy abnormal cells. In addition, the petrochemicals in bra materials can leach out of the fabric and into the skin causing loss of breast skin color and dermatitis.  Dr. Irmgard Keeler-Howard of Houghton College states that chemicals that comprise elastic may be cancer causing.

Consider Singer & Grismaijer’s findings:

  • Women wearing bras 24 hours/ day were 125 times more likely (3 out of 4 chance) to developing breast cancer
  • Women wearing bras more than 12 hours/day but not to bed had a 1 out of 7 risk
  • Women wearing bras less than 12 hours/day had a 1 out of 152 risk
  • Women rarely or never wearing bras had a 1 out of 168 change of breast cancer
  • Wearing a bra at least 14 hours/ day tends to increase the hormone prolactin, which decreases circulation to the breast tissue.
  • 80% of bra wearers who experience lumps, cysts, and tenderness saw their symptoms vanish, within a month of getting rid of their bra
  • In 1997 Singer compared a group of women in Fiji: Half the women wore bras and the other half went without. Diet, environment and lifestyle of both groups were the same.  Those wearing bras had the same rate of breast cancer as women in the US.  Those going braless experienced practically no breast cancer.

It’s time we consider health over fashion and demand new fashion trends featuring breasts au natural!  Enhance lymph flow with gentle lymph massage, moving them from the nipple outwards, mostly toward the armpit. Stimulate lymph flow by dry brushing, rebounding on a mini trampoline or bouncing on a gym ball while moving the arms. If you must wear a bra consider bras made from natural fabrics and avoid padded, push-up, sports, strapless, underwire and tight/ill fitting bras which contribute to breast compression as well as bras resembling body armor which may heat up breasts to unnatural temperatures.

Dr. Pamela Howard, DC, Certified Clinical Thermographer; founded Advanced Thermal Imaging in 2005 to provide a safe, non-invasive means of detecting health concerns utilizing Thermography. 1.866.522.3484