Monday, June 5, 2017

Lyme Prevention Tips: Listerine?? Plus...

Tip #1: Original Listerine :D

A couple weeks ago I went for a walk with an elder wise man of sorts.  He plays a founding and ongoing role in local land preservation.  We met at a conference promoting collective collaboration for non-profits and all sectors really.  We bonded on Quaker spirituality, akin to themes and processes the conference was highlighting for secular application.  My new elder friend emerged from his car with a large unmarked spray bottle full of a urine-looking liquid.  "Here, try this. Its Listerine, the original kind.  It does the job."  Even though I'd already sprayed down in my favorite Buzz-Away, it seemed impolite to refuse.  Ah, the smell of nursing homes and my favorite old people came to mind.  

Halfway into our walk we met two groups of hikers.  They each ranted caution of the ticks.  Many spoke of having pulled off tens of them from their clothes since being on the wide paths within just thirty minutes!  The elder and I had been walking on narrower paths.  We had not a one tick for the entire walk.   #ListerineLymePrevention, #eldersbemadwokeyo!  Its been a minute since I've used, believed in, or promoted anything remotely mainstream.  I don't know any dirt on them as a company but for lyme prevention, Listerine (yellow kind) is a new favorite.

Tip #2: Wear light colors on hikes

Many of you know the drill.  Put all fashion sense aside.  Wear light colors that are long sleeved and long legged.  Tuck pants into socks.  You could take it up a notch and duct tape the ends of sleeves and pant legs.  I don't do that.  If I had a kid I might do that to the wee one.  Wrap/secure/protect hair/dreadlocks under large scarf.  Then tip #1.

Tip #3: Check and bag hiking cloths upon return to house

My Lord, my lord.  Yesterday I did my usual tips 1 and 2.  I checked my cloths for ticks.  I found a tiny one that was easy to find due to my white outerwear.  Must have missed a spot during spray time!  Whenever I find a tick, I place it in a plastic bag and freeze it.  You can send to UMass's lab.  I immediately removed all cloths and set aside by the door as usual but this day I didn't check all the clothes as thoroughly.  When I went to bed that night, I was dumbfounded at what I saw on my pillow.  A large tick!  It was crawling on my light colored pillowcase.  What?  How?  Theres no way!  By some divine grace it was crawling in a place I couldn't miss and exactly the right time!  Good God.  After my garden time this morning, the clothes get immediately checked and placed into a large plastic bag. 

Tip #4: Plant lavender :D

Neither ticks nor deer like the smell.  Plant in the yard and garden.

Tip #5:  Have herbal antibiotic prophylactics handy

If you've been bitten and the tick has had a meal, or if you feel unusually tired, achy, feverish, or just really off in a significant way and have been spending time outdoors, consider keeping herbal antibiotics handy.  My favorites are Cat's Claw, Resveratrol (the substance in the invasive Japanese Knotweed), Allicin (the substance in garlic that makes it antimicrobial).  Take the recommended dosage for a week or few knock out any beginnings of infection.  Some doctors now taking Lyme more seriously would even say take for a month or two. 

Tip #6: Simplest route?  Daily eat a few cloves of raw garlic

Chow on a few cloves of raw garlic (if you can stomach it) if you suspect early infection or make them a regular part of your diet pre-hike for general prevention.  You'll sweat it out as a natural repellent.

Tip #7:  Amp up the probiotics

Include extra kimchi, krauts, kefir, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, miso into the diet.  According to the wisdom that played a significant practical role in my healing and sustained healing, probiotics alone could bring enough balance to the system without antibiotics at all.  Its an extreme method to comprehend.  Meditate on it (and consult your medical caregiver).

Tip #8:  Amp up (or surrender into) your spiritual practice/trust

Remember God/Love/Christ-Consciousness intends only good for you.  Relax, listen, share, trust in the divine flow.  Should you get sick as I did (I wish it not for anyone), for a short or extended period, continue to give it over to the Love that created you.  No matter what happens, you're God's child.  You're Love's child, growing into full-grown love itself.

And slightly more woo-woo, have a conversation with the forest as a living being.  Let it know you respect it and want to experience its wisdom consciously without the experience of disease.  Try it out.  I may be crazy, but life's more fun that way, deeply respecting all of our brothers and sisters, small, large, and diversely shaped and oriented.

Lets grow together.  Happy trails.

(Note: The information offered here does not replace medical advice:) 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Healing Resources, Part 2: Physical, Spiritual, Communal

Whether youre faced with Lyme, another tickborne bug, other bacterial/viral infection, or even certain cancers, the following can be complimentary to your healing routine.  As always, check in with your gut intuition when incorporating something new.  Anyone on the healing path a while knows whats good for some isn't always good for others.  Here's what's working for me from the physical to the spiritual to the communal:

Clearing out infection
Chaga mushroom: grows within and on birch trees, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumor properties, the outer black part may be the highest concentration of melanin in plant life--its nutritious to the pineal gland!  I actually hadn't used this regularly until recently for non-Lyme related infections (bad tooth/gum issues and general immunity.  Although recent new joint aches, feverish feeling, and dive in energy from time to time would say I need to drink this regularly for Lyme/Babesia ongoing treatment).  You can harvest chaga yourself off of birch trees!  But do be sustainable, only take what you need and with as little intrusion to the tree as possible.  With the rising popularity and demand of this supreme healing being, we'll need to be sure we don't over exploit the forest of them.  In general, if you don't already know/practice this, try to establish a connection with the plant before harvesting and ingesting.  Ask for its permission and anything else it would like to tell you (just stay open), thank it, have a conversation.  If youre not accustomed to doing this it sounds far out.  But once you get in the habit of it, interacting with plants will be like interacting with any other living being who deserves respect, acknowledgement, gratitude for what it offers to us.  Chaga, as a master herbalist friend says, is the Emperor of herbs in ancient Chinese medicine.  We're really lucky to have it so easily accessible, abundant, and willing to share itself with us here in the Northeast.  If youre not able to access in nature for yourself or from a friend, great sources are Jeans Greens in Troy, NY and Berkshire Herbal Apothecary based in Heath, MA accessible via facebook.  To my knowledge, both will ship globally. 

Sending in the peace troops! Probiotics
Fermented Foods: My trips to Japan last winter were profoundly healing not only in their ethereal spiritual shifts but also in a very grounded way by including new powerful microbe allies into my system.  While I fermented some of my garden veggies here in the past few years, I also learned new fermentation forms and ingredients there that I'll elaborate on in another post.  Currently my fermented diet includes coconut milk and cow milk kefir, miso (I make both), Berkshires made Hosta Hill kraut, kombucha, my own pickles from a few years back.  Fermented foods are especially essential to those of us either currently taking or in the past have taken antibiotics for an extended time.  Its crucial to build diversity of probiotic microbes in our gut to be able to better withstand and better integrate potentially harmful exposures.  My five week stay at an eco-village near Mt. Fuji, called Konohana Family, profoundly shifted my awareness of harmonious bacteria keeping us alive.  There I learned a new level of reverence for the microbe world, its divinity, its wisdom, its power to sustain us and change our lives drastically.  In a way you could say I felt recolonized (I don't condone in any other way than high vibration harmonious bacteria)!  The probiotics there were from the other side of the planet and long revered for keeping and strengthening the fabric of life.  While preparing these life saving micro-beings we often sang songs to them of gratitude and awe for their effect on us.  Eating dynamically powerful live foods adds life to your life.  Give it a whirl.  Sing them a song as you prepare and ingest, as they do their work in your body.  Its a marvelous thing.  [Note: With fermented foods, I find a little goes a long way.  Its a rather efficient means of feeding yourself.  I found myself not eating very much and being quite satisfied.  Ease into incorporating fermented foods into your diet.  It can mean a radical shift in your gut, which, to put lightly, can mean more time on the porcelain throne!]

Body Work
Self hand and foot massage:  When I do these first thing in the morning it drastically improves the quality of my day and experience of my body.  Dr. Quang Van Nguyen, a world renowned, very humble, "barefoot doctor" of Traditional Chinese Medicine, author of "Fourth Uncle in the Mountain", was my healing practitioner for many years of healing from Lyme and Babesia.  As you may know, much of Chinese herbal medicine can be very slow acting but also creates deeper shifts that last longer.  In addition to the herbal tea preparations he prescribes, much of my time as a patient of his was spent acclimating to the consciousness of more subtle, routine building, self care practices from diet to self massage.  Dr. Quang, suggested the self hand and foot massage to increase overall energy and decrease body pain.  It really works!  You need not know reflexology, just get to rubbing and probing intuitively, see what feels good for you.  Deep breaths and a heart of gratitude during the massage go a long way too.  In a culture that's driven on what the body can produce, our bodies really appreciate when we stop to acknowledge and nurture them in conscious ways.  Like the Earth itself, our bodies are what graciously host our sense of self and our ambitions.  Please join me in taking that daily morning time to be in awe, humility, and nurture for the body's generosity to us. 

Essential Oils/Aromatherapy
Frankincense Oil: a favorite this past year from treating cuts, burns, rashes, tooth/gum infections to even PTSD!  It came to mind more for the PTSD healing aspects right now.  If you've got trauma locked up in the body that is thawing and leaking out for attention, healing, release/integration, consider getting a little vile of this oil and dab some on you morning and before bed.  Personally, at the rise of media attention on police terrorism on black men I began to have PTSD symptoms I never knew were stored in me: any time of day flashbacks of race violence which resulted in blackouts and involuntary crying and body convulsion, extreme nightmares, panic attacks.  In addition to prayer and meditation, I sought out therapy.  That therapist, spirit-led and a 'woke-bae' guided me to frankincense oil instead of long term therapy sessions!  Whew!  What a savings to the pocket.  What a profound blessing to the body-mind-soul-nature connection.  Using the oil before I went to sleep and a couple times through the day, my symptoms simply vanished.  Vanished.  There was some kind of deep integration that happened, a healing beyond conscious understanding.  I didn't need to talk it out.  Intuitively it seems the oil activates a cellular restoration and awareness of safety. 

Soul/Spirit 'Work'
Nothingness 'practice': Yup, you read it right.  Do nothing.  You probably have a number of responsibilities to feed, house, clothe, transport, learn, heal, coordinate, perform in private and public life so, yeah, not something that appears easy to do or even desirable.  The good news is there is nothing to do to do nothing:)  A shift of perspective/consciousness helps us see who we are: a place of profound grace, God, Love, Christ Consciousness; a place of experiencing life has got you, you are life, not a worry exists there, its saturated with joy, peace, spaciousness--truly ineffable.  There are many paths to finding it and still no paths at all.  Eckart Tolle calls it the Now.  Some call it Awakening.  Some call it Nothing.  Some call it Grace.  The ego, as useful as it can be, often blinds us into thinking the ego is the only thing worth our attention.  In these moments of Grace, we somehow pop out of the ego drugged state and see theres something so gorgeous holding and being with and in all of us that what we're doing and taking so seriously is kind of hilarious, kind of irrelevant, compared to this rich fabric of holding and being.  I cant pretend I'm an expert at any of this.  I've only by Grace popped like popcorn a few times out of my ego attention and got to experience it for no more than a few minutes to days at a time.  The great ones among us and in history consciously know this is who we are and theres no leaving it even if we wanted to.  Theres no teaching it or learning it.  You are it.  Its the single most important thing to healing, to being, outside of feeling well or not in the body.  In that Love Saturation, there is only G-D, the unknowable yet Is at the core of all.  People seasoned in hospice work, people dying or in chronic pain, people who've known the depths of loss and tragedy and are yet happily alive often have the ego veils thinned or yanked away and consciously live from this grace.  A favorite read right now is Steven and Andrea Levine's "Who Dies?" where they tell the stories of Grace and Awakening experiences from their perspective and of others well acquainted with the beauty of loss and death.  Theres a Biblical scripture about dying (ego death) daily so that Christ may live within.  My favorite embodiment of this is Mooji.  Find videos and other resources at

Community ("Come Unity, Come Unity, Come Unity, Come Unity")
Unify like never before, inside and out: As a new soul sister of mine just encouraged me from afar: "Im so happy to be alive at the same time as you."  The recent swell of political and social scares are a great opportunity for us to come together, share resources, learn, listen, Be with each other in new ways for physical, mental, social, spiritual, communal health and evolution.  We are One and we'll awaken, deepen, expand, heal, and love better together. 

Weekly prayer vigil: If youre in the Berkshires/western MA or abroad, join us in body or spirit Sundays 4-5pm EST, for Community Prayer Vigil.  Its an open safe space share circle.  15 min each of Gratitude, Grief, Prayer, Song.  Leave with a connected warmed heart and a list of ways to join in the wave of communal healing for race, class, gender, economic and social justice. 

Intentional Community resources: if you've got some vaca time this year, spend some of it at an intentional community!  On this site theres a list of all kinds of them.  Its where I found Pendle Hill (the home of the Come Unity song:) many years ago, a Quaker retreat and training center for peace near Philly, Konohana Family (mentioned earlier) near Mt. Fuji, and many more of varying flavors and intentions.  I even had great body healing shift at a place called the Healing Castle in Schochvitz, Germany.  Each of these places had a unique way of creating and evolving intentional community suited to their needs.  While each has their weaknesses in some area, they were the closest thing to communal utopia as I've ever seen.  Its great to learn harmonious community by experiencing one.  Search the site.  There may even be one quite close to you!

More healing resources to come as they appear and reappear...