From the Snowman

taosTHUMB

I’ve always been a night person. It comes from being a nightclub singer and very involved in show business for many years. Long after career demands I continued with habit of taking a nap between 8 and 11PM and then catching a cab to various clubs around NYC, wherever Bobby Cole was playing. Years later in NM this trend continued with 2 AM run around, yoga and martial arts exercises. That urge disappeared about 2 years ago. Now I look to adversity to supply motivation for regular activities in a brutal winter; otherwise I think I might pile in under the covers with my dogs and meditate until springtime.

Instead I shovel the very heavy snow so my little dogs can get out into the yard for their business and I haul and heave wood for the wood stove which is the only source of heat. I maintain a fire with the enthusiasm of fire-keeper at a peyote ceremony. I am grateful for the forced labor without which I would not experience my usual activity level.

I think about Over70 friends slogging around barns and byways, caring for animals, livestock and pets in -10 degrees. It’s a hard road, but thousands are facing hurricanes, massive blizzards and toxic water. Climate change is having a powerful effect on all seasons. And should you wish to understand what is really underway google thermohaline conveyor belt, maunder minimum and next ice age. We may be old enough to avoid the weather flip that propels the planet into an extended cold period and that is certainly something for which to be most grateful, even for confirmed snowmen.

It’s time to put on the music and start dancing. 2Am and there’s ice on the windows and furniture is frozen ice-cubes. I know it’s time to jump into action when my desk radiates a frosty effect. The Frey or Cold Play…perhaps Bob Dylan, will give the inspiration to jump about until I break the icy effect. Just keep rocking along.

And that’s not the easiest thing to accomplish with a precious elder asleep in the middle of the floor .Lulu is 15+ which is real old for a dog. She has good times playing with the other two dogs and getting lots of pets but basically she is not doing well. She is the only senile, deaf, incontinent, whining elder I have known or taken cared of. She has been an incredible joy for over 13 years and it is a joy to try and make her end days as comfortable as possible.

Somehow one must create joyful moments throughout the day. Forced laughter is a great part time occupation when one is running out of options. Forced laughter is exercise for the innards. It demands internal expansion which is the MO of deep diaphragmatic breathing. Looks like the topic of a future blog. Meanwhile the following video on the Thermohaline Conveyer Belt is a must see.

Avoid Strokes: Monitor Blood Pressure

Mom’s several strokes in her 80s gave me an interest in knowing more about the phenomenon: is it a hereditary condition? are there reliable preventative measures? and what treatment is available once the stroke has occurred? I already knew a trackable indicator – high blood pressure.

The blood pressure monitor I used for years recently died so yesterday I bought a new one that works beautifully. It fits on the wrist and is easy to use which I intend to do for several reasons. I like watching how levels of stress, food, visual input(tv) and meditation can raise the pressure. It’s the simplest way to monitor what is going on inside.

I have always had normal readings in the low range. I just got a reading and found I am now in the very upper range of normal. It can be a bit confusing, as one gets a different reading with each test but as long as it keeps returning to a normal reading from time to time I feel confident all is well. Which may be as expected since I have none of the life-style risks such as obesity, alcoholism, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking or heavy drug use . Mom had none of the above risks either although she did have a heart murmur (since birth) and congestive heart failure.

The DASH diet is is designed to lower high blood pressure and includes lots of grains, veggies and low fat yogurt. It focuses on foods with the power minerals: calcium, magnesium and potassium. It is also a diet for losing weight, which most of us would like to do.

I use too much salt; I love salt better than sweets which is saying a lot. And I have not been taking my usual Potassium and Magnesium supplements. This is ill advised since chemtrails are leaching potassium. Whatever your case watch the video at the conclusion of this post and you may be surprised to learn the signs of low potassium and low electrolytes in general.

I’m upping all the preventative measures for high-blood pressure; I can’t think of anything worse than having a debilitating stroke and being sentenced to a nursing home to live out my final days. Of course there are medical interventions if one gets to hospital within 3 hours. In the meantime it is considered advisable to take aspirin to prevent more strokes.

http://www.naturalandhealthyworld.com/what-should-your-blood-pressure-be-according-to-your-age/

Pamper Your Immune System

Apothecary14

I know my immune system is not the reliable, magnificent system it used to be because I have been experiencing reoccuring colds of a nightmare nature – 4 since the summer of ’14 and this morning I hit that Google button and learned that yes, it is a fact that the elderly immune system looses the ability to both detect and destroy antigens in the body.

https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/immune-disorders/biology-of-the-immune-system/effects-of-aging-on-the-immune-system Be sure to check this info from the Merck Manuals as it lists the numerous changes in the system with age.

I knew something radical was happening because until last summer I had not had a cold or flu in over 25 years and I do not take flu shots and don’t intend to start. I’m hard on the track of massive immune support with a box of accumulating remedies and some of them are extremely helpful.

Days ago I awoke to almost non-stop sneezing – big sneezing! not the little sneeze most are familiar with. Then nasal congestion arrived and I knew the severe coughing would not be far behind. I took anti-congestion tabs, apple cider vinegar, vit C powder and tried something new to me: Wellness Formula. Within hours the cold was miraculously gone and I think it was the Wellness Formula that kicked it out.

Medical research finds the elderly are far more likely to get infectious diseases. “Respiratory infections, influenza and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65.” There are much fewer T cells to fight infections and the elderly immune system loses its memory for the microbes it is intended to fight. Pretty scary; what can one do?

Harvard recommends Selenium, Vitamins A, B2, B6, C, D, E and Zinc along with Garlic, Ginsing and Probiotics for immune support. My recently compiled immune support against colds includes the following: Oscillococcinum; Elderberry in all its forms and applications; Wellness Formula; Sovereign Silver; Ultra Vir-X; nasal decongestant; Zeaxanthin; Benzonatate; Oregano oil and tabs. Of course I don’t take them all indiscriminately for each illness but rather according to what is taking place.

The initial cold illness occurred several days after a lifetime friend died suddenly at the age of 55. It was heartbreaking and according to the upcoming video could have been what opened the door for the diagnosis of mycoplazma pneumonia, a possibly deadly disease. I had no warning with this one – awoke with total laryngitis. It was a nightmare.

There is a rule I try to never break. The very minute I start sneezing or feel the slightest sign of a cold I immediately get busy with my little arsenal of wellness support. Usually it is in the middle of the night, 2 – 3 in the AM but I do not wait because I’ve found it will determine the outcome.

The Unmentionable

Chatterton

Here we are Over70s teetering on the edge of the twilight zone between life and death and yet many of us are more than reluctant to mention the words death and dying and even less eager to discuss the socially incorrect subjects particularly in the US where philosophically we act as though death is not a viable reality – so let’s ignore it for as long as possible and that usually means right up to the very moment of prolonged death.

By the age of 75+ we have lived full lives, raised our families, enjoyed grandchildren and lived our many adventures. Yes this is a glorious world and we know that we are not immortal and to pretend otherwise is the great denial of the inevitable,

There are so many aspects of death and dying to consider – from Elisabeth Kubler Ross to Sogyal Rinpoche and beyond. This post will focus on a very controversial subject as presented by Ezekiel Emanuel MD in his 10/14 The Atlantic article “Why I Hope to Die At 75”. It was exciting to read his view; basically I am in full agreement.

There are numerous reasons why Emanuel, 57, has made this stand. He quotes Osler’s medical textbook The Principals and Practice of Medicine: “Pneumonia may well be called the friend of the aged. Taken off by it in an acute, short, not often painful illness, the old man escapes those cold gradations of decay so distressing to himself and to his friends.”

Emanuel is not interested in prolonging his life in any manner; I agree and have already decided not to have open heart surgery, chemo or other extreme procedures and I hope to die with whatever comes first to take me. And like Emanuel I will gladly welcome palliative care if needed for pain.

Emanuel thinks everything goes south at a fast rate after 75 years including one’s ability to contribute to work and the world at large. All functions rapidly diminish and there is basically little one can do to extend the good life. Who wants to spend the final years debilitated mentally or physically, living in a residential care facility isolated from all one care about.

Unfortunately this is a difficult subject for most people. I read the first paragraph of this post to an Over70 friend and she implored me to stop, it made her heart ache and she didn’t know a single person who talked about the subject. She went on to say that at 73 she had not made one preparation for death…………..no will, no adoption arrangements for her pets etc.

Why on earth are we so fearful of death; it is the great liberator. Ignoring its existence does not influence its arrival one way or the other and much is lost by saying it isn’t so, particularly when the avoidance is maintained up to the moment of passing.

There is no one size fits all at the moment of death, the important ideal is to die in peace knowing all your affairs are in order, your loved ones know they are loved and that life has been a glorious blessing with no abiding regrets. This is kind of difficult to accomplish by ignoring death’s existence on the near horizon; death is always walking beside you and needs your friendship not your denial.

Huckster Scammers

imagesOver70s are notoriously targeted by scammers with endless schemes to steal our financial resources. Best to know and remember: NOTHING IS FREE; THERE ARE NO MIRACLE CURES, NO ANTI- AGE FACE CREMES, NO GET RICH QUICK successes. Fortunately I’ve never been taken in by a hucksters but they are everywhere. I sometimes unplug my land phone in order to avoid constant interruptions by telemarketers and phony IRS agents. Fortunately I’ve never had a problem hanging up the phone in someones face.

How could anyone donate money to strangers on the phone claiming to represent firemen, police, veterans, cancer victims and on and on. With all the hucksters around one has NO clue as to where donations really go or what is done with them. There are reported scams by Red Cross, ASPCA, Haiti Relief and MDs have committed some of the most evil scams known.

Another type of hustle is the Publisher’s Clearing House $5000 a week for life. It’s obvious you will not experience the fantasy-win without buying a bunch of stuff, even tho they say not so. My dear, intelligent mom had a large closet full of trashy Family Dollar type stuff which she never opened – purchased via Publisher’s Clearing House in hopes of winning big. I would say there’s never been a winner who was not first a purchaser.

And then we find the free-trial-offer scam. They are everywhere on the internet and TV. Just today I ran into one for a pet product guaranteed to help with arthritic conditions Fortunately I read the fine print and learned the following: if you did not contact them within 14 days with a cancellation of the product you would be charged $70 for the free bottle and $80+ forever into the future.
They give the phone # to call for cancellation but there is also the admonition of “high call volume” which means: good luck trying to reach them.

The reasons why Over70s are targeted is fairly obvious. Many have savings, own homes and are trustful. Others are near the end of their resources and looking to gamble a little to possibly gain a lot. And everything is a throw of the dice when dealing with corporate schemers. I’m thinking of ruses employed to draw the consumer into the fold only to change the rules after one has signed on. My first experience with this legal scamming was when I signed up with Blue Cross at one price only to have it continuously raised approximately every 6 months. This was back in 2000.

When I turned 65 and received all the info from Medicare I studied the booklets for a week and wondered what I was to think after reading a sentence that said all rates can be raised without due notice to the insured. That little bit of info really stuck with me and I determined to avoid western medical care. And what will I do should I become critically ill? That will be the subject of future blogs.

Proper Breathing Magnifies Charisma

imagesWe know breath sustains life and many have become more deeply involved in the breathing process through contact with meditation practices where breath is central. This focus should continue throughout life by keeping in conscious touch with how you are breathing because breathing habits can change according to the dynamics of one’s life, sometimes disadvantageously.

I became  obsessed with diaphragmatic breathing way back in the ’50s when Lee Strasberg was my first teacher in NYC. I worked with him and other Actor’s Studio teachers such as Kazan, Arthur Penn,John Lehne, and John Stix for years. It was here that diaphragmatic breathing became a primary focus. Many of the Method exercises like private moments and sensory work were rooted in relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing was the support system. Lee had his very special and often humorous ways of determining if and when one was relaxed. I loved the man as I did Stix and Lehne; they played a large part in my early training,

The first misdirection of breath is high chest breathing and for many it is an extremely daunting task to transform. Over70s who have practiced high chest breathing for a lifetime will initially experience  a major challenge but press on as it is absolutely imperative for better health, controlling pain and joyful well being. You will need to become obsessed with it as I did. That means you think about it with gusto throughout the day. The great thing is you can work on it wherever you are and whatever you are doing – so there is no excuse for avoidance. In fact lying prone on a bed is a great place to begin.

Lying down place one hand on the abdomen and one on the upper chest, sternum level. Inhale slowly and do not allow the upper chest to move upward toward the neck. Simultaneously place the other hand over the waist area and feel it expanding in a horizontal direction, meaning don’t create a watermelon belly. That kind of distention is a very bad habit. Make sure the anal area is totally relaxed throughout this practice and try to feel weight in your feet. This will help draw the energy into the lower body and keep it from moving up the spine toward the neck to produce that uncomfortable choking feeling. All this will take a while to accomplish I assure you.

Throughout your day slow the inhalation down to an extended 4 count and the exhalation to an even slower 8 count. At the moment of the inhale release all the muscles that have tightened during the exhalation or it will become uncomfortable and sometimes impossible to do a series of breaths. Slow breathing gives an immediate feeling of joyful ecstasy and often reveals an abiding smile.

Have you noticed the habit of breath-holding? We all do it and it’s a nasty habit used to block emotional expression. The major ramification of breath holding is a general hardening of the muscles creating greater tension throughout the body. Hold your breath for several seconds and observe changes that occur. It also reduces the radiant light streaming from the body, reducing the charisma effect. This is visible to the sensitive eye.

It will take extended time to accomplish continuous diaphragmatic breathing. When you truly make it your own it will never go away but intermittent breath holding continues and must be monitored on a regular basis. Make a mental note to check it out in stressful situations.

I highly recommend Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams. Make sure to read the chapter on p67: Zen Breathing which tells of how slow controlled diaphragmatic breathing saved his life. “This technique which I had been taught as a prelude to Aikido, is an aspect of Zen practice that makes one oblivious to external impressions. The more I concentrated on my breathing, the more immune I became to the fear that I was dying. Within a few minutes I was in control of myself and my body again.

Pill Popping for Big Pharma

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TV ads for pharmaceuticals continue to amaze: they must be working to attract customers or drug companies would stop paying to run them. AMAZING considering the warnings of stroke, heart attack, death that accompany each ad.  Yet patient advocates say  prescriptions drug sales are way up. “The amount of money spent by pharmaceutical companies on direct-to-consumer advertising more than tripled between 1997 and 2005, growing from $1.3 billion to $4.2 billion since restrictions governing drug ads were relaxed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the California Public Interest Research Group, a public advocacy group nicknamed CalPIRG.” Imagine how it has grown in the past 10 years.

What is this process? The ad for ‘Dkialjfsduh’ (made up drug name) resonates with the prospective consumer who requests the drug which is quickly prescribed. Many MDs gladly participate for a kickback. It’s a well know, long standing racket. We already know they move hand in glove with big pharma. Even medical students are swarmed by drug salesmen and the federal Anti-kickback Statute seems to have little effect on this practice.

Numerous highly visible drugs are later recalled as killers. Pharmaceutical companies spend advertising money marketing drugs that are just hitting the market and apparently inadequately tested. Why does the consumer continue to support Pharma-evil? And that’s indeed what it is; after all evil is defined as to knowingly bring harm to others.

35 FDA approved prescription drugs have been recalled after many years on the market and thousands of deaths. Check out this list which gives details of years on market and estimated thousands killed.
http://prescriptiondrugs.procon.org /view.resource.php?resourceID=005528
Just because your MD prescribes a drug does not mean you should take it without first checking it online.

I recall on several occasions holding a drug vial in hand and hearing intuition screaming “do not use” over and over. I didn’t ingest them, put them in the fridge and months later saw the recall detailed on the telly. Yes I was surprised and horrified and needless to say I currently do not take any prescription drug. They are so expensive I couldn’t if I wanted.

Taking multiple drugs is a crap shoot. The intractions can be deadly as one of my dearest friends experienced. She was on heavy drugs for bipolar 3 and then added Naltrexone (Vivitrol) for alcohol abuse and died at 55 years, a month after starting the drug known to cause seizures. She died of a seizure with no history of stroke or seizure. Of course we will never know for sure but it sounds a little suspicious.

Have You Experienced Dehydration?

Dehydration is one of the ten most frequent diagnoses reported for hospitalizations of persons over 65 in the United States – See more at: http://www.h4hinitiative.com/h4h-academy/hydration-lab/hydration-aging/risks#sthash.W08afmV6.dpuf

Researchers find 48% of elderly admitted to hospital have signs of dehydration in lab results. Drinking at least five 8-ounce glasses of water daily prevents illness including reducing the risk of fatal coronary heart disease among older adults. Water has the power to revive oxygen and circulation starved areas of the brain preventing strokes and minimizing the effects of strokes. Over70s have lost approximately 40% of their water content therefore water intake throughout the day is imperative.

My first experience with dehydration happened shortly after moving to New Mexico. I was seated on a restaurant terrace beginning the meal when I suddenly pushed the plate of food away for no apparent reason; the next I knew I was on the ground, having passed out for over 10 minutes. I refused to go to the hospital and had no idea what I’d experienced until years later when I had several scary experiences of a similar nature.

The first occurred in the middle of the night when the ceiling began to roll and the nausea was so intense I lay frozen in the bed trying to avoid all movement. I phoned a friend who knew what was happening and advised drinking as much water as I could tolerate. I did as instructed and the problem went away.

Shortly thereafter I read Batmanghelidj’s books: Your Bodies Many Cries for Water and Water and discovered most aches and pains ended with two glasses of water. It was a thrilling discovery but didn’t end my problems because of a personal difficulty drinking enough water to stay hydrated. Oprah admitted to having a similar problem: an underdeveloped sense for the taste of water. It’s a bad problem to have particularly for the elderly.

My worse dehydration was years ago directly after a very hot tub soak. Felt normal while drying off and in a split second was plunged into an unimaginable and very difficult to describe horrific nightmare. It felt kind of like my body was exploding into intense nausea and vertigo swirling dizziness. It is an unimaginable experience.

As soon as the first indications of fainting are felt one must lie down on the floor quickly to avoid falling and busting the head, which is what I did. I had no idea how long I was out and wasn’t too sure what was happening when I first awoke. Couldn’t figure out why the back of my head was stinging. Had a hard time getting up only to stagger in a zig zag pattern across the floor to the bed where I discovered a bump, big as a large lemon on the back of my head. I was happy to have an inclinable bed and I did not take a hot bath. Why? Because heat causes expansion and I didn’t want my swollen head to be further traumatized by pressing against the skull. Instead I applied numerous ice packs.

Hospitals put most patients on a water drip when first admitted. They know dehydration is a major cause for hospitalizations particularly in the elderly. Basically over70s should be on a sort of water drip 24/7 in the form of a water container at the finger tips. And the next time you have abdominal pain, cramping, kidney stones or any physical discomfort try water as your miracle cure. It might very well bring the relief needed, particularly when combined with electrolytes.

How Are You Walking?

La juventud se lleva dentro

¿Existe una edad para dejar de bailar? Esta jovencita demuestra que los años son cuestión de actitud

Posted by Antena 3 on Thursday, January 7, 2016

In Taos, NM the temp is typically below 0 in the early morning and yes snow is usually on the ground – turned to ice wherever pressure is applied to its surface. Cars are stuck on home-driveways and somehow impaled along the sides of dirt roads And the recent snow is different in terms of general action – step on it, just once and it immediately turns to ice.

Caution is called for when ice is in the neighborhood. We already know of high numbers of falls experienced by over-70 population, resulting in long recovery or death. All seniors need to invest in serious practice of simply walking, particularly in icy environments like Taos where individuals have been known to slip at night, unable to get up and freeze to death in sub-zero temps. The easiest solutions: bent knees and Yak tracks.

I was introduced to bent knee movement back in the ’80s when studying martial arts with Grand Master George Crayton in NYC. How fortunate I was to have this influence in my life. He taught his master class in my loft on 14th in Manhattan for over a year as I recall. And we hung out regularly – going to China-town for movies, food and checking out other dojos. Directly next door on 14th lived another Grand Master: Ricco Guy who became a dear friend and inspiration. In a later blog I’ll go into greater detail regarding these experiences; right now we are focusing on bent knee movement and particularly walking.

Watch people walk. First look at the knees; are they walking with bending knees or do they step onto straight pogo stick legs? A majority of athletes and martial artists walk with knees that bend slightly when stepped upon. Look at the difference in the grace and agility between the two ways of walking.

Our goal is to walk on bending knees and not do the pogo-stick thud.It is essential for good posture or as the orientals say – a straight spine is essential for good health. It is imperative for balance, agility, healthy knees and pain-free lower back. Without loose, bending knees , energy cannot flow into the lower body including the feet. It is necessary for balanced walking.

Look in a mirror standing profile. Straighten knees and watch what happens to the lower back: it becomes swayed because there’s no other way to maintain standing balance. Now bend the knees very slightly and see what happens or straighten the lower back and watch what happens to the knees.

In preparation for walking with bending knees do the following exercise.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, bend the knees a noticeable amount and stand there. Stand near a solid piece of furniture in case you are wobbly. Or use a hover cane, whatever works for your steadying. This bent knee stance is a modified Ma-bo stance in martial arts. While in the stance try to practice belly breathing and not moving the chest with the intake of breath. Monitor the shoulders, telling them to drop.

Rest weight of the body in the pelvic region and the feet. Feel the feet expand against the floor like pancakes. Don’t allow body energy and weight to rise and locate in the upper chest and shoulders. Experience the weight of the body resting totally on the feet.

When comfortable in this bent knee stance walk about with very bent knees keeping the lower back straight and in perfect alignment with the head. Focus on loosening the rectal muscles; being a tight-ass is not an advantage.

The above exercises will take time. In the meanwhile snow and ice-bound readers MUST purchase Yak Tracks with spikes and wear them. And remember, should you fall and bang your head: do not use a hot tub or shower and sleep on a incline. Too many folks have died by experiencing a heavy blow to the head and getting into a hot tub or shower to relax. My mom died in this manner

A large number of folks are having hip replacement surgery initiated by arthritis and aggravated by pogoing. My personal belief is pogoing aggravates both knee and pelvic hip problems. The impact can be severe depending on the weight of the person. It’s puzzling orthopedic MDs don’t recommend a radical change in walking technique. In fact I once had a PA ask me why I stood with bent knees. Shocking.

I don’t mean radically bent knees. It’s a slight almost unnoticeable bend. And we don’t step onto a bended knee but rather the knee is soft and bends slightly as one steps onto the leg.