Showing posts from November, 2010

Skin Cancer Treatment

I recently found some skin cancer on my neck and face. Read my previous posts to catch up: First the one called Skin Cancer, and then read Skin Cancer Update Some of the patches discovered were actinic keratosis, which is pre-cancerous.  In many cases, the ‘cure’ for skin cancer is to remove it, along with a margin of healthy tissue around it. Because we caught this so early, I had the option of a topical chemotherapy which kills rapidly dividing cells.  I chose to do the chemo rather than have chunks taken out of my face every time we suspected a spot. So I got some Imiquimod and began applying it to three suspicious areas on my face: First, there was the spot on my temple, near the bottom of my sideburn.  This was where I had what looked like an age spot removed and sent to the lab.  It came back as actinic keratosis.  Surprisingly, I’ve been applying Imiquimod to it twice a day and have yet to see any reaction.  Maybe when they removed it to send it into the lab, they removed it all? The …

Wash Your Hands

Did you know that you are at more risk of catching a cold by shaking someone’s hand than you are by kissing?  And, did you know that washing your hands is even more effective than drugs in preventing contraction of the influenza virus?

Obviously it’s important to wash your hands, but there is a right way and a wrong way to perform this important healthy task.

First of all, use plain soap and water.  Avoid using anti-bacterial soaps; they contain a poison called triclosan that doesn’t rinse off.  This poison not only kills ALL of the bacteria on your hands (even the healthy ones) but it also has been shown to cause cell damage in humans.

Also, the use of such strong anti-bacterials help to strengthen the bacteria, which will adopt to the poisons and develop into a ‘superbug’ that is resistant to them.

A recent study showed that people who use anti-bacterial soaps “developed a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms just as often as people who used…

Dealing with the Common Cold

Do you ever catch colds?  Have you noticed that some people seem to catch a lot of colds and other people don’t seem to get sick much at all?

I’m one of those people who almost never get sick, and yet I live with someone who gets sick maybe three times each year.  We live in a tiny apartment and it is a pretty safe bet that we are exposed to the same germs.  So why don’t I get sick?

The common cold is a virus.  We are exposed to viruses all the time, but our immune system fights them off so they don’t get comfortable inside our bodies and start wreaking havoc.

One of the reasons I don’t get as many colds is that I do many things that gird my immune system.  So even though I may have been exposed to the same cold virus, I wasn’t taken down.

I can’t list all of the factors here, but I will say that some of the biggest factors within our control that help boost and strengthen immune system function are:

1. Getting enough sleep (highly underrated and very powerful)

2. Avoiding excessiv…

Get Produced this Winter

This year, Manhattan Repertory Theatre celebrates its fifth year at our wonderful little space on 42nd St. Believe it or not, since August 2005, they have produced just about 500 plays in their tiny little space.  They are now inviting production submissions for their Winterfest 2011 play festival which is scheduled for this January and will run through the last week in March. The mission of Manhattan Rep is to help playwrights, actors and directors share and explore their craft in a safe, supported, and clean (as in not dusty) theatre environment. Artistic director, Ken Wolf says, “I guess since we have produced so much theatre and we are still surviving even in this economy, at some level we are fulfilling our mission, but honestly, we would like to do more.” So this Winter, they are offering more opportunity for artists to present their work in their space with more performances and more accepted plays than ever. We have all worked in the "theatre festival context" all over …

What is the difference between Coca-Cola and Vitamin Water?

The answer may surprise you: Not much. 
In a class-action lawsuit from 2009, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a California-based, consumer-protection advocacy group, sued the Coca-Cola company for intentionally misleading the public by marketing Vitamin Water as a healthy beverage. In the lawsuit, the names of the different flavors of water were under attack.  They have names like “defense,” “rescue,” “multi-v” and “endurance.”  This is like saying that jelly beans promote health because they contain no cholesterol.  Coca-Cola has tried to get the case dismissed, but in July of 2010, that motion was tossed out and the case will proceed.  In the dismissal, US District Court Judge John Gleeson said that the claims on the labels could possibly be in violation of FDA policy by implying that the drink gets most of its nutritional content through fortification. And the confusion is heightened by statements on the label such as “vitamin enhanced water beverage” and “vitamins + wat…

You Can Change Your Body

As a body specialist, I often hear people say things like, “I’m not flexible,” “My shoulders don’t do that,” “My left leg has always been weaker than my right,” “My mother’s toes were the same way, it’s just genetic.”  And this is alarming to me. This is an indication that most people believe that they are stuck with their bodies just how they are.  When nothing could be further from the truth.  Our bodies are changing constantly.  Cells are dying off and being replaced continually.  Some tissues regenerate faster than others, but within the span of seven years, every single cell in your body has been replaced at least once. The truth is that our bodies react and respond to what we do with them. And with some guidance and diligence, we can reshape and reform our bodies.  It is true that our tissues have memory; this is how we maintain our basic shape.  But we are also highly adaptable.   As a child, I was fortunate enough one day to see a re-run of the syndicated “Jack LaLanne Show.”  I …

Heal, Strengthen, Inspire and Relax with Sound and Music

Your body is a sound resonator. Each one of your 75 trillion cells vibrates in response to sounds that you hear. Music, voices, birds’ chirping, jackhammers, thunder, car alarms, etc.  Everything that you hear has an effect on you. In his book, “The Mozart Effect” Don Campbell tells the story of how he used humming to help break down a blood clot in his brain. He also recounts many stories of how people have consciously used sound to assist their body in self-healing. I have felt profound effects from sound.  I have been brought to tears by hearing the drone of Tibetan Meditation Bowls, and have felt my entire being tighten up and get stressed at the sound of a mysterious, seemingly innocuous squealing in a car of the New York City subway.  When I put my iPod on shuffle, it is interesting to hear the different types of music come up and to notice how it can instantly change my mood.  “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” -William Congreve As a…

Sensation: The Language of Your Body

There is a need for a basic, fundamental shift in our thinking as a society surrounding the issue of having a well-functioning body.  Our bodies are physical.  The language of our bodies is called SENSATION.  The body doesn’t care about talk.  It doesn’t care about terms like “frozen shoulder,” “tendinitis,” “TMJ syndrome” or “fallen arches.”  Our bodies care about sensations like ‘heat,’ ‘pain,’ ‘tension,’ ‘electrical charge’ and ‘stiffness’ and about mobility and stability.  It demands balance and without it, will ask for it using it’s language.  Usually this request for balance is sensed as PAIN. Many people will come to see a doctor with a physical complaint.  As an example, lets say the complaint is that they have pain in their shoulder when they make large arm circles. Many medical doctors will ‘diagnose’ this problem based on talking.  In other words, the client will describe the issue, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this,” and the doctor will then come to some conclusion. For exam…

JAG Fitness 2010 Tour, Wrap Up in Seattle

Wow, I’ve been away from home for a long time. As of this writing, I’ve been in Seattle for a week and have been away from New York for a month. I arrived in Seattle last Monday and have been staying at a friend’s house.  Our first night, I pulled my Yoga Tune Up therapy balls out of my bag and began massaging my feet and legs and showing him how to use them.  He’s a waiter and he really appreciated how much relief they were giving his feet and legs and forearms and hands. I don’t think he’s going to let me take them home.   Being back in Seattle, similar to being in Santa Barbara again, has been an odd trip down memory lane and also a reminder that things are constantly changing and that you can never go back home.  It won’t be there.  It’s the same city, but everything is different.  Some of my favorite restaurants are gone and many new places are awaiting my new discovery.  I’m sharing my Bond Girls routine and it seems to be going over really well.  Everyone is having a great time.  …