Blog stats for 2016

Well, folks, I broke 100,000 views in 2016, something I never dreamed of when I started this blog at the tail end of 2009. This little blog got 108,999 total views in 2016. In 2015, I got 51,449, so views more than doubled last year.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-9-33-44-pmIt started in January. Total views jumped to over 10,000 per month. The main driver seems to have been a single post, How to drink water with lemon and preserve your tooth enamel. That post got 52,433 views in 2016, and only 10,715 in 2015. First published in January 2014, it only got 209 views that entire year.

I’m guessing that starting in January 2015, people were drinking lemon water, felt something different going on in their mouths, and they got concerned, Googled, and found my post. I wish I knew more about why that post went viral. Did WordPress feature it? Did it get reblogged elsewhere? Who linked to it? It’s a mystery to me.

So 2016 turned out to be the year of preserving tooth enamel. In response to the interest, and after a visit to my dentist, I wrote another post, Rebuilding tooth enamel after drinking water with lemon, in June 2016 that got 2,148 views last year. That was the only top post I actually wrote in 2016.

There was also a lot of interest in the posts Recovering from a virus, recovering from adrenal exhaustion, My experience with brainwave optimization, and Healing bruised, strained toes, which round out the top 5 posts for 2016.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-9-34-49-pm

Continue reading

Check out my new massage therapy website!

Here’s the link: http://http://thewell.massagetherapy.com/home. And if you don’t mind, while you’re there, please click a “share” button on the left or a “follow” button at top right. It helps with search engine rankings.

The Well website

This is just a screenshot! Click the link to view the actual website!

It’s a work in progress, but it is complete enough at present to go public with it. I’ll be adding images, videos, and more as I have time.  Continue reading

Reversing diabetes: Phyllis’ return to health. Part 1.

We’ve all heard the bad news: the percentage of Americans with diabetes has risen sharply since 1990. The CDC says over 12 percent of the adult population is estimated to have diabetes, and more than one-third of adults are now thought to be prediabetic. Two million more people are diagnosed with diabetes every year, and the rate is rising.

I’m talking about Type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance), which 90-95 percent of diabetics have, rather than Type 1 (in which the body no longer produces insulin), diagnosed in just 5 percent of diabetics.

Why is this alarming? Having diabetes increases the risk of serious health issues including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, amputation of toes, feet or legs, and early death.

Doctors now know that living a healthier lifestyle (that means watching your diet and exercising) is key to preventing diabetes. Exercise and diet are important. But once full-blown Type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed, can it be reversed?

I’m writing this to tell you it can. This is Part 1 of a four-part series on how Phyllis Lejeune reversed Type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise, and in the process got off twelve prescription medications and lost over 100 pounds.

If you don’t have time to read all these posts, here’s a summary of Phyllis’ hero’s journey back to health.  Continue reading

How to get 100,000 views on your blog

Sometime in the early hours of December 13, 2013, my blog received its 100,000th view. My first post went up on December 30, 2009, so it took just short of four years to pass that milestone.

I think that perhaps that establishes this as a successful blog!

Some of the keys to getting there have been: Continue reading

Pro-choice gathering at Texas Capitol on June 1, 2013

UPDATE: If you have to work on Monday (or are allergic to the sun/heat) and can’t participate in the rally, now you can come after dark for the march from south Congress to the Texas Capitol on Monday night at 8 pm. It’s also a Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/166843946830616/ I’m going to see how my energy is.

Also, Jessica Luther has offered to post updates on the actual legislative process as it proceeds. Go here: http://jessicawluther.com/2013/06/30/update-on-tomorrows-rally-new-events-scheduled-hb2-swtw/.

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I’ll be at the Capitol Monday out of respect for women’s rights to control their own bodies and make their own reproductive choices. I respect those who oppose abortion, as long as they don’t try to legislatively take away a woman’s right to make that very personal decision for herself, which is what the Texas legislature is trying to do under the guise of protecting women’s health.

I also know that I will be standing there for millions of other women and girls around the world, who just want to have the babies they know they can take care of.

I thought it would be a good idea to compile some helpful links if you are planning to go.

RSVP for Facebook events if you plan to attend

There are two events listed on Facebook for the opening of the second special session in Texas after the filibuster and protest that killed SB5 in the first special session:

  • Kill the Bill Volume 2 (with an awesome graphic of Wendy Davis’ head on Beatrice Kiddo’s/Uma Thurman’s body) starting at 10 am (organized by 6 individuals) and continuing until the vote is held. Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 1.41.07 PM
  • Stand Up Monday – Rally at the Texas Capitol starting at 12 noon (organized by Stand With Texas Women) ending at 2 pm.

For both events, attendees can go sit in the Senate or House gallery to watch the proceedings when they start at 2 pm. Be quiet and respectful, or be escorted out or possibly arrested. The noise last Monday that prevented the vote from taking place before midnight came from those in the rotunda, under the dome, while those in the Senate gallery were slowly being escorted out (or arrested) for being loud. That may or may not happen again.

The vote on SB9/HB2 could happen very quickly (with as many dirty tricks as possible), given what just happened with SB5. I’m sure the legislators would like to be done before July 4, but the special session could last 30 days. Given that the House and Senate introduced different bills, though, it is unlikely they will agree and vote tomorrow. No one knows if there will be another filibuster.

It’s a good idea to know ahead of time whether you’re prepared to participate in acts of civil disobedience and face possible arrest. If you don’t want to be arrested, don’t let that scare you from coming. Your presence is important. You don’t have to participate in anything that would get you arrested, and please recognize that some people may choose to be arrested, but most will not.

Keep calm (and vocal in the appropriate place) and carry on! 

There’s an anti-abortion rally at 10:15 am as well. So far the numbers show the two pro-choice events have over 7,000 and over 5,000 RSVPing (respectively, and there’s no telling how many RSVPed to both), and <700 for the anti-abortion folks.

The pro-choice supporters will be wearing orange (nice choice for Austin, since it’s the color for The University of Texas just blocks away and many have orange shifts). The anti-abortion people are wearing blue.

Text of SB9

The text of SB9 (the number changed with the second special session — SB5 was from the first special session) can be read here. It’s only about the abortion pill. The bill was introduced by Dan Patrick  (Tea Party Republican).

HB2 isn’t available yet but supposedly will be exactly what was introduced in the first special session, both times by Jody Laubenberg (that very same elected official who said that rape kits “clean you out”). http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/832/billtext/pdf/SB00009I.pdf#navpanes=0.

Rebuttal to SB5

A nice rebuttal to SB5 can be found here (and the comments are worth reading): http://crypticphilosopher.com/2013/06/if-youre-planning-on-joining-the-next-round-of-sb5-protests-take-heed/. Excerpt below:

IN CONCLUSION, the bigger issue of the War on Women of which this bill is but one battle is that a primarily rich, white, old, male legislature is determining what SHOULD be a decision between a doctor, a woman, and whatever deity in which a woman believes (if any). They are not in there discussing the man’s obligation and role in a woman’s pregnancy in the first place, men’s rights to Viagra, standards for safe surgical procedures for vasectomies or prostate cancer, rape prevention measures, or appropriate and realistic sex education to prevent pregnancy in the first place.

Austin editorial puts it in context

An editorial from the Austin American-Statesman staff that puts SB5 in the larger context of women’s rights in recent times in Texas: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/opinion/davis-filibuster-shifts-abortion-debate-to-womens-/nYYmg/. Excerpt below:

It’s true that prolonged shouts of people packing the Senate gallery prevented a vote in the final minutes of the special session, and thus killed the bill. But the uproar coming from the chamber that night was not the noise of an unruly mob — it was the sound of civil disobedience. It was the tipping point in a steady stream of insults targeting women.

FAQ for SB9 protest

The FAQ for SB9 protest, created by the Kill the Bill creators,  is at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FD9NpZjiNQzlQgR2k6mXd027rFGacGJ958y6tfHIquk/edit. Note that there are links to various online petitions, places to donate, and lots of good information. Excerpt:

To keep a protest peaceful, there should be an understanding among all protesters that violence and belligerence are not to be tolerated. Keep the confrontation and swearing at a minimum by making sure that everyone at your protest understands that it is a civil, peaceful demonstration. Do not show up drunk, or intoxicated in any way. Be mindful of fellow protesters that have children, have disabilities, or otherwise may need certain accommodations. (Yes, it’s a family friendly event!)

If someone is aggravating a situation, remember that mob mentality can turn from peaceful to riotous quickly. Stay calm, help others remain calm. Continue your peaceful protest. Shift focus from agitators, make jokes, remember why you are there and that being there for the long haul is oftentimes more important than making the news by getting arrested.

Note: sometimes standing your ground peacefully can get you arrested. If this is the case, people are likely more willing to post bail in support of your actions.

More good info including where to get orange shirts

NOWorangeThis site from NOW Austin has lots of good information for people in Austin, the rest of Texas, and those in other states/nations. Facebook and Twitter profiles are also available (see left). Includes links to information about House and Senate rules and rallies on Tuesday in other Texas cities like San Antonio, Beaumont, Fort Worth, Houston, as well as in Austin.  http://www.nowaustin.org/newsite/update-what-you-can-do-to-support-the-texas-feministarmy/.

Everything you wanted to know

Another good source of information is this page from Too Twisted for Color TV, including links to watching online if you can’t be there and how you can help. It’s updated frequently: http://tootwistedtv.blogspot.com/2013/06/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-tx.html

Your rights at protest and demonstrations

The ACLU has a web page about knowing your rights at protests and demonstrations here: http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-demonstrations-and-protests.

What should I do if my rights are being violated by a police officer?

It rarely does any good to argue with a street patrol officer. Ask to talk to a supervisor and explain your position to him or her. Point out that you are not disrupting anyone else’s activity and that the First Amendment protects your actions. If you do not obey an officer, you might be arrested and taken from the scene. You should not be convicted if a court concludes that your First Amendment rights have been violated.

Share your opinion NOW with your Texas state representative and senator

If you live in Texas, you can still email or call your Texas state senator and Texas state representative and voice your opinion clearly and respectfully. If you haven’t done that, please, please do it now! It would be so great if some of these officials, who thought they were representing their districts, found out that they actually were not doing that and changed how they intend to vote.

If you don’t know who represents you or how to get hold of them, go here: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx.

Get deputized to register voters

Since it is possible that this bill will be passed quickly despite our presence, one way to stay active is to make sure supporters are registered to vote. People will be deputizing voter registrars from 2:30-4:30 at 314 W. 11th, a Travis County office. It’s a Facebook event that asks you to join and fill out a form in advance so they can register hundreds if that many want. (Your information is kept private.) See more at https://www.facebook.com/events/272719459532877/.

I will update this with more good links if I discover them and have time.

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Finally, protect yourself from the sun (sunscreen, hats, umbrellas), wear good shoes (you may be on your feet for hours), and stay hydrated.

If you have a personal wifi device, bring it! Make sure your phones and cameras are charged and ready to go! Tweet to #standwithtxwomen, #swtw, #feministarmy, #standwithwendy, #sb9, #hb2, and #txlege. If you want to follow me, I am @wellbodymind. Hope to see you there!

Finally, feel free to share this wherever you think it will help.

Buycott: new app for smart phones lets you vote with your dollars!

Avoid Koch Industries Campaign

Avoid Koch Industries Campaign

A new free smart phone app is quickly gaining popularity. Last week Forbes.com, the business magazine, profiled it in this article, New App Lets You Boycott Koch Brothers, Monsanto, and More By Scanning Your Shopping Cart. (Well done, Forbes! I didn’t know you had it in you.)

The article has already gotten about 440,000 shares on Facebook, which probably qualifies it as being pretty close to viral. I downloaded the app, but apparently they were overwhelmed with new users and still working on some functionality after the Forbes article.

Today it appears to be working fine. I took it for a test ride at my local H-E-B.

To me, this app represents a capitalist democracy functioning at its finest. Companies are of course very sensitive to sales, and at the same time many are making unprecedented use of corporate dollars to influence the governmental representatives that we voted into office to do their bidding. They’ve bought our politicians, and the Supreme Court has given its blessing.

So who’s watching out for us?

We the people can vote with our money and influence those companies to act more in our interests. Yes, we not only get to vote in the voting booth, but now this app makes it really easy to vote with our pocketbooks at the point of sale, which is probably way more effective than just voting in a booth in these days of Citizens v. United.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download the free app. When I first went to the website, it said the Android app is coming soon. The iPhone app is available in the Apple app store. Did I mention it’s free?
  2. Open the app and set yourself up with an account, or you can log in with Facebook if you have an account there.
  3. Note the three buttons at the bottom: Activity, Scan, and Campaigns. Click the Campaigns button to view and join campaigns. Next, select a category. For example, I selected Health.
  4. Joining A Campaign

    Joining A Campaign

    A list of health-related campaigns appear. I selected the campaign “YES to Organic+NonGMO — NO to Monsanto+GMOs” (see photo at right). I can now view information about this campaign, lists of companies and brands aligned with this campaign’s purpose, and Buycott members who’ve joined this campaign. I simply clicked a button to join this campaign. Click the Back button to continue to select the categories and campaigns you want to support. Now you’re ready to shop!

  5. When you are in a store considering a purchase and want to know if the money you pay will support or oppose your values, open the app and click Scan. Hover the phone’s camera over the product’s bar code so that you can view the entire code on the screen. Hold the phone steady for 2-3 seconds until a message says the bar code is loading.
  6. Once the company info appears, you can see whether it supports the campaigns you support. You can view company info, its family tree, and the campaigns it supports, and make a decision about purchasing the product that’s in line with your values.
  7. To scan another item, click Close and do steps 5 and 6 again.

If you want to see a history of your actions (campaigns joined, items scanned, etc.), click Activity (see photo below).

My Activity

My Activity

That’s pretty much it!

So, just for fun, next time you go to the store, go to the soda aisle and scan a bottle of Coke. Then take a look at its family tree. The screenshot below shows the companies/brands owned by Coca-Cola. You have to do a lot of horizontal scrolling to see them all. Then click Campaigns to see where the company stands in relation to your values.

Mr. Rogers and 5 random acts of kindness for each person who died

This has been quoted on Facebook about how to help young children who encounter scary things in the news:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world. ~ Fred Rogers

Here’s a link to the whole web page from which the quote came.

This is part of why I don’t own a television:

The way that news is presented on television can be quite confusing for a young child. The same video segment may be shown over and over again through the day, as if each showing was a different event. Someone who has died turns up alive and then dies again and again. Children often become very anxious since they don’t understand much about videotape replays, closeups, and camera angles. Any televised danger seems close to home to them because the tragic scenes are taking place on the TV set in their own living room. Children can’t tell the difference between what’s close and what’s far away, what’s real and what’s pretend, or what’s new and what’s re-run.

It’s not just children who become very anxious. Your consciousness is taking it in. Even though I’ve been an adult for a long time, and I’ve been conditioned about what “reality” is, watching the events of 9-11 really brought it home to me: the way “the news” televises tragedies is traumatizing. So many replays, so much repetition to get all “the facts” right, so much effort to keep people glued to their sets, feeling horrified and helpless, while taking in those images and words over and over again.

Turn off the news. Go for a walk. Pray and take care of yourself and your family. And look for solutions.

One Facebook friend (Ginger Webb, whom I’ve never met but whose fabulous herbal products I buy and recommend) proposed doing five random acts of kindness for each person who died.

I like that. I so wish that our government would enact gun control laws and make treatment for PTSD free and accessible for everyone. We do not need to be as highly armed as we are, and we’re not doing a very good job keeping guns out of the hands of the emotionally disturbed.

It will take time and effort for that to happen, and it may not, judging by the past. This time could be different, though. Please let your voice be heard.

Meanwhile, put some good into the world. You never know how stressed or hurting someone might really be, and how meaningful your unexpected kindness could be.

Election, holidays: with respect for grace and sanity

The election is over. This time it was different. I felt more detached, less prone to let others’ emotions affect me.

I don’t own a TV. I do listen to public radio in my car sometimes, and I sometimes check out the headlines online, so I’m not completely unfamiliar with current events. I check Facebook and Twitter almost daily, and I caught a lot of people’s posts/tweets about the candidates, issues, things the candidates ignored that should have been issues, spin, and so on.

I didn’t get wound up about it. I knew who I would vote for, and I followed through. The candidate I voted for won, which isn’t always the case. Now we’ll see how the nation and the world fare for the next four years.

It was surprisingly serene.

Thanksgiving was also very low-key this year. I cooked, and a couple of friends came over for potluck, talk, and play. Then we went to see The Life of Pi in 3D. I’d read the book and thought the film was well-done.

I went to another movie the next day with my family. Did not go shopping. Worked Saturday morning. Danced with my ecstatic community in our new space on Sunday morning. Worked Sunday evening.

We’re supposed to feel grateful at Thanksgiving. I have gotten leery of “supposed to” thinking. I could have posted a feel-good post about Thanksgiving, yet something inside made me hesitate.

Even better than feeling grateful because it’s Thanksgiving: Listening to how you really feel.

What if your highest purpose in life is to be yourself and to love yourself no matter what?

Anyway, my best wish for us all is to get through this holiday season with grace and sanity.

Celebrating online booking for massage with a special offer

New! Online booking for Ashiatsu and massage!

I’m very excited! I just got online booking set up for my massage practice! If you need a massage here in Austin, I’d love to work with/on you. I do integrative massage, and Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (barefoot massage).

Special offer

To celebrate, I’m offering a special: if you book an appointment that’s 60 minutes or longer online by 8 pm CDT tomorrow, October 25, you may add 30 minutes to your session for free.

Feel free to pass the word!

Online booking available

You can book online any time from my home page, from my Facebook business page The Well, by clicking this link, or by clicking the menu Schedule Appointment. If you prefer to talk to me, you can call me at 512-507-4184.

My studio is downtown near 12th & Lamar, with free parking.

Let me know if you have any questions or run into any problems with the online booking. I think I’ve got it all set up correctly, but if you have any problems scheduling online, please let me know ASAP (512-507-4184). Thank you!

The fear of emotional overwhelm

Ann, a new reader of this blog, recently sent me a message on my MaryAnn’s Bodywork and Changework Shop Facebook page that she is doing the trauma releasing exercises, and I thought I would move the discussion here so more people can participate:

hi maryann!

i have just discovered your blog online. thank you for sharing your story and advice to the world. i feel a kinship to you, as i am in the third month of my trauma releasing process.
i practice spring forest qigong (5 yrs)

i have done tre exercises 3 or 4 times a couple of months ago and now i can do them at will.

as fear and anxiety are aspects of myself that i am reclaiming/ integrating… i tend to stop the tremors that seem to want to happen a lot now because my mind wants to understand what is actually happening and will this clear the messages from the subconscious. i have apprehension that the amount i release will then need to be felt consciously afterwards and maybe i shouldn’t do them a lot so i can maintain a balance/ keep up with the processing of the emotions…. or do they just go away?…i saw that you posted to do them as much as they want to come out at first. any thoughts?

i have read that the symptoms come back if you stop…so how do they clear?

maybe they get pushed out in a continual cycle that allows you to consciously release what you can… the release just keeps them suspended for a time?

well, that’s enough thinking… any thoughts?

you are lovely.

heartfelt gratitude.

ann 

p.s. the other day i tremored, kicked, wailed, spoke in about 6 different languages… very grateful i have read waking the tiger as i guess you do need to release the things you would have done when you froze. in the english parts i said “no, i said no!” and i didn’t just “say” it. and at the end of it i went back into english and i said “NO. YOU GET OUT OF ME!” it felt awesome.

A little later, Ann sent the following message:

in re-reading this i could sum it up as : fear of emotional overwhelm 

Well put, Ann. To Ann and everyone else who has ever feared being overwhelmed emotionally, whether by grief, anger, or some other emotion (even bliss), I just want to say that this is very, very common.

We all have emotions. Infants and toddlers seem to have a very full range of them and express them freely and with their whole selves.

And at some young age, we begin to receive messages about emotions: which ones are good, which are bad (or positive and negative, if you prefer), which ones are not okay to express in public, maybe which are not okay to even have, which ones are harmful to repress or bottle up.

Maybe we’ve been on the receiving end of someone’s rage, bad boundaries, or lack of feeling, or have felt/not-felt those ourselves. Maybe we’ve felt emotional pain so strongly we’d do anything to avoid feeling it again, including numbing out for years.

No wonder we get messed up emotionally.

It can feel unsafe to let go emotionally, as if we could die or crumble or never come out on the other side. We fear our own emotions, especially the strong ones, because part of us wants to be in control, and emotions can be very intense.

Ann, it seems to me that needing to experience a balance between release and conscious processing is a belief you have acquired. Try on this belief and see if you like it: allowing the emotion/trembling/etc. to flow through you IS clearing the subconscious. You don’t have to understand it for it to work!

And if understanding does come, it will come AFTER you clear the channels and return to a calm state in which other parts of your brain can come online to create whole-brain insight.

I also imagine you experimenting with releasing as much emotionally/physiologically as you feel comfortable with for a few days, letting your conscious mind work at its own pace, and seeing for yourself what happens. That cannot mess you up—it’s just you discovering what mix of emotion and thought, conscious and unconscious works best for you.

I remember feeling rage about 10 years ago for the first time since I was about two, because it wasn’t acceptable in my family or in much of society. I was alone, remembering something I hadn’t thought about in years, when suddenly I had a different understanding of it that brought up hot, intense anger.

I didn’t know what was happening at first, so I kept allowing it to happen because I was curious—and alone. I am sure I got red in the face. There was definitely an upward surge of hot energy toward my head and a stiffening of my posture. I stopped in mid-stride.

Right after I was feeling the most intense anger, my inner witness was marveling, “So this is what rage feels like! I get it how steam comes out of Elmer Fudd’s ears and the grimace and posture he makes!”

It actually had a very, very cleansing effect. It renewed my self-esteem and motivated me to protect my interests. Afterwards, I felt like I had on a cloak of protection. It was actually near the beginning of my trauma recovery process, but I didn’t know that then.

Interestingly enough, fully allowing that rage to flow through me and feeling it completely took maybe 30 seconds. A very slow 30 seconds, to be sure.

Imagine: I had spent years denying/repressing my anger, and when I let it ripple through me, it only took half a minute of intensity, and the benefits were enormous and lasting.

Lesson 1: Emotions have two components. You experience them in your body, and they change you (you resolve an inner conflict, and then you take action: set a boundary, express a concern, reframe your identity, make a decision, right a wrong, and so on).

Lesson 2: You can allow yourself the experience of feeling the emotion fully without having to take action right away. That can come later. Unless the situation is life or death, you can let it settle before doing anything. That provides time for other less emotional parts of your brain to add their gifts on the wisest course of action for you to take. Meanwhile, you’re not bottling up something toxic.

Lesson 3: This is easier said than done. We’re all here in the School of Life. We mess up, we learn, we forgive, we grow.

So this is the thing. I can’t really tell you what’s right for you, but maybe these lessons can help you get through the labyrinth.

I found this quote on Tricycle Daily Dharma, and it’s perfect for this post:

The ebb and flow of life is not unlike the sea. Sure, sometimes it’s calm and serene, but at other times the waves can be so big that they threaten to overwhelm us. These fluctuations are an inevitable part of life. But when you forget this simple fact, it’s easy to get swept away by strong waves of difficult emotions.— Andy Puddicombe, “10 Tips for Living More Mindfully”

I would be remiss if I did not mention one of the best books I’ve read about emotions and their messages, The Emotional Hostage: Rescuing Your Emotional Life by Leslie Cameron-Bandler. It’s an oldie but goodie that helps you decode the purpose of each emotion and use your emotions to live more authentically.