Reiki and good ol Southern Comfort

That's the comfort of massage therapy and other healing arts, not the beverage.

Southern Comforts will be presenting a Holistic Health Fair
Saturday, November 15, 2008 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, located at 53 Prospect Park West bet. 1st and 2ndStreets in Brooklyn, New York:

Pavilions will include Sound Therapy, Reiki, Quigong, Massage Therapy, Reflexology, Handcrafted Jewelry & Crystals, Herbs/Vitamins, Oils, Natural Skin Care Products, Standard, Vegetarian, Vegan Cuisine and much more.

"For the past two years, I have also been working with cancer, HIV and diabetes patients with great results. Many hospitals are beginning to permit Reiki practitioners to work with patients especially for pain management. Also, I have been participating in Reiki healing circles around the city including Bed Stuy. If for no other reason, my desire to give this Health Fair is to help folks appreciate the beauty, peace and love within healing energy. Consider your adventure on November 15th as a day at a sanctuary providing inner peace and for some, healing (on various levels within the mind, body and spirit)," said Rev. Nettie Paisley, President of Southern Comforts and Founder/Organizer of the event.

Reiki, Reflexology and Chair Massages
$1.00 per minute - 10 minute minimum
Sound Therapy Class 3:00 PM- 4:00 PM
$30.00 per person
(includes Qigong breathing, meditation,
energy work, music)

LOCATION:
Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
53 Prospect Park West bet. 1st and 2ndStreets
Directions: www.bsec.org

For info and vendor or class application southcomforts@aol.com

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a healing practice that originated in Japan. Reiki practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above the person receiving treatment, with the goal of facilitating the person's own healing response. In the United States, Reiki is part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). This fact sheet provides a general overview of Reiki and suggests sources for additional information.

People use Reiki to promote overall health and well-being. Reiki is also used by people who are seeking relief from disease-related symptoms and the side effects of conventional medical treatments. Reiki has historically been practiced as a form of self-care. Increasingly, it is also provided by health care professionals in a variety of clinical settings. Scientific research is under way to learn more about how Reiki may work, its possible effects on health, and diseases and conditions for which it may be helpful. Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Reiki is based on the idea that there is a universal (or source) energy that supports the body's innate healing abilities. Practitioners seek to access this energy, allowing it to flow to the body and facilitate healing.

Although generally practiced as a form of self-care, Reiki can be received from someone else and may be offered in a variety of health care settings, including medical offices, hospitals, and clinics. It can be practiced on its own or along with other CAM therapies or conventional medical treatments.

Practitioners with appropriate training may perform Reiki from a distance, that is, on clients who are not physically present in the office or clinic.

Uses
A 2002 national survey by the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) on adult Americans' use of CAM found that 1.1 percent of the more than 31,000 participants had ever used Reiki for health purposes. Adjusted to nationally representative numbers, this percentage means that at the time of the survey, more than 2.2 million adults in the United States had ever used Reiki.

People use Reiki for relaxation, stress reduction, and symptom relief, in efforts to improve overall health and well-being. Reiki has been used by people with anxiety, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, and other health conditions, as well as by people recovering from surgery or experiencing side effects from cancer treatments. Reiki has also been given to people who are dying (and to their families and caregivers) to help impart a sense of peace.

Effects and Safety
Clients may experience a deep state of relaxation during a Reiki session. They might also feel warm, tingly, sleepy, or refreshed.

Reiki appears to be generally safe, and no serious side effects have been reported.

Training, Licensing, and Certification. No special background or credentials are needed to receive training. However, Reiki must be learned from an experienced teacher or a Master; it cannot be self-taught. The specific techniques taught can vary greatly.

Training in traditional Reiki has three degrees (levels), each focusing on a different aspect of practice. Each degree includes one or more initiations (also called attunements or empowerments). Receiving an initiation is believed to activate the ability to access Reiki energy.

If You Are Thinking About Using Reiki
Do not use Reiki as a replacement for proven conventional care or to postpone seeing a doctor about a medical problem.
NCCAM-Funded Research

Some recent NCCAM-supported studies have been investigating:

How Reiki might work Whether Reiki is effective and safe for treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia Reiki's possible impact on the well-being and quality of life in people with advanced AIDS The possible effects of Reiki on disease progression and/or anxiety in people with prostate cancer Whether Reiki can help reduce nerve pain and cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes.

History
The word "Reiki" is derived from two Japanese words: rei, or universal, and ki, or life energy. Current Reiki practice can be traced to the spiritual teachings of Mikao Usui in Japan during the early 20th century. Usui's teachings included meditative techniques and healing practices. One of Usui's students, Chujiro Hayashi, further developed the healing practices, placing less emphasis on the meditative techniques. An American named Hawayo Takata learned Reiki from Hayashi in Japan and introduced it to Western cultures in the late 1930s. The type of Reiki practiced and taught by Hayashi and Takata may be considered traditional Reiki. Numerous variations (or schools) of Reiki have since been developed and are currently practiced.

Reiki is based on the idea that there is a universal (or source) energy that supports the body's innate healing abilities. Practitioners seek to access this energy, allowing it to flow to the body and facilitate healing.

Although generally practiced as a form of self-care, Reiki can be received from someone else and may be offered in a variety of health care settings, including medical offices, hospitals, and clinics. It can be practiced on its own or along with other CAM therapies or conventional medical treatments.

Practitioners with appropriate training may perform Reiki from a distance, that is, on clients who are not physically present in the office or clinic.

Clients may experience a deep state of relaxation during a Reiki session. They might also feel warm, tingly, sleepy, or refreshed.

Reiki appears to be generally safe, and no serious side effects have been reported.

Training, Licensing, and Certification
No special background or credentials are needed to receive training. However, Reiki must be learned from an experienced teacher or a Master; it cannot be self-taught. The specific techniques taught can vary
greatly.

Training in traditional Reiki has three degrees (levels), each focusing on a different aspect of practice. Each degree includes one or more initiations (also called attunements or empowerments). Receiving an initiation is believed to activate the ability to access Reiki energy.

If You Are Thinking About Using Reiki
Do not use Reiki as a replacement for proven conventional care or to postpone seeing a doctor about a medical problem.
NCCAM-Funded Research

Some recent NCCAM-supported studies have been investigating:

How Reiki might work Whether Reiki is effective and safe for treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia Reiki's possible impact on the well-being and quality of life in people with advanced AIDS The possible effects of Reiki on disease progression and/or anxiety in people with prostate cancer Whether Reiki can help reduce nerve pain and cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes.

To learn more about Southern Comforts Holistic Health Care or for vendor or class application southcomforts@aol.com

Learn more about Reiki at www.nccam.nih.gov

NCCAM announces: "New Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Centers Target Stress-Related Illnesses, Obesity, Cancer, and Other Conditions:"

The National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has added four new Centers of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CERCs) to its research centers program. The new centers will add to knowledge about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches and their potential in treating and preventing diseases and conditions that are common among Americans.

In NCCAM's CERC program, highly accomplished researchers across a variety of disciplines apply cutting-edge technology to projects in CAM. The new centers and their projects are as follows.

Wisconsin Center for the Neuroscience and Psychophysiology of Meditation
Principal Investigator: Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D.
Institution: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Davidson's team will examine the impact of two forms of meditation--loving-kindness/compassion meditation and mindfulness meditation--on the brain and body, focusing on the regulation of emotion and on emotional reactivity. Potential applications in health include biological and behavioral processes linked with emotions and/or stress, such as recurrent depression.

Metabolic and Immunologic Effects of Meditation
Principal Investigator: Frederick M. Hecht, M.D.
Institution: University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Hecht and his colleagues will study a program combining mindfulness meditation, mindful eating (the practice of awareness and attentiveness in the present moment while eating), and a diet and exercise program, for use in obesity and metabolic syndrome. They will test whether this program helps alter participants' hormonal responses to stress and helps enhance and maintain weight loss. Metabolic syndrome involves a cluster of abnormalities--including increased cholesterol, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance--that increases one's risk for developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

CAM as Countermeasures Against Infectious and Inflammatory Disease
Principal Investigator: Mark A. Jutila, Ph.D.
Institution: Montana State University, Bozeman

This center will study biologically based CAM therapies and their effects on immune system function in infectious and inflammatory diseases. One project focuses on effects of botanical extracts--from apple polyphenols, which are concentrated in apple skins, and from yamoa, which comes from the bark of an African gum tree--on white blood cells, using models of infection and inflammation of the intestinal mucosa. A second project examines two compounds in licorice root--glycyrrhizin and 18-glyrrhetinic acid--for their potential antiviral effects in models of influenza and stomach virus. A third project will focus on bacterial products to see how they treat autoimmune diseases, like arthritis, which may also help build understanding of probiotics' action.

Center for Herbal Research on Colorectal Cancer
Principal Investigator: Chun-Su Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.
Institution: University of Chicago

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related death. Dr. Yuan and his colleagues will examine the anti-tumor effects of different preparations of the herbs American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and notoginseng (Panax notoginseng). They will seek to learn more, through laboratory and animal studies, about how these herbs act upon cellular and molecular pathways of the mechanisms of cancer inhibition.

"The new CERCs, all based on strong preliminary work, apply natural-product and mind-body CAM approaches across a range of health conditions that affect the American public," said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., NCCAM director. "Their multidisciplinary, collaborative structure increases opportunities for improving health and discovering insights into important aspects of human biology."

The grants provide five years of support and bring the total number of CERCs to 11. To learn more about NCCAM's research centers, go to nccam.nih.gov/training/centers/.


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The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's mission is to explore complementary and alternative medical practices in the context of rigorous science, train CAM researchers, and disseminate authoritative information to the public and professionals. For additional information, call NCCAM's Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at nccam.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)--The Nation's Medical Research Agency--includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

'Conjunction, conjunction, what's your function?' Another holistic health care weblog has popped up, this time offering information on alernative medicine colleges:

Alternative Medicine Colleges - Making the Grade If you are drawn to complementary and alternative medicine, you are not alone. Alternative medicine colleges are growing in demand as "36 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over use some form of complementary and alternative medicine." [1] Alternative and complementary medicine therapies that are most commonly sought after include acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine, and nutritional [2] therapies. These professions are frequently taught to students in a number of alternative medicine colleges.

Before registering in the wide expand of alternative medicine colleges, you should first determine which alternative medicine practice you would like to enter. For example, if you interested in chiropractic, be sure that the selection of alternative medicine colleges in which you choose to enroll offer this course of study. Some alternative medicine colleges provide training in a diverse range of health therapies including education in pathology-specific treatments, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Studies offered through alternative medicine colleges in this area may include diverse curriculums in botanical or herbal medicine, supplements and vitamins, hydrotherapy, mind-body therapies, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture and other massage therapies.

Here's something new - a job description for nursing that requires: "Demonstrates knowledge of current complementary and alternative medicine:"

Date: Oct 21, 2008

Location: Saint Paul, MN, US

Site Overview:
St Joseph's Hospital - St. Joseph's Hospital, of downtown St. Paul, was also named a Solucient Top 100 hospital. Providing the latest technology and having outstanding recovery rates, the staff takes a team approach to providing quality and compassionate patient care. Specialties include the Neurovascular Institute, Heart Care, and treating inoperable tumors with the revolutionary technology of the CyberKnife®. St. Joseph's is in the midst of a major expansion and renovation that by 2008 will transform the current campus into a 21st century, state-of-the-art health care facility while maintaining a holistic setting.

Department Overview:
Mental Health Clinic

Work Location:
St. Joseph's Hospital

Job Category:
RN-Registered Nurse

Shift:
All Shifts - Day / Eve/ Night

Primary Function Within the scope of practice as defined by regulatory bodies the CNP functions in the following capacities: Attending Provider: Caring for patients with Behavioral Care needs and as a consultant service, including patient care management, timely admission history and physicals, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, prescribing medications, and discharge planning. Providing Psychiatric consultations within Behavioral Care and across the HealthEast System Ability to independently evaluate and treat hospitalized patients. Communicates with other providers. Coordinates discharge planning. Knows the business impact of the CNP role and actively participates in decision-making regarding business needs related to the CNP service. Collaborates with multidisciplinary healthcare team throughout the continuum of patient care. Maintains knowledge of evidenced based medicine. Provides medical consultation for surgical co-management. Promotes efficiency in clinical progression. Maintains confidentiality in all aspects of the job. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Qualifications
Education:
Graduation from an accredited Nurse Practitioner (CNP/NP) graduate education program, ACNP preferred. Master's degree in nursing. Certification as a CNP (Adult, Family Acute Care) by the American Nurse Credentialing Center, American Nurse Association, or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Active or eligible for Minnesota R.N. license or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Experience:
Three years of acute care nursing experience. Previous experience in the care of psychiatric and addicted patients.

Special Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills; Ability to work independently; Effective liaison with other health care professionals; Effective time management and problem solving skills; Knowledge of health care management and environment; Demonstrates leadership and management skills; Ability to utilize selected patient care software; ACLS provider, prefer instructor status; BLS provider; Fundamentals of Critical Care Support provider preferred; Working knowledge of MN Nurse Practice Act; Demonstrates knowledge of current complementary and alternative medicine.

Someone wants to tell us about "New Age relaxation techniques" (hmmm....):

We all know how unpleasant excessive stress can be. We also know the feeling of sickness in our stomach before an important performance, and the intense 'fight-or-flight' reaction we get when we face frustration after frustration.

In this society where challenges have to be met and limits to be broken all the time, there are just too many stresses which one had to handle & faced, be it student who faces stress at school work & during exam period or the working adult who had to meet the demands of never ending workload & unrealistic deadlines. Relaxation techniques become a marvelous way to help in the quest for stress management.

A lot of people have the misconception that relaxation is just only about having peace of mind or simply enjoying a hobby during their past time. However, relaxation is much more than just that, relaxation is actually a process that helps reduces the wear and tear of life's challenges both physically & mentally so that one can recharge & keep on going positively in life.

Regardless whether one has a very stressful & hectic lifestyle or they have managed to get it under control, one can still benefit from learning the different relaxation techniques. Learning basic relaxation techniques is easy & by exploring these simple relaxation techniques, one is able to get started on de-stressing their life and improving their holistic health.

According to a research done on using relaxation training in improving of irritable bowel syndrome, it was found that with relaxation training in a brief group intervention, it has significantly improves symptom severity, general health perception and medical consumption in irritable bowel syndrome patients immediately after, as well as 6 and 12 months after intervention.[2]

There are also a number of other benefits as to how the body readily responds to stress from practicing relaxation techniques:

* Decrease in heart rate

* Able to stay mentally positive

* Slowing one's breathing rate

* Reducing the need for oxygen

* Increasing blood flow to major muscles

* Reducing muscle tension

* Reducing emotional responses, such as anger and frustration

* Improved concentration & focus

* Greater ability to handle problems

* More efficiency in daily activities

Although health professionals such as complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, doctors and psychotherapists can teach relaxation techniques, we can also learn some of these techniques on our own.

The relaxation response leads to a quieting of the sympathetic nervous system. This relaxation response thus prevent one from being overstress, however it can only be evoked through conscious effort.

Relaxation techniques usually involve refocusing your attention to something calming and increasing awareness of your body. Regular use of the relaxation response helps to offset the effects of fight-or-flight responses (Benson, 1976). It doesn't matter which techniques one choose, what matters is the need to practice relaxation response regularly to benefit from it.

There are several main types of relaxation techniques, including:

Body-to-mind control is one method which one can use to evoke the relaxation response. It is also known as progress muscle relaxation. In this technique, we will focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group. This helps us to focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation, and we will become more aware of our physical sensations. We may choose to start off by tensing and relaxing the muscles in our toes and progressively working our way up to the neck and head. Tense the various muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.

Mind-to-body control is another method of evoking the relaxation response. In this technique, we will first select a quiet environment, get into a comfortable position and close our eyes. Next, we will concentrate fully on taking a deep breath and slowly to be aware of the breathing. While we are breathing out, repeat a positive cue word or sentence, for instance, "I'm relaxing my whole body", "my whole body feels relax and free". Continue doing this for another 10 to 20 minutes. During this exercise, we will adopt a passive attitude, which means that we will allow any distractions that come to our mind to simply pass through and not to focus on the thoughts so as to allow relaxation to occur at its own pace.

Visualization is the third relaxation techniques one can perform. In this technique, one will form positive & relaxation mental images so as to take on a visual journey to a peaceful, calming place or situation. We will try to stimulate using as many senses as possible, including smells, sights, sounds and textures. If we imagine relaxing at the ocean, for instance, we will think about the warmth of the sun, the sound of crashing waves, the feel of the grains of sand and the smell of salt water. We may choose to close our eyes, sit in a quiet spot and loosen any tight clothing so that it will help in the process of the overall relaxation technique.

There are also other relaxation techniques which include those that are more familiar with, such as Taichi, yoga, music, exercise, meditation, hypnosis and massage etc.

Maybe not so New Age after all.