I recently received an interesting e-mail from my good friend Jean that reminded me that the foods in nature give us visual clues as to the organs in our body they nurture.  I remembered seeing this some years ago and found a more extensive list on a great website called J.CROW'S® Arthritis and Folk Medicine.  Visit the site.  You will find much wisdom there.  The following is a reprint of J. Crow’s list.  Take note!

"You are what you eat, so eat well.

A stupendous insight of civilizations past has now been confirmed by today's investigative, nutritional sciences. They have shown that what was once called 'The Doctrine of Signatures' was astoundingly correct. It now contends that every whole food has a pattern that resembles a ody organ or physiological function and that this pattern acts as a signal or sign as to the benefit the food provides the eater.

Here is just a short list of examples of Whole Food Signatures    
A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look
just like the human eye...and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four Chambers.
All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the Research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right Hemisphere, upper Cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex.We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuro-transmitters For brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the Human kidneys.  

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough Sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, Avocados and Pears target the health and function of The womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances Hormones, sheds unwanted birth Weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? . it takes exactly 9 months to Grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 phytolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male
and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries
Grapefruits, Oranges, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary  glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement  of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like body cells.   Todays research shows that onions help clear waste materials From all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes

Bananas, Cucumber, Zucchini and more target the size and strength of the male sexual organ. It's true!

Peanuts have a profound effect on the testicles and sexual libido. Peanuts were banned As a food for males by the church often during the middle ages. Most people don't realize that arginine, the main component of Viagra, comes from     peanuts."


Arthritis and Folk Medicine

I am honored to be a recipient of messages from Norm McNamara, a man that I have never met but whose messages from Britain I anxiously await each morning.  He is one of the great Alzheimer's missionaries who, once diagnosed, embarked on a quest to find a cure for himself and all the victims of this and future generations.  In his most recent message he tells what it feels like to be bombarded by grandchildren's questions, the chaos of a home filled with family on holidays, the fear of losing precious memories and the blessed understanding of his wife and caregiver.  Please share this with anyone who you believe might benefit. 

Message from Norm McNamara:  "I wrote this on Boxing day and i hope it goes some little way of explaining how someone with the diagnosis of Early onset Alzheimers feels on such special days, hope it helps, best wishes, Norrms and family xxxxxxxxxxx

Alzheimer`s On Christmas Day

I have nine grandchildren, two of which live in Australia, one who still lives in the north of England, and six who were in the same front room as me on Christmas day. Can you imagine how hard it is sitting there watching your grandchildren, both young and old run riot, when you know that there is such a good chance you are going to forget all of these happy faces? I have absolutely no memory of last Christmas so being sat there wondering how long it would be before I forget this one was one of the most emotional times I have ever sat through. 

The sheer enormity of the situation runs through your bones like shockwaves!! I sat there, trying to smile through complete anguish whilst trying to answer a million questions at once from my darling little ones. It was grandad this? Grandad that? And I have trouble keeping up at the best of times!!LOLL but through all this, all I saw was their smiles and their hopes in their eyes, I could almost feel their future mapping out in front of them, so much to look forward too, so much to do and so much to SAY!!!LOLL 

Just then, a hand slipped into mine and when I turned it was my “Angel” Elaine who always seemed to know when I was struggling a little bit. She gently squeezed my hand and smiled at me just at the point where I thought I was going to collapse into a heap, sobbing and upset. I smiled back and nodded at her, saying in my small way I had just caught up with myself and was ok for the time being. Elaine is my tower of strength and without her and my family I wouldn’t have the courage to do what I do now. 

When you have been diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer’s you don’t think about Christmases, weddings, births ECT, in fact you don’t think about much at first because your mind is in such turmoil. Being diagnosed with early onset and knowing you have it can be a curse as well as a blessing. The blessing is that you can spend precious time with your loved ones and your friends, you can cherish every moment of the day, and in my case I can continue to raise awareness to this awful disease and hopefully be around when the stigma that goes with it is totally eradicated and a cure found. 

The curse is knowing you have it, which is sometime`s just as bad as having Alzheimer’s. Along my travels in life I have met someone who had a brain tumour and survived. I have met a few who have been diagnosed with Cancer and now look the picture of health. I myself 16 months ago had to have an operation for a serious Hernia which had its complications. The surgeon told my wife Elaine and me just before I went to the operating table that I had less than a 10% chance of survival because of my heart problems so if we needed to say anything now would be a good time, I survived!! 

But!! I have never met ANYBODY YET who has survived Alzheimer`s!!! NOT ONE SINGLE SOUL!!! Can you imagine the frustration that runs through me when you hear of certain medical bodies who will not put patient before cost??? Can you imagine the frustration at knowing that millions still think its and elderly disease and not a disease of the brain? 

All these things and more just give me the drive and determination to change things. But most of all, the thing that drives me forward more than anything is the look of hope and expectation in my grandchildren’s eyes!! The sheer innocence of what is yet to come and the longer we can keep that innocence in their eyes the better!! This is why a cure must be found and found soon. I don’t want my grandchildren or anybody else’s grandchildren going through the horrors of seeing their grandmothers of grandfathers succumbing to this horrendous disease. 

I mentioned earlier about never having met anybody who has survived this disease, and unfortunately that statement is 100%true, but I would like to introduce the first person who WILL Survive it, and that person will hopefully be yours truly, myself, and thousands of others who come after me. The time has come now to raise our voices and make 2011 the year we all survive. Let’s hope and pray this is the year that everybody who is connected in some way with this disease see`s an end to the turmoil and destruction this illness brings. 

We Must Live In Hope 

Where There Is Hope, There Is Life 

Very best wishes, Norrms, Elaine and ever increasing family!!LOL xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

I will do all that I can to help Norm win this battle.  Please help.

I have a variety of maladies – the most troublesome of which is Fibromyalgia.    It’s an autoimmune disease that attacks your joints and makes them ache. The body is a wonderful machine.  It tries to compensate for pain and weakness by shifting posture, weight and pressure around to quiet the discomfort.  But that shift often stresses other areas until you ache all over.

I love my chiropractor and visit often but he recommended a masseuse to me that has been a miraculous addition to my life. Her name is Senada Zackariasen and she hails from Europe.  She takes her craft very seriously and has studied nearly a dozen massage therapies at clinics worldwide.  Her walls are festooned with certificates and degrees in her specialties – one of which is Fibromyalgia.
I began to visit her a little over a year ago in a suburb near my home.  Since then she has retreated to a tiny town about an hour west of Minneapolis where she and her husband operate a bed and breakfast.  It’s a bit of a drive but worth the trip. 

Let me tell you about my first visit.  I’d never met Senada before I stepped into her office for that first visit.  We made small talk for a couple of minutes about weather and my stress level.  I was then ushered into a dimly lit room and asked to undress and crawl under several layers of covers onto a heated table.
She quietly entered the room and turned on an ethereal tape entitled Angels.  On my first visit I experienced enormous relief punctuated by sheer agony as she marched from pressure point to pressure point probing the deep tissue inflammation.

I’ve had many massages in my life several labeled “deep tissue”.  They mostly hurt and caused discomfort for days.  Senada inflicted pain but she seemed to reach in, find the source, wrestle with it and extract it.  I left the table after an hour and a half pain free.  I was astounded.

I am degreed in Anthropology.  I like studying ancient civilizations,  I tell Sonada that I believe her to be an ancient Shaman.  This is why.   Within the first ten minutes of knowing Sonada, she placed her hands over my breastbone and suddenly stopped.  She said, “What are you afraid of?”  I said, “Perhaps failure”.  She didn’t move.  She said, “No, there is something here.  It is very old – male – good looking.”  I said, “I have no idea.”  We moved on.

About an hour into the massage I was face down on the table and Sonada was working on my right foot.  She hit a pressure point on the back of my heel and I came four feet off the table with a loud scream.  It really hurt.  I told her that I knew of the belief in pressure points related to organs and asked what that one was.  She said, “It’s your female organs”.  Then again, she stopped cold and said, “Oh, my God you lost a child and it was a little boy.  You need to let that pain go. That is what is trapped in your heart”  I immediately began sobbing uncontrollably.  I miscarried my first baby and it was a little boy.  That was more than 30 years ago.

I see her as often as my schedule allows.  I love Senada.  She brings me great relief both physically and spiritually.  If you live in Minnesota or ever find yourself visiting I highly recommend  a visit to Montrose and the Butterfly Inn,  Here is her website http://www.butterflyinnmn.com

I just spent an hour and a half staring at a sign that read, "Walgreens America's Most Trusted Pharmacy since 1901."  This was my third trip back to pick up an antibiotic prescription in the past two days.  First, they claimed the doctor hadn't returned their call.  That happens.  I called my trusted doctor of 20 years.  My records showed it had been called in.  I returned the next day to the same excuse.  The pharmacist said he would check his voice mail - then let me sit there.  I had work to do and resented the delay.

I proceeded to pass the time by shopping for things I did, and didn't, need. Apparently, when the pharmacist found no voice mail message, he considered himself rid of me and moved on.  No one gave me a progress report.  I began to amuse myself by inventing alternative, more appropriate mottos for the company. My best effort was, "Walgreens, We Don't Care - We Don't Have To!"

Finally, I approached the counter to ask for an update.   A voice from a rear pill stack shouted that the doctor had been called again and they were awaiting a reply.  I stormed to my car where I had left my cell phone and dialed the dear doc.  His office manager informed me that the prescription had not only been called in, but she was holding a confirmation FAX report that was five hours old.

With mounting fury, I returned to the store where I was told the authorization "had just been received." 10 minutes later, I left with the pills that I should have started two days ago.  Just so you don't think I am the only "customer from hell," let me add that I witnessed four others "go postal' while I sat or stood in line. The recipient of the ire was a poor teenager who dutifully took the complaints to the back room, then returned with either bad news or a simple shoulder shrug.  

I have experienced these problems at three Walgreens stores in my community and two while traveling.  Walgreens repeatedly commits three fatal customer service errors. First, they show a lack of care for their customer's problems AND, as importantly, a lack of respect for their precious time.   Second, their automated system consistently fails and is left on auto-pilot with no human intervention.  Finally, management fails to take responsibility for any failures.  Instead, the lowest paid staff is sent to deal with angry, frustrated customers with no good news or offer of compensation for the inconvenience suffered.  The message is clearly: "Customers are fungible. We have way more than we can handle, and there are plenty more where you came from.  Please feel free to take your business elsewhere."  Sadly, the economy has diminished the remaining choices.

I mention this for two reasons.  It’s therapeutic.  I have my own blog, and I can vent periodically.  I actually feel better already.  The second is that I can exact some minor penance on customer service offenders.  

I've been on drugs for years - most of them legal.   Some 20 years ago, the local pharmacist retired and our medication list was transferred to Snyders.   They auto-refilled, were quick to respond, and I gleefully shopped there for years.  The recession took its toll on the chain and our medical records were sent to Zoss Drug.   Mr. Zoss was a kind and considerate man who personally delivered a prescription after hours without complaint. He, too, succumbed to the economic downturn. The records went to Walgreens.  It has been a consistently painful experience.  Days of delay, out-of-stock items, and no serious attempt to be helpful has been my experience.

I suspect the reason for the poor service is that good employees leave companies that subject them to angry assaults for a mere nine bucks an hour.  I've always championed the belief that, if you talk to a customer with a problem, YOU own it until it is resolved.  Even if it isn't your department OR your company's fault.  Do something to help the customer find a solution.   Make a phone call, look up an address, do a web search - show that you care.  The impression you leave will make someone’s day and, perhaps, your company’s reputation.

I love the holidays.  Everyone is cheerier and more helpful than at other times of the year.  With only a few days left this December, I anxiously await this attitude to overtake Walgreens' company culture while I search for a new pharmacy.

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