Guadalupe Dominges was born in Taos, New Mexico, into a family of Hispanic folk healers known as curanderos. After being called “baby” for the first month of her life, her parents took her to church for the Feast of Guadalupe, where the local priest chose her name. The Virgin of Guadalupe is the patron saint for many curanderos, folk medicine practitioners, and the most beloved by Mexicans.1 As a young child, Guadalupe Teofista Valerio — both Guadalupe and Teofista (Greek) meaning daughter of God — began training in the healing arts under the tutelage of her grandmother.
In review after review of clinical trials on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), researchers have informed therapists that many of the studies out there are not of high enough quality to prove benefits of the modalities being examined. Furthermore, there’s an inadequate number of trials to move CAM speedily along on the road to universal acceptance. What’s the problem? And why do we need these trials anyway?
Thousands of years ago, malaria swept parts of Africa, India, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, ravaging the human population. Among the survivors, it is surmised, were children carrying a mutation of the hemoglobin gene — hemoglobin S, or sickle cell trait — which protected them from the invading red cell parasites.1 Some of their descendants, a variety of ethnic groups including Africans, Greeks, Italians, Turks, Iranians and Asiatic Indians2 passed on the trait as they intermingled and migrated to other areas.
Ping Lee’s training as an engineer comes in handy when he’s explaining the concept of energy. “Conceptualize the word air,” he says. “The Chinese have a lot of expressions with the word air. It sounds insignificant, so when you say something is air, what type of thing is it? Can you picture a steam locomotive, do you know how powerful that is? When we use the word steam we think of a cloud, but it is only a condensation of air — energy. What I teach in class, when we talk about energy, is seeing the word air as energy. You can feel a person’s presence, that’s energy.
“Everything is vibrational in nature. When you’re aware of your own inner vibrations, able to witness life around you as a concert of sound, to discover that you are in fact sound, then the division between internal and external becomes non-existent.”
—Dr. John Beaulieu
“What doesn’t make sense is how it works,” said Hannah Conway. “You can’t wrap your mind around how it works at all.”
Conway and others have a hard time putting to words the success of an unusual energy therapy — the Lenair Technique, designed to address the many faces of addiction. “I come from a big Irish Catholic family,” Conway said from her office in St. Paul, Minn. “I’m 41 now and went a long time drinking. I tried AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and it worked nearly five years.” Then Conway went back to drinking. “It was at least six beers a day, if not 12.”
When cancer is diagnosed, many fears can arise in the mind of the patient. What will happen to my body, my family, my career? Can I stand the pain? Will I survive? Foreboding thoughts of disfigurement, difficulty in daily functioning and physical discomfort come to the forefront. Pain can be a constant reminder of the ravaging, internal monster cells hell-bent on bodily destruction. And frequently pain and anxiety reinforce each other, leading to chronic distress. Although pharmacologic pain treatments are standard, they don’t always provide the relief needed.
For thousands of years, the Chinese have known the power of its healing properties, incorporating its use in their traditional tea ceremonies. Now green tea has found its way into the heart of Western medicine as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent capable of blocking the cancer-causing effects of free radicals in the body.
Santosh Katiyar, Ph.D., who has figured prominently in investigating the relationship between green tea and skin, says the tea has an “antioxidant activity superior to that of any other naturally occurring antioxidant known.”
Too much on your plate? Millions of Americans know how you feel.
Stress has become a “given” in our modern world, and a primary cause of physical and mental illness for millions of us. Small amounts of stress can be a good thing, keeping us alert and on-task. But unrelenting stress, whether from overbooked schedules, financial strain, too little sleep or too much bad news, can lead to a breakdown of body, mind and spirit. When an overextended life puts you on a collision course with disaster, there are simple steps you can take to recover a sense of balance.
Jonathan Clark teaches children with developmental and communication disorders. He is also a certified massage therapist with a dream. “There are so many different things that massage helps adults with,” said Clark recently from his office at The Matthew Reardon Advanced Academy in Savannah, Ga. “I know it relaxes me to the point I can focus. I thought maybe it could help a child focus.”