November 16, 2014

Fate (novel clips-fiction)

It hurt to look at her.
The pain oozed from her like blood from a war wound.
She couldn't prevent her own death, but she remained with the living.
It's too dark for her to see.
The light burns her skin so she hides.
Pieces shattered around her like remains 

Would Morgan face the same fate?



November 11, 2014

ADD - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys on the table,
put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
and notice that the can is full.

So I decide to put the bills back on the table & take out the garbage first.
But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox
when I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table,
and see that there is only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
so I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Pepsi I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks,
but first I need to push the Pepsi aside
so that I don't accidentally knock it over..
The Pepsi is getting warm.

I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold..
As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye..
They need water.
I put the Pepsi on the counter and
discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk,
but first I'm going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter,
fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote
someone had left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I'll be looking for the remote,
but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table,
so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs.
But first I'll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers.
Quite a bit of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back on the table,
get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
the car isn't washed
the bills aren't paid
there is a warm can of
Pepsi sitting on the counter
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all damn day,
and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem,
and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.....

Do me a favor.
Forward this message to everyone you know,
because I don't remember who the hell I've sent it to.

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!

October 29, 2014

Home Practice #2 Listen

Murphy's Law- nothing is as easy as it seems. 
 I am a Murphy so it goes.

"change, release, repeat." This has been my mantra lately. 

Releasing stiffness feels the same as releasing fear.
It melts away the more I try. 

A Growl. A Grunt. A sigh. A long hummmm, haaaaa or aaaahh.
A moan. A melody. A giggle. A tickle. A dance.

A lot of pain from a little stretch reminds me that I promised myself I would live a certain way and I get closer each day. I take notes on what makes it more difficult and try to reverse those behaviors.

This is not a race. You are not running, Sarah Kelly. You are not playing tennis.
It's a seduction. A delicate, precious interaction that can not be rushed. No negotiating.
You are engaging in a relationship with yourself.

As I practice, I have trouble remembering to soften.
Allow myself to bend and fall slowly. Succumb.
Give it time. Abandon thought. Give it a bit more muscle from the core.
Soften again.
Allow the process to unfold.
This can not be pursued or it will run away. Do not rush it and spoil the fun.

Sometimes a little breakaway can be a great assist.
Getting away from people makes you less available to them, but it also makes you more available to yourself. (This always makes you a greater contribution later.)

Personal time is filled with lots of lessons.
"Listen" says Rumi.

October 2014 Continuing to master the Primary Series


The hollow (clip from the novel- fiction)

Daria Werbowy, photographed by Corinne Day for Vogue’s July 2004 issue. 
A union in its purest form becomes part of our very essence.
When that union is broken our essence is changed forever.

"Isn't it something people often do just because that's what everyone else is doing?"
Morgan said while enjoying her vino fresh from the vine, with a moan that belonged to a lover.

The aroma of Liam washed over her. She shivered and shrugged it off.

"...something we do to trick ourselves into believing we are in control some how. As if things aren't always changing."

Morgan ignored the blank stares coming from around the table and spoke bluntly to clear the pretentious stench beginning to haunt the air.
She didn't get this far by caring what others thought of her.
Her eyes closed, seduced by the taste on her tongue and the breeze drenching her skin.

The bliss was quickly interrupted by a swift kick under the table. Morgan smirked with wide eyes at her friend Angeline's bold interruption.
"Morgan tell Marcello about your work. I'm sure he'd be delighted to hear what brought you to Capri." Morgan's friend Angeline said with an agitated tone.
She feared she may have lost another suitor for her dear friend, who entranced with her beauty, but unleashed daggers from her lips.
Angeline knew any man could fall madly in love with Morgan, if she could just stop talking.

Morgan would never allow it. She built barriers that could rival that of Fort Knox.
She managed to avoid the discussion, with a few sweet words, a flutter of her eyes, a dash of induction and a refill of her guests glasses.

With a subtle dance, she slipped away into the refuge of the kitchen.
Food a place where all of nature convenes.
Grow it, nurture it, caress it, taste it, touch it and it's sure to infiltrate, merge nations, or souls without a thought, a question or any hesitation.

"Let me help lovey" Angeline said softly as she followed close behind.
"Tell me what I can do. This platter needs fresh herbs and a bit more sprinkling of oil..."
Angeline asked for instruction, but never took it.
She was a dear friend to Morgan for as long as time.

"He's a little dry Angie. I think you're losing your touch." Morgan said with a smile.
"We all just want to see you happy, doll. You deserve it after everything..." Angie paused uncomfortable with the thought of death.

Grace is at the core of tragedy.
Once in the free fall of disgrace the only way to change the momentum is to use it to your advantage.

"Happiness is about a lot of things, Angie. Independence, freedom, power, money, confidence, timing. Like a merger. The energy can be there, but nothing else fits and boom- collapse. The deal is broken. Each person has to be at the place where they are happy within themselves. You know?"
Morgan said as she drifted away into a conversation with herself again.

"Does it have to be so complicated? Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. A pretty dress, a great ring. Magic. They live happily ever after." Angline said with all the seriousness in the world.
She really meant it. She had found that.

Morgan used a tone of voice that would not break her friends joy.
"To me, marriage looks like religion.Those who covet it are antsy until everyone else does too.
Like somehow that confirms they are doing the right thing, as long as the rest of society adheres to this way of living with them. It lessens the sacrifice when everyone joins the herd no matter if they agree, or not. When everyone follows, it takes away the fear that the one who is free may try to covet theirs."

Images of nervous wives clutching onto their husbands forearms with their sweaty palms made Morgan giggle.
It was a strange thought, that another persons husband would seem enticing- all of that baggage is not sexy.
Married men were simpler friends to have.
There was no mystery regarding what would take place next.
No expectations. Just friendship. Any affections were brotherly.
Morgan missed her brothers.

"Don't over think it, gorgeous. It's just human nature. A part of life. I think in time you will change your mind. You know what I mean, Morgan. You can't just stay alone in this big spooky house forever. Give Marcelo a chance. You might like him. He has a wonderful family and his future couldn't be brighter. Do you feel any sparks at all?" Angie inquired. "Why don't you let me choose for you? I have great taste."

"Oh Angie, that is so, "Fidler on the Roof!" There's nothing spooky about the house and I'm not alone. 'Marcelo' lost me at...wonderful...Mr.Wonderful...oh how that just makes my ass twitch, Angie. Sparks don't come that easy."
Morgan said with a childish innocence she refused to let go of for anyone.

"Not for you dear. A simple blow in my ear, a whistle when I walk and I'm all yours.Sparks are flying every direction and I can't stop them. Put a ring on my finger and I'll love you forever." Angie said with a southern twang that made your heart melt like a June bug, on a daisy at the fourth of July.

She observed her friend twirling her wedding ring around, and around on her finger nervously as she smiled at its grandeur and thought about how easily she loved George.
Morgan always admired Angeline's way of life - the mutual adoration her and George shared was unique, strong and fulfilled.
Not like those nervous, sweaty palmed wives who thought women like Morgan would ever settle for crumbs.
George and Morgan could be close friends, and Angie never flinched an inch.
She was secure in their bond. It was whole. They seemed to complete each other, while standing firmly in their own space.
It was miles away from anything she had in her life.

Despite Morgan's chatter, Angeline knew she respected her marriage.
Yet, as a reminder,
"If all marriages looked like yours, my dear,well now that would be different wouldn't it, Angeline. The word "marriage" would take on an entirely different glow and my ideas of evolution would be far off in the distance."

They finished dancing around the food and Morgan whispered on their way out to the table,
"I'll make nice w/ Marcelo and smooth it over. Anything else would just be un-southern." Angeline smiled satisfied.

They brought the food to the table with the help from a few kitchen staffers that came with the house. They seemed to have lived there for hundreds of years.
The spread had been freshly picked, or squeezed from the surrounding estate.
It smelled and tasted as though the sun had joined them for dinner, melting them on contact.
(Include recipe's here)

The ingredients were selected specifically to bring those who ate them to Morgan's persuasion.
The ghee, gota kola and sprigs of native Italy were dancing through her guests insides, much to their surprise.
This was a gift she learned in Lalibela, a place where food is an intoxication, a dance of enticement.
For a time, while they ate, there was a harmony, smiles which played even without the cellist.

"Remember destiny has two ways of crushing us by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them." says the great, Henri Amiel.

A persons true destiny can only be revealed at the end of their journey.
And the story I have to tell is far from over.

An interesting article on love for those that are taking their time in the process,
It's not that simple, for all.
It takes more, for some.


September 14, 2014

a yoga class for Upenn CHIBE retreat in Cape May

Photography: Hoag Levins
Now I know why teachers who have been studying and practicing for well over a decade say, "after you've been working at this for about 15 years, then you can teach it." Great teacher said.

CHIBE-ROYBAL Retreat with UPENN at Congress Hall in Cape May gave me the chance to lead a group of scientists in the art and medicine of yoga.

What a courageous group of intelligent and empowered women.
I got my feet wet with guiding a group in yoga. Sort of.

It showed me how far I have to go and how far I've come.
Teaching has taught me.

My practice of disciplined ashtanga study and asanas, is in its infancy and leading me to the foundations of Hatha practice.

I tried to lead them, for an hour, at 6:30 am. after a night of bonding beach side with plenty of martini's.

The class began regardless of my emotion, sleepiness or otherwise.
Alcohol does not increase bendiness (Lucas.)

I found myself faced with the eyes of 10 others- looking for instruction. I was prompted to begin immediately despite thinking to myself quickly, "why are they looking at me, do what you do usually..." There was an intensity to their eyes I won't soon forget.

I tried to bring them with me, on this most gorgeous of mornings on a blissful beach, to a journey I have come to adore. Emily demonstrated sun salutations and we infused a little Rodney Yee, pigeon and Ustrasana towards the end.

Emily Kane demonstrated, while I walked around to each individual assisting and adjusting their postures- I could not actually do yoga and talk at the same time. That is a fine art of flow, for sure.

I gave them each a stone to hold onto, some grasped it for dear life, while others wondered what they should do with it.
I immediately saw in each person the subtle shifts that could help them with these asana's going forward, as they plunged ahead with such power and might. Later asking, "what's the secret? It's just to relax isn't it?" There are so many "secrets" and none at the same time.

Dana got into Ustrasana quite boldly. I loved seeing her impressed with herself when she saw it was all in the method.
Pam Shaw, I saw in the elevator this morning and she took up another yoga class the next day, determined! She has such life in her eyes that one.
Alison held a beautiful practice with a deep connection to herself and her independence just before plunging into the ocean and delivering a lecture on her massively impressive research project.
Emily has such a united flow about her and helped lead this class and me, without her fearless youth and confidence it would not have been the same.

Joelle is determined and her focus uninterrupted- those students challenge the teachers.
She is a force and is the one who brought this group together. Joelle & Beth the gatherers.

Most importantly we all now share a special bond from this morning on the beach. When we see each other in the med school the light returns to us for an instant.

Reminding each student as  Liana reminded me, "nothing is right or wrong here today- do what comes naturally to you."


September 1, 2014

Another scent that brings on a sensation

Photo Credit: H&M Michaela MacDonnell, Nick Slade Model @miquelavos, Amberly Valentine on the IG of tiare_hawaii
I'm one of those people highly affected by aroma's and scents. Therefore I don't like many of them. Superior purity alone gets lathered onto this beauty.

If I'm writing about it here, it really made an impact.
I wrote about only one other oil in the past, Vetiver. I compared the oil to a lover because it was the scent of a lover that sent me in search of the feeling Vetiver delivered.
It brought about a tranquility that's difficult to describe (the Aura cacia Frontier brand only.)

That same luring emotion snuck up on me this time while at Plough on the Stars with my mother on her recent trip to Philadelphia.
Frank and Myrrh both have a rich history dating back to the beginning of time.
However, only one brings me to a place that feels like heaven.

So far Everyone loves this one. "So much depth" said Anna who I can't stop mystically running into on the lovely streets of Queen Village. "Wow what's that smell" said a man who speaks only when he must.

Ancient Essense with a strong feelings towards Ahimsa (non violence) has created heavens elixir-
My mom dabbed some on my wrist while I was sipping on a Malbec.
Every time I try to stop thinking of this particular succulent being, waves of him crash into me from unsuspecting corners of the universe. There it was that spice, that seduction, that sensation. This time the scent found me.
I thought Vetiver had it- and it does, but this scent hits closer to the home I spoke of when I described the sensuality that vibrates off of this particular man. With a layer of respect and experience- like the aged quality of a fine wine- it sends a chill that makes you want to embrace it.

That sort of Essense that is layered with healing and magnetism- royalty and rebellion.

It can't be described with words. If you need proof I'll give you a peak.

I'm convinced.
One sniff from a lover and he was hooked- insisting much more than usual.
The sassy salon owners daughter left my house doused in it and it made her blush.
My highly selective twins both love it.
It gets its hooks into the universal "you" and changes the air around we breathe.

It's on the top of the list of products- click the link to purchase. Like the brand for the Vetiver I recommended don't try to duplicate with other brands. There is something unique done by both Ancient Essense and Frontier that make the Frank and Myrrh and Vetiver stand apart from the rest.


August 27, 2014

The Butterfly Story

One evening, I met this really cool creature on Lombard St., I thought, what better way to celebrate than to get down like the creature I met, w/ a glorious depiction of it by Conrad Booker (2014 Left, 2015 Right

Here is what happened, I'll try to tell you something that is really just strange to put into words, you know? Some happenings can't be described. That's what this was, indescribable.You had to be there.

Here goes. I was never a butterfly person. They are gorgeous and colorful, but I never felt a connection necessarily unique to any other living creature, like I see some people do.
My uncle John made a piece called, "Butterflies for Kathy," by John Murphy. My mom is the butterfly girl.

But, there was this one butterfly, on this one day.

It was early evening in Washington Square West, Philadelphia on 7th St. I'm walking home from work. I approached Lombard and something made me stop and look to the ground, to my right.

There was a perfect black butterfly with one large orange splotch on each wing sitting in the middle of the road. I heard a car approaching so I gazed with a warning to the butterfly. The butterfly remained still for a few moments and then began to fly.

The butterfly flew around me and I twirled to see it. I lost it after a glance, but felt it. It had landed on my right shoulder and was looking directly into my eyes for 15-30 second. My heart was pounding, blood rushing, breath quickening, my feet became sternly rooted into the ground.

The butterfly flew around me again, I spun around slowly looking for it, but I couldn't see it. I stopped-  it landed on my left shoulder. That butterfly looked right through me. I was frozen still as I felt my soul coming to the surface, without asking my permission. I was like, "oh shit!"
That is how present this little creature was he made me shutter.

My mind flickered into reality- I wanted to capture this moment- I thought about reaching for my camera and the butterfly flew around me again. I could only move my eyes. I remained still, but could not see the butterfly. (I instantly abandoned the idea of taking a picture during a moment like this again, what a waste of preciousness- staging is fine!)
I couldn't see it or where it went.

I stood still looking slowly around, wondering if I could breathe again, as people began to stare at me and wonder what I was doing. I didn't care.
I felt the butterfly again. It landed on my chest, directly on top of my heart this butterfly sat staring up at me, facing me, looking me in the eyes.
My mouth opened in disbelief. It was the same each time it landed on me so tender, but determined to communicate something to me.
I felt the little feet of that butterfly penetrating into me watching me for a good 15 seconds as my spirit sank and it felt like a lifetime.

Then it vanished. I shivered.
I couldn't see it fly away into the trees or around the corner.
The butterfly just vanished.
From that moment, I was changed with a new vision and a new voice.
Transformed. Still. Quiet. Touched. Withdrawn from my senses. Aware. Awake.

I am as free as that butterfly.

"Who was that?" said Derek
"That butterfly was for you" said Justine.
"Would you believe I saw that same butterfly today" said Donna.
 "I think that was my mother. She was speaking to me earlier." Beth said
"Maybe it was your dad" Andrea said.

Friday August 8, 2014
There was this little
that busted my
heart wide open and changed my life forever.


August 23, 2014

Home Practice #1 Shower Yoga

I yogini while I cook dinner, in the shower, while I work, talk on the phone, run to work, watch Shameless episodes, scrub up messes, while I'm having sex (this one is my favorite- a proven way to get your feet behind your head without even realizing it.)
If I think about a posture or even smell it, I immediately get into it.
Without hesitation, or any thought. Actions are everything. The more I do it the better I do it.

After a ton of graceful guidance from the local yoga schools and body workers in Philadelphia - I have taken my practice home with me.

Once I began practicing yoga every single day, I saw a lot of changes happening.
I realized what it would take for me to get the satisfaction out of this I was looking for.
I'm constantly visualizing myself getting closer and closer to that more drenching stretch- my toes touching my forehead, my spine elongating, my core strengthening, my splits spreading, my soul awakening, my focus unyielding.

It makes sense to practice at home as a prerequisite to committing to regular studio time.
It's a frustrating and personal process. Transforming is not always something you want to do in a group, until you've come out of your cocoon (maybe that's just me.)

It's like preparing and studying for a test. Know the lingo and how to get into the postures.
This is when the classes will be very helpful. Come with your homework done and then join a community. It was joining a yoga studio that made me realize this. A private lesson or two can also help you along.

The Ashtanga Primary Series is a starting point.
This sets up the foundation for all yoga postures going forward.
Primary Series is that. A series of positions to get your body warmed up to grow in this discipline.
Both studying the Light on Yoga text book by BKS Iyengar, with great focus and a highlighter, and the video instruction of Kino MacGregor spoke to me.

Until my personal practice has evolved to where I will  benefit from time at the shala in India, Kino's studio in Miami, David's Ashtanga school down the street, Rodney Yee's Manhattan digs and Dhyana's homey studio- I'll be gettin' down every day (except moon days), looking for video instruction, text books and doing warrior pose while I brush my teeth.

August 2014 Began Ashtanga training and studies. Mastering the Primary Series.

Below are a few good interviews. See related blog posts for instructional videos. 
*Kino says Guruji said these three things for many years will take us there:
Finding my focus (pratyahara) by looking (drishti) practicing my asana's (getting all twisty) and breathing (pranayama.)

This also made me see me in her- fun story about her humble beginnings,


August 20, 2014

All sorts of layers of flavors in this sauce-ay.

Roberta DeCarlo,
It's like a full course meal of flavors- kind of like Willy Wonka's "gob stoppers"...

The medical school is fixing my computer today, changing my IP, my passwords don't work. I was left with no choice, but to leave early after speaking with a couple handfuls of patients in the Oncology unit at Penn hospital. Beth, if you are reading this I promise I worked very hard today! Considering that I speak with people about how they want to die for most of the day, I usually look for a replenishing something to do after my day.

I'm a foodie, so I shop for food. So many things about Whole Foods make me feel happy. They deliver to my house, it smells delicious and healthy inside, such a wonderful combination. There are always so many smiling faces and aisles plush with people who genuinely care about their health and the world around them. It creates a vibe throughout the store. I heard they got bad press recently and so many are always discussing how overpriced they can be. Maybe they are charging a surplus for the joy and aroma oozing throughout. I personally only shop at WF for butter, for example, to get the best deal. The power of supply and demand is relevant here regarding price. I get the huffing and puffing about the cleanliness of the foods. People are dying from toxic food. Hence, the value and ingredients are a life and death matter for some shoppers.

Another perk to perusing the grocery aisles are the samples. I once entered to pick up lunch and left the store full without yet having spent a dime. Crab salads, burgers, veggie scewers and an adorablely bubbly chef that frequents the store serving up her plenty. She holds cooking classes for kids every Tuesday, at the store. Her and a former employee Joy cooked up the idea. I also met Maria Lee, who battled blindness and now frequents the red carpets with her secrets in Shea butter. A total boy next door, as demure as anything, Brandon, who battles baby brain cancers with his recipes and today I met a new hot sauce story.

Rocky's Hot Sauce a local culinary treat. Roberta DeCarlo was at a restaurant and asked for the ingredients to a sauce she was super impressed with. At first, she was not given the recipe, "It's top secret miss, I'm sorry."  Later to her surprise, the chef had an argument with the owner, as he was storming out of the place he whispered the recipe into Roberta's ear. Roberta later went home and played with those ingredients, today that experience yields Rocky's Hot Sauce.

I'm not a hot sauce person necessarily, but recently I was looking for it when a recipe I call, "Tarzan's Catfish" called for it. The bottle I chose did not have nearly the flavors and layers that this sauce has. I wouldn't normally be raving about a hot sauce when I use it maybe once a year, or twice. But at first bite, there are an array of flavors garlic, subtle seasonings of sweet, sour, spicey and bitter varieties and then moments later you get to feel a dangerous, but friendly bit of fire. It's a surprising twist it has character. I'd recommend it. Try it! I could doctor that review up, but take my word for it on this tiresome hump day blog post. It's freakin' yummy, interesting and makes you get all curious like,
"what is that, why is that so good, how did you make the hotness of the hot sauce delay its arrival?" I saw a lot of faces agree, asking for seconds at the sampler table takes courage and that was happening a lot. The dude with the shades could not resist, the little lady with her toddler squealing for chocolate in the background took time to take another bite. Something intoxicating about this sauce, I mean it. the humble Roberta aims to please.

"Tarzan's catfish recipe"
A pinch of hot sauce black pepper garlic Pepper Rica hehe melted butter in a bowl Mix alll together probably a full stick dip the catfish in the butter creation and throw it in a hot skillet coated with whatever you want olive oil sunflower cranola organic of course whatever yummy delicious

By SKG 8-20-14

August 4, 2014

Acupuncture Research lecture at UPENN

A strong presence and a plush accent dusted with the remains of her worldly travel are only a few of the stunning attributes that made Dr. Claudia Witt’s recent lecture stand above the fray. She came to the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine to inform us that Acupuncture combined with Primary Care has brought about a “new era in Conventional Medicine.” The research is being done, getting funded and people are getting much better with the combination of the two worlds of care.

As a guest of our Integrative Medicine Pioneer, MD and Acupuncture physician here at Penn Jun Mao, Dr. Claudia Witt talked to us about Acupuncture Research around the world and how it’s infusing the practice of Acupuncture medicine at home and abroad.

Currently a resident of Switzerland where acupuncture is covered by insurance when practiced by a Medical doctor, Witt describes the large variety of regulations that swirl through Acupuncture practice. It all relies on one factor, how much has been proven and among how large of a sample size it has been proven with.

Simply put, we need more people recruited for the studies, more funding for more research studies to be conducted to continue to prove the multitude of benefits that people are experiencing with this penetrating practice of Acupuncture medicine.

Witt says regarding increasing the size of the population these studies are conducted on, “Often it is a cultural issue. During a clinic holding pediatric acupuncture research, to see a room filled with children with a lot of needles sticking out of their heads, for some cultures this would be strange, but not for others. It has been difficult to recruit for these studies. Large sample sizes in the US are needed to ramp up the research. It’s mostly small scale studies that have taken place thus far as opposed to the Meta analysis coming out of other countries.”

Most people I know have had a good experience with acupuncture. For them, that is the proof. It makes them feel better, that proves that it works. However this will not help to get Acupuncture practitioners paid as they deserve insurance companies to reimburse so patients can get more acupuncture, research studies funded, or other physicians to refer their patients for treatments. In China Acupuncture is free and you can get as much as you need.

Research on preventing disease, Immunology research, measuring Qi and functional imaging to prove pain (possibly through PET) were among the topics that were discussed among the viewers. According to Witt, prevention research may be taking place in China; however in the US this would be a costly endeavor considering the long term observation that would be required.

For tension headaches (HA) research shows that needling points do not matter. “No matter where you put the needle, the headaches get better” says Witt. Sham research, needling points and mechanisms such as turning the needle and making deeper skin penetration (always done in China- “I beg for the western style Acupuncture when I am in China because it is quite painful,”) as well as trigger point acupuncture (palpating points to find pain and find the points) are huge topics amongst researchers and Acupuncturists.

Placebo always has to be considered. According to Witt this is one of the largest areas of research going on right now, Placebo research. An individual’s expectation of a treatment to work and make them feel better, has seen to impact patients with chronic pain, who are receiving acupuncture treatments.

Patient- Doctor Interaction’s research in Zurich showed that it mattered more the type of relationship that was being developed between patient and doctor, than the treatments themselves. Studies on arthritis, tension headaches, migraines, pain, Bells-Palsy are among what we have currently published in JAMA, Lancet and Journal of Clinical Oncology. Stronger needle stimulation was seen to help for Bells-Palsy. Mao recently published research for those suffering from the side effects of breast cancer treatment. Breast cancer Surgical Oncologist, Dr. Brian Czerniecki is referring his patients to Mao for acupuncture since the recently published study came out. “He’s been sending his patients more and more for Acupuncture” Says NP of Czerniecki.

One topic I meant to bring up was the use of pulsation. Monitoring the pulse to determine diagnosis and treatment is practiced among one fully trained pulsation practitioner that I know of in Philadelphia, but also by other Acupuncturists on a smaller scale. According to Witt, “Diagnosing and individualized care is not showing much evidence to make a difference e.” The Acupuncturist at Five Virtues mixes her own herbal formulas and went through specialized Chinese medicine training to do so. “If we use fixed formulas, standard care for everyone we are no better than western medicine.” Five Virtues Acupuncturist sees a remarkable difference in her patients when treating with emphasis on diagnosis and individualized treatments. Fixed formulas and standardized care vs. individualized care have not yielded much research, as of yet. Another Acupuncturist working out of Society Hill says, “The standard formulas have shown to be very beneficial for my clients. I use them and pulse points to approach the types of treatments I deliver.”

Witt conducts both Clinical Research and experimental research while also practicing Acupuncture medicine in Switzerland, where Acupuncture is covered by insurance if the practitioner is also a Medical Doctor. We hope she will come back and keep talking to us. I will be assisting flood Jun Mao with patients for his two active research studies on breathing and pain, taking place at Penn’s Perelman Center.


May 17, 2014

Go-to's for recipe's

Let food be thy medicine

The doctor of the future will no longer treat human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.
-Thomas Edison

The paleo mom, who I'd recommend first due to her extremes on food as medicine. She takes a scientific approach to eating to keep us alive for a very long time always with our roots in mind, 

Second, a firey sweets lover designed delicious recipe's for those cravings that just won't quit. She caters to your sweet tooth, while exchanging out the unhealthy ingredients with better options. (watch her ingredients as they are not always designed for autoimmunity and others on a stricter diet.) Sweet is sweet, 

For those focusing on a plant based diet- The founder of a product that makes it possible for me to recover from my runs, has a host of girthy recipes to keep you energized. Not all of these are for autoimmune eaters either, but can be tailored and are great for your athlete self and turning that flab into fab. 

My Grammy has some of the most mouth watering recipe's I know. Tucked away in cubbard, on mini index cards- there is magic- especially in her meatloaf. Be sure to check in with your elders, but also possibly for ideas on what to cook for dinner tonight.


Simply put AUTOIMMUNE PROTOCOL- follow strictly no cheating aloud on this test

"My understanding of autoimmune disease goes beyond diet. The Paleo Approach will go into great detail about exactly why prioritizing sleep, managing stress, protecting circadian rhythms, and incorporating plenty of mild to moderately-intense activity (and avoiding strenuous activity) into your day is also exceptionally important. In fact, if you ignore these lifestyle factors, you might completely undermine all of the efforts you are making with your diet."

This highly detailed scientist turned mom, doesn't miss a thing. See her recipe for getting rid of autoimmune, an illness that plagues a multitude of women in this nation. 


May 4, 2014

More on Autoimmune- from, "The Thyroid Book"

Photo Credit: 
If the prior blog detailing what it will take to be free from your autoimmune disease, was a bit too scientific of an approach. See this link for a simple way to tackle the illness,

It's important to remember, that what you are aiming to rectify looks like the image to the above.

Don't be concerned about what you're giving up, but what you're gaining.

These illnesses turn to cancer and other life threatening conditions, easily. 

April 16, 2014

Super Powers

"We're going to make you a superhero" said Dr. Michael Ross at The Performance Lab Velocity Sports Center.
That one comment served as great inspiration on my recent visit, designed to help me reach a peek in my physical goals.
Just beneath the surface, we are all superhero's. It's layers such as these that keep us striving to for extreme health.
I'm comforted by the reality that there is a Dr. Ross operating on that premise, while being scientific at the same time.

My super hero self is perhaps, aquatic.
However, running brings me endurance ensuring that when I reach the sea, I'm surfing. Another form of flight, similar to gait.

Dr. Ross is going to keep me running.
A few suggestions, physical therapy for strength training, analysis such as VO2 Max, Spirometry testing, Lactate Threshold, Cardiopulmonary testing and breathing.

He has a great assistant Gina, who will guide you if you are not accustomed to the gear that is necessary to conduct these tests.
She also tames the testosterone you may feel with all of these powerful athletes around you, it oozes out of the walls.
"Running away already" the voice of a coach echoed from across the room,
as I ran for some water.
"Um, no I'm fine...really...I'll be right back..."

The tests were conducted on a treadmill.
I am not a treadmill girl.
I felt so awkward and no one will ever see that video footage, ever.
This historical winter filled with ice and snow, I ran outdoors consistently, to avoid the treadmill.
I need wide open space, and fresh air in my lungs to ignite me.
I'm determined to make my next test more graceful despite my treadmill phobia,
but don't be afraid to feel silly it was well worth it.
I do believe these tests can be conducted outdoors. I'll keep you posted.

Our struggles to excel are not always in our heads. There may be something physiological going on. It's important to be aware of it, whether you work through it with meditation, or medication.
Ross uncovered what was holding me back from getting what I want out of my sport and my sensations.
If you feel frustrated with your performance, have encountered sports related injuries, or have a yearning to move ahead in your mission that gives you chills?
This is the expert to see.
He can find the source of resistance and hand you the tools you need to move ahead.

Ross works with serious athletes, professional athletes,
but also sees those like myself who just love to play and want to get more out of life.
I left amazed with what he was able to provide, including motivation and perspective.

With a new found focus on strength, form, muscle tone and speed-
I'm closer every day to emulating my favorite super hero's,
Tauriel from The Hobbit, Elizabeth Swan from Pirates of the Caribbean 
and perhaps my favorite, Lara Croft, Tomb Raider.
Who are your super hero's?
Get there.
Call them and ask for Gina, she will get you set up and on the right course.
They take insurance!

The thrill my daddy dearest and his two brother's loved, just got closer.
Uncle John tackled the sport on his recent trip to Mexico, also.
Something about this family and the surf, it calls to us.
Photo taken from LBI long ago. Uncle Rob, Dad, Uncle Dave (Left to Right)

The NE is not without options for surfing.
They are cold options, so get a full body wet suit to start. Ouch!
Also this is a good time to surf, Autumn is better than summer for waves.
The best waves in the NE are said to be in Outer Banks, NC. 
See this site for a watch on the wave reports,

Posted 4/1/14-5/4/14

April 15, 2014

Wow Richmond Ballet


Vaccines are now being made with plants not pathogens

A new way to deliver vaccines around the world to those who are currently suffering and dying without them.

No refrigeration needed.
No pathogens.
Lettuce leaves, and oral delivery will be the new source for vaccines to help protect against Polio and HPV, for example
in areas of the world where those diseases are still taking lives.

The technology behind it:
"Tucked behind old factory buildings on Penn's South Bank campus stands a gleaming greenhouse. The $2 million structure, completed late last year, is state-of-the-art. Drip irrigation ensures each pot receives just the right amount of water. Humidity and temperature are precisely monitored and can be accessed and modified remotely. And if short winter days, snow cover, or cloudy skies prevent enough sunlight from entering the greenhouse, panels and lights on the ceiling adjust automatically to provide light that matches solar radiation.
Such cutting-edge technology might seem over-the-top for a mere greenhouse. But the plants grown inside are not destined for a garden, farm, or windowsill; their intended fate is to save lives."

See full story here on an amazing professor, Henry Daniell and "Growing Plants to Save Lives" 

April 13, 2014

The biology of battling autoimmunity

This site is highly informative for those of you looking for the answers about eating to cure your autoimmune disease and much more,


April 10, 2014

How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease by Dr. Mark Hyman

More often than we realize it's the simple things in life that can save our lives and make it more delightful to live. It's comforting to know that physicians are getting a perspective on the ways to go about tackling the incurable.
Facing down disease, while simple is no small task.
Being in complete discipline of what we put in our bodies, what we allow to come out of our minds and mouth all contribute to whether the existence of a lack of ease will stay or go.

Dr. Mark Hyman has a few tactics to get control inflammation and autoimmunity that are helpful to consider along your journey.

"The annual health care cost for autoimmune diseases is $120 billion a year representing nearly twice the economic health care burden of cancer (about $ 70 billion a year)"

"It you want to cool off inflammation in the body, you must find the source. Treat the fire, not the smoke. In medicine we are mostly taught to diagnose disease by symptoms, NOT by their underlying cause. Functional medicine, the emerging 21st century paradigm of systems medicine, teaches us to treat the cause, not only the symptoms, to ask the question WHY are you sick, not only WHAT disease do you have."  Dr. Hyman

Read his nine steps to getting rid of the heat causing major diseases like thyroid, autoimmune and MS and more,  

Nine Steps to Treating Autoimmune Disease
  1. Check for hidden infections — yeast, viruses, bacteria, Lyme, etc. — with the help of a doctor, and treat them.
  2. Check for hidden food allergens with IgG food testing or just try The UltraSimple Diet, which is designed to eliminate most food allergens.
  3. Get tested for celiac disease, which is a blood test that any doctor can do.
  4. Get checked for heavy metal toxicity. Mercury and other metals can cause autoimmunity.
  5. Fix your gut. For details, see my blog on irritable bowel syndrome.
  6. Use nutrients such as fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, and probiotics to help calm your immune response naturally.
  7. Exercise regularly — it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.
  8. Practice deep relaxation like yoga, deep breathing, biofeedback, or massage, because stress worsens the immune response.
  9. Tell your doctor about Functional Medicine and encourage him or her to get trained — go to for more information and to get a copy of the Textbook for Functional Medicine.

Mung Mono Cleanse

After an intesive Ayurveda workshop with Dhyana owner and founder, trained by Deepak Chopra I'm embarking on the Mung Bean Diet. You eat only Mung beans and rice for 10 days. Read below for the amazing cleansing qualities this diet possesses.

Take note the link below details a different recipe, than I was suggested to use. Olive oil, mung beans and rice only. Maybe Ghee butter in place of olive oil. Maybe a dash of salt and pepper if you must. The idea is to take away the flavors, cleanse mind. But the link does a good job of listing the details otherwise.

If nothing else, add this yummy pea like bean to your diet for increased detox impact.
Beware for those of you facing autoimmunity, it is a legume, not aloud in our diets. 

Reiki on the CN level of UPENN's Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine

It looks like Kim Fleischer of the Reiki School could use some help! Reiki loves get in touch with her to see if we can keep the Reiki therapy treatments going for our cancer patients in the Abramson Cancer Center.


April 5, 2014

April 4, 2014

Do you love to run? Do you want to keep running?

Knee pain, impact injuries and more complaints than I care to bore myself with, at the moment, come to the table when I mention how much I adore the run.

With arches like these I'd love if one of the sneaker creators could turn my red or yellow heels, into a running shoe.

Swiss Engineering has a new sneaker, that not everyone seems to know about. It has the capacity to keep you running. 

"I used to run but, but, but..." 
I hear it so often. I don't want to be that person, because running seems to keep me sane, and balanced, free to be me. With the upcoming lunar eclipse balance is everything.

Plantar fasciitis, Plantar fasciopathy or Jogger's heel are among the many issues that stop the lovers of the run from catching their wind. 
There is nothing worse than a runner who has lost their ability to fly. 
Wine will not cure this one. I tried. It will do the opposite.
It's like convincing yourself you don't need a lover, you can just love yourself. 
Yes, but likely humanity wins. You will still want a lover.

I'm a lover. A lover of the depths of the sea and the riches of the soul. 
The kind that can't be bought, or sold, or even taught. Definitely not forced.
Dig deep, push a little harder.
Dredge it from the depths.
Run for it.

Don't deny yourself what you know you deserve. 
Fight for it. Get a little gear to help you in the fight. Like armor for a battle.

The Cloud Surfer, it's a Cloud technology shoe.

Before these shoes, knee pain, after no knee pain. 
Before these shoes, heel pain, after these shoes no heel pain. 

Thank you Anna Deych,"I've already told everyone. Now everyone knows." She said.
When I mentioned I'd be writing about this shoe that saved my run, and no one carries or knows about except for Philly Runners downtown.
Strange that such a shoe would be elusive.
They sell themselves.

Swiss made Cloud Surfers. I recommend them.
I'm using new muscles and am being forced to use the proper part of my foot to reduce impact and eliminate injury. 

Don't be a heel striker, use the balls of your feet, or be forced to in these sneakers.
For more tips on form coach John Goldthorp can help, 

Thank your running body, after chanting to yourself along the long hauls, out of the mind into the body, out of the body into the soul. 

A love yourself tip:
Try the below sequence dictated by Liana Cameris at Sculpere to bring those muscles that take you through the trails a little bit of comfort!

Warm­up asanas
Surya Namaskar A
Surya Namaskar B
Wide­leg forward fold (prasarita padattonasana)
Triangle (trikonasana)
½ Moon (ardha chandrasana)
(other side)
Pyramid pose with yoga mudra (parsvottonasana)
Standing split
Seated twist (ardha matsyendrasana)
(other side)
Pigeon (eka pada rajakapotasana)
Cow­face pose (gomukasana)
Wide­leg seated forward fold (upavishta konasana)
(other side)
Heroes pose (virasana)
Seated forward fold (pachimottanasana)
Bound­angle pose (baddhakonasana)
Legs up the wall pose (viparita karani)

By: Liana Cameris 3/20/14

Sports Performance with Sarah

In through the tomb out through the temple

SKG, 2013 


April 3, 2014

Tips on writing your novel Photo Credit
Take 3, Chapter 24 of my novel and it's really taking shape.

Valuable, basic tips on how to nurture your writing skill, Write!
Like in yoga 99 percent is practice, 1 percent is theory. In accomplishing your writing goals 99 percent is in doing and 1 percent in talking about doing it. Carve out time for it, keep trying and ignite it. Now go.

Schedule the time to write daily, stop mid chapter so you have a starting point going back in, and map out your idea letting your story and characters evolve.

Now go, no excuses and by next month you could be looking for a publisher. In the words of Brenda Novak who was kind enough to share, "Just write!" She's now a NY Times Best Selling author and her work is being added to film.

March 31, 2014

2 years of studio time pre-yoga teacher training recommended

When we love something, some of us get the urge to jump right in. I won't mention any names, but they have been referred to as, "I love you sluts" (film writer reference.)
Other's so delicately observe, taking each step with careful consideration, so deliberate and respectful. Less messy.

Philadelphia was just voted one of the most yoga friendly cities in the country. I'm inclined to agree.
After 15 years with Rodney Yee and my cozy home mat, which often gets lathered with shea butter instead of sweat, we have embarked on a new future with the yoga community in this city- even extending into my work with UPENN. Ivy League Yogi's are a special sort. Yoga is included in the Physical Therapy model in the cancer center.

Each class brings a new awareness of how much I am capable of, how far I have come and how far I have to go.

Teaching my very bendy toddlers, who are now far more advanced yogini's than myself, is an entirely different platform than what I will be embarking on in the future.
A room filled with strong minds, strong bodies and uplifted souls who will be looking for my guidance, my strength, my healing and my adjustments, to bring them deeper will require me to go deeper.

The Yoga Garden, is a few steps away from home. Among their prerequisites for training yoga teachers- two years of yoga classes in a formal studio setting prior to applying to their teacher training.
They also come recommended by the yoga and Advanced medicine community at Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

Today I decided I will be taking the advice to train for two years prior to applying to teach. As part of that training, strength training. 
Yoga is something that takes baby steps, "forces you to go slow into each transition" A. Holmes today as I was dripping buckets of sweat onto my mat, the floor, the blocks, the kind man beside me- just wanting to push through into butterfly...
This requires strength, fortitude, persistance, patience, breath, flexibility that elongates over time, all of a physical and spiritual nature. This practice is challenging and takes time to develop.
Among the other trainings out there, a four year school in the Iyenger style and a Mysore style training, which only exists in India.

I'll be embarking into my first Mysore, India Ashtanga class this week.
That is if I can get my ass out of bed with a butt cracking, 6:30 am start time; 
Disciplines of freedom.
You can also come in and out of this class, as you please, which I find inviting.
Mysore practice honors the flux of the moon, with yin yoga practices, which aim target at the ligaments and even fascia.
Considering I function along the patterns of the moon, I'm called to this practice.

For the next two years, I'll be training in order to practice.

March 30, 2014

Dr. Shivago- from temple art to healing art

Photo Credit: Nuad Phaen Boran, 
Physician to Buddha. Surgeon, healer and founder of Thai and ayurvedic medicinal modalities. Dr. Jivaka Kumarbhaccha's spirit and teachings guide us in this work, where we are asking of the greater powers to bring happiness and freedom from illness to the ones we touch. Thai practices are based on Buddhist principals. It's a meditative dance, a prayer with ones breathing we follow a divine master to make it work.

Wai Khru

The following prayer (or puja) is performed in a group setting by the Thai people before Thai massage trainings, and it's personally performed by the practitioner before and after each session. The intention of this prayer is to bring a higher, spiritual awareness to the sessions and to honor the spirit of the founders. Eighty percent of the prayer is written in Sanskrit and twenty percent in Pali. This prayer is chanted or sung to Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha or “Dr. Shivago”, a doctor from Northern India, who was a private physician to the Buddha. Thai massage therapists and instructors show their devotion and respect for Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha by reciting the Wai KhruKhru means “teacher”, and Wai Khru means “honoring the teacher”. His first name is mainly used in references and recitations, and the Thai people pronounce Jivaka as Shivago.

Wai Khru

Said three times:
Om namo Shivago silasa ahang karuniko
Sapasatanang osatha tipa-mantang papaso
Suriya-jantang gomalapato paka-sesi wantami
Bantito sumethasso alokha Sumani Homi
Said once:
Piyo-tewa manussanang piyo-poma namuttamo
Piyo-nakha supananang pinisiang nama-mihang
Namo-puttaya navon-navien nasatit-nasatien
Ehi-mama navien-nawe napai-tang-vien
Navien-mahaku ehi-mama piyong-mama
Said three times:
Na-a-na-wa lokha payati vina-santi

English Translation

We invite the spirit of our founder, the father doctor Shivago, who comes to us through his saintly life. Please bring to us the knowledge of all nature, which this prayer will show as the true medicine of the universe. In the name of this mantra, we respect your help and pray that through our bodies, you will bring wholeness and health to the body of our client. The Goddess of Healing dwells in the heavens high, while humankind dwells in the world below. In the name of the founder may the heavens be reflected in the world below so this healing medicine may encircle the world. We pray for the ones we touch, that they will be happy and illness will be released from them.

Sequence of a traditional thai treatment, 
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