Health & Healing

The Hard Health Care Choices

An article in USA Today highlights the difficult choices that must made as we face the spiraling costs of health care.  This is the lesson of Saturn (tests and challenges) traveling through Virgo (the care and maintenance of the body):

Within a year of starting dialysis, more than half of older nursing home residents die, and nearly another third experience a significant decline in their ability to perform simple tasks, such as feeding themselves, researchers report today. The fastest-growing group of U.S. patients starting dialysis is those 75 and older, many of whom have health problems other than kidney failure, such as dementia or heart disease.

Some observers have questioned whether dialysis, which typically is performed three days a week for three or four hours at a time, is the best option for such patients.
Many doctors assume that palliative care is “a death sentence” for patients with permanent kidney failure, internist Robert Arnold, director of palliative care at the University of Pittsburgh, and nephrologist Mark Zeidel, of Harvard University, write in an editorial accompanying the study.

But, they write, small studies of frail elderly patients with permanent kidney failure suggest that death rates and quality of life don’t differ much between those who go on dialysis and those who don’t. “We must define who among this population will benefit most from dialysis and who will benefit most from conservative therapy.”

Conservative punduts decrying the use of “death panels” ignore the fact that such panels […]

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By |2009-10-20T10:50:10-04:00October 20th, 2009|Health & Healing|Comments Off on The Hard Health Care Choices

Musings on the Sedona Tragedy

The deaths of two people at a sweat lodge outside of Sedona have raised many questions.  Led by self-help guru James Arthur Ray who achieved fame after appearing in the film “The Secret” and on Oprah’s television show, between 55 and 65 people gathered in a sweat lodge at Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat.  The sweat lodge itself was a temporary structure about 415 square feet and about 4-1/2 feet tall, made of poles and tarps and blankets.  The participants had been in the sweat for more than two hours according to a New York Times article.
The sweat was part of a program called “Spiritual Warrior.”  According to Ray’s website, this program is designed to push the boundaries and the self-imposed borders of the practitioners. A colleague of Ray’s, John Assaraf, says that these retreats are meant to push the limits of participants’ endurance and “transcend pain.”
I’ve been studying what I call “performance technology” for over 20 years and have used it in my own life and with my clients.  The work I call “Visioncrafting” is derived from these philosophies.  It’s extremely unfortunate that the tragedy of these deaths is being used to mock the “self-help movement” and undermine the whole idea of personal transformation.
On the other hand, this idea of pushing people beyond their limits is one that I have never found beneficial.  My earliest experience with these ideas was with the program EST in the early 1970s.  I never attended an EST program (with three planets in Libra and Venus opposite Jupiter, I have no need to challenge myself in this way), but friends who did told the tale of being humiliated in front of a roomful of people and not allowed to leave the room to take care of nature’s needs. […]

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By |2019-05-11T07:35:26-04:00October 14th, 2009|Health & Healing|0 Comments

The Nature of Grief and Astrological Cycles

Throughout this year, with Chiron and Neptune traveling together, many of my clients have called megrief.jpg with overwhelming feelings of grief.  Often there is an event that appears to have caused these intense emotions, but sometimes the feelings appear to stem from events that occurred long ago.  A client who had mourned the loss of her mother that happened nine years ago.  Another who grieved the loss of her first marriage many years ago.  Suddenly, after many years, the emotions welled up seemingly from nowhere to take over their lives.
From my article on the Chiron/Neptune conjunction:

When Chiron and Neptune are working together, they combine to assist with the work of the soul. The body, the mind, and the ego are all most interested in living a life well-grounded in the material world that offers the maximum of pleasure and the minimum of pain. The soul does not pursue pleasure and avoid pain; instead, there is an embrace of experiences that will assist us at the deepest level to completely learn the lessons that are presented to us so that we can release the past and move forward with greater wisdom.

Chiron facilitates this aspect of soul work by uncovering any wounded places that have been left unresolved so that we can be freed of the blocked energy that our unreleased wounds hold within the body/mind/spirit system. Neptune assists by reminding us that there is a world of experience that lies beyond the boundaries of the material world. Under the influence of Neptune […]

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By |2018-06-11T12:33:27-04:00October 9th, 2009|Health & Healing, Psychology|Comments Off on The Nature of Grief and Astrological Cycles

Astrology and the Kaiser Healthcare Poll

Now this is interesting and mirrors what I suspected was the case.  The Kaiser Family Foundation has published new poll numbers with answers to two questions:

  1. It’s more important than ever now to tackle the problem of healthcare; or
  2. We can’t afford to tackle healthcare now.

The first opposition of Uranus (change) to Saturn (not change) occurred on November 3, election day.  At that time there was the widest disparity of opinions on this subject.  The second phase of the cycle occurred in February, and you can see the divergence at that point.  Chiron and Neptune were also conjunct at that time.

The second phase of the Jupiter/Chiron/Neptune conjunction occurred at the end of May, and at that point healing and healthcare (Chiron) evidently became a greater concern for the public as the gap in public opinion began to shrink, despite the violent town hall meetings that occured this summer.  By August the gap was at its smallest, diverging again in September with the opposition of Saturn and Uranus.

It will be interesting to see what will happen over the next few months as Saturn enters Libra and begins to square Pluto.  I suspect that there will be a greater desire to agree and form alliances under the Libra influence, and the square to Pluto could bestow a greater sense of impending danger which needs to be addressed.

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By |2009-09-29T07:11:17-04:00September 29th, 2009|Health & Healing|Comments Off on Astrology and the Kaiser Healthcare Poll

The people around us help us create our reality

Now there’s even more scientific evidence for what most of us already know:  our friends can make us fat, happy, and sad.

The National Heart Institute has followed more than 15,000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts and their descendants, giving them comprehensive physicals every four years.  This data has resulted in a treasure trove for medical research.  Recently two social scientists, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, began using this data to study behaviors of the participants.  They discovered that good behaviors — like quitting smoking or staying slender or being happy — pass from friend to friend almost as if they were contagious viruses. The Framingham participants, the data suggested, influenced one another’s health just by socializing. And the same was true of bad behaviors — clusters of friends appeared to “infect” each other with obesity, unhappiness and smoking. Staying healthy isn’t just a matter of your genes and your diet, it seems. Good health is also a product, in part, of your sheer proximity to other healthy people. By keeping in close, regular contact with other healthy friends for decades, Eileen and Joseph had quite possibly kept themselves alive and thriving.

When a Framingham resident became obese, his or her friends were 57 percent more likely to become obese, too. Even more astonishing to Christakis and Fowler was the fact that the effect didn’t stop there. In fact, it appeared to skip links. A Framingham resident was roughly 20 percent more likely to become obese if the friend of a friend became obese — even if the connecting friend didn’t put on a single pound. Indeed, a person’s risk of obesity went up about 10 percent even if a friend of a friend of a friend gained weight.

“People are […]

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By |2009-09-16T07:53:53-04:00September 16th, 2009|Health & Healing, Life|Comments Off on The people around us help us create our reality
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