When I think of evolution, I usually think: “Survival of the Fittest.” I guess I accepted, with the help of my 9th grade bio class, that nature chooses the most aggressive, most cleverly adaptable traits to further a species.This could mean a better beak for opening seeds, like Darwin’s finches, or a fierce strain of bacteria that resists antibiotics. In modern lexicon it seems we’ve taken the premise of natural selection to promote certain aggressive social behaviors. I mean, how many times have we heard “Only the Strong Survive” or “To Get to the Top, You Must Step on the Backs of Others.” In its extreme form, modern interpretation of Darwin’s ideas have become the foundation for destroying whole swaths of humanity. With that said, I was surprised and relieved to find an article in the Shambala Sun about Darwin’s less well-known evolutionary findings. It turns out that Darwin found natural selection to favor the evolution of compassion. Yes, really, compassion. He observed that animal communities with the “greatest number of the most sympathetic members, would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring.” I’m certainly no Darwin, but everyday I see the positive effects of human connection, kindness, and open-heartedness on the body’s ability to adapt to life’s challenges. On the other hand, I also see the how anger, resentment and self-loathing create enough internal stress to compromise the immune system. When we can find compassion for ourselves or others we encourage an happier environment internally and externally, and thus a greater ability to survive and thrive. With Darwin in mind I leave you with these few questions: Where can you become softer in your judgment? How can you promote kindness each and every day? What can you do to forgive yourself and others?
|22 August 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Elizabeth Baer, TSP, TSP Experts|
|19 July 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Elizabeth Baer, TSP Experts|
Can vulnerability be a strength? I sure think so, and it turns out human connection researcher, Brene Brown, thinks so too. In a recent talk at TEDxHouston, Brown shares insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself better as well as to understand humanity. It is a touching talk, and well worth a listen.
As a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, I see the power of vulnerability every day. When a client comes into the treatment room and allows herself to be seen, she also gives herself permission to be loved. And everybody, you included, are lovable and deserve to feel that love. So much of life is spent wearing a mask or hiding our difficulties. Unfortunately this cuts us off further from what we really need: connection, hope, love, and respect. Next time you want to hide what is really going on from someone close to you, give yourself the chance to open up and have someone say “I know what you are going through, and I want to help.”
|19 June 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Elizabeth Baer, TSP Experts|
Imagine this scenario: You head to the grocery store full of good intentions for a wholesome weeks-worth of food. Of course, buying organic is what you’d prefer to do…but why does it have to be SO expensive! So you compromise here and there and do your best. Organic milk, organic eggs, organic carrots, organic corn, organic asparagus. Non-organic strawberries, celery, potatoes.
In my household, most of those organic/non-organic decisions are based on gut-emotions–”ooh, I’ve already gone over my budget this week” or “I am NOT paying 4.99 for a bunch of organic lemons! Who do they think I am!”
Luckily, there is way that you can choose wisely and save some money. The Environmental Working Group compiles a list each year of the 15 cleanest fruits and veggies at the supermarket and those that are most pesticide-laden. The good news is that eating your veggies and fruits outweighs the risk of ingesting contaminants, but EWG gives us a leg-up on reducing exposure where possible. The 2011 list has just been released. Happy Shopping!
EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Buy these organic
Grapes – imported
Sweet bell peppers
Blueberries – domestic
Lowest in Pesticide
Cantaloupe - domestic
|1 June 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Elizabeth Baer, TSP Experts|
More than ever, I am convinced that nutrition is the key to a happy life. What we eat affects our moods, memory, physical health, spiritual health, longevity and beauty.
Most of us over the age of 20 are accustomed to the labels “good food” and “bad food”. These can be great guidelines to go by i.e.: cupcakes = not so good for your body (despite how delicious they feel in the moment) vs. kale = full of essential nutrients and antioxidants, good for the body, (and tastes great too)! However, the labels don’t always show the whole picture.
Despite all the hype out there, no one way of eating is right for everybody. The key is to take the basic guidelines and begin to experiment. When we listen to our bodies with this knowledge (how did that kale feel in my belly vs. how did the cupcake feel)– this is where wisdom and mastery of our health begins.
My personal experiments with food and diet have led me to some challenging realities. The biggest, most recent realization is that I just do not tolerate sugar well. When it is in my body I break out, feel moody, overwhelmed and tired. I’ve known this for a long time, but have tried to squeeze my way around it over the years. A diagnosis of Intestinal Candida has forced me to face it head on, and it has been ugly.
So here I am, two weeks into a summer of no sugar. Because I am fighting Candida this includes all food that converts to or contains sugar (even in the smallest amounts). No watermelon, no beer, no margaritas, no ice cream, no hotdogs or ketchup. It feels very hard still, but I weigh the feeling that “I am missing out” with the reality that I already feel better inside and out.
Wish me luck that I kick this Candida in three months, but even more so, wish me luck that I become a wiser inhabitant of my body and can honor this wisdom when the Candida is gone.
|18 May 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Elizabeth Baer, TSP Experts|
My own colicky baby was born 5 and a half years ago while I was still in graduate school for acupuncture. Boy that was a miserable 6 weeks for all of us. I remember one Sunday when Julia cried THE ENTIRE DAY. By the time my heroic parents swooped in to help, Chris and I were numb (if that’s possible) and despairing. Eventually things settled down when we linked her crying to allergic indigestion and took milk out of my diet.
At that time I wasn’t practiced enough in my needling to try it on an infant, but truth be told I didn’t consider treatment for her until a year or so later. Since then I’ve learned that many childhood discomforts can be eased with Chinese Medicine. Needles are often a mental roadblock though it is usually the parents with this anxiety, not the kids. Fortunately, needles are not a pre-req for treatment. With children, treatment is usually short and sweet and one or two needles suffice. Acupressure and massage can provide the same effectiveness and are sometimes preferable.
Common childhood complaints like anxiety, colic, hyperactivity, ADD, allergies, reflux and restless sleep can all be treated with varying success. There are many practitioners who specialize in pediatrics, and I am happy to help you find one in your area.