Friday, September 24, 2010

Handy Chart of Harmful Ingredients Used in Cosmetics - Thanks to Dr. Mercola

ParabensHeavily used preservatives in the cosmetic industry; used in an estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products.Studies implicate their connection with cancer because their hormone-disrupting qualities mimic estrogen and could disrupt your body’s endocrine system.
Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and PetrolatumThese petroleum products coat the skin like plastic – clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They can slow cellular development, creating earlier signs of aging. They’re implicated as a suspected cause of cancer. Plus, they can disrupt hormonal activity. When you think about black oil pumped from deep underground, ask yourself why you’d want to put that kind of stuff on your skin…
Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)Found in over 90% of personal care products! They break down your skin’s moisture barrier, potentially leading to dry skin with premature aging. And because they easily penetrate your skin, they can allow other chemicals easy access.SLS combined with other chemicals may become a "nitrosamine" – a potent carcinogen.
AcrylamideFound in many facial creams.Linked to mammary tumors.
Propylene glycolCommon cosmetic moisturizer and carrier for fragrance oils.May cause dermatitis and skin irritation. May inhibit skin cell growth. Linked to kidney and liver problems.
Phenol carbolic acidFound in many lotions and skin creams.Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma, and even death from respiratory failure.
DioxaneHidden in ingredients such as PEG, polysorbates, laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Very common in personal care products.These chemicals are often contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane that’s easily absorbed through the skin. Its carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965, and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages are considered extremely vulnerable, making it, in my opinion, a really bad idea to use these things on your face.
TolueneMay be very poisonous! Made from petroleum and coal tar… found in most synthetic fragrances.Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage…May affect a developing fetus.

Women absorb 5 lbs of cosmetics each year!

Women who wear makeup daily absorb about 5 lbs of cosmetic ingredients each year.  That is not good news because nearly all cosmetic products are heavily laden with toxic ingredients.  I read this in Dr. Mercola's newsletter today.

I can recommend one line of beauty products that don't contain anything harmful:  Lavera.  It is a German company, and I have had to order online until recently, when Lavera made a deal to begin selling their products at Target, of all places.  Who knew they had an interest in natural products?  I have used Lavera products for several years now, on the recommendation of a classmate in acupuncture school.  She is a chemical engineer from Germany, and is totally into natural health.  (Interesting person, huh?)  Germany has banned many sources of toxic chemicals such in dry cleaning establishments.  They've been doing this for two decades already.  America is SO far behind . . .

Think purity, whether it's food, clothing, cleaning products or cosmetics.  Anything that you breathe, eat, wear or touch ought to be harmless.  We have a long way to go on this.  Time to get started.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Here's a lovely quote from today's Rigpa Glimpse of the Day, quotes from Sogyal Rinpoche:

      Everything can be used as an invitation to meditation. A smile, a face in the subway, the sight of a small flower growing in the crack of cement pavement, a fall of rich cloth in a shop window, the way the sun lights up flower pots on a windowsill. Be alert for any sign of beauty or grace. Offer up every joy, be awake at all moments, to “the news that is always arriving out of silence.”

Slowly, you will become a master of your own bliss, a chemist of your own joy, with all sorts of remedies always at hand to elevate, cheer, illuminate, and inspire your every breath and movement.

Sweet dreams, all.

Daoist Dietary Therapy

Daoist medicine's treatment of first resort is dietary therapy.  Foods have medicinal qualities and help balance various aspects of the bodily humours and organs (Zang Fu).  A nutritionist friend sent me the following article about a physician in the Bay Area who started a Farmer's Market in Oakland with his son.  This M.D. believes diet is the foundation of health.  We Daoists "docs" whole heartedly agree!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blogging a sign that there is little real life on Earth?

This evening, I was reading another in a long string of Wallace Stegner novels that I've been enjoying lately.  The latest novel I'm reading is Crossing to Safety, and the quote that struck me is:

"Henry James says somewhere that if you have to make notes on how a thing has struck you, it probably hasn't struck you."

So perhaps all this blogging is a sign that people today are not truly in full body contact with life, that they are skating along the surface, not truly being struck in the heart by any of it.  I wonder.

Happiness and unhappiness

Patients come for healing because they don't want to suffer.  Humans naturally want to avoid things that make them feel bad and want more of or to hold onto the things that make them feel good.  Most people think that the cause of their suffering is the things that happen to them in their lives, things they don't like, things that don't make them feel good.  But the real cause of suffering is how we think about the things that happen to us.

For example, parents see their children grow up and ultimately leave them.  One parent might look at the situation and feel abandoned, might feel the child ungrateful to go off and now think of their own needs instead of the needs of the parent.  Another parent might look at the same situation and feel terribly proud of how they have raised that child, allowing them to develop into a strong and independent young adult who has the courage and self-confidence to venture out into the world on their own, ready to discover their own path through this world.  Same situation, looked at in an entirely different way.  One parent is angry and resentful, the other proud and rewarded.  What a world of difference in how they look at the situation!

Health is affected more by our thoughts and feelings than by outside physical events and circumstances.  Because that is such a radical statement, I will repeat it, so you don't think I made a mistake:  Health is affected more by our thoughts and the feelings than by outside physical events and circumstances.  That is saying a lot!  Think of all the ways our physical environment affects our health:  weather conditions is a big one, but also the things people say to us, the events that happen to us during the course of each day including cars that cut us off on a busy street or our boss not seeing the point we just tried to make in an important meeting.  But these things that happen to us are not the source of stress.  The stress comes from the way we look at things, the way we interpret them, the way we take it.

As an example, my boss reads the memo I have been preparing for the past two days.  I did careful research, I laid out the arguments thoughtfully, and yet he put me down in front of all my colleagues by glancing at the memo and tossing it on the table, with only a "Thanks, Karen, I think we've already made our decision on that issue."  Now, I could feel hurt that he made no notice of all the hard work I did, I could feel put down because he seemed to dismiss my contribution in front of all the department heads, and I could feel angry that all my hard work was for no purpose.  On the other hand, I could also be perfectly fine with it, not caring whether he took my contribution into account or not.  If I truly believe what I have to say might affect his decision, I can go into his office later and explain why it's to his and the company's benefit that he read my memo, or outline it quickly for him on the spot.  I could also not care one way or the other whether he reads it, having done my job to the best of my abilities, since I have no control over whether my boss has the time to read my memo or not.

Do you see the difference here?  We don't have to interpret everything in the worst possible way.  There is always a positive explanation for what other people do, and most times it has absolutely nothing to do with us.  It is usually a reason pertaining to their own personal situation.  My boss could have just been served divorce papers by his wife, and doesn't have the energy to deal with my detailed memo.  My boss could have just gotten some bad news from his doctor, and his mind is on how he is going to deal with his health problem quickly and thoroughly.  My boss could have just been engaged in a big internecine war with its biggest competitors, and the issue in my memo is really very unimportant compared to the big problem he has to solve right now.  None of those reflect on me and the quality of my work, nor whether he values my opinions and needs me in his organization.  When we are unhappy about what someone else has done, we assume the other person has done whatever it is we don't like for some reason that has to do with us.  However, the reason people do the things they do does NOT have to do with us.  Their behavior reflects something about them, not something about us, so we never have to take what they do personally.  It is not about us, it is about them.  And it is our business to pay attention to our business, not to stick our nose into the business of others.  "Take the beam out of your own eye before you try to help others take the tiny sliver out of theirs," a quote from Jesus of Nazareth.

So the secret to happiness is to focus on your own stuff.  You can choose how you look at things, you can decide to make positive interpretations about what happens instead of negative interpretations about what happens.  Happiness is just that simple.  To be continued.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

FDA knowingly misrepresents scientific findings

In my daily review of the latest alternative medicine research this morning, I found this:

 [In a] 2006 survey sent by the Union of Concerned Scientists to nearly 6,000 FDA scientists.  Those scientists that responded to the survey (about 1,000 of them) made some pretty shocking admissions . . .
  • Almost 20 percent admitted that they had been "asked explicitly by FDA decision makers to provide incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information to the public, regulated industry, media, or elected/senior government officials."
  • Less than 50 percent agreed that the FDA "routinely provides complete and accurate information to the public."
  • 47 percent admitted of being aware of instances "where commercial interests have inappropriately induced or attempted to induce the reversal, withdrawal or modification of FDA determinations or actions."
Shocking?  Yes.  Surprising?  Sadly, no.  

Enough said?  I thought so, too.