Monday, December 25, 2006

Vitamins recommended dosage & Uses

There are two types of vitamins - water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are not stable in foods and are easily lost in cooking and processing. They are required daily in sufficient amounts. To make sure you are getting adequate amounts, supplementation may be necessary. The B-vitamins are commonly added back to enrich processed grains like breads and breakfast cereals.

Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in body tissues, so we can function for periods of time without obtaining them from the diet. Because they are stored, toxic levels can occur more easily from regular increased intake of these vitamins, particularly vitamin A.

Water-Soluble Vitamins:

Vitamin B1 - Thiamine
Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin
Vitamin B3 - Niacin and Niacinamide
Vitamin B5 - Panthothenic Acid
Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine
Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin
Folic Acid - Folate
PABA--Para-aminobenzoic acid
Vitamin C - Ascorbic Acid

B1 - Thiamine

What is it?

The first B-vitamin to be discovered and named, thiamine supports our metabolism and the brain and nervous system. Thiamine's best sources come from the coverings of grains - wheat, rice and oats - and this vitamin is easily lost in the cooking and processing of foods. B1 is also found in vegetables, legumes and seeds and nuts. It functions in glucose (sugar) metabolism, brain neurotransmitter production and learning capacity in children.

What are the benefits?

Used clinically in nervous system problems, such as Bell's palsy, multiple sclerosis, and neuritis; Thiamin is also helpful for skin conditions and for tissue healing after surgery.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Deficiency can lead to beri-beri with fatigue, weight loss, and body swelling; Toxicity is uncommon, with 200-300 mg dosages handled without problems.

What is the recommended dosage?

Only 2-3 mg is required to prevent deficiency. However, 10 -50 mg is probably more optimum, with 25-50 mg most commonly used. Since this vitamin is used up in alcohol drinkers, it is needed more with alcohol use and in those going through alcohol detoxification.

B2 - Riboflavin

What is it?

This is the active B-vitamin that gives the urine that yellow-green fluorescent color when it's excreted through the kidneys, often referred to as the "expensive urine" of vitamin takers. Found some in grains, fruits and vegetables, riboflavin is higher in brewer's yeast, liver and oily fish.

What are the benefits?

Riboflavin functions as part of two coenzymes that help generate energy from foods, and also supports healthy skin, hair, and nails.

Vitamin B2 is used to support eye tissue, in dealing with stress, helping with fatigue and skin conditions. This "energy" vitamin is helpful for stress and is needed more for women taking estrogens (for birth control or menopause) or after antibiotic use.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Too much riboflavin does not appear problematic, while deficiency is common and can cause a variety of ill effects from fatigue and skin rashes (dry, cracked skin at the corners of the mouth) to eye and nerve problems.

What is the recommended dosage?

Usual supplements are about 15-50 mg.

B3 - Niacin and Niacinamide

What is it?

Niacin, named from nicotinic acid, is a vitamin found in and added to foods, and is also used as a "drug" to lower cholesterol levels. Niacin causes the famous "flush," a vascular stimulation in the small capillaries that also releases the allergic mediator, histamine, from the cells.The form of B3 known as nicotinamide does not cause this flushing. The best sources of niacin are peanuts, organ meats, poultry, and fish. It is also found in legumes, whole grains, avocados and dried fruits.

What are the benefits?

Niacin is used to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, support sugar metabolism and reduce allergic reactions. Niacin can be converted to the amino acid tryptophan in the body. It functions in enzymes that are involved in more than 50 different metabolic reactions.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Niacin deficiency disease is called pellagra and is characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia (brain dysfunction. There are other common symptoms from B3 deficiency. Toxicity is infrequent in reasonable doses, but there can be liver irritation from higher amounts of time-released niacin products.

What is the recommended dosage?

Vitamin B3 needs are about 15-20 mg daily, while common intakes with supplements are 25-50 mg. Therapeutic levels go up to 3,000 mg daily.

B5 - Panthothenic Acid

What is it?

Vitamin B5 is important to many body functions and is known as the "anti-stress vitamin" because it supports the adrenal glands. Panthothenic acid comes from the Greek word "pantos," meaning everywhere. And it is found in most foods and is also made by the intestinal bacteria.

What are the benefits?

Besides adrenal support, pantothenic acid as part of Coenzyme A, helps cells release energy from the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Vitamin B5 is good for stress and fatigue, around surgery and during recovery from illness or injury.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

There is no known toxicity. Deficiency can lead to fatigue, adrenal weakness, problems in blood sugar metabolism, and premature graying of the hair.

What is the recommended dosage?

The minimum requirements are only about 10 mg daily, yet more common intakes are 100-500 mg daily.

B6 - Pyridoxine

What is it?

Vitamin B6 is likely the most important B-vitamin, with its many life-supporting functions in metabolic reactions. It is contained in small amounts in many whole foods, with higher amounts in wheat and organ meats. Many grain products are enriched with pyridoxine.

What are the benefits?

B6 is needed for functions that turn food into energy, for protein metabolism, and for healthy nerves. Pyridoxine and pyridoxal-5-phosphate, the active coenzyme, is used clinically for a wide variety of conditions - PMS, pregnancy and its associated nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, problems of the nerves, water retention, and more.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Some reported toxicity, which is rare, involves neuritis with high doses, like 2,000 mg daily. Deficiency is much more common with problems of the nerves, skin, and energy.

What is the recommended dosage?

Typical amounts are 2-3 mg up to 200-300 mg for clinical uses.

B12 - Cobalamin

What is it?

This red vitamin is one of the more mysterious of the Bs. Known as the "energy vitamin," all of the B12 functions are not yet clear. B12 is only found in animal-based foods, such as eggs, cheese, fish and meats. Vegetarians must be attentive to their vitamin B12 intake.

What are the benefits?

Cobalamin functions in creating nerve coverings, called sheaths; it also supports growth, appetite, and red blood cell production. It is used clinically, often as injections, in a wide range of problems that affect energy, weight and the nervous system.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Vitamin B12 deficiency disease is called pernicious anemia, characterized by low red blood cell count and neurological problems.

What is the recommended dosage?

While only several micrograms (one milligram is 1,000 micrograms) is required to prevent deficiency, often people take up to a few milligrams for improved energy.without any toxicity.


What is it?

Biotin was discovered by deficiency symptoms experienced by people who consumed a large quantity of raw eggs. It is found in small amounts in many foods, including rice, yeast and egg yolks. Biotin is also made by intestinal bacteria.

What are the benefits?

Biotin functions in fat metabolism and the synthesis of fatty acids. It is used to help support fat and carbohydrate metabolism in diabetics.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Biotin is without known toxicity, while deficiency is not thought to be common either. However, it may occur after sulfa antibiotic treatment.

What is the recommended dosage?

Recommended intake is about 300-400 mcg.


What is it?

Choline, along with inositol, is one of the "lipotropic vitamins," meaning it helps the body utilize fats normally. It can be made from the amino acid glycine, and it is found in lecithin, which is present in soybeans. Choline is also found in egg yolks, peanuts, leafy greens, yeast and wheat germ.

What are the benefits?

Choline, as phosphotidylcholine, is part of soy lecithin, and helps in the emulsification of fats. It is an integral part of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is essential for transmission of electrical energy across nerves. Choline supplements are often used in neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, as well as for gall bladder and liver problems.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity is not known for choline, while deficiency may affect fat metabolism and cause fatty growths.

What is the recommended dosage?

The average needs are about 500 mg daily, while therapeutic levels may be higher at 1,000-1,500 mg daily.

Folic Acid - Folate

What is it?

A key B-vitamin, folic acid comes from the Latin word "folium," meaning foliage. This vitamin is primarily found in leafy green vegetables. Recently linked to neurological birth defects, folic acid has been added to a variety of processed foods. Folate is found in spinach, kale, chard, broccoli, and there is some in corn, legumes, bean sprouts, and wheat.

What are the benefits?

Folic acid, as its coenzyme tetrahydrofolic acid (THFA), functions in many areas, including red blood cell formation (with vitamin B12), and in protein and amino acid metabolism and utilization.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Deficiencies are relatively common and can lead to anemia, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, and mental symptoms.

What is the recommended dosage?

Requirements of folic acid are 400 mcg in adults and 800 mcg in pregnancy. More can be used, even up to 10-20 mg therapeutically without toxicity.


What is it?

Another lipotropic vitamin, inositol is found in soy lecithin as phosphatidylinositol, which helps to emulsify fats. Inositol is found in whole grains, molasses, wheat germ and nuts.

What are the benefits?

Inositol supports cell structure and integrity of the membranes. It is, thus, important for protecting against disease, especially viruses. It is used to help fat metabolism and prevent cardiovascular disease, and to support healthy hair and skin.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

No clear concerns about toxicity or deficiency, although deficiency may be related to hair and skin problems, elevated cholesterol, and eye health.

What is the recommended dosage?

No known requirements, however, 500-1,000 mg is a therapeutic range.

PABA--Para-aminobenzoic acid

What is it?

PABA is actually part of the folic acid molecule, and it is also made by the intestinal bacteria. It is found in eggs, molasses, rice, yeast and liver.

What are the benefits?

PABA functions with THFA in protein metabolism, blood cell formation, and is important to hair, skin, and intestinal health. It is used to support healthy hair and to heal skin conditions, such as vitiligo, a depigmentation. It is also commonly used as a sunscreen.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

PABA may cause some irritation in high amounts, while deficiency may generate fatigue, irritability, and digestive upset.

What is the recommended dosage?

There is no specific requirement. It is taken in amounts of 50-1,000 mcg.

Vitamin C - Ascorbic Acid

What is it?

Likely the most important and most commonly used vitamin, ascorbic acid is found naturally in citrus fruits, bell peppers, rose hips, tomatoes and strawberries.

What are the benefits?

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, anti-allergy and anti-viral. Regular use may protect us from getting cancer. Functionally, vitamin C is important to tissue strength, supporting collagen and cartilage. It also helps protect cell membranes. It is commonly used for supporting immune function and for protecting from viral disease and cancer. It may also help people with high cholesterol, cataracts, diabetes, allergies, asthma and periodontal disease.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

It is not uncommon for people to take 10-20 grams daily without problems of toxicity.

What is the recommended dosage?

Minimum requirements to prevent vitamin C deficiency, called scurvy, is 60 mg. It is commonly taken in 500-1,000 mg doses.

Bioflavonoids - Catechin, Quercetin, Rutin, Hesperidin

What is it?

An important class of nutrients, bioflavonoids are often found in vitamin C-containing foods. Common sources include the white rinds of citrus fruits, and many fresh fruits and vegetables, including grapes, cherries and berries. Bioflavonoids support the strength and permeability of blood vessels.

What are the benefits?

Many bioflavonoids act as antiinflammatories, while others, such as quercetin and catechin, help to reduce allergic responses.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity is not known, while deficiency may affect the blood vessels.

What is the recommended dosage?

There is no RDA for bioflavonoids, but some should be taken along with vitamin C. This nutrient is commonly available as mixed bioflavonoids in 50-500 mg dosages.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins:

Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin K

Vitamin A - Retinol and Beta-Carotene

What is it?

Vitamin A is found naturally in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables as beta-carotene, and in animal fats, such as egg yolks, as true vitamin A, retinol. Beta-carotene is a double vitamin A molecule and must be converted to vitamin A in our body.

What are the benefits?

Important functions include skin and tissue health, good eyesight, growth in youngsters, and actions as an antioxidant in cancer protection. Key uses of vitamin A in therapy are for treating acute infections, skin problems especially acne, poor night vision, and for protecting the body from the cell-disturbing effects that chemicals have, which is what the cancer-preventive effects are for both vitamin A and beta-carotene.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

There can be toxic effects from taking too much vitamin A over time, while beta-carotene's only adverse effect is giving the skin an orangish color. Deficiencies of A affect the skin, immune function, and eyesight.

What is the recommended dosage?

Recommended daily intake of vitamin A is 3,000-10,000 IUs, depending on age and health state, while common beta-carotene uses are between 10,000-50,000 IUs.

Vitamin D-Calciferol

What is it?

Made by our body in the skin when we are exposed to sunlight, it is known as the "sunshine vitamin." It is found in fish, egg yolks, and butter, but mostly in a fortified form in foods.

What are the benefits?

Vitamin D is essential to calcium absorption and utilization by the bones. It also helps support teeth and prevents osteoporosis, along with adequate calcium and regular exercise.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

It is often included in multivitamins and bone building formulas to help assimilation and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, so separate supplementation is usually not needed.

What is the recommended dosage?

About 200-400 IUs, especially during times of low sun exposure.

Vitamin E-Tocopherol

What is it?

Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects our cells and tissues from damage by free radicals generated by chemicals and oxidized fats. It is found naturally in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Tocopherol also prevents the oxidation/rancidification of fats and oils.

What are the benefits?

This vitamin is sometimes referred to as the "virility vitamin" or "antisterility vitamin" because of its support and protection for the sexual and reproductive organs. Used particularly for its antioxidant function in preventing degenerative diseases of the cardiovascular and neurological systems; it also may be an important protector against cancer.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity is very uncommon, while deficieny makes us more susceptible to free radical damage from environmental, food and chemical exposure. Lack of this vitamin may place sexual and cardiac functions at risk.

What is the recommended dosage?

Common levels of recommended intake are 200-1,600 IUs, with usual amounts being 400-800 IUs.

Vitamin K - Phylloquinone

What is it?

Essential to normal blood clotting, Vitamin K is found naturally in leafy green vegetables, yogurt, eggs and some oils, especially fish oils. It is also made by human intestinal bacteria.

What are the benefits?

Vitamin K is used commonly in newborns to support initial blood clotting function and in people with bruising and bleeding disorders. It is also used to counteract an excessive amount of the blood-thinning medicine, Coumadin.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity is quite rare, while deficiency can lead to easy bruising and poor clotting of the blood.

What is the recommended dosage?

About 300 mcg daily is the optimum intake of vitamin K from the diet and supplements.

Nutritional supplements

The use of nutritional supplements primarily vitamins and minerals has become extremely popular is recent decades. With the advances of production companies, the expanding knowledge and experience of nutritional practitioners and the great interest of the general public in supporting and protecting their health this field has grown incredibly fast.

Most Americans use some type of nutritional supplement, either regularly or when they are under stress or feel unwell. And it is clear that there is value in adding supplements to the modern-day diet. The soil in which our food is grown is depleted of nutrients and processing depletes it further. We suffer from daily exposure to toxic chemicals and stress. We all can benefit from some level of support through the addition of nutritional supplements to our diet.

A good diet and appropriate supplements have much greater value in preventing disease than in treatment. However, the right diet and supplement program can offer help in correcting medical problems and setting the body right again.

Vitamins function along with enzymes in chemical reactions necessary for energy production and keeping all our body organs functioning. They are often referred to as coenzymes.

There are 13 different known vitamins, each with its own special role to play. With the exception of a couple of the B vitamins that are manufactured by intestinal bacteria, we must obtain them from food or nutritional supplements.

Vitamins are essential for growth, vitality and health. They are also helpful in digestion, elimination and resistance to disease. Depletions or deficiencies can lead to a variety of both specific nutritional disorders and general health problems, depending on what specific vitamin is lacking in the body.

Minerals are elements from the earth that are required, or essential, in human nutrition and a wide variety of body functions. From calcium and iodine to iron and zinc, these nutrients are absorbed from soil and water into the plants and animals we consume. Our body does not manufacture any of these minerals. Thus, we must get them regularly from our diets and nutritional supplements.

However, we do store some, as in bone calcium, and these may be retrieved to maintain the blood and body activities. When the soil is depleted of minerals, as it commonly is with today's aggressive agricultural practices, we may not be obtaining these essential nutrients, and we can become mineral deficient. In growing youngsters and adults, we may then experience problems in sexual maturation (zinc), bone strength (calcium and phosphorus), anemia (iron), or thyroid dysfunction (iodine).

How Qigong Works & Uses

Qigong Defined
Qigong is an ancient Chinese self-healing practice that encompasses breathing exercises and physical relaxation, encouraging a kind of meditative mental state. All aspects of the practice work in harmony. By consciously focusing on the breath and the patterns of movement, performed in slow motion, a state of deepened relaxation develops.

One of the oldest healing arts in the world, as many as 200 million Chinese perform this tranquil ritual daily, utilizing between 3,000 and 5,000 different styles of the practice. Some styles involve movement while others are done sitting or standing.

Qigong is based upon the principle that we are energetic beings and that we have the ability to collect and transform electromagnetic energy and then apply it. When our levels of energy (qi), are depleted, the practice of qigong helps us to restore our reserves. Most of us have trouble generating enough qi by ourselves to prevent or overcome disease. Therefore, the practice of qigong is helpful in generating appropriate levels of energy.

These benefits alone would make the practice worth doing. However, there are additional reasons to consider including qigong in your life. Medical researchers have found that this practice is tremendously healing. Some of its measurable benefits include:

  • Increases oxygen In essence, this practice provides a kind of tune-up to your metabolism - the internal chemistry of your body. But unlike vigorous exercise, qigong and tai chi actually conserve and generate energy. Vigorous exercise has its benefits, but for anyone coping with illness, conserving energy is a useful feature.
  • Helps clear your body of toxins Your body is protected by the lymphatic system. You've probably noticed the swollen lymph glands in your neck when you have a sore throat. Lymph is a colorless fluid that washes through your system, carrying toxins and germs with it. In qigong, the rhythmic movements, deep breathing, and postures "pump the lymph," enhancing your immune function.
  • Enhances mental alertness and poise This benefit speaks for itself - the more alert we are, the easier everything becomes. Efficient functioning of your nervous system means less of a sense of stress. In addition, qigong tends to promote "the relaxation response"-a phase in which the body relaxes and rebuilds. This state is initiated through deep, slow breathing, coupled with the intention to relax.

How Qigong Works
Qigong can be anything from a 10-second relaxation exercise to an average hour a day of a particular form of practice.

How long does it take to relax? In its simplest form, you can do qigong in 10 seconds. First, simply decide to relax. This is a purposeful change of consciousness. Second, take a deep breath. Third, exhale and relax.

And that's it. This immediately activates a natural healing mechanism within you. Perhaps it is hard to believe that something so simple could have value. This practice can shift your physiology and turn on the healer within.

You can do this practice frequently throughout the day if you wish. It requires almost no effort whatsoever. Unless you close your eyes during this moment of relaxation, no one will know that you are doing it. You can even take relaxation breaks when you're with your friends or in the middle of a business meeting. If you close your eyes momentarily, you'll be able to relax even more deeply.

Other forms may require some physical movement or simply standing in place in a particular position for an extended period of time. You can even do qigong when you're sick. - lying-down qigong. From the Chinese viewpoint, external movement is the least important part of the qigong exercise. Internal activity and conscious breath is the essence of the healing practice.

You can either do your own qigong practice, or you can choose to see a qigong practitioner who is trained in working with energy.

FAQs about your personal practice:

  • When? It's typical for people in China to practice qigong or tai chi for about an hour in the early morning (from around 6 to 7). Frequently they practice in groups, as small as two people or as large as 200. Just as often, people do qigong alone and can be seen in the parks practicing quietly among the trees. Remember that you can do gong any time and any place that is appropriate.
  • For how long? People who are well and want to increase their energy and endurance will usually benefit from at least 20 minutes of daily practice - up to 40 or 60 minutes at a time. Many people experience profound vitality if they practice regularly. For those with mild illness, the same schedule will help to enhance health. To improve more quickly, practice more frequently.
  • Will my practice change over time? It is likely that over the years you will try a number of methods. To begin, you may want to practice at home for 20 to 30 minutes a day. Later you may add a one-hour weekly class. At some point you may find that you practice qigong or tai chi for 2 hours on the weekend and only do the 15-minute short form during the week. You are encouraged to allow your interest in qigong to grow, change, and evolve.

Uses of Qigong
The practice of qigong is useful to calm the mind and reduce stress. It can also help in treating virtually any human affliction because of the correlation between a balanced energy flow and optimal health.

Qigong is especially helpful in treating or preventing the following health conditions:

  • arthritis, rheumatism, and general neck and back pain
  • circulatory problems, including high blood pressure, hypertension, heart diseas
  • digestive conditions, including chronic hepatitis, indigestion, ulcers
  • flu, common cold, and other respiratory afflictions
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • kidney and other urinary system conditions
  • liver problems
  • problems with the ears, nose, and throat
  • reproductive system problems

Benefits of Qigong
Qigong is a noninvasive method of healing the body. As a result of generating the proper amount of qi for your body, many people find they can move into better health and have more energy. Many of the qigong exercises can be done anywhere, and don't require special equipment.

Some recent research findings demonstrate its broad range of benefits:

  • Qigong in combination with medication Using both approaches was found to enhance improvement for patients with asthma, high blood pressure, and cancer (Qigong Institute, 1999).
  • High blood pressure In a study of two groups of patients monitored over 20 years, those who practiced qigong had more normal blood pressure readings and lived longer (Chinese study, 1993).
  • Diabetes People who walked or did walking qigong after a meal had more stable blood sugar than those who did not. In addition, those who did walking qigong had a more moderate pulse than the walkers (Japanese study, 1999).
  • Chronic pain In patients with chronic pain, 82% of those who did qigong reported less pain by the end of the first training session, and 91% had less pain by the last session, weeks later (New Jersey Medical School, 1999).
  • Asthma Patients with asthma who practiced qigong had reduced hospitalizations, took less sick leave, and needed fewer antibiotics (German study, 1998).

The Role of Qigong in Prevention
Qigong has been traditionally used by the Chinese for health maintenance, the prevention of disease and as a longevity practice. Qigong experts claim that this practice is useful in preventing cancer, which according to the Chinese medicine worldview is the result of blocked qi, which over time manifests as malignancies.

The disciplined approach to qigong practice (about one hour a day) is not recommended for people with mental difficulties or for those who are very emotional. Pregnant women (after the first 3 months) are also advised to avoid the disciplined approach.

As with everything, use moderation and common sense. If you are experiencing any type of serious physical or mental illness, check with a physician knowledgeable about qigong. Progress gradually and stay in your comfort zone.

If you have a serious illness
To increase health in severe disease, it is important to neither practice too little or too much. These self-healing practices are powerful and highly refined. Build up the practice as you build your strength. More can be better, but only when you are ready for it. Start slow and simple, and as your vitality grows, increase your practice.

When the Shanghai Cancer Recovery Society receives a new patient who is near death, the only qigong method they teach is a simple breath practice. In addition the patient is introduced to person after person, day after day, who has healed themselves. The combination of the simple breathing practice plus dozens of sincere personal testimonials conveys tremendous healing power.

As the patient becomes stronger, simple hand gestures are added to the breathing practice. Next, they sit in a chair and perform the hand motions. Then they stand and perform the movement. Finally, they do the Cancer-Recovery-Walking-Form of qigong. At this point, they go and visit with new patients and tell their story.

Recommended Resources
What is the best way to learn qigong ?

  • First educate yourself.
  • Then you'll be ready to begin seeking a teacher.

If you want to teach yourself this healing art, choose a form of qigong that is very simple and work with it until you become comfortable with your practice. Educate yourself through books and videos. If you seek formal training later, you will have background knowledge that will help you select the approach right for you.

The possibilities for study and apprenticeship are endless. All told, the many forms and variations of qigong are said to number between 3,000 and 5,000. Some of these practices are thousands of years old and have been refined and perfected over time.

The movements and forms that are the simplest and easiest to learn are qigong methods that involve only a few instructions. For example, spontaneous qigong is simply a practice of allowing the body to move "with the spirit." Another cherished form is Guo Lin, developed in the 1970s by a woman with cancer who healed herself using qigong .

According to Chinese tradition, the secrets of healing can only be gained through a teacher. And it is difficult to learn a system of breath and movement from a book, an audiotape, or a video. In order to learn the more complex forms of qigong , the consistent input of a teacher is indispensable.

But great teachers say that "the practice of qigong itself is the teacher." The student learns by doing. So while it is useful to begin with a teacher, some of your most meaningful learning experiences will come from within your own personal practice.

Facilities that often offer qigong classes include YMCAs, university sports programs, community recreation centers, adult education programs, hospitals, complementary medicine clinics, HMOs, retreat centers, and martial arts schools. In some cities, such as San Francisco Santa Barbara, and Santa Monica, people independently practice qigong and tai chi in the parks. Sometimes there are even free classes.

In China, huge groups practice together, following the movements of the most skilled in the group. In many groups there is a teacher, and in many others, people practice independently. Some people go from group to group and practice five or six forms of qigong or tai chi before leaving for work.

To learn qigong , sample a number of methods and teachers. Later you may want to focus on a single style of practice for a while. You may try a number of different forms or even teachers before you find the one that really fits your personal preferences.

Recommended Reading

  • Awakening the Medicine Within, a video by Roger Jahnke, Health Action (1995).
  • Qigong Empowerment by Shou-Yu Liang, Way of the Dragon (1996).
  • Qi Gong for Beginners: Eight Easy Movements for Vibrant Health by Stanley Wilson, Sterling Publications (1997).
  • Qigong for Health, a video by the Immune Enhancement Project of San Francisco, CA.
  • The Healer Within by Roger Jahnke, Harper San Francisco (1997).
  • The Way of Qigong by Ken Cohen, Ballantine Books (1997).

Minerals recommended dosage & Uses

The human body requires two types of minerals: major and trace. Like vitamins, minerals function as components of body enzymes. At least 18 minerals are important for maintaining healthy blood, bones and organs.

Major minerals are most abundant in the body and are necessary for many body functions and organ health. Trace minerals are also extremely important for human health. Since they are found in soil, foods and our bodies in smaller amounts, they are more easily depleted.

When mineral deficiencies occur, important functions in the body will not work well or specific substances the body needs will not be produced. For example, iodine is needed for the proper function of the thyroid gland, iron is necessary for healthy red blood cells, and we need adequate amounts of zinc for proper immune function.

Major Minerals

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Silicon
  • Sodium
  • Sulfur


What is it?

Calcium is essential to bone formation and bone strength. It is also required by the body’s cells, along with magnesium, for proper function and electrical activity.

Calcium is absorbed better with vitamin D, adequate stomach acidity, regular exercise, and after protein intake. It is best taken at bedtime along with some vitamin C.

Good calcium sources include cheese and yogurt, sardines (with bones), broccoli, leafy greens, almonds and Brazil nuts, tofu and soybeans, blackstrap molasses, dried figs and apricots, and corn tortillas (with added lime).

What are the benefits?

Calcium functions in maintaining bones and teeth, especially during growth and development years. It is involved in nerve conductivity, muscle contraction, including normal heartbeats, and in cell division.

Used primarily to support bone health, especially in menopausal women, calcium is helpful in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis (porous, demineralized bones). It is also used for muscle cramps, menstrual cramps, and to prevent tooth decay.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity usually occurs along with magnesium and/or phosphorus deficiency, and can lead to increased calcification, which is a factor in hardening of the arteries, (the cause of most heart disease), kidney stones, and other stone formations. Calcium deficiency is more common than toxicity and can cause weak and porous bones, decay and loss of teeth, abnormal heartbeats, and rickets in children.

What is the recommended dosage?

Calcium supplementation is available in many forms--tablets, capsules, powders, and liquids--and as many mineral salts, such as calcium carbonate, calcium gluconate, and calcium citrate. Chelated citrates and asparatates are absorbed better than other forms. The recommended dosage is 850 mg and 1,200 to 1,500 mg in menopausal women.


What is it?

Magnesium may be the most commonly deficient mineral in human nutrition. It is the calming or "anti-stress" mineral, so very important to many human functions. Found mostly in plant foods --grains, legumes, vegetables, and nuts and seeds--magnesium is equivalent in the plant’s chlorophyll molecule to iron in human hemoglobin.

What are the benefits?

Magnesium is mostly inside the cells and functions to relax muscles (and the heart), and enzyme activation for many metabolic functions, including protein synthesis, energy production, and nerve conduction. Magnesium supplementation can help with poor sleep, anxiety, menstrual and muscle cramps or spasms, high blood pressure, asthma attacks, and abnormal heartbeats.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Since excess magnesium is easily eliminated, toxicity is nearly unknown. Deficiency is quite common and can lead to muscle cramps, calcification problems, fatigue, irritability, and insomnia.

What is the recommended dosage?

Magnesium should be supplemented along with calcium at a minimum of a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. Its required daily intake for adults is 350 mg, and for treating deficiencies, a dosage of 600-700 mg may be needed.


What is it?

Second to calcium in our body's mineral content, phosphorus is found in all our body’s cells. Like calcium, it is essential to bone strength, as are calcium phosphate is the primary component of our bones.

Phosphorus is found in most all foods, but it is higher in animal and protein foods such as meats, fowl, fish, eggs, milk products, nuts and seeds. It is also found in many vegetables as well. Sodas and phosphated drinks may cause excessive amounts of phosphorus intake, and this can interfere with proper calcium metabolism.

What are the benefits?

Phosphorus is an important component of bones and teeth. It plays an important role in cell energy production and protein synthesis. It is also a component of phospholipids, such as lecithin, which are so important to cell membranes. Because phosphorus is so available in the diet and often consumed excessively, it is rarely supplemented other than as part of bone-building formulas.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Problems of phosphorus deficiency and toxicity are not believed to be very predominant. Excess may alter calcium balance, while deficiency may lead to energy and metabolic problems.

What is the recommended dosage?

Adults need about 800 mg daily.


What is it?

An important mineral contained mainly within cells, potassium helps to balance and interact with sodium in controlling blood pressure and supporting electrical impulses across cell membranes. It is found in fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens, potatoes, citrus, and bananas, as well as in whole grains, nuts and seeds.

What are the benefits?

Potassium helps to regulate water and acid-alkaline balance. It also supports the electrical energy action across cell membranes generated by the sodium and potassium "pump." Potassium in larger doses is prescribed for people who are taking diuretics for high blood pressure or water swelling. As a nutritional supplement in smaller amounts, potassium is recommended for balancing sodium, for muscle cramps and twitches, and for controlling heart disease.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity can result from improper kidney function and can be serious. Deficiency is more common and can cause fatigue, elevated blood pressure, and abnormal muscle contractions. Deficiency can occur quite easily with persistent diarrhea, or from excessive salt intake.

What is the recommended dosage?

We need a couple grams of potassium a day, which we can get easily from a diet high in fresh foods – fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Silicon (Silica)

What is it?

Important for tissue strength, silicon is commonly found in the earth's soil and in our foods. Found in plant fibers, silicon is available from whole grains and vegetables, as well as from herbs, such as horsetail and oatstraw.

What are the benefits?

Silica gives strength and firmness to the body tissues, including bones, cartilage, arteries and skin. It is commonly used to support the skin, hair, and nails, as well as the joints and connective tissues.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity and deficiency are both uncommon, and are still being studied for possible relevance.

What is the recommended dosage?

There is no official requirement for silicon. People may take from 50-100 mg or 500-1,000 mg daily.


What is it?

The base of salt, sodium chloride, sodium is commonly overused in modern times and contributes to water retention, elevated blood pressure, and kidney and cardiovascular disease. Found naturally in ocean seafood and seaweed, and in many vegetables, the overconsumption comes from the added salt in the kitchen, at the table, and the salty snacks that are so prevalent as processed foods.

What are the benefits?

Sodium is essential to cell function, acid-base buffering, and the electrical conductivity in the body. Used primarily for sweat replacement in athletes, sodium is rarely supplemented unless a person is shown to be deficient.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity may affect blood pressure and kidney function. Deficiency from excess loss or in the elderly can cause fatigue, water retention, insomnia, and other symptoms.

What is the recommended dosage?

We only need about 2 grams of sodium daily, yet most people consume more. The average person needs to be attentive in avoiding excess salt and sodium intake.


What is it?

An important part of several amino acids, sulfur is found primarily in protein foods, such as eggs, milk products, meats and fish. It is also contained in some legumes and in root vegetables like onions and garlic.

What are the benefits?

Sulfur is important in enzyme reactions and protein synthesis. It is also the most abundant element in hair. It has been used over the centuries in skin salves for psoriasis and eczema. It is more commonly used nowadays as MSM (methylsulfonyl methane), for treatment of allergies and joint problems, such as arthritis.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

There isn't much concern with deficiency or toxicity.

What is the recommended dosage?

Although there is no official minimum requirement, sulfur is needed in an amount of 800-1,000 mg. Most people seem to get adequate amounts from their diets.

Trace Minerals

  • Boron
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Fluoride
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Lithium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Selenium
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc


What is it?

Boron has recently received a lot of attention because it has been found to help bones utilize calcium. Soil levels may influence the local incidence of arthritis, with increased soil boron levels associated with a lower risk of osteoarthritis. If the mineral is in sufficient supply in the soil in which foods are grown, it will be in most whole foods, such as apples, grapes, nuts, legumes, and leafy greens.

What are the benefits?

Boron may function in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus balance through effects on the parathyroid glands. Used to prevent bone loss, boron is commonly added to calcium bone-supporting formulas.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Boron toxicity is not known, while deficiency may affect bone and calcium metabolism.

What is the recommended dosage?

The average person may consume about 1 mg boron daily, while 3-5 mg may be more helpful as a bone-supporting supplement.


What is it?

Chromium is crucial to blood sugar and cholesterol metabolism, and has become popular in weight loss programs. Not very available in foods, the best sources for chromium is Brewer's yeast and other yeasts. Chromium is also found in beef and whole grains. It may also be found in vegetables grown in chromium-rich soil, however, such soil is rare in the U.S.

What are the benefits?

Chromium is the main component of glucose tolerance factor, which helps insulin function to utilize glucose (blood sugar) by the cells. It also may influence cholesterol by improving its metabolism. Chromium is used to support glucose metabolism in people with diabetes and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), to lessen sweet cravings, to improve metabolism and help weight loss, and to help with cardiovascular problems.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Chromium toxicity is rarely found other than with exposure to toxic metallic chromium. Insufficient chromium is a common deficiency and alters sugar metabolism.

What is the recommended dosage?

Although there is no specific requirement, people need at least 50-100 mcg of chromium daily. Since the average intake from food may be only 10 mcg daily, supplements may be necessary.


What is it?

The zinc-balancing mineral copper is important in many enzymes as well as in the production of hemoglobin, our oxygen-carrying molecule.

Copper is highest in oysters. It is also available from nuts and seed, whole grains and legumes, and in small amounts, in most vegetables.

What are the benefits?

Because of some concern for copper toxicity, most experts don't suggest copper supplementation. However, it should be consumed in about 2 mg for every 15-25 mg of supplemented zinc to prevent copper deficiency.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity can come from water passed through copper pipes or from elevated copper in well water. Excessive copper can cause various neurological and mental symptoms. Copper deficiency often goes with iron deficiency in anemia, and a deficiency can also cause symptoms of fatigue, skin rashes, and hair loss.

What is the recommended dosage?

Copper is usually included in multivitamins in a dosage of 1-2 mg per day. Remember to take additional copper when more zinc is consumed.


What is it?

Controversial as a tooth decay preventive, fluoride is added to many municipal waters in the U.S. It does have toxicity concerns and is associated with increased cancer risk. Sodium fluoride naturally occurs in seawater, and thus, can be found in seafood. Typically, we get consume most of our fluoride from fluoridated tap water and toothpaste.

What are the benefits?

Fluoride may not be required in humans. However, it does bond with dental and bone calcium as calcium fluoride, which protects the teeth from decay and may strengthen the bones. It is used as part of a dental hygiene program in vitamins, toothpaste and as fluoride treatments. It is also used experimentally for improving osteoporosis.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity is of great concern worldwide, with the U.S. being the only industrialized country still fluoridating its water. Excessive fluoride can cause mottling, discoloration and pitting of teeth. At higher doses, fluoride can cause arthritic symptoms, decreased growth and cellular changes in important metabolic organs, bone malformations and cancer. Deficiency may not truly exist, although it appears that the absence of fluoride may predispose us to tooth decay.

What is the recommended dosage?

Most people probably consume about 1-2 mg of natural fluorides. The additional fluoride found in toothpaste and water may lead to toxicity.


What is it?

Iodine is found in seawater and, thus, in most seafood and seaweed. It is also in vegetables and milk, as long as iodine is in the soil or the cow's feed.

What are the benefits?

Iodine is used primarily by the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones, which control our metabolic rate and body temperature. It is also used to support some other biochemical reactions. Iodine is often included in multivitamins in a dosage of 150 mcg. It is also used in formulas to support the thyroid. Kelp is a commonly taken iodine supplement. Potassium iodide and the medicine SSKI are used for bronchial congestion and to rebalance the body and support immune function.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity is uncommon unless people consume excessive salt or kelp tablets. Before iodine was routinely added to salt, deficiency conditions, such as low thyroid function and thyroid swelling (goiter) were common in large areas of our country. Less common today, these conditions still occur with insufficient iodine intake.

What is the recommended dosage?

Iodine is a required nutrient for adults in the amount of 150 mcg per day. More is usually not needed. Most people consume too much iodine-containing salt and processed foods, which often have added iodine.


What is it?

Iron is an extremely important mineral for general well-being and energy. It is the key component within the hemoglobin molecule, which carries oxygen in every red blood cell. Iron is found in the highest amounts in liver and red meats. Vegetable sources include leafy greens, nuts and seeds (particularly pumpkin and sunflower seeds), raisins and prunes, and wheat germ and bran.

What are the benefits?

Iron functions in hemoglobin and myoglobin, a molecule that supplies oxygen to muscles. Used medically to support blood loss and rebuild red blood cells; iron is also a particularly important supplement during pregnancy.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Although iron is extremely important for growing children and all women in menstruating years, it is a toxic concern for all men and any female who does not have regular menstrual periods. Excessive iron may lead to hardening of the arteries and heart disease The most common deficiency symptoms are fatigue and anemia.

What is the recommended dosage?

The average child and woman needs 15-20 mg day of iron, while men need only about 10 mg or less. Pregnant and nursing women need about 50-60 mg day.


What is it?

Lithium is a metal found in the soil and used medically in the treatment of manic-depressive (bipolar) disorders. It is a question whether it is a required nutrient or if its lack can lead to mood disorders. Lithium is contained in many foods grown in soil containing it.

What are the benefits?

Lithium’s function is not yet clear other than the possible relationship to brain and mood functions. It is used in high amounts medically to treat diagnosed manic depression, and in low amounts nutritionally to balance moods or milder forms of manic depression. It has also been used in the treatment of alcoholism.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Deficiency of lithium is not described. Toxicity only appears to happen in people taking prescription lithium, which can cause a wide variety of problems.

What is the recommended dosage?

Although there is no specific requirement, most people probably take in about 2 mg daily from their diets. Lithium orotate may be recommended as a natural remedy at a daily dose of about 10-30 mg, while medical treatment is usually about 1,000-1,500 mg/day.


What is it?

Often confused with magnesium, manganese is a trace mineral that is important in many enzyme systems. Nuts and whole grains are the best sources. Seeds, peas, and beans also contain some manganese. Manganese activates many enzymes in cell metabolism and facilitates the working of various vitamins, such as thiamine (B1), choline, and vitamin C. It also helps with protein and amino acid digestion and utilization.

What are the benefits?

Used therapeutically to correct deficiency, and to balance zinc and copper; manganese also may be helpful for regulating blood sugar in diabetes and in neurological disorders.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Toxicity only occurs with mined manganese and not nutritional manganese, while deficiency may cause a variety of problems.

What is the recommended dosage?

Manganese is needed in about 3-5 mg daily, although there is no official recommended daily allowance. A dosage of 10-20 mg is well tolerated and can correct any deficiency.


What is it?

Molybdenum is an unusual trace mineral that functions in three enzymes in sulfite detoxification, carbohydrate metabolism, and uric acid production. Food Molybdenum in food is based on soil levels, and may be found in whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.

What are the benefits?

Molybdenum is usually included in multiminerals. It is occasionally recommended for asthmatics who have difficulty in metabolizing sulfites.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Not a lot is known about molybdenum toxicity or deficiency, but there have been problems with both in animal studies. Toxicity may affect growth and weight, while deficiency may limit the functions of this mineral.

What is the recommended dosage?

Suggested intake of molybdenum ranges from 100-300 mcg daily.


What is it?

Selenium is an important antioxidant and cancer-protecting mineral that varies in availability. Areas that have higher levels of selenium in the soil appear to have lower cancer rates, and vice-versa. Selenium is found in foods grown in selenium-rich soil. Yeasts, wheat germ, and whole grains, like brown rice, contain some selenium.

What are the benefits?

Selenium is necessary for the functioning of glutathione peroxidase, an important detoxifying enzyme, which helps us metabolize chemicals. It is used as a component of antioxidant, anti-aging formulas. Selenium works well with vitamin E to protect us from free radical damage. It is often included as part of an anti-cancer or cancer prevention program.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Selenium toxicity does exist and occurs more with elemental selenium and sodium selenite than with protein bound selenomethionine. Selenium deficiency is much more common than toxicity, especially in the U.S. Deficiency may predispose us to cancer, cataracts, and cardiovascular disease.

What is the recommended dosage?

About 200 mcg of selenium is considered the right daily level; while up to 400 mcg is considered a safe intake.


What is it?

This little known mineral may actually be very important to blood sugar balance and cardiovascular function. Vanadium is found in vegetable foods when it is present in the soil. Grains, carrots, and cabbage are some common sources of vanadium.

What are the benefits?

The function of vanadium is unclear, but it may help reduce the production of cholesterol and help in sugar metabolism. It is used in the nutritional treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Vanadium appears to be nontoxic, and deficiency is not well proven.

What is the recommended dosage?

There is no requirement for vanadium. An average recommended dosage is 2-3 mg daily, while therapeutic levels are about 10-15 mg daily. Higher amounts, up to 50-100 mg daily, are used in treating diabetes.


What is it?

Zinc is considered by many nutritionists to be the most important mineral because it is essential to so many enzyme systems and to a normal functioning immune system. Many people are deficient in zinc, as it is not always easy to get enough from foods. Like other minerals, it needs to be in the soil first before it can get into the food. Oysters have the highest zinc content of any food. It is also found in shellfish, meats, eggs and whole grains. Nuts and pumpkin and squash seeds are good sources.

What are the benefits?

Zinc functions in a multitude of enzymes needed for alcohol metabolism, protein digestion, amino acid metabolism and energy production. It is needed for immune function and for fighting against damaging free radicals. Zinc is commonly supplemented to support prostate health in men, immune function in everyone, normal sexual development in teenagers, and to protect against chemical exposures. It is also used as a lozenge to fight off colds and sore throats, and in recovery from injury, illness, and surgery.

What are the long term effects and precautions?

Zinc can cause toxic upset when too much is taken, such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Deficiency is much more common and can cause delayed sexual development in boys and girls, prostate problems in men and increased susceptibility to infections.

What is the recommended dosage?

Normal supplementation is about 15-30 mg daily in men and 10-20 mg in women. More can be used temporarily to correct deficiency. Copper (2-3 mg) and manganese (5-10 mg) should also be taken with additional zinc.

How Meditation Works & Uses

Meditation Defined
Meditation is an experience of the mind - a state of consciousness. It is a moving of the mind from a state of activity into a state of silence. Once there, it is experiencing that stillness in a relaxed yet alert manner.

Meditation has been a practice of all the major religions for eons. Ancient Hindu texts on meditation from India (the Vedas) are at least 3,000 years old. Buddhism, based on meditation, began about 2,500 years ago. Christianity has a strong tradition of meditation, and its practices are found among Jews and Muslims, as well. And cultures that have shamans often use a form of inner concentration and imagery, which we could call a type of meditation.

While every religious tradition incorporates meditation into their practices, you don't need to be religious to meditate. Meditation is nondenominational. It is simply the act of connecting with something larger than your personal self. It is the sensing of unity, oneness, harmony and peace.

Everyone has had these moments at one time or another. For some, it happens while watching a sunset or the first snowflakes of the season. Others have slipped into that space while gazing in the eyes of a new love or catching the smile of a newborn.

With continued practice, you are able to bring that sense of stillness and harmony into your everyday life. Anxieties and concerns no longer can control you in this state of consciousness, and you will find that you experience your world in a fresh and more relaxed way.

How Meditation Works
Meditation is an effective stress reduction tool with both physiological and psychological benefits. Its practice promotes "the relaxation response." In this state, blood pressure drops, brain activity moves into slower alpha waves, metabolism slows down, and the nervous system is calmed. Our bodies get a kind of brief vacation.

Researchers have shown that meditation also stimulates our immune systems. A recent study found that meditators were significantly healthier in 13 disease categories than their nonmeditating peers. In fact, the meditating group had 50% less cancer and 80% less heart disease.

Meditation changes the activity in the brain. Instead of the beta waves associated with everyday activity, the brain moves into the slower alpha and theta brain waves. Whereas brain waves in various areas of the brain are normally chaotic, with meditation there is a synchronicity among all areas of the brain. Alpha and theta waves have been associated with enhanced creativity. And the increased productivity experienced by meditators may be related to the more efficient functioning of the brain.

Researchers have also found meditators exhibit many signs of psychological health, including calmness, emotional stability and optimism. These characteristics are due to the physiological changes promoted by meditation as well as meditation's ability, over time, to transform negative behavior patterns.

Uses of Meditation
Many people initially are drawn to meditation because they are suffering or in pain and want a way out. Anxiety, frustration, feelings of isolation, anger and unsatisfying relationships or work are some of the common conditions that push people towards meditation.

Although these conditions appear diverse, what they all have in common is a feeling of separation from life. When alcohol, drugs, over-eating and compulsive sex don't relieve the pain or sense of alienation, an opening is created to try a new approach - and many have found meditation a helpful tool.

Dr. Herbert Benson was the first to report on the beneficial effects of meditation on drug abuse. He found that after 3 months of regular meditation, 84% of regular marijuana users had quit using it and another 14% had decreased their intake. Other researchers have reported similar results for a wide range of drugs, including LSD, amphetamines, barbiturates, alcohol and cigarettes

In general, meditation helps to reduce stress, and promotes both physical and psychological health. It has been found to:

  • decrease blood pressure
  • improve immune response
  • relieve pain
  • improve near vision and hearing acuity
  • decrease physician visits and hospitalizations
  • increase longevity-related hormones
  • increase resistance to stress
  • decrease anxiety and anxiety-related disorders
  • increase emotional stability
  • release negative emotional patterns
  • enhance creativity, productivity and performance
  • promote overall well-being

Types of Meditative Practices

A Variety of Options

Today, we have access to many different types of meditative practice, so you can find one that fits your own personality and preferences. Regardless of the particular practice you might select, you will find yourself engaging in a relaxed form of concentration or focus, whether sitting or moving.

* Basic practice
The most basic form of meditation involves simply sitting and focusing on one thing, such as the movement of your breath in and out.

* Are you visual?
You may want to arrange and decorate your meditation area. Your practice could involve concentration on a visual symbol, a sacred image, or a candle flame.

* Do you love music?
You may wish to simply sit and listen to the sounds around you without judgment or attachment, just listening moment to moment, experiencing what you hear as pure sound. Or you may find that you are attracted to the sound of Tibetan bells or to certain forms of chanting or mantra - sacred phrases repeated in rhythm with your breathing.

* Are you a contemplative type?
You may want to read a spiritually inspiring short passage a time or two, and then just close your eyes and be still for a few minutes. Don't try to memorize the words but rather catch the essence of the meaning and focus on that in the stillness.

* Do you have trouble staying in the moment?
The Buddhist practice of mindfulness might suit you. Mindfulness focuses your full attention on one activity bringing you to a penetrating awareness of each moment. The Japanese Zen practices of flower arranging and tea ceremonies are examples of mindfulness meditations. But you can practice mindfulness with anything - from eating to walking to washing dishes.

* Are you full of heart?
Your practice may be more devotional, and could involve prayer or mantra - and a path of service. These types of practices are common in the Hindu and Christian traditions.

* Are you very active physically?
You may find you are most comfortable using a form of moving meditation. Try tai chi, qigong, or yoga. These mind-body activities all involve a meditative mind-set.

Solo versus Group Practice

Many people find it easier to learn a meditative practice with a teacher in a group setting. The support, feedback and peer interaction can assist in making the practice a routine in your life. Others are more comfortable learning on their own.

Benefits of Meditation

Meditating for even just a few minutes is an effective way to manage and reduce stress. But if you spend a little bit more time and make it a part of your life for the long run, the results can be quite profound.

Most of the research on meditation looks at people who meditate regularly for at least 20 minutes a day, twice a day. Its effects are cumulative. People who meditate consistently over a course of years experience greater benefits than do those who have a shorter length of practice.

Inner Peace
When the skill of meditation becomes more fully developed, and the habit well established, a kind of calm enters your life. Everything just flows easier and you gain a sense of your place in the larger scheme of things

Overcoming Psychological Problems
Life is a challenge - no doubt about it. Meditation has been found to improve the kind of issues that people seek help for in psychotherapy. Meditation practices appear to influence the subconscious mind - and therefore the deep-seated beliefs and mind-set we develop as small children. Changing these inner attitudes is one of the ways we can improve our life.

Building or Rebuilding Health
The researchers have documented that meditation builds a stronger immune system. This helps to explain why people who have practiced meditation for many years were found to be healthier in 13 major disease categories. Compared to nonmeditators, the meditators had only half as many physician visits and hospitalizations, 80% less heart disease and 50% less cancer.

Healthy Aging
Recent research, conducted by Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Jay Glaser and associates, have provided evidence that regular meditation can help us stay younger and healthier longer. Seasoned meditators had DHEA (an adrenal hormone) levels equivalent to individuals 5 to 10 years younger. Higher DHEA levels are associated with decreased death from all diseases and with longer survival.

The Role of Meditation in Prevention
Recent research from Harvard University on the use of alternative medicine found that meditation was one of the most frequently used practices for promoting health. Based on the scientific evidence, regular meditation is one of the best preventive actions you can take to maintain your health, prevent disease and even increase your life span.

Maintaining meditation practice long-term can be challenging. Many of us slip in and out of periods of practice. But clearly this is worth doing. For some, being a member of a group that meditates can help reinforce the habit over the long term. Reading the work of enlightened teachers can also strengthen your motivation.

On the other extreme, it is possible to become obsessive about any form of practice, including meditation. The Buddhists describe it as "stinking of Zen." The idea of "the Middle Path," defined by Buddha more than 2,000 years ago, can be a useful reminder. He suggested a path of moderation in all matters.

Sometimes meditation can dislodge painful emotions and memories. Seeking the assistance of a meditation teacher or a psychotherapist aware of the meditative process can be helpful at such times.

Recommended Resources
Most every major religion in the world includes a tradition of meditation. In some religions, meditation is one of the primary activities. Great traditions that include contemplative practice are:

  • Buddhist - meditation was one of the primary teachings of the Buddha and is a central feature of many branches of Buddhism, including Tibetan practices and Zen.
  • Christian - although many Christian churches include meditative practices, they are emphasized in Science of Mind and Unity services and in Quakers (Society of Friends) meetings.
  • Islam - the Sufi tradition involves a form of moving meditation, which often includes chanting as well.
  • Judaism - the philosophy of the Kabbalah focus on meditation and prayer and suggests that these practices can enhance healing and raise consciousness. The Kabbalah Center has 37 locations and a large collection of resources on their Web site:
  • Native American culture - often includes meditative aspects.
  • Shamanism - may include meditation-like activities.
  • Vedanta - this ancient religion from India is also based on meditative practice. The Ayurvedic system of healing associated with Vedanta includes meditation as part of its approach to healing. These teachings are available in centers such as the Self-Realization Center, the Transcendental Meditation Center and Hindu temples.

If any of these traditions speak to you, you may want locate a center, church or temple in your community and visit an open house or a meditation group. Check with friends, alternative health publications, the newspaper, or the yellow pages.

Recommended Reading

  • A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, Bantam New Age (1993).
  • Ageless Body, Timeless Mind by Deepak Chopra, M.D., Harmony Books (1993).
  • Don't Just Do Something, Sit There by Sylvia Boorstein, Harper SanFrancisco (1996).
  • Listening to the Light: How to Bring Quaker Simplicity and Integrity into Our Lives by Jim Pym, Rider (1999).
  • Meditation from the Heart of Judaism by Avram Davis, Jewish Lights Publishing (1999).
  • The Book of Meditation by Patricia Carrington, Ph.D., Element Books (1998).
  • The Nurse's Meditative Journal by Sherry Kahn, M.P.H, Delmar Publishers (1996).
  • The Three Minute Meditator by David Harp, New Harbinger Publications (1996).
  • Transforming the Mind by H.H. the Dhali Lama, Thorsons-HarperCollins (2000).
  • Wherever you Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Hyperion (1995).

How Massage and Body Therapies Work & Uses

Massage and Body Therapies Defined
The history of massage is long and complex. Chinese records from 3000 B.C. reveal some form of the practice. Even European cave paintings from 15,000 years ago depict what appears to be the use of therapeutic touch. As we know it today, the term "massage" did not come into use until the middle of the 19th century. Currently, over a hundred specific types of massage and body therapies have been identified. And some of them don't require the practitioner's physical touch to affect the body.

Massage generally refers to a quality or kind of touch to the soft tissue areas of the body, such as the skin or muscles. It may be an instinctive movement or a highly developed skill. Massage now includes non-touch techniques, movement awareness, structural alignment and energetic balancing practices. In its simplest form, massage soothes the stresses, aches and pains in your body. Besides physical complaints, it also relieves a number of mental stress and emotional conditions.

You instinctively massage yourself when you rub a stiff shoulder, gently caress a stubbed toe, rock a baby to sleep, cuddle someone you love, or give a good old-fashioned back rub.

A wide variety of deliberately applied techniques have developed into professional body therapies. These include therapeutic massage, such as Swedish and deep tissue techniques; structural therapies, such as Alexander and Rolfing techniques; and energetic modalities, such as acupressure, shiatsu and therapeutic touch.

Within our medical tradition, the pleasurable and gentle calming affects of massage, while real and usually apparent, are not intended as quick fixes or cures. They are powerful aids in helping the body maintain optimum health. Also, they are an important part of the healing process, playing an important part in our quality of life, especially when we're ill.

For ages, practitioners and recipients have known that massage benefits us not only physically, but also on mental, emotional and spiritual levels. In recent years, therapeutic massage has gained past-due recognition in the mainstream medical community.

How Massage and Body Therapies Work
Although the particulars of each body therapy technique varies, they all work in one or more of the following ways:

  • reducing or eliminating tension and imbalances
  • altering muscular or soft tissue
  • changing or enhancing body structures and functions
  • promoting release of emotional or mental holding patterns
  • increasing body awareness

Uses of Massage and Body Therapies
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapy was the third most prevalent type of integrative therapy used by adults in the United States in the last decade.

Although many people use body therapies simply to feel better or have a pleasurable experience, its therapeutic uses are wide-ranging and include:

  • relieving muscular and skeletal pain
  • reducing emotional and mental stress
  • promoting relaxation
  • speeding healing
  • increasing energy
  • relieving insomnia
  • improving digestion and elimination
  • balancing organ and glandular functions
  • relieving nerve pain and compression
  • improving poor posture
  • promoting a sense of connection to others
  • improving creativity and clarity of thought

In recent years, the medical community has recognized massage therapies as one of the most significant nondrug treatments for all forms of cancer and pain caused by surgery. Since massage improves the immune system, those who are HIV positive or have AIDS have been given the medical green light for its use.

Benefits of Massage and Body Therapies
Massage and body therapies offer many benefits. Overall, they are excellent stress reducers and can often prevent more serious problems from taking hold. They can provide relief for over-exercise, and speed recovery from injuries and minor illnesses.

Pregnant women often find massage therapies helpful, particularly in the last trimester as their babies press against internal organs and often produce lower back pain.

Massage therapies are particularly beneficial for the elderly, providing physical stimulation for muscles and joints, as well as emotional support and nurturing social contact. And those who are chronically or terminally ill often find great comfort from sessions with an emotionally-supportive therapist.

Certain types of energetically-based therapies, which often use the breath as an integral component of the treatment, can be very beneficial in dislodging ingrained negative emotions and outdated beliefs.

The Role of Massage and Body Therapies in Prevention
Since regular massage reduces stress and stimulates the immune system, it is a good strategy for general health maintenance. Many conditions, such as anxiety, headaches, mental and physical fatigue, sluggish digestion and muscle stiffness can be prevented by the regular use of body therapies.

Massage is one of the least intrusive and safest treatment modalities available. A trained therapist should know:

  • to inquire as to your special needs or concerns before beginning treatment.
  • proper hygiene and sanitation, such as washing his or her hands before the massage.
  • basic disease transmission processes, such as not touching an open sore.
  • safety standards, such as knowing how help a disabled person on and off the table.

In all forms of body therapies, open and clear communication between the practitioner and client is essential. During the session, always let the therapist know immediately if you are in pain or discomfort.

Recommended Resources
American Massage Therapy Association, Evanston, IL, (847) 864-0123

Recommended Reading

  • Massage by Clare Maxwell-Hudson, DK Publishing Book (1999).
  • Massage by Sarah Porter, Lorenz Books (1998)
  • Massage Therapy by Susan G. Salvo, W.B. Saunders Co. (1999).
  • Massage by Karen Smith, Macmillian (1999).
  • Massage for Dummies by Steve Capellini and Michel Van Welden, IDG Books Worldwide (1999).
  • The Book of Massage by Lucinda Lidell, et al, Simon & Schuster (1984).

How Imagery Works & Uses

Imagery Defined
The use of inner visions to help the healing process is hardly a new concept. Tibetan Buddhists have been using images in this way since the 13th century or earlier. The Buddhist approach typically involves meditating on a sacred image. Native healers (shamans) in cultures throughout the world have used a similar approach, perhaps since the beginning of human time. But only recently has imagery been used by Western doctors and healthcare providers.

A growing body of research strongly suggests that imagery can help people with a wide range of physical illnesses. Doctors who use this technique report that some people recover from their illnesses after using imagery and others have been helped by imagery to lead more rewarding lives in spite of their condition. And now there are some fairly sophisticated studies pointing the way to understanding just how imagery exerts its effects.

How Imagery Works
The use of therapeutic imagery usually involves a 20- to 25-minute session that begins with a relaxation exercise to help focus your attention and "center" your mind. If this doesn't get rid of distractions, you can also start by using hypnosis.

During a typical session of imagery, you may focus on an image that's been suggested to you, designed to help you control a particular symptom (active imagery) or you may allow your mind to conjure up images that give you insight into a particular problem (receptive imagery). Depending on your needs, imagery can be explored on your own, with the help of a book, using an audiotape, or by working with a therapist.

Uses of Imagery
Imagery can be helpful for a wide variety of ailments - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It is a powerful healing tool for chronic symptoms, such as pain. It can enhance the immune system and accelerate physical healing. It can also promote relaxation and provide insight into emotional, mental and spiritual concerns.

Depending on how severe your problem is, you may want to try using imagery on your own or with professional help. Since imagery may change the body's requirements for medications, it may be best for you to use it under the guidance of your physician if you have a medication-dependent condition.

In any case, if you plan to begin an imagery program, it's best to set relatively small goals at first, perhaps aiming simply to learn to relax. Most people can experience relaxation with imagery in a very short time, even during the first session. Once you've mastered that, you can go on to try more complex forms of imagery.

For chronic symptoms, such as pain, you may want to begin by practicing 15 to 20 minutes, twice a day for three weeks. This is usually enough to see if the imagery is helpful. For receptive imagery, it often takes two or three session with an experienced therapist or instructor to get initial results. It may take longer if you are working on your own or with self-help tapes.

If you use active imagery, keep a daily journal in which you estimate your symptoms' severity day to day. Over several weeks, this will help you determine whether the imagery is having an effect. Similarly, if you are using receptive imagery, it can be helpful to keep a journal of your experiences with imagery, as well as your dreams and emotional reactions.

Benefits of Imagery
There are four major qualities of imagery that make it a particularly valuable approach to mind-body medicine and healing:

* Physical Changes
Imagery has great potential to affect your body directly. There is some evidence that imagery can have positive effects on the immune system, although the explanation for these findings remains unclear.

Researchers have generally looked at the physical effects of imagery combined with other relaxation and stress management techniques. The studies do suggest that it can contribute to a wide range of changes in function such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing patterns, brain wave rhythms, blood flow, digestion, sexual arousal, and the release of various hormones and neurotransmitters.

* Insight into Problems or Issues
Imagery can also help us to see the connections between stressful circumstances and physical symptoms, where those connections exist. It does this by helping you see the big picture.

When you look at the world through logic, as most people usually do, you attempt to find the sequences that lead from one piece to the next. Logical thinking is similar to watching a train round the bend: You see one car at a time, and maybe just a little bit of the car that went before it.

Imagery gives you the broad view, as if you were in a small plane flying hundreds of feet above the track, high enough to see the entire train and several miles of track, as well as the town it came from and the city it's going to, the fields through which the train runs, and the mountain range in the distance. You can grasp the whole picture and see how everything relates to the rest. In much the same way, imagery can help you see connections between physical symptoms and emotional or stressful situations.

* Increased Emotional Awareness
The third significant aspect of imagery is its close relationship to the emotions. You can think of your emotions as the means by which thoughts create changes in the body. Fear makes our hearts pound, grief makes us shed tears, and joy leads to laughter.

The natural ways of demonstrating emotions, especially negative ones, such as anger and sadness are often socially unacceptable and are suppressed. People may then find unhealthful outlets for such emotions, such as physical symptoms or behaviors (smoking, drinking, workaholism, and so on) that lead to health problems. Imagery is one of the quickest and most direct ways to become aware of one's emotional state and its potential effect on health.

* Enhanced Healing
Although there is little careful, well-controlled research on the medical benefits of imagery, reports suggest that the technique may help treat a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, allergies, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, auto immune diseases, cold and flu symptoms, and stress-related digestive and urinary complaints. Imagery may also help speed healing after an injury, such as a sprain, strain, or broken bone.

Many of these benefits stem directly from the relaxing effects of imagery. In fact, the most common, most useful, and easiest application of imagery in health care is its use in relaxation and stress reduction. Many people find guided imagery the simplest, most natural way to relax.

The Role of Imagery in Prevention
At its most basic level, imagery can be used as a relaxation tool. Regular relaxation practices have been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, heart rate, breathing patterns, digestion and the secretion of beneficial neurotransmitters and hormones.

People with cancer or any other illness should not rely on imagery as their sole means of treatment when other, proven methods are available. Still, imagery can be a powerful aid in increasing the effectiveness of medical treatments or helping people to endure them. Combined with relaxation techniques, imagery has helped people to tolerate procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging examinations, bone marrow biopsies, and cancer chemotherapy and radiation. It can also help people prepare for surgery and recover from it.

Until more careful research is done, we don't really know imagery's full potential or limitations as a healing tool. Some people seem to respond to it remarkably well, while others don't. Many factors, from your physical condition to your inner resolve, may affect the treatment's success. Experimenting with imagery, however, is easy, safe, and inexpensive. All it takes is the time and willingness to unlock the power of your imagination.

Recommended Resources

  • The Academy for Guided Imagery, Mill Valley, CA, (800)726-2070.
  • The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA, (650)493-4430.

Recommended Reading

  • Healing Yourself: A Step-by-Step Program for Better Health Through Imagery by Martin Rossman, The Academy for Guided Imagery (1997, 2nd ed.).
  • Rituals of Healing: Using Imagery for Health and Wellness by Jeanne Archterberg et al, Bantam (1994).
  • Staying Well with Guided Imagery by Bellaruth Naparstek, Warner 1995).

How Homeopathy Works & Uses

Homeopathy Defined
Homeopathy is a low-cost system of medicine based upon the principle that "like cures like." This healing modality treats an illness with a substance that would cause the same symptoms in a healthy person. Practiced for more than 200 years in the U.S. and abroad, this system of medicine is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Homeopathic remedies, generally dilutions of natural substances from plants, animals, and minerals, has proven effective in treating diseases and conditions for which conventional medicine has little to offer.

Homeopathic medicine is a subtle method of healing based on the use of exceptionally small doses of medication. In fact, with this system of medicine, the more a remedy is diluted, the greater its potency. It works on the principle of diluted dose, which is similar to the approach used in immunizations and allergy treatments.

Since the doses are microscopic, the remedies are exceptionally safe. Given this safety, homeopathic treatment is a practical approach for self-treating colds, flu, stomach upsets, sprains and strains, and other types of everyday concerns. There are almost no known side effects associated with the use of homeopathic remedies.

The World Health Organization has cited homeopathy as one of the systems of traditional medicine that should be integrated worldwide with conventional medicine in order to provide adequate global health care in the 21st Century. Today in the U.S., more than 3,000 medical doctors and licensed health care providers practice homeopathy. Europe, the birthplace of homeopathy, has an estimated 6,000 practitioners in Germany and 5,000 in France. In Britain, where homeopathy has long enjoyed the patronage of the British royal family, homeopathic hospitals and other facilities are a part of the national health system. In Canada, Latin American, and India, homeopathy is one of the most respected medical modalities.

How Homeopathy Works
Homeopathic medicine is based on a dynamic called the Law of Similars. This response was first understood by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, in 1790. Hahnemann concluded that malaria was cured by quinine, not because of its bitter properties, but because of the fact that the drug produces the symptoms of malaria in a healthy person. When someone with malaria took quinine, their symptoms actually became a little worse.

This brief, mild "aggravation" of symptoms is believed to trigger the healing process. It may be that this "aggravation" of symptoms calls the illness to the attention of the immune system. Homeopathy is also believed to work on a subtle energy basis, bringing the body back to state of vibrational balance.

With homeopathic remedies, this aggravation only lasts the first 15 minutes and is so mild, you may not notice it. The remedy is taken on a time schedule - for example, once every two hours. Once the natural immune response is activated, the remedy is stopped to let the natural healing process occur.

Rather than working through some kind of magic, the remedies stimulate the body's own healing processes. For example, if you have a cold and take a homeopathic remedy, you may find that you have an overwhelming desire to sleep - and that you literally sleep off your cold.

Long-term treatment with homeopathy is called constitutional prescribing, which is based on an extensive analysis of body type, personality, and personal and family medical history. This approach involves a regimen of sequentially prescribed remedies. The effectiveness of treatment lies in the skill of the practitioner and the compliance of the patient.

This deep healing process begins with eliminating the immediate symptoms, then progressing to the "older," symptoms underlying the condition. Many of the layers of healing reached are the leftovers of chronic disease and other symptoms that have been unsuccessfully treated with conventional medicine. As part of this process, you may feel worse before getting better, oftentimes experiencing what is termed a "healing crisis."

Uses of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is known to be helpful for minor ailments, such as:

  • colds
  • dental pain
  • flu
  • headaches
  • motion sickness
  • sinusitis
  • skin eruptions
  • sprains and strains
  • stomach upsets

Clinical studies have shown homeopathy to be effective for a range of conditions, including:

  • allergies
  • arthritis
  • bronchial asthma
  • bronchitis
  • diabetes
  • digestive diseases
  • female health problems
  • epilepsy
  • mental or emotional disorders
  • migraines
  • neck and back pain
  • Parkinson's disease
  • postoperative infections and symptoms
  • respiratory infections

How to Use Homeopathy Safely
Many homeopathic remedies are available for purchase over-the-counter in health food stores, drug stores and even in some supermarkets. These remedies are usually for minor ailments and instructions are provided on the package. Oscilloccinum, a homepathic remedy for flu, has become commonly available in the last few years.

If you want to engage in a comprehensive homeopathic healing process, you will be working with a trained homeopath, who will be available to adjust the remedies as needed.

Benefits of Homeopathy
The system of homeopathy can help with almost any disease or health condition. Homeopathy can be amazingly effective for a myriad of conditions that lend themselves to self-medication.

Imagine that your child wakes up in the middle of the night screaming in pain from an earache - or your partner awakens with an agonizing toothache. The choice of the right remedy can transform this situation, and in a few minutes they're out of pain, relaxed, and ready to fall into a peaceful sleep. This is a perfect example of the value of the remedies, because at that time of night, unless the situation is dangerous enough to merit a trip to the emergency room, you need an effective short term solution, until you can call your doctor, dentist, or homeopath in the morning.

The challenge of homeopathy is that this healing effect occurs only when you choose the right remedy. That means learning how to use the remedies. The best way to become skillful at choosing the right remedy is to be seen by a healthcare practitioner who uses homeopathy and learn from experience how the remedies work.

Many people, who regularly use homeopathy for minor ailments keep a home remedy kit. Such a kit can be purchased fairly inexpensively (for less than $50) and will last for many years. It is also essential to have a few really good books that list symptoms and remedies.

The Role of Homeopathy in Prevention
Because it is a complete system of natural medicine, homeopathy's long-term benefits include reestablishing internal balance at the deepest levels, thereby providing a lasting solution. Therefore, when you address your health issues with homeopathy and get back into balance, you can help to prevent illness.

The homeopathic remedies, with very very rare exceptions, are some of the safest medications ever devised. However, there are a few important precautions that are applicable to any form of natural self-treatment.

* Don't avoid seeking professional help for a serious condition. While it is sensible to treat minor illnesses at home, whenever there is a high fever (over 101 degrees) be sure to see the doctor. If you need antibiotics, take them. What's most important is to get well. If you have a serious illness, don't treat yourself!
* Use homeopathy in combination with other approaches to wellness. For example, don't neglect nutrition, exercise or relaxation practices just because you are using the remedies. All of the approaches support each other.

Recommended Resources

To use homeopathy for other than minor ailments, seek the advice of a trained homeopathic practitioner, naturopath, or medical doctor. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) today recognizes homeopathic remedies as drugs and regulates their use. There is an official compendium for homeopathic remedies, the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, which was first published in 1897.

* Homeopathic Education and Referrals Bastyr University Referral Line, Kenmore, WA, (425) 602-3390. Referrals to naturopathic physicians, who also provide homeopathic treatment.
* British Institute of Homeopathy and College of Homeopathy, Marina del Rey, CA, (310) 306-5408. Educational resource, home study course for professionals and lay people.
* Hahnemann Medical Clinic, Albany, CA, near Berkeley, (510) 524-3117. Homeopathic Educational Services, Berkeley, CA, (800) 359-9051). Books, resources, remedies. International Foundation for Homeopathy, Seattle, WA, (206) 324-8230. Educational resource, referrals.
* National Center for Homeopathy, Alexandria, VA, (703) 548-7790. Educational resource, referrals.
* The Washington Homeopathic Pharmacy, Washington, DC, (301) 656-1695. Another excellent source for remedies.

Recommended Reading

  • Alternative Medicine by the Burton Group, Future Medicine Publishing (1999).
  • The Complete Family Guide to Homeopathy by Christopher Hammond, M.D., Element Books (1995).
  • The Complete Guide to Homeopathy by Andrew Lockie, M.D., and Nicola Geddes, Dorling Kindersly Publishers (1995).
  • Discovering Homeopathy by Dana Ullman, North Atlantic Books (1991).
  • Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine by Stephen Cummings, M.D., and Dana Ullman, J.P. Tarcher (1997).
  • The Family Guide to Homeopathy: Symptoms and Natural Solutions by Andrew Lockie, Prentice Hall (1993).
  • The Homeopathic Materia Medica by William Boericke, B. Jain Publishers (1995).
  • Homeopathic Self-Care by Robert Ullman, M.D. and Judith Ullman, Prima Publishing (1997)
  • Homeopathy: An Illustrated Guide by Llana Dannheisser and Penny Edwards, Element Books (1998).
  • The Science of Homeopathy by George Vithoulkas, Grove Press (1980).