Mercury Amalgam: Are Your Teeth Toxic?

Sweden and Denmark have banned its use entirely. Germany has imposed severe restrictions on its use, recommending that no amalgam restorations be placed in individuals with kidney disease, children, or any female of childbearing age, pregnant or not.

While the world’s largest manufacturer of dentistry metals has stopped producing amalgam, in North America, the American Dental Association (ADA) continues to approve mercury amalgam fillings.  It is still the most common dental material used in your teeth, with 75% of our population still implanted with mercury amalgam fillings.
tooth-294576_640
Dentists are taught that mercury is non-reactive when mixed with amalgam, yet scientific evidence has proven otherwise. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can damage your brain, central nervous system and kidneys.  Combining mercury with alloys and placing them in your mouth does not make mercury amalgam fillings harmless.  There is growing awareness that we are exposing ourselves to one of the most toxic metals known to science. As long as you have amalgam fillings in your mouth, you are breathing mercury vapors 24 hours a day.

Dentists are also taught stringent guidelines to handle mercury amalgam fillings as hazardous material before insertion in fillings and as toxic waste after removal. Yet, in an almost inconceivable twist of logic, they are told by the American/ Canadian Dental Association that amalgam fillings are considered safe when installed in the mouth.

On average an individual has 8 amalgam fillings and likely absorbs up to 120 micrograms of mercury per day.  With every bite of food or drink of a hot or cold beverage, these poisonous vapors are being released from the fillings and absorbed into cells, tissues, organs, and across the blood-brain barrier into your central nervous system and brain.

Mercury vapor when in the body converts itself to methyl-mercury (the organic form of mercury). Methyl-mercury easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it has been found to be instrumental in the onset of Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological disorders. It is important to mention that as toxic as elemental mercury is, methyl-mercury is 100 times more toxic.  Naturally, the more amalgam fillings you have, the more you are putting your health at risk.

Symptoms of mercury poisoning may include:

  • chronic fatigue
  • food allergies
  • Candida
  • depression
  • asthma
  • numbness and tingling of extremities
  • muscle tremors
  • menstrual disorders
  • intestinal disorders
  • low back pain
  • blurred vision
  • even blindness.

teeth-295404_640The most readily available test for mercury toxicity is a hair analysis. A regular blood test is ineffective since mercury is quickly absorbed and stored in tissues, adrenals, thyroid, the brain and other organs. Once mercury toxicity is determined, a decision to remove the amalgams and have them replaced with porcelain or ceramic-resin composite restorations can be made. A gradual process is recommended to minimize the extent of mercury vapor and seepage into the body.

A dentist trained in the safe removal of mercury amalgam fillings is necessary and the consultation of a naturopathic physician is recommended, once the decision to remove amalgams has been made.

My own experience with mercury toxicity began with a diagnosis of M.S. in 1998. A hair analysis and 24 hour urine collection, after a DMPS injection (a mercury chelating agent), confirmed mercury toxicity. I then began an eight-month process of removing all 6 of my mercury amalgams by a “biological dentist”, trained in the safe removal of amalgam fillings. Under the observation of a naturopathic physician, I began a detoxification process using homeopathic remedies, DMPS injections, vitamin C injections, massage, etc. to assist the mercury in leaving my body, tissues, and organs. Many years later, my health continues to improve.

Thankfully, with scientific evidence mounting and growing awareness of the detrimental effects of mercury amalgam fillings, more and more people are beginning to take responsibility for their health and demanding alternatives.

~ Nancy Hall, R.H.N., Level X
More information:
Edlich, Richard F. [et al.] “Banning Mercury Amalgam.” 2010.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Adviso…e/DentalProductsPanel/UCM236379.pdf
Matsen, John. “U.S. Congress Bill to Ban Dental Mercury,” Jan. 2004.
http://www.northshorenaturopathicclinic.ca/january-2004-us-congress-bill-to-ban-dental-mercury/

Training in Active Receptivity

I was at a Qi Gong class with a friend and we learned a fun receptivity exercise. It’s designed to teach the difference between active and passive receptivity.

To do this exercise, you need a partner. The exercise consists of three parts: 1. Passive, 2. Active (Energized), and 3. Active Receptivity. As you practice each part, notice the energy and how it changes. Notice your hands and where you are storing any tension.

To begin, stand with your feet comfortably apart, facing your partner. You put your hands out in front of you, palms to the sky, elbows bent, as though you are about to catch something in your hands. Your hands remain palms up throughout the exercise.

Your partner puts their hands out, under your hands, with palms up and gently open. They lightly hold up your hands. There’s no force or exertion. Your partner’s hands are gentle, soft, and strong.

1. PassiveReceptivity Exercise_Fig1a
In this first position, make your hands passive, almost limp, with the palms still facing up. This is passive receptivity. Feel the energetics of this passivity. Your partner may notice that your hands feel heavy and difficult to hold up.

 

2. Active (Energized)
In this second position, you make your hands energized, spreading your fingers open wide and tense, like yoReceptivity Exercise_Fig2au’re trying to reach for something with only your fingers. Keep your arms steady and relaxed. Your partner continues to gently hold up your hands. Notice the energy of this. This is like the energetic of controlling, or “I can do it myself.” It is difficult to support your hands when they are tense and energized like this.

3. Active Receptivity
In this last position, you focus on being Actively ReceReceptivity Exercise_Fig3aptive. Your palms are open to receive. They are neither limp nor agitated: they are actively receiving. Your partner will find it easy to support your hands, because they are neither too tense, nor too limp. When I did this position, it was as though my hands were floating.

To finish the exercise, your partner gently guides your hands until your palms meet in the middle and then releases them.

Now repeat the whole exercise, changing positions so you are holding up your partner’s hands.

Each time I do this exercise, I’m reminded that trying too hard is as just as unrewarding as not trying at all. And in practicing this exercise, I am finding that holding the position of Active Receptivity is getting more natural.

~ Lisa Voisin, Level II Teacher
lisavoisin.com

The Power of Quiet

I’ve always known I was shy. Some people call me reserved. I don’t do small talk well. I called myself “socially inept” because of my discomfort in crowds and at parties. Anywhere with lots of people or noise was a place to be avoided.

All my life, I viewed this as a problem – something to be fixed. As I grew more mature, I stopped trying to fit in. I started avoiding social engagements, especially parties, and I stayed out of crowds whenever I had the choice. By then, I was sort of defiant about it. But I was ready to claim my right to be the way I am. Except that I still felt like there was something wrong because I am this way.

Recently a good friend recommended Susan Cain’s book called “Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking”. I chose the audiobook as I have more listening time than reading time. As I listened, I had many “aha!” moments. I could see more clearly why I felt something was wrong with being this way.

Susan Cain’s TED Talk – The Power of Introverts is a great introduction to the “Quiet Revolution”. It’s 20 minutes.
quiet please
The most important distinction I learned was how it simply comes down to the amount of stimulation one is comfortable with. We’re all wired differently. We’re all somewhere on a spectrum between introverted and extroverted. And the amount of stimulation we can deal with comfortably in any given moment is situational.

Now, all labels aside, I love quiet. I no longer own a TV. I only listen to the radio long enough to find out what the bridge traffic is like 🙂 I don’t read the paper or listen to the news. I can actually feel my energy drain when I pay too much attention to the media.

So I’m celebrating the Power of Quiet. Quiet solitude is a place of creativity and epiphany. Quiet allows me to regroup, recharge and remember who I am. And for those who need the higher levels of stimulation, bless you. And thank you for understanding when I turn down the volume or leave the party early. I’m just happy I no longer feel like I need to apologize for it.

~ Nancy Marsh

Tuning Your Instrument

If you look at your body as an instrument, you may see that it is a vibrational form that allows you to move freely through this time/space continuum. As with any instrument, tuning is an ongoing activity, never perfect, always changing. The key to tuning any instrument is awareness.

The following two exercises are a great way to begin tuning the beautiful instrument that is your body. Find a peaceful place, be well watered, start listening to the consciousness of all your cells (not just the ones in your head:)…and begin!
In the Woods

Equalize The Weight On Both Feet

  1. Stand with your hands resting over your lower belly, and your feet hip width apart.
  2. Align the soles of your feet and distribute your weight evenly through both feet. For cramped feet: reach for the ground lovingly with intent. For sagging feet: feel a soft energy support bubble at the insteps.
  3. Allow an intimacy with all cells of both soles with the ground.
  4. Feel energy quickly trickling up from the bubbling springs or Yongquan point at the instep of the feet.
  5. Simultaneously feel energy express out through the padded part of the feet back into the ground.
  6. Feel this flow of energy up the inside of the legs to the pelvis/second chakra and then down the outside of the legs to the pads of the feet.
  7. Intend this circulation of energy for 3 minutes or longer.

See With Your Kneecaps

  1. Stand in the same position as the first exercise.
  2. Catch your in-breath with your hands.
  3. Breathe and build a grounding awareness.
  4. Open the eyes of your knees by gently contracting the muscles directly above your kneecaps.
  5. Hold these muscles in tone (instead of tension) for a few breaths.
  6. Feel a spinal alignment.
  7. Celebrate subtly.
  8. Repeat for a few more breaths.

Practice awareness walking with the eyes of the knees open. You’ll never stub your toe again!

Have fun tuning up and thanks for playing!

~ Megan Gerace

Someone’s In the Kitchen with a Juicer and Almonds

I’ve recently dug out my “Champion” juicer – a heavy, hard-working, heat-producing, stand up model that’s been sitting in my cupboard unused for several months now. I did a lot of juicing last year and really noticed the health benefits – clearer skin, a boost in my overall energy level, better digestion, but then, for some reason I stopped, and it’s been sitting on my shelf since.

Lately I’ve been hearing people talk about juicing, and seeing new juicers on the shelves as I’m shopping so I figure I’m being given a nudge. I decided it was time to get my “Champion” working for me again.

When I started juicing, one of my favourite combinationFruits, Juice, Pineapple, Mangos included apples, carrots, celery, ginger, kale and some lemon juice. However, I recently learned from a nutritionist that blending vegetables and fruits in the same drink is hard to digest. This is because fruits are acidic and contain a lot of sugar. For good digestion, they are best eaten alone. Vegetables, on the other hand digest in the mouth (a mildly acidic environment).  But if you eat highly acidic food (such as fruit) at the same time as vegetables, the saliva becomes too acidic and this impacts the digestion of the vegetables. The fall out is an added burden on the pancreas. The solution is simple; juice fruits or vegetables separately.

It’s also preferable to drink juiced fruit on an empty stomach because fruits require so little time to pass through your system. My morning fruit juice begins with peeling tropical fruits, like pineapple, kiwis and mangoes. I also peel apricots, peaches and melons. While it may seem strange to think of peeling soft skinned fruits (like peaches) before juicing, my nutritionist friend reminded me that many fruits, even organic, carry mould or e-coli bacteria on the skin. And if they aren’t organic, they’re covered in fertilizers and pesticides that simple washing may not remove.

One yummy fruit juice recipe includes apples, pears, plums, ginger and some lemon pulp. With summer on the way, you can choose from locally grown varieties like plums and berries. Juicing melons together, like watermelon and honeydew, produces a delicious, high water-content beverage with powerful anti-oxidant benefits that helps the body to cleanse.

Later in the day I’ll make a vegetable juice with kale, carrot, and celery to carry me through the day. And often I’ll use a wide range of veggies. Vegetables are health restorers and combining a wide variety of them produces a juice with maximum nutritional value.

Bok choy makes a great addition, as it also has high water content, and some green colouration. Peeled cucumber and more intense greenery such as parsley and Swiss chard add colour and flavour. Spinach is especially high in minerals. Cabbage is also a healthy addition to juice. It’s fun to experiment with different combinations and I keep this in mind as I shop.

I recently purchased a 25 lb bag of juicing carrots. Carrots are a great substitute for apples as they add sweetness, as well as colour and lots of nutrients. They go well with celery, golden beets, ginger and kale. A clove of garlic (or two) and some parsley or cilantro, add additional zing for the brave and adventurous.

Fresh fruit and vegetable juicing takes a little extra time to prepare but one sip of a newly created concoction and it all seems worthwhile.

Almonds Are Not for Juicing
A few years ago a friend began roasting and selling almonds. They were so yummy and made a really convenient protein snack. I decided I would try and make my own version.

Almonds with their skins are hard to digest because of a certain enzyme they contain. Soaking the almonds for 24-48 hours in clean water removes the enzyme. The nuts swell up and the skins just fall off or are easily peeled off.
almonds
After soaking the almonds, dry them on a cookie sheet in a very slow oven (100 to 120 degrees). This can take several hours. Be patient. Higher heats destroy the live enzymes. My last batch took nearly twenty hours to fully dry out. Others have finished in twelve hours.

For a sweet treat, coat them with honey or maple syrup, and add a smidge of Celtic sea salt. Stir well and pour them onto a large flat baking pan in one layer. It will vary with each oven. The finished almonds then taste sweet and are still full of live enzymes. The perfect snack!

~ Matthew Craig

More Nutrition Tips

1. Soak nuts, seeds, grains and beans
Grains, nuts, legumes (green beans, peas, soy, dried lentils and beans) and seeds are rich in enzymes and other nutrients, but they also contain enzyme inhibitors. Sprouting, soaking, sour leavening, fermenting – are all processes that were traditionally used to de-activate enzyme inhibitors, making the foods digestible and their nutrients readily available.

All grains contain phytic acid. Left untreated the phytic acid will combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli (beneficial bacteria), and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize the phytic acid. The practice of soaking grains (rice, oats, etc.) overnight in warm acidulated water (add a dollop of yogurt) will neutralize the phytic acid in grains.

There are 2 categories of grains:

  1. Grains containing gluten. These include oats, rye, barley and wheat. These must be soaked to make them digestible
  2. Grains without gluten. These include buckwheat, rice, millet. These contain less phytic acid. In lieu of soaking they may be gently steamed for 2 hours or longer in a mineral-rich gelatinous broth. If you don’t steam, do soak.

Soaking seeds and nuts in warm water will also neutralize enzyme inhibitors and stimulate the production of beneficial enzymes.

After soaking overnight, drain well and dry in a warm, slow oven (maximum 100 degrees) for several hours. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.

Bounty

2. Color your plate
Eat one serving daily from each of the phytonutrient-rich color groups to prevent premature aging and degenerative disease.

Phytonutrients offer protection from cancer and are contained in the following foods:

  • Red: apples, beets, cherries, cranberries, tomatoes, red grapes
  • Orange or Yellow: apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, pineapples, yams
  • Green: asparagus, avocado, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, kale, leafy green vegetables
  • White/Purple: cauliflower, parsnips, turnips

Some of the best phytonutrient-rich foods are:

  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Chili peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Flaxseeds
  • Garlic
  • Melons
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Sweet potatoes

3. Choose your oils carefully
When purchasing oils, such as olive or sesame, always choose cold-pressed and unrefined oils.

Other processes used to extract and refine oils involve chemical solvents and temperatures in excess of 450 degrees F. All refined and heat processed oils are rancid and transform into trans-fatty acids at 320 degrees F. Don’t be fooled by the clarity or pleasing aroma of a refined oil. A deodorizing process is used to disguise the odor and further processing is used to filter the cloudiness. Consuming rancid oils and trans-fatty acids interfere with metabolic processes in the body and dramatically increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.

~ by Nancy Hall, R.H.N., Level X

Three Nutrition Tips

1. Cleanse your liver daily
Your liver performs more than 500 functions including detoxification. Give it and your gallbladder a little help every day with this easy cleanse:

Lemon Squeezer

First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, squeeze the juice of ½ lemon into a cup of warm, filtered water and drink.
Wait 30 minutes before having anything else.
This is a gentle liver and gallbladder tonic, blood cleanser, and sets up for good digestion for the rest of the day.

Be sure to rinse your mouth with fresh, clean water after the lemon drink, to protect your tooth enamel.

2. Be kind to your liver
Plan your meals so that food is fully digested before you go to sleep at night. Allow the following digestion times:

  • Flesh Protein (4-6 hours)
  • Vegetable Protein (3-4 hours)
  • Vegetables (2-3 hours)
  • Fruit (1 hour)

Notice how you feel the next morning.

3. Neutralize those nightshades

Nightshade foods may subtly remove calcium from the bones and deposit it in joints, kidneys, arteries, and other areas of the body where it doesn’t belong.

Nightshade vegetables include potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and tobacco. While nightshades may be alkalizing they do adversely affect calcium balance.

Eating dairy will balance and neutralize nightshades. Consuming nightshades on a dairy-free diet will result in calcium loss, so go ahead and have cheese with your salad, and butter on your potato.

Note: “Old” potatoes have been known to cause gastrointestinal inflammation, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness.

~ by Nancy Hall R.H.N.

Breakfast for Health

When I get up in the morning, it’s not long before my thoughts turn to food. Depending on the season, I choose from a number of things – eggs with vegetables when I want hearty food, a smoothie when I’m on the go, or yummy oatmeal, the ultimate comfort food.

Frittata
A frittata is an easy way to combine eggs and vegetables. It’s also helpful in using up leftovers. Try this for a really hearty breakfast.frittata

3 eggs (per person) – add 1 tbsp water
1/2 zucchini – grated
1/2 onion – chopped
1/2 pepper – chopped
6-8 asparagus stems – steamed and chopped
1 tsp of mixed herbs (like basil, thyme, dill, oregano, marjoram, etc.)
1/2 tsp sea salt, pepper
1/2 cup cheese – grated, cubed or sliced

  • Begin by wisking the eggs together with herbs, salt and pepper until incorporated.
  • Heat a frypan on the stove on high.
  •  Add 1 tbsp oil/butter when it’s hot.
  • Toss in the veggies, keeping the zucchini aside for later. Cook until soft.
  • Add the eggs and stir to mix with the veggies.
  • Once the eggs are nearly done, add in the zucchini and the cheese, and mix until cooked.


Oatmeal

This is a standard favourite of mine in the mornings. Lately I am experimenting with barley and spelt flakes to mix it up a little.

2 cups water, bring to a boil
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup raisins/dried fruit
1/4 tsp each – freshly grated cinnamon, nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla

optional:
1 tbsp birch sugar/xylitol
4 tbsp hemp hearts
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter

  • Once the water is boiling, add the salt and oats.
  • Add the raisins, spices and vanilla next.
  • Turn heat down to simmer.
  • Let the oatmeal cook for five minutes.
  • Pour it into a bowl and add any optional ingredients
  • My favourites? I mix in the hemp hearts, then sprinkle birch sugar on top and finish it with a dollop of butter. Yum!

Smoothies
Not much time in the morning? A smoothie is quick and delicious. I always make enough for two!

2 cups frozen berries
2 heaping tbsp of protein powder
1 tbsp Udo’s oil (Udo Erasmus’ brand of various blends of healthy essential oils – ask at your health food store)
1 tsp xylitol/birch sugar
2 cups liquid (water, blueberry juice, milk or yogurt)

  • Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • For a thicker smoothie, use less liquid.

~ by Matthew Craig

smoothies

Conscious Eating – Find Your Balance Within

Eating consciously and having an awareness of and appreciation for our food is a very important step towards achieving balance and wellness. Making the best food choices by paying attention to what we are consuming, and noticing how it affects us, is crucial for health and longevity.

Nutrition, in the form of good quality food, combined with good digestion and exercise, nourishes us on every level. It helps balance our emotions, and directly affects how we think and feel.

GOOD QUALITY FOOD
Organic, bio-dynamic
Locally grown fruit and vegetables
Medication-free, pasture-fed animal protein
Unprocessed, unrefined whole foods
Unpasteurized, organic dairy
Fresh, enzyme rich
POOR QUALITY FOOD
Pesticide-laden food
Aged, old, or rotting food
Hormone, antibiotic and grain-fed animal protein
Irradiated food, Genetically Modified
Chemically processed, refined sugar
Food raised in unethical conditions

According to Ancient Ayurvedic principles, a poor quality diet promotes disease by allowing low-level thinking, destructive thoughts and behaviour. This is referred to as Tamas. When we eat Tamasic food, it makes it difficult to be anything other than Tamasic. It is believed, when we are mindful of what we are eating, we will benefit by staying well with a clear mind that supports high-level thinking.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recognizes food as having YIN and YANG qualities that have a direct effect on our bodies when consumed. Yin and yang describe all phenomena. They are polar opposite, yet interact with one another. Nothing is purely yin or yang, and if either one predominates the other will consume it.

Ginger tea

The appropriate balance between yin and yang foods is desired, depending upon the constitution of a person’s body. If one is Yin deficient, as could be the case with a person having diabetes, hypoglycemia, anxiety, stress, insomnia, or hot flashes, they would want to build their yin by consuming good quality animal foods, dairy, whole grains, quality fats, cod liver oil, chlorella, and spirulina.

If someone is Yang deficient, they may exhibit symptoms of cold hands and feet, a cold body, abdominal bloating, fatigue, and low sex drive. Suggestions to combat this deficiency would be to build the yang while supporting the yin and a diet emphasizing cooked foods, using warming spices, such as ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, and limiting fruit and salads would be recommended.

Yin and Yang Food Characteristics:

YIN
Cooling
Salty, Bitter, Sour
Descending Energetic Qualities
Calming
YANG
Warming
Sweet, Pungent
Ascending Energetic Qualities
Energizing

It is interesting to note how our culture has become so disconnected from food, its value and its effect on us- physically, emotionally and spiritually. Food has valuable, life-giving, energetic qualities that nourish us. Understanding Ayurvedic principles or having knowledge of yin and yang is helpful to finding balance, but not necessary. Being conscious of what we eat and how it affects us, individually and collectively, is necessary.

As a suggestion, for your next meal, pay attention to how your food feels in your mouth- is it sweet, sour, bitter, or pungent? Notice its qualities and texture- is it warm or cold, dry or moist? These are clues to how it will behave and react in your system. Also, notice how your meal makes you feel a few hours later- energized or lethargic, anxious or calm, hot or cold?

Most importantly, before eating your meal, be sure to express gratitude for it. Especially when you are in doubt of its quality, acknowledging its value and giving thanks will optimize its nutritional value so you may receive all of its gifts- if you are willing. Namaste.

~by Nancy Hall, R.H.N., Level X

What are the Ten Promises?

The Bible gives us the ten commandments. Did you know that there were also ten promises? No one ever told me about these. I heard Yogi Bhagan’s lecture recently from August 6, 1991 and I want to share these Promises of God with you. They were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
First Promise
Thou shall conquer the Earth. If the Lord God Creator is pleased with thee, all creation shall be thy servant.

Second Commandment
Thou shall not take the Name of the Lord in vain.
Second Promisetenpromises
Thou shall never be polluted.

Third  Commandment
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Third Promise
Thou shall live in peace and rest.

Fourth Commandment
Honor thy father and thy mother.
Fourth Promise
Thy identity shall be perfect. Heavenly Father, Motherly Earth.

Fifth Commandment
Thou shalt not kill.
Fifth Promise (Longevity Promise)
When thou shall Spiritually develop in yourself non-killing instincts, Mother Nature shall protect you and take care of you.

Sixth Commandment
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Sixth Promise
Thy purity shall be granted.

Seventh  Commandment
Love thy neighbor.
Seventh Promise
And the entire neighborhood shall love thee.

Eighth Commandment
Thou shalt not steal.
Eighth Promise
All shall belong to thee

Ninth Commandment
Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Ninth Promise
The power to witness My Creation shall be thine.

Tenth Commandment
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife nor thy neighbor’s goods (belongings).

The Universe shall never question thy will and all good shall come to thee. The real wife  of God is the creation – the creation will never question thy will.

These promises give a new perspective to the commandments. They change everything, don’t they?

~ by Nancy Marsh