Play it, Jen

Every good movie has a piano player somewhere in the background--
sometimes seen, usually unseen.
Seldom really noticed.
The feeling, the very soul of a scene, is created by that person tinkering at the keys.
It has been said, "All the world's a stage."
Well then...Play it, Jen.

My Photo
Location: Over Yonder, Missouri

I'm a California Native transplanted to the Missouri Ozarks. I've learned how to chase cows in high heels and load hay faster than you can say "Coco Chanel." These are some of our pictures and stories of living in a land with breath-taking beauty and adventure around every bend.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Feeding the homeless

I like the way this guy thinks!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Jujitsu and the Shindenkan

About the sport
Jujitsu specializes in close techniques like joint locks, chokes, throws, holds, and grappling techniques, but it also includes strikes, kicks, blocks, and efficient movement to foil and counter attackers. Jujitsu is not only a system of self defense, however, but an excellent way to educate the mind in peace, confidence, and control while developing the body in a healthful way.

In class, students practice techniques together, but contact and force are strictly controlled. Safety is first priority. Jujitsu practice is excellent exercise, and anybody can tailor the workout to his present level of fitness. Jujitsu is perfect for anyone regardless of age, size, sex, or strength because its techniques use leverage and efficiency of movement rather than relying exclusively on strength or speed.

History of Jujitsu
Jujitsu, also written jujutsu or jiu jitsu, is the ancient hand-to-hand fighting art of the samurai. Recorded as early as 230 BC, Jujitsu had its renaissance during the Edo period of Japan (1603-1868) after Tokugawa Ieyasu formed the Tokugawa Shogunate and brought unification and peace to Japan. This era saw the gradual evolution from weapon styles to weaponless styles, and hundreds of ryu (styles) of Jujitsu flourished, each emphasizing different techniques. With the collapse of the Shogunate and the restoration of the Empire after the Edo period, samurai were outlawed and Jujitsu almost disappeared. A few schools still practiced in secret, however, and in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, aikido (stressing spiritual and less destructive aspects) and judo (emphasizing health and sport aspects) were were developed from Jujitsu.

The Shindenkan and the art of Kamishinryu
The Shindenkan is both an organization and the location where the art of Kamishinryu is taught. Just as a dojo houses the very environment
where students train, the Shindenkan, as an organization, houses the hierarchical structure that helps to promote and preserve the art of

The Shindenkan is devoted to helping our students discover what budo means to them. This is done with great care and respect to the traditional Japanese arts that are being transmitted to our students. These teachings help guide each student in becoming a versatile martial artist.

Budo no Godo - Five Paths of Our Martial Way
At each requirement level a unique training emphasis is revealed to the deshi (student, dedicated one).
The overall training becomes a multi-layered path leading the deshi from physical methods to internal principles.
Budo no Godo can be viewed as a set of teachings taught within each ranking level the student progresses through, and as a parallel path of learning, up to and through each black-belt ranking.

Part of the Shindenkan's Budo no Godo is listed below:

The Form of Movement
Represents acquiring basic skills within each facet of training. The techniques lead a student from larger (gross) movements into tighter and more refined movements and closer work with uke. The weapon taught to the student at this level is the hanbo, which is taught as a close quarters weapon, the students mind and spirit are being molded as to the whys of what our art is about.

The Sphere of Movement
Represents a refinement of the basic skills acquired. The student learns to expand the tighter circle into an encompassing sphere. The 2-D circle (at shodan) now becomes a 3-D sphere. The weapons basics that are taught are bowaza. This continues the expansion concept from close in hanbowaza to extended bowaza. The movements of nage are more circular to find the sweet spot, the weakest point, within each attack. If this approach were used at shodan the student's movements would appear uncontrolled because of the lack of mechanical basics and internal knowledge of the principals involved. It is only through controlled movement combined with internal concepts can this single point be found. Nage extends the movement in order to find ukes weakest point.

The Focus of Movement
The students mind is developed much like that of a swordsman. The jujutsuwaza represents the same quality and influences as that of the sword. At sandan level the student training within batto-do brings these qualities to the forefront. Therefore, the weapon of training emphasis is the Iaito.

Practice with swords leads initially to mastery of self and later to mastery of interactions with others.

Shizuya Sato sensei (9th dan, Nihon Jujutsu, Hanshi) produced an article concerning the difference between Budo and sports. In the article he states, "Budo and sports have many similarities, and among them are regular physical training, correct understanding of technical principles, and determination to succeed. The similarities end at this point, however, for in Budo, the practitioner strives to develop the mind, the body and the heart, ideally devoting his entire life to the principles of Budo."

Budo, at the very least, is an ethical code that traditionally based martial arts today teach. One can see it in action by the respect given to instructors, fellow students and to the art itself.

Bushido, the practice of budo, was an ethical standard that guided the samurai of Feudal Japan. Through bushido, the samurai were taught benevolence, courage, honor and dedication. Even though budo transcends geography and culture, the foundations were laid by the koryu (ancient systems) of Feudal Japan and remain at its heart today.

"That the principles of budo apply to daily life are not realized at the level of understanding physical technique alone. The study of budo must be pursued for a lifetime for the 'deeper' meaning to develop. ... It is the duty of everyone practicing traditional Japanese martial arts to consider and endeavor to understand these principals, to look beyond form and see the underlying substance inherent in budo." (Takano sensei, Kendo Mejin, 10th dan).

Budo's principles are not limited to any one art. Numerous practitioners from every walk of life and various martial arts have shared their teachings and viewpoints about the subject.

The Shindenkan is dedicated to advancing the art of Kamishinryu, the years of friendship and support of Robert and Linda Kelly, to the memory of Albert C. Church and to the advancement and promotion of Japanese budo.

Petit sensei began his training with Church sensei in 1971, first training under one of his black belt instructors then eventually under him and Kelly sensei directly. It was Church sensei's goal for his students to train within a combined martial structure, therefore, Petit sensei earned separate black belt rankings under the Kamishinryu system. By 1979 Petit sensei moved to Texas. In 1980, he received a late night phone call from Robert and Linda Kelly informing him of Church sensei's death. Linda Kelly is Church sensei's oldest daughter.

Robert Kelly for personal reasons has chosen not to teach publicly the art that he inherited from Church sensei. In late 1995, Robert Kelly signed and sealed a letter of "lineage transmission" giving Petit sensei full sponsorship, permission and backing to carry on the Kamishinryu lineage teaching as Head Family.

The Shindenkan
Shindenkan Budo Renmei, was organized in the year 2000 to promote the art of Nippon Kobudo Kamishinryu.

Kamishinryu's teachings are jujutsu in nature and consist of a cohesive blend of Japanese based martial arts. The art emphasize's the control, joint locking, chocking, throws and fluidity of jujutsu with effective atemiwaza.

Atemiwaza requires that the student develop proper body mechanics to establish an effective "delivery system". Once this foundation is developed, the student extends the body mechanics into wider spheres of principle based application. These spheres of application require that the student learn the principles behind what makes technique work, therefore, mere emulation of physical technique will not allow the student to become an effective martial artist.

A few of this system's principles are briefly listed below...these principals are not listed in any particular order:

...rotational escape
-teaches the foundation of mechanical leveraging.
-always draw to and proceed from...points of strength.

-keep in/yo active within everything.

...decaying power
-channeling aiki flow.
-dissipate power naturally, not abruptly.

...ebb and flow of power
-the dual nature of postures.

Kamishinryu traces part of its modern heritage back through Church sensei's association with Okuyama sensei, Hakko Ryu Head Family. Hakko Ryu as a traditional martial art has direct lineage influences from Daito Ryu. It combines the grappling skills of ancient Japan, with striking nerve/meridians within the body. While living in Japan in the late 1960's, Church sensei trained at the Hakko Ryu hombu dojo with Okuyama sensei.

Within Japan, jujutsu is the largest traditional soft style martial art today. Jujutsu uses principles of countering an attack by using the opponent's strength against himself. Striking techniques (atemiwaza) based on pressure points, are used along with joint manipulations and throws to subdue and control an opponent. The fundamentals of jujutsu are very simple to learn and truly is a martial art for all ages. On the other hand, the advanced methods of jujutsu take years of dedicated study.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Prophet's Testimony of Jesus Christ

LDS Stake Growth

Interesting to see it like this.

Jesus Christ's Post Crucifixion Apparence in Ancient America

To learn more visit:

Jin Shin Jyutsu

Jin Shin Jyutsu employs twenty-six safety energy locks along a network of energetic pathways that nourish life within the body. When one or more of these safety energy locks become blocked, a local disruption can occur, eventually resulting in disharmony of the energetic pathway completely. Application of the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu® (light pressure applied with the fingertips to the safety energy locks) brings balance, releases deep tension, and restores harmonious flow along the energetic pathways.

Jin Shin Jyutsu is a natural art which facilitates the restoration of an individual's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. Literally translated, it means, "Art of the Creator through compassionate and knowing man." This simple, yet incredibly powerful art was rediscovered in Japan in the beginning of the twentieth century by Jiro Murai, and brought to the west by Mary Burmeister in the 1950s.

A Jin Shin session begins with listening to the pulse, which reveals to the practitioner information about the current flow of energy and state of being of the client. It indicates where he or she needs help. Unlike western medicine, the emphasis is not on diagnosing, but on harmonizing. All disease begins with blockages of energy, and the pulse shows the practitioner the specific energy points that need to be held to restore the harmonious flow, without creating additional stress in the client's mind about the condition.

The remaining treatment consists of gently holding points in various combinations until complete harmony of energy and pulsation is established.

The Main Central:

Hand Positions for Self Help

The Main Central Universal Harmonizing Energy corresponds energetically and physically most closely to the spinal column (the most concentrated physical manifestation of energy in vertebrates) and associates similarly with the chakra modalities. As a source, it functions as a master gateway for the myriad body function energies, coordinating general harmony throughout the bodily network of energetic pathways. It is therefore a good idea to keep this flow as "tuned-up" as possible. The following diagram outlines a daily self-help session to balance the Main Central.

Begin with the right hand on the top of the head (R1) and left hand on the third eye or center of eyebrows (L1). Keeping the right hand in place, move the left hand to the tip of the nose (L2). Continue to follow the diagram above down the front of the body until the left hand reaches the pubic bone (L5). Move the right hand to the tip of the coccyx (R2). Hold the hand positions while "listening" for the harmony in your pulse (you will note, with practice, the slight pulsation at each point--hold the positions until you sense rhythmic, synchronous pulsations in the right and left hands); imagine energy flowing in the direction of your left hand's placement, down the front and up the back of your spine.

Hold one finger at a time with the five fingers of the other hand:

THUMB: Corresponds to worrying, depression, anxiety. Physical symptoms may be stomach aches, headaches, skin problems and nervousness.

INDEX FINGER: Corresponds to fear, mental confusion, frustration. Physical symptoms are digestive problems and muscle problems like backaches.

MIDDLE FINGER: Corresponds with anger ("give someone the bird"), irritability, indecisiveness. Physical symptoms are eye or vision problems, fatigue, circulation problems.

RING FINGER: Corresponds with sadness, fear of rejection, grief, negativity. Physical symptoms are digestive, breathing or serious skin problems.

LITTLE FINGER: Corresponds with overdoing it, insecurity, effort, nervousness. Physical symptoms are bone or nerve problems, sore throat.

Further information:
The Safety Energy Locks
The Depths
Methods of Correction

Carl Jung quotations

--Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.

--Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

--If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.

--What is essential in a work of art is that it should rise far above the realm of personal life and speak to the spirit and heart of the poet as man to the spirit and heart of mankind.

--It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how they are themselves.

--To be normal is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful.

--The unconscious mind of man sees correctly even when conscious reason is blind and impotent.

--Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.

--The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.

--Observance of customs and laws can very easily be a cloak for a lie so subtle that our fellow human beings are unable to detect it. It may help us to escape all criticism, we may even be able to deceive ourselves in the belief of our obvious righteousness. But deep down, below the surface of the average man's conscience, he hears a voice whispering, "There is something not right," no matter how much his rightness is supported by public opinion or by the moral code.

--All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.

"Normal" is a setting on a washing machine.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Joe was promoted to yellow belt last night!

Yellow belt is a very difficult level to earn. Joe has worked very hard practicing the things he has learned in class from Sensei Derek and Sensei Ward and Joel Sempai. Also all the extra time Joel has put in training Joe has paid off! :)

Clip-Joe with Sensei Ward

David & Joe Jujitsu

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

5 Element Theory

Generating Energy (Chi)
Based on Five Element Theory, each elemental force generates or creates the next element in a creative sequence.

For example:
Water generates wood. Rain nourishes a tree.
Wood generates fire. Burning wood generates fire.
Fire generates earth. Ash is created from the fire.
Earth generates metal. Metal is mined from the earth.
Metal generates water. Water condenses on metal.

This creative process is illustrated in Figure 1 below:

When applying this "supportive relationship" to the human body, we see that each internal organ embodies the energetic qualities of the element it's related to. Each organ is responsible for providing the energy needed by the next organ in the generative cycle.

For example:
Kidney (water element) supports the Liver (wood element).
Liver (wood element) supports the Heart (fire element).
Heart (fire element) supports the Spleen (earth element).
Spleen (earth element) supports the Lung (metal element).
Lung (metal element) supports the Kidney (water element).

Regulating Energy (Chi)
Based on Five Element Theory, each elemental force is also associated with another element which it is responsible for controlling or regulating.

For example:
Water controls fire. Water puts fire out.
Wood controls earth. Tree roots hold clods of earth.
Fire controls metal. Fire can melt metal.
Earth controls water. A pond holds water.
Metal controls wood. An ax cuts wood.

This regulating process is illustrated in Figure 2 below:

When applying this "regulating relationship" to the human body, we see that each internal organ embodies the energetic qualities of the element it's related to. Each organ is responsible for providing energy to regulate or control excesses or deficiencies in the energy of the organ it's associated with in this cycle.

For example:
Lung (metal element) controls Liver (wood element).
Heart (fire element) controls Lung (metal element).
Kidney (water element) controls Heart (fire element).
Spleen (earth element) controls Kidney (water element).
Liver (wood element) controls Spleen (earth element).

In summary, your internal organs play a dual role in promoting and maintaining your health: generating and regulating energy for each other. Each organ passes energy to the organ it supports, and, when necessary, controls imbalances in the energy of the organ which it regulates.

Theory of Five Elements

The traditional Chinese philosophy believes that the universe is basically made of five "elements" viz. wood, fire, earth metal, and water. A man is also a part of nature and hence he is also thought to be comprised of' the five "elements" of the universe.

In nature nothing exists as a single form and separated from the other, indeed there is always some influence of one over the other in such a way that it becomes predominant. In Yin and Yang principle, Yin or Yang never exists separately but there is always some Yin component in Yang and Yang component in Yin. Similarly the five elements cannot be separated from one another in a single subject but the nature of the subject depends on the predominance of the particular element.

The traditional Chinese medicine classified all the internal organs of the body into two groups-"Yang" (Hollow) organs and "Yin" (Solid) organs and accordingly, a particular "Yin" organ and a particular "Yang" organ unite to fall in the regulation of universal law (couple organ).

In other words, a particular Yin and Yang organ are related to a particular element of the universe. The five elements interact with each other to form a constructive or generative (Sheng) cycle or interact in a destructive way to form a destructive (Ko) cycle.

The "Qi" energy circulates among the different elements of the universe to stabilize them and similarly it circulates in human body to make a balanced state (healthy). Any exogenous factor (hot, cold, humidity, virus, bacteria etc.) or endogenous factor (sorrow, fear, anger, shock etc.) may block the flow of vital energy and subsequently the body is diseased.

Midday-Midnight Law

Chinese people believe that each of the twelve organ-meridian-function complex has a period of two hours during which its activity becomes maximum. Chinese took therapeutic advantage of this. Thus the liver has maximum activity from 1 A.M. to 3 A.M. and so any type of physiological, embryological or anatomical entities which occur during this period are grouped under liver . For e.g. Liver type of migraine.

This law can be used for diagnosis also. If a meridian is deficient, it should be treated during the period of maximum activity. If the meridian has excess, it should be treated after the period of maximum activity.

An exploratory study of the relationship between the midday-midnight law and electrical conduction properties of corresponding acupuncture points.Lee MS, Shin BC, Jeong DM.
Center for Integrative Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, Wonkwang University, Korea.

The midday-midnight law is a well-known empirical law in Oriental medicine stating that the circadian rhythm of internal organs influences their paired organs according to the time of day. However, there has been little research to test the purported relationship between the time of day and organ function. The purpose of this preliminary study was to investigate whether the midday-midnight law applies to the meridian activity and the electrical conduction properties of the acupuncture points. We used the digital readout instrument (MERIDIAN) to measure electrical conduction properties at 12 acupuncture points corresponding to the 12 meridians at four times: 12:00, 14:00, 22:00, and 24:00 hours. There were no significant differences in the electrical current values measured at the four times in any meridian. However, the mean current values of 12 acupuncture points changed significantly over time (P < 0.0001). The mean current values were significantly higher at 14:00 (P < 0.001), 22:00, and 24:00 hours (P < 0.001) than at 12:00 hours. The highest current value occurred at 22:00 hours and was significantly higher than 24:00 hours (P < 0.05). Although these do not conclusively support the traditional midday-midnight theory, our data suggest the existence of some type of daily variability in electrical current.

PMID: 16617688 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Meridian Chart

What Are Meridians? Can We See Them? |

"What Are Meridians? Can We See Them?
By Yin Lo, PhD

What are meridians? Are they real? If they are real, what are they made of? Can we see them? These are simple and innocuous questions that an acupuncturist may find difficult to reply to satisfactorily when asked by inquisitive patients who want a modern scientific answer.

When we cut open the human body, we do not see any trace of meridians, unlike like blood vessels or nerve fibers. On the other hand, acupuncturists see daily the curing effects of acupuncture, using the meridians as a guide. How can these questions be answered?

A recent book written by this columnist, The Biophysics: Basis for Acupuncture and Health,* answers these questions, derived from massive scientific and clinical evidence gathered over the last 15 years. Here are some highlights from the book on the properties of meridians from research done in excellent centers and institutions around the world (the United States, Britain, Japan, Sweden, China, et al.).

A. Meridians as optical fiber - optical properties of meridians
· Some meridians are weakly luminescent. In some people, the meridians are visible via infrared imaging.
· One experiment finds that a meridian is transparent to infrared radiation in 2.66um and 10um, but opaque in its transverse direction.
· Water and normal tissue are opaque to infrared radiation at 10um. Our stable water clusters act like a solid, or liquid crystal, and could be transparent.

B. Meridians as conductors - evidence for low impedance along the meridians
· Low skin impedance was observed along three meridians and the Ren and Du meridians.
· Low impedance lines and high percussion sound lines coincide on meridians.
· Acupuncture at acupoint PC 3 on the pericardium meridian lowers impedance of the pericardium meridian from 52 Kohm to 9 Kohm.
· Low impedance along meridians has been measured by computerized methods and is highly repeatable.
· Water or aqueous solutions conduct electricity better than normal skin tissue.

C. Difference between 2 Hz and 100 Hz in electroacupuncture
· Meridians act like the cable in a cable television system. Different frequencies in the transmission line will give different programs in the receiving television set, as different frequencies in meridians will have different effects on the related organs or physical systems.
· 2 Hz increases somatostantin (SOM) and decreases calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP); 100 Hz inhibits SOM, and has no effect on CGRP.
· 2 Hz is good as an analgesic for a rat, but not 100 Hz.
· Different frequencies produce different types of opioid effects. 2 Hz is mediated by the mu- and delta-receptors; 100 Hz is mediated by kappa-receptors.
· The hypothalamus plays a role in mediating low, but not high frequency in electro-acupuncture (EA) analgesia.

D. Meridians as plastic tubes with water: propagation of sensation along meridians (PSM)
When a needle was inserted into the acupoint, some patients would occasionally feel a sensation radiating from the acupoint. The sensation did not propagate randomly in any direction, but along the meridian where the acupoint was located.
· Young people feel PSM more distinctly and more frequently than adults.
· The improvement of vision from acupuncture among youngsters who feel PSM is much better than among those who do not.
· Acupuncture on the hand at acupoint he gu (LI 4) of the Large Intestine meridian stimulates the retina, as was recorded by an electroretinogram (ERG).
· Mechanical pressure: If mechanical pressure is applied on the acupoint between the hand and the eyes along the Large Intestine meridian, the signal is blocked, as measured by ERG.

These studies seem to suggest that the qi flows in the meridian similarly to how a water wave might flow in a plastic tube. The wave can be stopped by squeezing the plastic tube in the middle. Since anatomically there have been no tube-like objects found, meridians may be more like underground water, with no definite boundaries.

E. Constituents inside meridians are charged - evidence for meridians, ionic and others
· Calcium ions are found to concentrate along the Stomach and Gallbladder meridians, by the method of external proton beam-induced X-ray emission (PIXE).
· Concentration of hydrogen ions is found to increase along the Heart and Pericardium meridians for rabbits suffering from arrhythmia induced by aconitine.
· The mast cells were found to concentrate more along the meridian lines in 19 amputated limbs of patients and rats.

The constituents of meridians must satisfy the above properties. Since meridians cannot be distinguished from surrounding tissues, they must be made up of constituents similar to tissues around them. The striking difference is their electrical properties, so the simple logical solution is that they are made up of an electrically polarized medium. The body is more than 70 percent water, so a likely solution is that meridians are made up of polarized stable water clusters, with positive and negative charges at their ends. They can easily attract, and hence concentrate ions. They can conduct electricity better, allow waves to propagate, and transmit infrared radiation of certain frequencies as discussed above. Such polarized water clusters with permanent electric dipole moments have been discovered in the laboratory and outside the human body
Can we actually see these meridians on the human body? Yes. We can see them sometimes with infrared imaging. They are thicker and less sharp than the lines of meridians drawn in an acupuncture textbook. (We do not thoroughly understand this yet. More research is needed.)

In conclusion, we can answer the questions raised in the beginning of this article. Meridians are made up of a polarized medium, which is most likely stable water clusters with permanent electric dipole moments. This basically confirms the folklore that water is the source of life. We can actually see some parts of the meridians in some people, some of the time, using an infrared imaging technique.

As we apply modern scientific methods to study meridians, I believe that the real nature of meridians will become more clear, and should eventually become accepted by Western scientists as being as real as blood vessels or nerve fibers."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Football Fast Food

Psycho Snowboarding

Leaving California

surfer 3
Originally uploaded by L A C.


Originally uploaded by lyrical.


Originally uploaded by lyrical.

Understanding Emotions in Traditional Chinese Medicine

"In traditional Asian medicine, emotions and physical health are intimately connected. Sadness, nervous tension and anger, worry, fear, and overwork are each associated with a particular organ in the body. For example, irritability and inappropriate anger can affect the liver and result in menstrual pain, headache, redness of the face and eyes, dizziness and dry mouth.
The traditional Asian diagnosis is highly individualized. Once an organ system is identified, the unique symptoms of the patient determine the practitioner's treatment approach.
Using the liver again as an example, breast distension, menstrual pain, and irritability during menses are treated with certain herbs and acupuncture points, and migraines headaches, dizziness, and inappropriate anger with redness of the face point to a different type of liver pattern and is treated in a different way.
What does the liver have to do with migraine headaches? Organ systems in the traditional Asian sense may include the Western medical-physiological function, but are also part of a holistic body system.
The liver, for example, ensures that energy and blood flow smoothly throughout the body. It also regulates bile secretion, stores blood, and is connected with the tendons, nails, and eyes.
By understanding these connections, we can see how an eye disorder such as conjunctivitis might be due to an imbalance in the liver, or excess menstrual flow may be due to dysfunction in the liver's blood-storing ability. Besides emotions, other factors such as dietary, environmental, lifestyle, and hereditary factors also contribute to the development of imbalances.


Emotions - worry, dwelling or focusing too much on a particular topic, excessive mental work

Spleen Function - Food digestion and nutrient absorption. Helps in the formation of blood and energy. Keeps blood in the blood vessels. Connected with muscles, mouth, and lips. Involved in thinking, studying, and memory.

Symptoms of Spleen Imbalance - Tired, loss of appetite, mucus discharge, poor digestion, abdominal distension, loose stools or diarrhea. Weak muscles, pale lips. Bruising, excess menstrual blood flow, and other bleeding disorders.


Emotions - grief, sadness, detached.

Lung Function - Respiration. Forms energy from air, and helps to distribute it throughout the body. Works with the kidney to regulate water metabolism. Important in the immune system and resistance to viruses and bacteria. Regulates sweat glands and body hair, and provides moisture to the skin.

Symptoms of Lung Imbalance - Shortness of breath and shallow breathing, sweating, fatigue, cough, frequent cold and flu, allergies, asthma, and other lung conditions. Dry skin. Depression and crying.


Emotions - anger, resentment, frustration, irritability, bitterness, "flying off the handle".

Liver Function - Involved in the smooth flow of energy and blood throughout the body. Regulates bile secretion, stores blood, and is connected with the tendons, nails, and eyes.

Symptoms of Liver Imbalance - breast distension, menstrual pain, headache, irritability, inappropriate anger, dizziness, dry, red eyes and other eye conditions, tendonitis.


Emotions - lack of enthusiasm and vitality, mental restlessness, depression, insomnia, despair.

Heart Function - Regulates the heart and blood vessels. Responsible for even and regular pulse. Influences vitality and spirit. Connected with the tongue, complexion, and arteries.

Symptoms of Heart Imbalance - Insomnia, heart palpitations and irregular heart beat, excessive dreaming, poor long-term memory, psychological disorders.


Emotions - fearful, weak willpower, insecure, aloof, isolated.

Kidney Function - Key organ for sustaining life. Responsible for reproduction, growth and development, and maturation. Involved with lungs in water metabolism and respiration. Connected with bones, teeth, ears, and head hair.

Symptoms of Kidney Imbalance: Frequent urination, urinary incontinence, night sweats, dry mouth, poor short-term memory, low back pain, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, and other ear conditions. Premature grey hair, hair loss, and osteoporosis.


Relaxation Response

"How to Do It
1. Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable position. Try to relax your muscles.

2. Close your eyes.

3. Choose a focus word, phrase, or prayer that has special meaning to you, is firmly rooted in your belief system, or makes you feel peaceful. Some examples are 'one', 'peace', 'The Lord is my shepherd', 'Hail Mary full of grace', or 'shalom'.

4. Breathe slowly and naturally. Inhale through your nose and pause for a few seconds. Exhale through your mouth, again pausing for a few seconds. Silently say your focus word, phrase, or prayer as you exhale.

5. Don't worry about how well you are doing and don't feel bad if thoughts or feelings intrude. Simply say to yourself 'Oh well' and return to your repetition.

6. As the time comes to a close, continue to be aware of your breathing but sit quietly. Becoming aware of where you are, slowly open your eyes and get up gradually.

This technique is usually practiced for ten to 20 minutes per day, or at least three to four times a week.

If you have to keep track of the time, try using an alarm or timer set on the lowest volume, so you don't have to keep looking at your watch or clock."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

5 Qualities to Nurture in Your Child

Learn the essential traits of happy and successful children.
By Anne Field

Experts say that successful, happy people -- those who do well in their chosen careers and form satisfying relationships throughout their lives -- tend to share certain qualities. And parents can help nurture those key traits in their children, even when they're infants. Here's a look at the top five qualities your baby will need, according to child-development experts, along with some ways you can start your little one on the path to acquiring each of these all-important assets.

A basic trust in others is the foundation on which all other traits rest. Without this characteristic, babies face an uphill developmental battle.

She'll have a hard time building relationships, feeling confident, and moving forward unless she has the ability to trust, says Debbie Phillips, a child-development specialist with Work/Family Directions, a consulting firm in Boston.

Imparting trust starts right from the time your infant is born. You can bond with your baby in a way that instills in her a profound sense of security, a faith in the world -- and ultimately, in herself. In infancy, that means responding to her basic needs. Feed her when she's hungry. Rock her with she wants to be cuddled, change her diaper when it's soiled. But also make the most of your daily interactions by talking to her, singing to her, and making eye contact. To create a really safe feeling, introduce rituals such as reading a story every night before bedtime.

When she's a toddler, your child's needs become more complex. Of course she needs to be fed, bathed, and taken care of, but she also needs you to look at her scribbles and her block towers. Acknowledging her achievements may not seem as vital as, say, giving her dinner, but it is. She'll tell you in her own way "I need you to notice this," says Susan Landry, PhD, a developmental psychologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. Try to pay attention to her signals and react accordingly to her needs.

Also pay attention to your baby's temperament. Not all children are alike and your little one will trust you more if you tailor your actions to suit her personality. Some babies, for example, can take lots of stimulation, while others seem to erupt or shut down when there's too much going on. The more you show your baby you understand her particular disposition, the more she'll feel that you're on her side.

It's true: Good things come to those who wait. Kids who learn patience are able to persevere and are more likely to succeed, says Claire Lerner, a child-development specialist with Zero to Three, an advocacy group that focuses on infants and toddlers. Teaching a child the quality of patience can help instill in him a feeling of independence and accomplishment.

Want to help your child along? First remember this: Your baby is watching. If you fly off the handle when you come up against rough traffic or a long line, you'll set a poor example. They're like sponges, taking everything in, says Jody Johnston Pawel, a parent educator and author of The Parent's Toolshop: The Universal Blueprint for Building a Healthy Family (Ambris, 1999). Experts call it modeling -- do the right thing and your kid is more likely to follow. Become quickly exasperated when your toddler spills his milk and you'll convey one message; calmly help him clean it up and you'll teach him something else completely.

Attaching words to your little one's emotions also helps foster patience. Toddlers generally can't say a whole lot, but they understand most of what you tell them. So if your 18-month-old throws a fit when he can't put his puzzle together, tell him you understand and acknowledge his frustration. Similarly, if you find yourself about to blow a fuse, explain how you feel instead of lashing out.

Toddlers don't have the same sense of time that we do, which makes it even harder for them to be patient. You can help by marking time in ways other than minutes and hours. For instance, if your child asks for some juice when you're in the middle of sewing, rather than responding with, "I'll get it in five minutes," try saying "I'll get it as soon as I'm finished with this set of pants." This way, he can watch your progress and gauge how soon he'll get his juice.

To succeed in life, says Doreen Virtue, PhD, a psychotherapist in Los Angeles and author of Your Emotions, Yourself (Lowell House, 1996), you need to know how to make commitments and follow through. It's something that even a baby can begin to tackle. In fact, when your 1-year-old gleefully starts dropping her bottle on the floor, waiting for you to pick it up, only to repeat this exercise again and again, she's ready to start learning about responsibility. That's because she has developed a rudimentary understanding of cause and effect and the realization that there are consequences to her actions.

Specifically, that means you can start thinking about baby-size responsibilities, like handing her a spoon and asking her to give it to Dad. As she grows older, you can make chores more advanced, perhaps asking her to throw her socks in the hamper or stack her videotapes. You'll make it all that much more palatable if you also explain the value of each task. But make sure to keep your explanations brief to avoid confusion; for example, the hamper is "where dirty clothes go to get clean," and stacking videos "makes it easy to find what you want to watch next time." She may not understand your explanations at first, but eventually the ideas will sink in.

Helping to clean is, of course, a useful chore. But don't expect too much. For a toddler, picking up more than three or four toys can be overwhelming. Try making it a game or singing a special clean-up song while you put the toys away.

Of course, we're often so rushed that we discourage our children from doing chores because it takes them too long. If you're pressed for time, choose one or two key responsibilities -- but make sure you enforce them.

Empathy is key to the development of a person's social competence, says Phillips. To have successful relationships, you have to know how people are feeling and respond appropriately. While even infants exhibit a primitive form of empathy, kids don't really become capable of putting themselves in another's shoes until somewhere between the ages of 3 and 6. Before then, they have trouble seeing the world from anyone's perspective but their own. When a 2-year-old bops his friend on the head, he doesn't understand that it hurts because he hasn't felt anything himself, says Phillips.

But there's a lot you can do to help a child develop empathy. Asking your toddler, "How would you feel if that happened to you?" doesn't cut it, since he's so profoundly egocentric. Instead, explain to him how his actions affect others. If he bites his brother, explain that it hurts and may cause a boo-boo. If you see another child with a skinned knee, talk about how it must sting. And be ready to make those comments over and over again. This is one quality that needs a lot of repeating before you can expect it to take, says Pawel.

Be careful of television. If you watch cartoons in which the characters beat up on one another, point out how, in real life, that would feel bad. While the difference between reality and fantasy is still blurry for your child, you'll plant the seed of an important lesson. At the same time, not all programs are harmful, and some are even beneficial. For example, a 1998 study done at Yale University showed that preschoolers who watched Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood or Barney and Friends tended to get along better with other children than those who didn't. Dorothy Singer, the codirector of Yale University's Family TV Research Center and leader of the study, believes the results reinforce the importance of modeling behavior. These programs convey the message to children that empathy, compassion, and friendship are important components of a happy life. They emphasize sharing, mutual respect, and love. Children who watch these programs model their behaviors after what they see.

Even more crucial is your behavior as a parent. Do unto your child as you want your child to do unto others, says Lerner. That means paying attention to his needs and showing him that you respect his feelings. If he throws his crayons in anger, calmly insist that he help pick them up -- but tell him you understand that he's mad too.

By learning to act independently, your child will grow up with a strong enough inner compass to know what she wants and to make sound judgments on her own. Perhaps the most effective attribute you can pass on to your child -- one that helps him be patient, responsible, and self-sufficient -- is the ability to solve problems. If your 14-month-old is getting impatient because she can't play with another child's toy, acknowledge her unhappiness, but encourage her to look for other solutions, suggests Phillips.

Help your child break tasks into small steps, and then let her master each step on her own. If she can figure out how to pull down her own towel, open the cookie jar, or spread jelly on her toast, she'll feel more autonomous and confident about tackling bigger tasks around the house.

You can also help build self-reliance by giving your child age-appropriate things to do. At age 1, that may mean learning to eat with a spoon, and a year later, putting on a loose-fitting shirt. Make things as easy as possible -- buy shoes with self-fasteners instead of laces, for example -- and be prepared to assist when necessary. If your toddler desperately wants a cookie, pick her up so she can open the cabinet, grab the package, and pick one out by herself.

One of the best ways for your child to learn self-reliance is by modeling your behavior. If you're having trouble, say, assembling your new computer, talk to yourself out loud, walking yourself through the steps, so your child can see you going through the process of solving the problem.

While you're at it, don't forget to foster your child's individuality. Remember that it's important to solicit and acknowledge her opinions. If you see her grab the same shirt again and again, say "That must be your favorite." When she's older, you can encourage more sophisticated decisions. When shopping, ask your toddler to select a shirt from a choice of two. Inquire whether she'd rather play with her Frisbee or a ball.

Trouble is, teaching these qualities can be time-consuming -- letting kids solve their own problems takes time -- and that's something parents just don't have. But you'll be helping your child more if you resist jumping in and doing things for her. Lucky for you, your parents taught you patience and empathy. See how those lessons come in handy?

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

As You Like It

Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp?...
Even till I shrink with cold (this from a California girl!), I smile and say,
This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
I would not change it.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Ode to Missouri

I wanna move!!!!!

My Ode to Missouri

Jujutsu clippings

Video clips I've caught with my phone during class. Joel Sempai is my nephew. My son Joe (orange belt) has been training at the dojo since Sept of '06. He gets instruction in the children's basic and the children's intermediate classes as well as training privately with Joel Sempai. Joe was quite thrilled Joel let him knock him down a few times in class the other night. :)

Jujutsu clippings

NO Way

NO Way
Originally uploaded by busycs4.