Throughout human history, gemstones have served as symbols of health, wealth, and the sacred. In the ancient world the 12 tribes of Israel were represented by 12 corresponding precious stones placed in the breast plate of the corresponding tribal high priests. In Revelations, John’s visions of the 12 foundations of a New Jerusalem – or sacred city – rest on layers of jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolyte, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, and amethyst; and the power of stones were attributed to the power of God. The Romans carried cut stones to ward off sickness and bad luck. The Egyptians polished and hammered stones into scarabs, symbols of creation and wore amulets made of amethyst, hematite, jasper, carnelian, and lapis lazuli.
My father is Italian, born and raised on a beautiful farm in the south of Italy. As a child we would travel there annually to visit with my extended family. As an American girl I was uncomfortable with the lifestyle in Italy and can recall it feeling dirty. I was especially afraid to eat some of the food. It was so different than what we ate in America. Our food looked perfect and came in sterile packages. In Italy it had bug bites and all parts of the animals were served as food or utilized in some aspect of life such as the fat of pigs being used as soap. As I grew older, I realized that it was the American lifestyle as I knew it that was dirty and the Italian agricultural lifestyle was pure. Eastern medicine shares many of the values that my Italian family practiced. Unfortunately, many of those values are being lost globally today and humanity is experiencing the affects. Below I have outlined some reasonable measures we can take to integrate practices and values that promote community, health, spirituality, a sense of peace, and, above all love.
Bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue after eating, heartburn, distension, constipation, diarrhea…digestive issues are something almost everyone can relate to. Tummy troubles come with a wide range of symptoms, but one thing is apparent; the number of people suffering from some type of digestive upset is on the rise. There were almost $900 million in over the counter private label antacid sales in the U.S. in 2016, almost $40 million in antidiarrheal sales, and almost $300 million in laxatives in 2015. So why are so many people reaching for their Tums, Imodium, and Metamucil?
As a clinician and a woman I often hear female clients and friends casually talking about symptoms leading up to “that time of the month.” We’ve come to accept Pre-Menstrual Syndrome- PMS for short – as a normal part of our cycle, but what isn’t commonly known is that many PMS symptoms may be a sign of imbalance which could lead to something greater. Swollen breasts, irritability, sadness, cramps, low back pain, fatigue, and cravings are so common that we are surprised when hear of a woman who doesn’t experience these symptoms leading up to their period.