Proper Breathing Magnifies Charisma

imagesWe know breath sustains life and many have become more deeply involved in the breathing process through contact with meditation practices where breath is central. This focus should continue throughout life by keeping in conscious touch with how you are breathing because breathing habits can change according to the dynamics of one’s life, sometimes disadvantageously.

I became  obsessed with diaphragmatic breathing way back in the ’50s when Lee Strasberg was my first teacher in NYC. I worked with him and other Actor’s Studio teachers such as Kazan, Arthur Penn,John Lehne, and John Stix for years. It was here that diaphragmatic breathing became a primary focus. Many of the Method exercises like private moments and sensory work were rooted in relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing was the support system. Lee had his very special and often humorous ways of determining if and when one was relaxed. I loved the man as I did Stix and Lehne; they played a large part in my early training,

The first misdirection of breath is high chest breathing and for many it is an extremely daunting task to transform. Over70s who have practiced high chest breathing for a lifetime will initially experience  a major challenge but press on as it is absolutely imperative for better health, controlling pain and joyful well being. You will need to become obsessed with it as I did. That means you think about it with gusto throughout the day. The great thing is you can work on it wherever you are and whatever you are doing – so there is no excuse for avoidance. In fact lying prone on a bed is a great place to begin.

Lying down place one hand on the abdomen and one on the upper chest, sternum level. Inhale slowly and do not allow the upper chest to move upward toward the neck. Simultaneously place the other hand over the waist area and feel it expanding in a horizontal direction, meaning don’t create a watermelon belly. That kind of distention is a very bad habit. Make sure the anal area is totally relaxed throughout this practice and try to feel weight in your feet. This will help draw the energy into the lower body and keep it from moving up the spine toward the neck to produce that uncomfortable choking feeling. All this will take a while to accomplish I assure you.

Throughout your day slow the inhalation down to an extended 4 count and the exhalation to an even slower 8 count. At the moment of the inhale release all the muscles that have tightened during the exhalation or it will become uncomfortable and sometimes impossible to do a series of breaths. Slow breathing gives an immediate feeling of joyful ecstasy and often reveals an abiding smile.

Have you noticed the habit of breath-holding? We all do it and it’s a nasty habit used to block emotional expression. The major ramification of breath holding is a general hardening of the muscles creating greater tension throughout the body. Hold your breath for several seconds and observe changes that occur. It also reduces the radiant light streaming from the body, reducing the charisma effect. This is visible to the sensitive eye.

It will take extended time to accomplish continuous diaphragmatic breathing. When you truly make it your own it will never go away but intermittent breath holding continues and must be monitored on a regular basis. Make a mental note to check it out in stressful situations.

I highly recommend Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams. Make sure to read the chapter on p67: Zen Breathing which tells of how slow controlled diaphragmatic breathing saved his life. “This technique which I had been taught as a prelude to Aikido, is an aspect of Zen practice that makes one oblivious to external impressions. The more I concentrated on my breathing, the more immune I became to the fear that I was dying. Within a few minutes I was in control of myself and my body again.

Who & Why

This brief Bio will relate only to arenas relevant to this Blog. For other info go to JaneOdin.com

I am not a MD but have been deeply involved in the study, research and practice of Shiatsu, Homeopathy, Alternative Medicine, Yoga and Wing Chun martial arts. Living in NYC for 25 years I have been blessed with teachers who have since become world renowned. They will be mentioned throughout these blogs and their lessons shared where relevant.

I wrote for a bunch of newspapers including Soho News and Village Voice in NYC back in the ’70s. I founded Hometown News outside of Atlanta in Griffin, Ga where I functioned as photojournalist and editor for 8 years.

I received a MFA from NYU where I was invited to teach and design ETW (Experimental Theatre Wing) with 4 other performing artists; was adjunct Professor for 8 years before moving back to Ga to start the newspaper.

WHY?
Why indeed. At this point in life I’m a little on the lazy side and not really looking for hobbies or acknowledgment; money would be nice but I doubt this is the venue for accumulation of wealth.

I’m disturbed to say the least with the way over70s are totally ignored by the media and disrespected by the world at large. We are discriminated against in the work place from Hollywood to Main Street. The only institutions interested in over70s are western medicine at all levels and health insurance companies. In fact Obama Care depends on very extreme and often ill-advised procedures performed on over 75s. Without the elderly population health care in America would be in very big financial trouble.

At 77 I have no health insurance except part A medicare. I can’t afford it. I’m dedicated to maintaining good health and basically attribute some of my well-being to avoiding western medicine throughout my life. My personal wellness program has benefited my clients and students and now I hope to share with over70 time-travelers. This is my sole motivation for writing this blog.

Basically I feel over70s can change much that is wrong about American life politically, economically and health wise. I do not intent to bore with stuff everybody knows. Instead I hope to inspire readers to organize into action. 2016 brings many resources we can employ directly from our seats in front of the computer.

Pill Popping for Big Pharma

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TV ads for pharmaceuticals continue to amaze: they must be working to attract customers or drug companies would stop paying to run them. AMAZING considering the warnings of stroke, heart attack, death that accompany each ad.  Yet patient advocates say  prescriptions drug sales are way up. “The amount of money spent by pharmaceutical companies on direct-to-consumer advertising more than tripled between 1997 and 2005, growing from $1.3 billion to $4.2 billion since restrictions governing drug ads were relaxed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the California Public Interest Research Group, a public advocacy group nicknamed CalPIRG.” Imagine how it has grown in the past 10 years.

What is this process? The ad for ‘Dkialjfsduh’ (made up drug name) resonates with the prospective consumer who requests the drug which is quickly prescribed. Many MDs gladly participate for a kickback. It’s a well know, long standing racket. We already know they move hand in glove with big pharma. Even medical students are swarmed by drug salesmen and the federal Anti-kickback Statute seems to have little effect on this practice.

Numerous highly visible drugs are later recalled as killers. Pharmaceutical companies spend advertising money marketing drugs that are just hitting the market and apparently inadequately tested. Why does the consumer continue to support Pharma-evil? And that’s indeed what it is; after all evil is defined as to knowingly bring harm to others.

35 FDA approved prescription drugs have been recalled after many years on the market and thousands of deaths. Check out this list which gives details of years on market and estimated thousands killed.
http://prescriptiondrugs.procon.org /view.resource.php?resourceID=005528
Just because your MD prescribes a drug does not mean you should take it without first checking it online.

I recall on several occasions holding a drug vial in hand and hearing intuition screaming “do not use” over and over. I didn’t ingest them, put them in the fridge and months later saw the recall detailed on the telly. Yes I was surprised and horrified and needless to say I currently do not take any prescription drug. They are so expensive I couldn’t if I wanted.

Taking multiple drugs is a crap shoot. The intractions can be deadly as one of my dearest friends experienced. She was on heavy drugs for bipolar 3 and then added Naltrexone (Vivitrol) for alcohol abuse and died at 55 years, a month after starting the drug known to cause seizures. She died of a seizure with no history of stroke or seizure. Of course we will never know for sure but it sounds a little suspicious.

Word Press Is Fun, Fun, Fun

I’m working on the appearance of the waypast70.com site by studying up on youtube Word Press tutorials. Whew! So much information, so many choices to make – but thankfully nothing is frozen in time. The choices are relatively easy to execute and just as quickly trashed. And if you have lots of spare time I suggest you try it out. The excellent youtube tutorial I’m currently studying is: How to Create a Website or Blog with WordPress 2015! BEGINNERS Tutorial – YouTube.

The first part of setting everything up appears just a little complicated but can be solved easily by calling WP or watching the first part of the tutorial repeatedly until you understand the various steps to be taken. I was blessed with the initial assistance of a friend who is a local graphic designer. Now I’m on my own, thrashing about in wonderland.

There is such a lengthy, comprehensive listing of youtube WP tutorials on line. Just google the subject and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve learned so much already and it will definitely get those brain cells snapping as your work in progress unfolds before your eyes. Imagine my surprise upon learning my initial theme choice is the choice of the above tutorial.

Uploading photos and videos is easy enough. Everything is at your fingertips. This is so amazing for one who started out on a ’78 Tandy Color Computer with a TV for the monitor and a tape recorder uploading my homemade programs. Those were the days when Radio Shack techs in NYC were so helpful and gave as much time as needed to solve a problem.

I remember the first time I saw a computer shimmering in the 5th Ave Radio Shack display window. I was totally fascinated. And the internet was so primitive with “Bulletin Boards” that contained only text and frequently dropped connections. I wonder how many over70s worked with the primitive technology. You will be thrilled with WP.

I hope you will join me and build your own site. You might ask “Why on earth would I want to embrace this daunting task?” There are many reasons:
Experience your creative process.
Communicate your truth to friends or the world at large.
Reignite your ability to concentrate.
Platform to support CHANGE across the planet.

A lovable aspect of this process is you have no idea what the final product will look like until finished. It’s a very contemporary form of jazzy improv and I do adore improvisation, Of course somedays the site will look a little strange or in very bad taste, but hang in there – change is underway.

Have You Experienced Dehydration?

Dehydration is one of the ten most frequent diagnoses reported for hospitalizations of persons over 65 in the United States – See more at: http://www.h4hinitiative.com/h4h-academy/hydration-lab/hydration-aging/risks#sthash.W08afmV6.dpuf

Researchers find 48% of elderly admitted to hospital have signs of dehydration in lab results. Drinking at least five 8-ounce glasses of water daily prevents illness including reducing the risk of fatal coronary heart disease among older adults. Water has the power to revive oxygen and circulation starved areas of the brain preventing strokes and minimizing the effects of strokes. Over70s have lost approximately 40% of their water content therefore water intake throughout the day is imperative.

My first experience with dehydration happened shortly after moving to New Mexico. I was seated on a restaurant terrace beginning the meal when I suddenly pushed the plate of food away for no apparent reason; the next I knew I was on the ground, having passed out for over 10 minutes. I refused to go to the hospital and had no idea what I’d experienced until years later when I had several scary experiences of a similar nature.

The first occurred in the middle of the night when the ceiling began to roll and the nausea was so intense I lay frozen in the bed trying to avoid all movement. I phoned a friend who knew what was happening and advised drinking as much water as I could tolerate. I did as instructed and the problem went away.

Shortly thereafter I read Batmanghelidj’s books: Your Bodies Many Cries for Water and Water and discovered most aches and pains ended with two glasses of water. It was a thrilling discovery but didn’t end my problems because of a personal difficulty drinking enough water to stay hydrated. Oprah admitted to having a similar problem: an underdeveloped sense for the taste of water. It’s a bad problem to have particularly for the elderly.

My worse dehydration was years ago directly after a very hot tub soak. Felt normal while drying off and in a split second was plunged into an unimaginable and very difficult to describe horrific nightmare. It felt kind of like my body was exploding into intense nausea and vertigo swirling dizziness. It is an unimaginable experience.

As soon as the first indications of fainting are felt one must lie down on the floor quickly to avoid falling and busting the head, which is what I did. I had no idea how long I was out and wasn’t too sure what was happening when I first awoke. Couldn’t figure out why the back of my head was stinging. Had a hard time getting up only to stagger in a zig zag pattern across the floor to the bed where I discovered a bump, big as a large lemon on the back of my head. I was happy to have an inclinable bed and I did not take a hot bath. Why? Because heat causes expansion and I didn’t want my swollen head to be further traumatized by pressing against the skull. Instead I applied numerous ice packs.

Hospitals put most patients on a water drip when first admitted. They know dehydration is a major cause for hospitalizations particularly in the elderly. Basically over70s should be on a sort of water drip 24/7 in the form of a water container at the finger tips. And the next time you have abdominal pain, cramping, kidney stones or any physical discomfort try water as your miracle cure. It might very well bring the relief needed, particularly when combined with electrolytes.

How Are You Walking?

La juventud se lleva dentro

¿Existe una edad para dejar de bailar? Esta jovencita demuestra que los años son cuestión de actitud

Posted by Antena 3 on Thursday, January 7, 2016

In Taos, NM the temp is typically below 0 in the early morning and yes snow is usually on the ground – turned to ice wherever pressure is applied to its surface. Cars are stuck on home-driveways and somehow impaled along the sides of dirt roads And the recent snow is different in terms of general action – step on it, just once and it immediately turns to ice.

Caution is called for when ice is in the neighborhood. We already know of high numbers of falls experienced by over-70 population, resulting in long recovery or death. All seniors need to invest in serious practice of simply walking, particularly in icy environments like Taos where individuals have been known to slip at night, unable to get up and freeze to death in sub-zero temps. The easiest solutions: bent knees and Yak tracks.

I was introduced to bent knee movement back in the ’80s when studying martial arts with Grand Master George Crayton in NYC. How fortunate I was to have this influence in my life. He taught his master class in my loft on 14th in Manhattan for over a year as I recall. And we hung out regularly – going to China-town for movies, food and checking out other dojos. Directly next door on 14th lived another Grand Master: Ricco Guy who became a dear friend and inspiration. In a later blog I’ll go into greater detail regarding these experiences; right now we are focusing on bent knee movement and particularly walking.

Watch people walk. First look at the knees; are they walking with bending knees or do they step onto straight pogo stick legs? A majority of athletes and martial artists walk with knees that bend slightly when stepped upon. Look at the difference in the grace and agility between the two ways of walking.

Our goal is to walk on bending knees and not do the pogo-stick thud.It is essential for good posture or as the orientals say – a straight spine is essential for good health. It is imperative for balance, agility, healthy knees and pain-free lower back. Without loose, bending knees , energy cannot flow into the lower body including the feet. It is necessary for balanced walking.

Look in a mirror standing profile. Straighten knees and watch what happens to the lower back: it becomes swayed because there’s no other way to maintain standing balance. Now bend the knees very slightly and see what happens or straighten the lower back and watch what happens to the knees.

In preparation for walking with bending knees do the following exercise.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, bend the knees a noticeable amount and stand there. Stand near a solid piece of furniture in case you are wobbly. Or use a hover cane, whatever works for your steadying. This bent knee stance is a modified Ma-bo stance in martial arts. While in the stance try to practice belly breathing and not moving the chest with the intake of breath. Monitor the shoulders, telling them to drop.

Rest weight of the body in the pelvic region and the feet. Feel the feet expand against the floor like pancakes. Don’t allow body energy and weight to rise and locate in the upper chest and shoulders. Experience the weight of the body resting totally on the feet.

When comfortable in this bent knee stance walk about with very bent knees keeping the lower back straight and in perfect alignment with the head. Focus on loosening the rectal muscles; being a tight-ass is not an advantage.

The above exercises will take time. In the meanwhile snow and ice-bound readers MUST purchase Yak Tracks with spikes and wear them. And remember, should you fall and bang your head: do not use a hot tub or shower and sleep on a incline. Too many folks have died by experiencing a heavy blow to the head and getting into a hot tub or shower to relax. My mom died in this manner

A large number of folks are having hip replacement surgery initiated by arthritis and aggravated by pogoing. My personal belief is pogoing aggravates both knee and pelvic hip problems. The impact can be severe depending on the weight of the person. It’s puzzling orthopedic MDs don’t recommend a radical change in walking technique. In fact I once had a PA ask me why I stood with bent knees. Shocking.

I don’t mean radically bent knees. It’s a slight almost unnoticeable bend. And we don’t step onto a bended knee but rather the knee is soft and bends slightly as one steps onto the leg.