Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Clean Air? Really?

I read a study this morning that stated Fabreze air fresheners contain 87 toxic chemicals. Do you read the labels when you buy such products? Fabreze states that its contents might be harmful or fatal if inhaled. How ridiculous is that for a product supposed to freshen air? As consumers we have become too gullible in thinking we 'need' all these products. It is not true that these smelly air fresheners really freshen our air. Instead these chemicals can interrupt hormone dysfunction, cause lung problems contributing to asthma, incite headaches, stomachaches, and neurological dysfunctions.

And be informed that the word perfume in any product can have up to 400 toxic chemicals. Think twice about the holiday candles you buy this year too. They also contain the word fragrance. Most of these toxic chemicals are carcinogenic. It is no longer the case that we can buy products, whether it is a food, cleaning, or any other item, and assume that the product is healthy just because it sits on a shelf in a grocery store.

Did you know that toxic ingredients in these fresheners can also cause poor semen quality, hormonal dysfunctions and alter testosterone levels? In fact, these toxic ingredients can harm blood, heart, kidney, brain, nervous system, liver and other parts of the body. This is no light matter. Why else would we need all the pills advertised on TV? There is a good reason why our bodies are not functioning well. Our unwillingness to get educated is making big corporations rich as we get sicker.

Want a good air freshener -- open a window, spray a mixture of half water/half white vinegar, or buy an air filter (one without ozone).

Let's all breathe better for a healthier holiday.
Until next time,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shopping Power

Perfumes, candles, air freshners that fill your air with the smell of holidays, skin lotions promising the latest in chemical advances, foods meant to cut your cooking time all harbor toxic chemicals. Check out the ingredients in the products you give as gifts. Make this holiday season one that will promote health for the days to come. The internet is a good place to search out the products you usually give as gifts. Perfumes have up to 800 carcinogenic chemicals in them. Why enjoy the scent now if it has the potential to cause you to suffer from chemotherapy later?

Our bodies are exposed to as many as 80,000 a day. What we put in our air, on our skin, in our stomachs live in us and chemicals do not get eliminated with our food on a daily basis. Chemicals reside in the fat in your muscles and breed all kinds of diseases. Until the Toxic Substance Act of 1976 gets changed, consumers will continue to pay the health care price.

Please, give your loved ones the gift of promising good health. Buy organic. Don't just check online for sales; check online for organic products too.

As consumers the power is in our money. What we don't buy companies will stop selling. Make them aware that you know the chemicals in their products negatively affect our health. Tell them what you want. Until they listen switch to a company that sells healthy products. Healthcare costs are at an all time high and insurance companies are not picking up the bill for everything despite your high premiums. Act now to avoid grief and suffering later.

Have a healthy holiday and all the days to come,
until next time,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Truth About Depression

In the early 90's the description of depression changed. No longer was it something that we had control over. Now depression had become clinical depression and the only cure was medication. People started believing they had to accept this horrible and helpless fate. This occurred at the same time that managed care companies started taking over the way clinicians helped individuals get well. There are always too sides of the story and managed care does a lot of good work. Drug companies have made strides in scientific achievements. This statement is not meant to obliterate or do harm where good is being accomplished. When I first started my practice in 1986 not one client was taking, nor was it recommended that they take, medication. In the mid-90's after managed care took over how treatment was handled and the drug companies jumped into action, almost everyone of my clients were either on medication or came into a session asking for it. Many sessions were spent on fear and anxiety over the emerging medication issue.

Symptoms of depression were the same whether it was referred to as depression or clinical depression. The only difference was that my clients had a great deal more anxiety about clinical depression. It made them feel helpless and as if they had an incurable disease for which the only treatment was medication and suffering side effects. There was not one iota of distinction between the two labels. I called several psychiatrists in town, the ones I trusted and sent my clients to when they needed medication, and everyone one of them was blown away by the new philosophy emerging that encouraged medication for depression. Many of the anti-depressants made clients even more depressed, even suicidal, and many took their own lives. I was horrified. I wrote to the AMA but I got no responses. I wrote to the drug companies but, again, got no responses.

Studies have since come out making it clear that walking 20 minutes a day can lift depression as significantly as any drug-- and without side effects. For those taking anti-depressants and swearing by them, this is not a statement that you should stop what works for you. But as a psychotherapist of over 30 years I am clearly remarking on what I have seen in my practice.

Here are some items to consider:
  • Grief is often confused with depression. We all need to grieve. It is part of the biological healing process. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, don't get scared, get support. You are meant to feel grief.
  • Depression is tightly connected and woven into our beliefs. What are you thinking?
  • Actions effect our moods. List your actions taken to feel better. Are you proactive or reactive?
Do one different action and think one different thought each morning. Try to remember this each day: creativity and healthy thinking help us transform out of moods we don't want to feel into a new sense of hope. Our feelings follow our actions and thoughts. This sounds simple but the effort needed is often great. But you can do this! I have seen my clients overcome situations that made them depressed and their depression ceased. Just consider it - then try doing something other than thinking you have to feel depressed, because you don't.

Jan Marquart LCSW

Friday, September 21, 2012

We Are Kidding Ourselves!

Do you really think it is safe to drive, text or talk while holding a cell phone? Here are a few things to consider:

1. Your reaction time is slower when you are trying to read and drive.
2. Your reaction time is slower when you are typing and driving.
3. Your driving ability in traffic is sporadic while having a conversation that is stealing your attention- i.e., your speed is not consistent with the flow of traffic.
4. Your cell phone discharges waves that hit the car frame and shoot back to you -- quite unhealthy.
5. Preoccupation with a conversation on the telephone lessons your ability to recognize that your car is a weapon if it hits someone. Plowing your car into someone can kill them.

Please, please, I've witnessed many near-misses and faulty and dangerous driving this week from those texting and talking while trying to drive in traffic where other lives are at stake and in your hands. Let's just leave the steering wheel in our hands. Drop the phones until you are parked.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just When You Think You Know What To Do

Over the last many decades I've been working on my diet, lifestyle, and various choices in order to make my life healthier and organic. Diseases are on the rise and I wanted to make sure I sidestepped any problem with further health issues. I've had a paralyzing stroke-like-event from herbs intended to strengthen my thigh-length hair, serious mold poisoning due to a roof leak in my meticulously clean and remodeled home, chemical poisoning from a new home intended to keep my life mold-free, and this list is not exhaustive.

I have deliberately pursued raising my consciousness. I do not purchased anything with stated toxins or unknown chemicals on labels at the grocery store; I study labels like a student studies for an exam. I stopped eating pork and conventionally grown veggies. I take homeopathy when I can instead of chemically made drugs by pharmaceutical companies that have warning labels longer than the constitution. All in all, I figured I was making good choices. But there are so many hidden chemicals and additives to everything and if I had the means I'd be growing veggies again like I once did in Santa Cruz and eat only what grew of my own plantings. Companies now coat lettuce with plastic so it doesn't rot as quick, even organic lettuce. Give me a break!

I've chosen grass fed beef, the few times I eat beef, or when I eat out because I read grass fed meat was the safest. Well, that's not true. Having been an adamant avoider of GMO products you might be able to imagine my horror at what I'm going to tell you now. (And, by the way, I've come to find out, chickens (that means their eggs too) are fed with GMO corn.)

The other night I heard that a rancher in Texas let his cows out of the barn to eat the grass in his field. Shortly thereafter he heard his cows screaming and watched them as they fell to the ground where most died. Why? GMO bermuda grass. GMO grass! Please don't think any food that is GMO is a great scientific breakthrough. Why did the cows die from GMO grass -- because it turned into cyanide. I'm all for science, some of my best friends are scientists as the disclaimer is usually stated, but messing with food and thinking science is above nature is nothing short of insanity.

Now here's the rub for you busy Facebook, Twitter, and whatever app you are addicted to, users, only YOU have the power to change this. How? Stop spending your hard worked for money on products that slowly over time poison our cells, creates cancer, and other diseases. Big companies are running rampant with our complacency. I have never considered myself a political woman. I have run as fast as I could from anyone approaching me with a cause and as you might know, the 70's was full of causes.

So the next time you bite into your hamburger, watch out for GMO hidden dangers, pink slime, antibiotics your own body wasn't sick enough to be prescribed, hormones, and what all else, I don't know. Oprah got sued because she stated on TV she didn't want to eat beef anymore. But you don't get sued if you spend money on only those products designed to increase good health, not take if from you. After all, I didn't see any big company step up to the plate to pay my hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. Will you? This isn't paranoia; it's good sense.

Until next time,
increase your awareness and be well,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Thinking of Buying New Carpet?

Thinking of buying a new carpet? Think again. Did you know that if you put an infant on a new carpet it is equivalent to having them smoke nine cigarettes? Did you know that it can take five years for carpets to off gas? What do they off gas? Here is a partial list: formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, dyes, fire retardants, fungicides, glues, and other chemicals. I'll let you research them if you are so inclined.

I have met two women who each developed seizures after installing new carpet. Common symptoms are headaches, nausea, brain fog, sinus troubles, burning eyes and there are many more to add to this list.

Now I realize that carpet can make your floor warmer, the look of your room attractive, and it can hide dust better. But beware! Lurking in the fibers of your carpet and carpet pads are mites, mold, and other creepy things. Is your health worth the look of a room? Not to mention carpets are replaced ever few years and that can add up.

Here are three things to consider:

1. Tile is beautiful. Just mop it with white vinegar and you have a sterilized clean floor. Toss a wool throw rug over it and it makes a room pleasant to the eyes and supports the health of your body.
2. Bamboo floors are beautiful. Just make sure the glue used is bought from AFM or another brand of non-toxic building materials. Bamboo grows prolifically. It is easy on the environment and lasts forever.
3. Cork floors are up and coming.  They reduce noise, are easy on the feet, and the materials are non-toxic.

I do hope that you will consider something besides toxic flooring materials for you and your family. Remember the Substance Act of the 70's is outdated, allows chemical companies to sell things that have not been thoroughly tested because in some situations testing is not required. Until we each stand in front of chemical companies and demand they make products we won't get sick from by breathing them into our lungs, we must spend our money elsewhere. Maybe at that point they will hear us. Consumers have the power.

Until next time,

Monday, February 27, 2012

What is Wisdom?

If I were to ask you where you got your wisdom, what would you say? Would you say I got my wisdom from school? Would you say I got my wisdom from my father? Would you say I got my wisdom from my own life? Would you be willing to say I got my wisdom from Jan's life experiences? Would you be interested in learning from my wisdom in order to find ways to keep yourself healthy?

When I got deathly ill I had to find ways to save my life because the medical profession new nothing of why or what had made me sick. Alternative practitioners were great but I was too sick and there wasn't enough experience in their own practices to truly know how to heal me. I am speaking of environmental pollutants and their effect on the human body, mind, and spirit. I was in a position to have to heal and research its possibility myself.

In my abundant and frantic research I found an article that attributed every illness from the start of the industrial revolution to a direct link to a toxic chemical. Now when you read 'toxic chemical' what do you think? Do you think of Agent Orange that soldiers in WW II were exposed to? Do you think of DDT that used to be spread around swamps and fields? Do you think of pesticides sprayed on your food? Do you think of the bottle of Windex under your sink or your laundry detergent, the perfume in your shampoo, or the Lysol you spray for germs? Because if you don't think of any of the former household products that you use everyday, please, please, please, do so.

I won't go into the particular chemicals in these products because there are too many to list but know this, you can get an MSDS sheet on every cleaning product or personal product in your home. If the MSDS sheet is not free on the net, write to the company. Legally they must make it available. And then check the individual chemicals for other resources because sometimes MSDS sheets minimize harm. Formaldehyde for instance is listed as odorless and harmless. I can tell you that it is not odorless because I can smell it. It is not harmless either. It damages the neurological system and some individuals have had to be sent to a rehabilitation center for treatment from inhaling formaldehyde over time.

The solution: white vinegar. Buy a spray bottle or empty a spray bottle filled with another product, rinse it thoroughly, then add half white vinegar and half water. This solution is anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Spray it on windows, counters, tile, wood furniture, floors, or put some vinegar in your laundry to get rid of smells. I use it an everything.

Years ago I had a single father as a client in my psychotherapy practice. He was distraught and frantic about what he was going to do with his five-year-old autistic daughter. To me he stunk of the laundry detergent Gain and I asked him what other household products he used. As he listed them, he also told me about the processed quick lunches he gave his daughter, and the plastic toys in her bedroom. It was no wonder the child was having such a difficult time. Plastic is petrochemical. Processed lunches are filled with preservatives, pesticides, and sometimes hormones and antibiotics from meat products.

Over the course of a few months this father changed his toxic products to non-toxic products, fed his daughter healthier lunches and treats, and soon noticed that his daughter's symptoms had abated quite a bit. I tell you this so you can think more seriously about the products you breathe into your body. If you think they just breathe out again, please think further. Your lungs are your body's air filtration system. Your organs need fresh air, especially your brain, so when you give them poisons to breathe in -- well, do I have your attention now?

I knew a realtor in Santa Fe, NM. He had been holding open houses for years. New houses are  full of chemicals. Formaldehyde is one of the nastiest chemicals and is in everything and I mean EVERYTHING. His office put in a new carpet during that time. Then he remodeled a part of his home. Within a short time he was experiencing symptoms that did not allow him to go into a home with any new products. Houses take 10-12 years to off-gas formaldehyde by the way. He was overexposed and his body got sick. Overexposure can happen easily. If each of your products meets the government standards do you think all your products combined still meet the government standards? Add it up -- the government standards are often minimized to accommodate large companies making billions of dollars. Read labels and check many sites to see what those chemicals do to the human body. You will be horrified. And know this: you are in control because without your dollar these companies will have to change what they ask you to buy.

I can tell you with no wavering statements that becoming environmentally and chemically sensitive is hell. HELL. Once you become effected by environmental chemicals you will have no other choice but to change your habits. Write to me and I can tell you what I went through. There is only one hospital in this nation that knows anything about how to work with the body once it is cellularly damaged and that hospital is in Dallas and costs $10,000 a month. If you think your insurance will cover it, think again.

I do consultations on this issue. Contact me for a fee schedule. I counsel MCS and other environmentally effected individuals. And once environmental toxins effect your adrenal glands, your immune system, your brain functioning, liver, and more, you cannot take a pill to get well. Getting well is a complete process, often different for each person depending upon which organs were effected and by what. It takes sometimes years to figure out what you need to do for the rebuilding process.

I cannot stress this enough, please go through your house. Put all your products on the kitchen table and spend some time investigating them. All you need for a clean house is white vinegar, water, and a spray bottle.

Write to me with questions or comments. I have spent the last 12 years researching all this material. Why? To save my own life. Now I want to impart the knowledge I have so painstakingly accumulated to you. Don't wait until you are diagnosed with cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or other chronic illnesses before you change these minor things in your lifestyle. Once you get sick, it isn't minor anymore.

Until next time,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Are We Ready Yet?

Just in case you have had enough of breathing in toxins, I'd like to ask you: are you ready yet? Ready for what? Ready to stop buying unhealthy products. Almost every product we buy has a dangerous aspect to it. We can choose to get overwhelmed by it or we can start to recognize the products that are in our best interest and buy only those products. Whether the item is clothing sprayed with pesticides, formaldehyde, or toxic dyes, or conventionally grown produce sprayed with pesticides, or household cleaners imbibed with toxic odors or home building supplies loaded with formaldehyde, glues and other toxic ingredients we have our work cut out for us. And why do we have to work so hard to undue the toxic life we have created for ourselves? Because the FDA Toxic Substance Act hasn't been updated since the 1970's and too many companies hold too much power in making you think you need what they are selling. Do you use Windex -- use white vinegar instead. Do you use Bounce, Gaiam now sells non-toxic dryer sheets. Do you use Tide - Seventh Generation has non-toxic laundry detergent.

New companies are being born every year to antidote the toxicity in our environment. Buy the Green America directory sold on line or at Whole Foods and find companies that sell whatever you need. That's how I got help with stores I could not find on the avenue. In previous blogs I mentioned the powerful benefits and multiples uses of white vinegar. I've written about the need to eat organic as much as possible. I've given tips on staying healthy.

Today I want to offer a service that people write and call me about. I stopped this service when I changed my original website to feature only articles on writing and publishing but which I now want to add to this awareliving blog. So here is my offer,

If you want help getting your life turned around so that your cleaning supplies, clothing, remodeling and other concerns slowly get recast in a healthy direction, I offer fifteen minute phone consultations for $25.00. In the past I have helped a  therapist from Washington tell her clients not to wear perfume in her office. She was fearful no one would want to use her services if she asked them to change their products for her. One woman in Georgia had health reactions to a remodeling she did in her basement. I have consulted with people from all over the country on a variety of issues involving toxicity, health and reorganizing their lifestyles. I love doing  this. In the past decade I have done a great deal of research and by trial and error have learned how to heal  from environmental toxicity. Although I have always had a sensitive nose and can still smell formaldehyde and other pollutants that are declared odorless, I do not get sick the way I used to. I understand the need to breathe without discomfort or disability.

I nearly died from toxic mold and had to learn how to detox from that too. I have been through enough to help you with your problems and concerns. Just contact me through this blog and I will call or email you.

Do you have MCS, EMF, or other environmental sensitivities? Most of us do. The word allergy is a misnomer. It is simply a one or two on a scale of ten on toxicity. It is not surprising that cancer, autism, ADD, COPD, RLS, or any of the other illnesses we are getting by the millions are becoming plague-like. What are we breathing and eating and putting on our bodies? Think about it. If you think you are healthy enough not to take this blog seriously have your doctor give you a blood test for toxicity. Hillary Clinton had one as well as other members of the European Union and they were horrified at the results. Does your home have a carpet or plywood and particle board furniture? Just how much toxic overload do you think you can handle before you get a medical diagnosis that will force you to make the changes you can start doing NOW?

Think you have no power to stop the toxins in your world? Think again. Every dollar you spend is a vote for what you want companies to continue producing? Put your dollars in some other company's pocket and watch companies who make toxic products change their tunes. You, as consumer, are the only ones with the power. I want to say that again: YOU, AS CONSUMER, ARE THE ONLY ONES WITH THE POWER.

Think about this message. It might just save your life. Contact me. Let me help you.

Until next time,
stay healthy,