Hello Dear Friends & Collectors
I wanted to send you a personal note to wish everyone health and wellness. I've been reading about all the precautionary measures that we need to take and taking them seriously. I am staying home, doing things that I have put aside (like paperwork) and best of all, making art - jewelry, painting, collage, and sewing! Aside from the craziness of the virus, these days remind me of spending time with my grandmother and great grandma when I was young. We would cook, sew, bead, garden, take walks, sit on the front porch in the evening with the smell of jasmine and look at the stars. Those peaceful, breezy Miami days are precious to me. I encourage you to enjoy being creative with your precious time at home.
In an effort to do my part for all of our well being, I have included some valuable information that I wanted to share with you - words of wisdom and advice from my dear and trusted friends that isn't prevalent on the standard news front. Please scroll down for an extensive list. There is also information from the CDC and other governmental sources as a guide.
RESOURCES THAT WILL HELP YOU IN DEALING WITH THE COVID-19 VIRUS.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical practitioner and none of the suggestions or links below constitute medical advice in any way. Always speak to your own MD about the information you find here.
The people and services on this list are professionals in their respective fields and may ease your own worries and medical needs as they arise. Everything from the CDC links to natural remedies to martial arts are included below. As always, you are responsible for your own health and at this particular time, for the health of those around you.
Blessings and good health to all,
Maria-Tina Karamanlakis, Greek Island House / Maria-Tina Minoan Jewelry
"The Green Dress" on Key Biscayne, Florida. Thanks to Barbara Robbins Photography
RESOURCES THAT WILL HELP YOU IN DEALING WITH THE COVID-19 VIRUS.
AIKIDO PRINCIPLES TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY AND THE COVID VIRUS
from Larry Alan Leigon, the author of the upcoming “American Mystic”, “Does God Drink”, "Live Like A Baby", and "Raincrows", founder of American Mystic Press and Blackbelt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido.
Polls continue to show that anxiety among Americans has become a “pandemic of fear” that is growing just as fast as the physical virus pandemic. Fear and anxiety can cripple you as much as any physical disease. And like a virus, it can be passed on to your children, your spouse, your loved ones and the people you come in contact with.
So what can you do?
There are lots of sites with information about how to deal with the physical aspect of the Corona Virus (see links below) but I thought you might want to know a few different ways to deal with anxiety or fear based on Aikido principles.
Remember your friends and children are looking to you to see how you are handling it. If you’re calm, the people around you will be calm. The more you can model grace under pressure the better off all of us will be. Aikido is the only martial art that requires us to love our attacker and practice non resistance instead of dominance. Here are some practical steps you can do:BREATHE
First, breathe. Put your attention on your breath and slow your breathing. If you know how to do alternating nasal breath, do that for four minutes. If you don’t check out https://isha.sadhguru.org/global/en/yoga-meditation/yoga-program-for-beginners/yoga-videos/peace (Nadi Shuddhi —-Nose breathing alternating sides). You’ll be amazed at the shift in your body. Do it longer if you can two or three times a day if you are able to do it. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. Your breath is never afraid. Fear lives in the body and the mind, but not in your breath.
Second, breathe through your feet. Imagine you are breathing through the soles of your feet. Koichi Tohei, probably the greatest student of Aikido’s founder was able to march military troops faster and farther than they thought possible just by imagining that they are breathing through their feet. Don’t worry, your breath is not suddenly going to start coming through your feet, but holding the image changes you and your reactions to stress and worry. It’s an easy way to use your mind to calm your body and to begin to ground yourself.
Anything you resist you make stronger. Most martial arts respond to an attack with force opposing it—-blocking, kicking and punching. Aikido blends with the attack and extends the direction the attacker is already going. That takes the attackers balance and at that point they are easily guided where ever you want them to go. I have thrown attackers that outweighed me by 100 libs.
But if I try to over power them I get trapped and can’t move. The same is true of your emotions.
If you are anxious, most people try to control their feelings with sheer willpower. But it doesn’t work. Either it doesn’t work at all, or it works and wreaks havoc in your body and your relationships. The fear and anxiety are experienced as an attack and just like dealing with a physical attack trying to control your emotions with your will power alone is resistance. And what happens when you resist? You make the attacker stronger. You make the fear bigger. When you resist, the muscles in your body tighten and contract. The more you resist the feeling, the stronger it gets. But when you put your attention on the feelings instead of fighting them and keep your attention on those body feelings long enough until you have experienced it as much as you can stand, they will start to dissipate.
If you can remember to breathe and relax your muscles while you are doing this. The more you quit fighting, accept the feelings as they arise and be present with them, the more your contracted muscles will start to expand and relax.
ENTER INTO THE SPACES
Once you have experienced those feelings in your body, then shift your attention to the spaces around that fear. When we are attacked in Aikido, we don’t try to block the attacker, we look for the spaces around them and move into that. Don’t try to change it.
Just notice that your whole body is not fear. Is your breathing afraid, or is it just breath? There is space around your anxiety. You can’t see it but you can feel it. Enter into that space with your attention. You will get better and better the more you practice.
And yes, I know it’s not literal space but imagining it in as much detail as possible will move your attention off its obsessive clutching of fear. Use all your senses to imagine, not just sight. Put yourself into the scene and feel it in your body.
Your mind attacks itself. There are many other ways you can use your mind to support you instead of attack you. I just don’t have the space here to address them all. But i can point you in a direction to learn. Look to the spiritual leaders that you are attracted to. You can find videos of amazing spiritual leaders on YouTube.
Move. Take a walk, do yoga, go running, hit a punching bag. Get the energy of fear out of your body by using your body to help itself instead of attacking itself. Focus on anything else—-sew, garden, repair you car, draw—anything that moves your attention off of the fear and keeps it there.
Meditate. Twice a day if you can. Ten minutes will help but even thirty seconds is better than doing nothing. If you can do more, do more. Teach your children how to meditate. There are lots of instructional videos on YouTube.
NOTICE WHAT YOU NOTICE
One of things you notice when you begin to notice what you are noticing is that the only thing you can control in the whole world is your attention. And if you haven’t trained your mind then you may be totally unconscious of where your attention is at any given moment.
Shifting your attention can produce profound experiences but just the normal attention shifts you have from the TV to your child crying in the bedroom can effect your anxiety. If you decide to become aware of it, you will notice that when you are anxious your attention is frozen onto whatever you are most afraid of.
If you open up your attention to notice other things going on within you or in the outside world either one you will see that even a deadly virus makes positive shifts in you that is more powerful than the fear or anxiety.
How has the virus changed your behavior? Look around you. People have become hyper attentive to what they touch, how close they are to other people, when they touch a railing and who else may have touched the door handle before you. That is mindfulness. Your attention has shifted more and more into the present moment.That can be the most powerful shift you can make.
You will also notice that your attention is more on your health—what you and your family eat, how and when you exercise, what supplements to take if you take supplements, what medicines you need if quarantined—all positive results directly caused by the virus.
You will notice too that your attention is also more focused on your family and people you care about. The virus is building and strengthening your relationships and causing many of you to make contact more often and express your caring to those you really do care about.
Putting your attention on others and on the things you are feeling gives you the chance to notice that the virus is bringing out the best in most of you.
You may not feel like it at the moment, but there is always a sweet peace inside you that in Aikido we call “Center”, in other faiths they may call it God, Science calls it Nature. Center is never worried, never overwhelmed and will always help you. All you have to do to find it is put your attention in the middle of your body, breathe and you will see that although you didn’t notice it before, it has always been there. It always there, even if you go your whole life with out noticing it. So the greatest power you have is always available when ever you need it.
Remember, be kind. For everyone you meet today is fighting a great battle.
I’ve listed a few links to modern mystics below. Check them out on YouTube to hear them speaking or go to their websites (below). You may find unexpected comfort.
Matt Kahn https://mattkahn.org
Esther Hicks (Abraham) https://www.abraham-hicks.com
Katie Byron https://gangaji.org
Larry Alan Leigon
Facebook: Secret Life of Wine, Live Like A Baby
RESOURCES THAT WILL HELP YOU IN DEALING WITH THE COVID-19 VIRUS.
NATURAL WAYS TO BUILD UP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
This information is from my dear friend Debra Sue Kelvin, L.Ac., Dipl AC. She is an experienced, licensed acupuncturist with 17 years of her own private practice. She constantly keeps up to date with new developments in Acupuncture, Integrative Medicine and Chinese Herbal treatments. Her practice is in Berkeley, California and her website is http://healthychi.com.
These are some of her recommendations of ways you can build your immune system and deal with Corona.
KEY FOODS to focus on are those which BUILD A HEALTHY + DIVERSE
MICROBIOME ~ WHERE OVER 70% OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM RESIDES ~
Include raw kraut, miso, kefir & yogurt (you can find good dairy-free coconut-based ones (such as CoYo brand) and prebiotic-rich foods such as Jerusalem
Artichoke (aka: sunchokes) and jicama.
Bone broth is healing to your GI lining and boost immunity.
For those who eat cheese, Pecorino Parmigiano Reggiano contains the Bifidobacteria probiotic strain which is protective + immune building.
GOLDEN MILK TEA (a blend of turmeric, almond milk and honey) is
anti-inflammatory and calming to the nervous system.
My favorite "hot toddy" tonic is GINGER, HONEY, LEMON + CAYENNE TEA.
Simmer chopped ginger in water for 15 minutes, turn off water, squeeze
1/2 a lemon (or more) into the tea, add a tsp of honey and a tap of
cayenne. Drink daily as an anti-inflammatory immune tonic - and more if
you start feeling cold/flu symptoms.
AVOID SUGAR, which slows down your immune system, and other stimulants
such as high caffeine intake, drugs and alcohol.
One of the best ways to stay resilient are to have your REGULAR
ACUPUNCTURE IS EFFECTIVE AT BALANCING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM, LOWERING INFLAMMATION, REGULATING YOUR STRESS RESPONSE, IMPROVING ORGAN HEALTH AND MICRO-CIRCULATION.
There are specific acupuncture points used to clear heat from the lung, reduce fever, build immune health and clear phlegm + congestion, for example.
BELOW ARE KEY BOTANICALS + NUTRIENTS BLENDS I HAVE VETTED AND TRUST TO SUPPORT & PROTECT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. *
For centuries, traditional herbal medicine wisdom has historically used
herbs to inhibit viral replication, addresses immune support specific to
acute infections, and down-regulate the overactive immune response
referred to as the "cytokine storm" which COVID-19 has been found to
Quite importantly, many herbal compounds are effective at reducing
NF-kappaB which turns on our "inflammatory switch" in all disease
states, from viruses to cancer. TURMERIC is among the best known herbs
to reduce NF-kappaB. MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS ~ our among the most widely
researched botanicals for healing. They are known to promote healthy
immune-surveillance & immune-responsiveness while encouraging function
of the hepatic, cardiovascular, neurological, and kidney systems.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine mushrooms are revered for longevity and
recovery. In my clinic I use Natura Health Products MUSHROOM SYNERGY
formula, which contain the highest quality organic mushroom extracts in
the industry, made by Nammex.
ZINC – well researched for its impact on immunity in several influenza strains.
VITAMIN D-A-K – a potent immune-modulator offering a wide range of
effects on keeping you healthy. Short term higher doses of Vitamin D + A
are frequently used (for 3 days only, and only if you do not have active
lymphoid malignancy, chronic inflammatory disease, with high
inflammatory markers) to boost immune health.
THROAT & GLAND SPRAY – is rich in Propolis, one of nature’s greatest
antimicrobial compounds. Propolis is the resinous material collected by
honeybees from plants that bees use to seal their hives and prevent
disease within the hive. This sticky resin adheres to our mucous
membranes in the back of the throat, delivering antimicrobial
protection, while offering pain relief when the throat is sore. Red
root / Ceanothus americanus, also in this blend, heals sore throat.,
There are a host of other compounds in the formula which work
synergistically to promote healing as well. I ALWAYS use this
preventively when flying on an airplane, around ill folks or spending
time in crowds.
FLEW AWAY – a blend of Chinese + Western botanicals researched for
their effects on colds & flus. The herbs are known to "clear wind heat"
at the first signs of sore throat, fever, and body aches. The science is
extensive on several of the herbs in the formula including Propolis,
Forsythia and Japanese Honeysuckle (Latin name, Lonicera). Because
Lonicera can address deeper layer Heat, it is not only useful for the
sore throat, fever, thirst, and perspiration associated with an external
disease, but is also beneficial for internal Heat and Toxins manifesting
with high fever, strong thirst, and more severe sore throat. Additional
herbs in the formula clear body aches, and more. I suggest 1-2x/day
preventively right now, and higher doses if feeling a cold or flu come
on, such as 3 caps as a first “loading dose’ and 2 caps every 3
hours after this. Take an Epsom salt (or my favorite, Magnesium Flakes
by LifeFlo) bath after one of your doses to help “sweat” out the
virus, but be sure to drink extra fluids to stay hydrated.
CLEAR AIR – is based on a Traditional Chinese herbal formula to clear
heat toxicity and pollutants from the lung. We know COVID-19 targets the
ANDROGRAPHIS - is one of Traditional Chinese Medicine's best herbs to
"clear heat" and restrain virus replication and virus-induced illness.
Several studies evaluating andrographis and the common cold demonstrated
improvement within two to four days of treatment. The immune stimulating
properties of andrographis appear to be derived from antibody activity
and ability to ingest or engulf viruses (known as phagocytosis via
* Please note: The above recommendations are not a claim for treating
COVID-19. The virus has yet to be mapped. However, all of the botanical
formulations above are based on a numerous studies on treating the
influenza virus, of which COVID-19 is considered a species.
CLEARING THE AIR OF VIRUSES ~ If you are a patient at the clinic, you may have noticed a naturally uplifting and clearing scent & clean, circulating air.
VIR-AWAY essential oil blend is running in our diffuser during the cold
and flu season. Vir-Away contains four premier antiviral essential oils
(which are also antimicrobial) including Eucalyptus, Ravintsara, Naouili
and Thyme linalool. You can add this to your diffuser, or add a few
drops to a carrier oil such as almond, jojoba or coconut oil to dab onto
your chest to open your sinuses and ventilate your lungs.
I also use a MOLEKULE AIR PURIFIER which uses PECO technology to
successfully destroy mold, bacteria and viruses.
Wishing you Wellness,
Debra Sue Kelvin, L.Ac., Dipl AC
RESOURCES THAT WILL HELP YOU IN DEALING WITH THE COVID-19 VIRUS
United States Center for Disease Control (CDC)
This is the U.S. government’s most authoritative site for Corona Virus information. It is divided into two sections: “How To Protect Yourself” and “If You Think You Are Sick” and provides concrete steps you can take:
How to stay well:
What to do if you are sick
Everybody needs to know that you can talk to a doctor by phone or by skype or other video conferencing services. The ones below are just a small sample to get you started. None of these have been vetted so these are not recommendations. I have no way of knowing who’s good and who’s not. So do your research! You can start by googling “Telehealth”.
A BUSINESS INSIDER EXPLANATION OF TELE HEALTH SERVICES
MTMJ Jewelry Update:
Due to the California Shelter In Place order, I am not able to work on your special orders in my San Francisco studio at this time. I look forward to getting back to the big tools as soon as possible and appreciate your patience. Please contact me if you need any further information.
Thank you & Be Well, Maria-Tina