Breasts are getting bigger and arriving earlier. They’re also attracting chemicals and environmental toxins, which are getting passed along in breast milk. When writer Florence Williams was nursing her second child, she read a research study about toxins found in human breast milk. She decided to test her own breast milk and shipped a sample to a lab in Germany.
What came back surprised her.
Trace amounts of pesticides, dioxin and a jet fuel ingredient — as well as high to average levels of flame retardants — were all found in her breast milk. How could something like this happen?
“It turns out that our breasts are almost like sponges, the way they can soak up some of these chemicals, especially the ones that are fat-loving — the ones [that] tend to accumulate in fat tissue,” Williams tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “Unfortunately, the breast is also masterful at converting these molecules into food in the way of breast milk.”
Learning that breasts soak up lots of chemicals made Williams wonder just what else was going on with breasts. A lot, as it turns out. In her new book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, Williams offers her take on — among other things — why breasts are getting bigger and developing earlier, why tumors seem to gravitate toward the breast, and how toxins from the environment may be affecting hormones and breast development.
While researching her book, Williams also learned that more tumors form in the human breast than in any other organ in the body except for skin.
“The breast is not even fully developed until the last stages of pregnancy, and that’s when the mammary gland forms,” she says. “And for many years, breast tissues are sitting around not being fully differentiated. That’s one of the theories about why the breast might be so vulnerable to carcinogens.”
She says scientists are now studying whether the plastic additive BPA, which acts like the sex hormone estrogen, may be linked to cancer and reproductive problems in animals. Most plastic products, from package wrappers to water bottles, contain BPA.
It’s official! ASIS Massage Education, with its 4 campuses throughout Arizona
is now part of the Finger Lakes School of Massage, with its 2 campuses
in New York State and one campus in Maryland.
This grouping of like minded schools is our way to better spread
the importance of this whole person education.
VISIT US ON FACEBOOK:
ASIS has opened it’s 4th Arizona Campus today!
Classes begin today at ASIS Tucson!
Welcome to all! – New Students, New Instructors,
New Classroom in a New Town!
Thanks to all who helped, and wished us well. There are so many of you.
When we lose what we are attached to, we suffer, and when we experience what we fear or don’t want, we also suffer. As we learn to let go and trust the process of life’s unfolding, there is no guarantee that things will always go the way we want. However, it also seems that having things our way is a very small sphere of happiness to cling to. When we can release ourselves from narrowing beliefs and opinions and allow life to move (both within and around us), a natural inborn happiness arises. The view that struggle is a feedback mechanism about our attachments, rather than an indication that something is wrong with oneself or the world around, can greatly reduce both the tendency to struggle and the effects of struggling. There are times when we may find ourselves in conflict with physical sensations, thoughts that are arising, or how we feel. When we fight with that which we experience as already unpleasant, we multiply discomfort. However, when we move our attention closer to what is true, the truth itself proves liberating, regardless of particularization. By making contact with our experience in a direct way and
being honest about what is actually occurring, we can lessen the friction born of resistance and grasping.
Seeing that actions of body, speech and mind bring consequences for oneself and others can further strengthen the impetus to be aware and present. And yet as far as we go into the inner or outer worlds, the mysterious nature of it all remains and can act as an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
Polarity bodywork can be employed as a tool to increase awareness of the above (personal and collective laws) and thus contribute to the process of illuminating consciousness. It can also be utilized as a method which helps support physical health and deep relaxation. The results of the therapy will be dependent on many different, yet interrelated processes. Two such processes of great importance are the client’s willingness to explore and trust the unfolding of their experiences in the therapy, and the therapist’s heartfelt interest and presence. The context that the therapist offers will shape the client’s experience considerably. If the therapist has interest and means for contacting the psychological and existential issues of the client, as these may arise in the course of the bodywork (provided the client also has interest), the therapy will form itself accordingly. For example, as physical body awareness is enhanced through touch, it is not at all uncommon for unresolved emotional issues to surface. Sadness, anger, grief or fear may initially present themselves as a solidification of sensation, which if allowed into awareness (without too much judgment) will not only reveal their sources, but will also gradually and naturally transform themselves, paving the way for increased understanding and acceptance.
As our models of health care move away from attitudes and actions based on hierarchy and authoritarian education, and more towards self support and creative inquiry, polarity therapy can act as a simple and practical tool among the many hands-on methods, which are practiced today. The bodywork is relatively easy to do, requiring no special knowledge or unusual sensi- tivities. A basic familiarity with anatomy and physiology of the human body is very helpful and will compliment some of the terminology and processes described. The cultivation of sensitivity to life energy in one’s body is a lifelong endeavor, as is the ability to accurately perceive phenomena in another’s body. It can be helpful to acknowledge and suspend any unnecessary expectations (therapist’s and client’s), stay in the moment as much as possible, and trust what you can feel, regardless of whether you can describe it or not. Be as relaxed as possible when offering the sessions. For the most part use the hands and fingers in a way which is comfortable for you. Relax into and trust the felt senses that come to you as you work. This can go a long way towards answering questions about which fingers to use or how long to hold the contacts. Specifics in the area of timing and ways of contact will be presented at different places in the training, and we strongly encourage you to use your intuition (i.e. the ability to sense or feel, and yet not necessarily describe what is felt).
What is the essential purpose of this healing art? The Dhammapada (a collection of the Buddha’s teachings) says, “What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind”. In a similar vein, Paramahansa Yogananda, one of the first Yogis to come form India to the West, understand- ing the power of thought, believed that the medicine of the future would heal through the use of thoughts.
Polarity therapy encourages us to turn within, where we can discover the ongoing interplay between the mental, emotional and physical aspects of the objective self. These parts of the self are organized in polarities. Similarly, at the subtlest energetic level, cellular and subatomic polarities manifest, perhaps to such a refined degree that we have no means within our scientific methods of effectively observing them. The power of the thinking mind, though ever increasing, appears limited. Inevitably, description, concept and even the sense of “someone” observing will dissolve into vast space if we trace thought back to its source. This wondrous, terrifying, continuously liberating journey into the nature of what we are, is the essential heart of this work.
When we place our hands on two different areas of another person’s body, we create an energetic field between these two areas through our body (much like an automobile jumper cable). At the same time, it is also very likely that we will significantly contribute to a deepening in the client’s awareness of the relationship that two areas of their body have with one another. For instance, a tendency to lock the knees in reaction to fatigue may contribute to lower back tension, which in turn may contribute to neck tension and headaches. The fact that polarities exist at least down to the atomic level means that by placing our hands on any part of our client’s body, we will in effect be contacting millions of positive, neutral and negatively charged particles, and affecting their function and relationship to one another. This suggests that it is not of foremost importance which two points are connected, but rather the level of receptivity of the client, combined with the presence and skill of the therapist in terms of being able to help life energy flow. Common principles utilized in the therapy involve contacts along vertical and horizontal dimensions, diagonals, and front to back holds.
In summary, Polarity Therapy can be practiced in many different ways. Teachers and practitioners of any discipline can challenge themselves to find their own personal truths within the concepts and experiences of those with whom they study. When Polarity theory is brought to a level of direct experience, the benefits are maximized. In a typical Polarity Therapy session, the practitioner assesses energetic attributes using palpation, observation and interview methods. Sessions usually last 60-90 minutes, do not require disrobing, and involve both touch and verbal interaction. Touch contact may be light, medium, or firm. In the session, the practitioner supports a client in increasing his or her self-awareness of subtle energetic sensations, which are often experienced as tingling, warmth, expansion, or wavelike movement. The results of Polarity Therapy sessions vary, and may include profound relaxation, new insight into energetic patterns and their implications, and relief from specific problematic situations.
It is our intention to inspire, support, and provide the space for our continued exploration and personal development as the multi-dimensional humans beings that we all are. Anything Is Possible.
The Energy Anatomy within Polarity Therapy is comprehensive and specific. A multi-layered system of electro-magnetic fields is described and used to facilitate wellness. The shape of the energy field was depicted long ago by ancient Greeks and Egyptians and symbolized as the Caduceus or Staff of Hermes. The parts of the symbol show four distinct but interdependent parts of the Human Energy Field:
• The globe at the top and staff in the center refer to Primary Energy, found in the Cranio-sacral (skull and spine) structures and functions.
•The intertwining snakes depict the Three Principles of attraction, repulsion and transitional stillness, known in the Orient as Yin, Yang and Tao.
• The five intersections along the central core are the Five Elements or Chakras, located at the throat, chest, solar plexus, abdomen and pelvic floor.
• The wings represent Consciousness, humanity’s potential to transcend materialism and reunite with its spiritual Source.
In the healing arts, Polarity Therapy is special in its comprehensive exploration of all these dimensions, and in its effective bridging of the full spectrum of experience, including body, mind and spirit. Polarity Therapy asserts that these four energy systems underlie the totality of human experience, integrating spirit, mind, feelings, and body. Understanding these four dimensions of the Human Energy Field, and their applications, is the scope of Polarity Therapy. The Polarity model holds that health arises from within, rather than being applied from outside. It emphasizes personal responsibility and ownership of health conditions.
In the Polarity model, health is experienced when these systems function in their natural state, energy flows smoothly without significant blockage or fixation. When energy is blocked, stagnant or unbalanced due to stress or other factors, pain and disease arise. Blockages generally manifest in sequence from the subtle to the dense levels of the field. Polarity Therapy seeks to find the blockages and release energy to normal flow patterns and to maintain the Energy Field in an open, flexible, vital condition.
The discovery of certain universal laws and increased inner harmony are the results of understanding systems like Polarity Therapy. Any human being who carefully observes her or himself and the world in which we live, can clearly see and feel the law of impermanence. The process of change on every level of life is constant. Within that which is constantly changing, the law of Polarity reveals itself. Life can be experienced as a play of opposites; birth and death, male and female, expansion and contraction, pleasure and pain, likes and dislikes, light and dark, night and day. As our constant companions, these are indeed, the specific manifestations of change. As the non-solid, flowing nature of life is felt, particularly at the physical, emotional, and mental levels, direct insight into the causes for happiness and peace can arise.
Polarity Therapy is a comprehensive health system involving bodywork, diet, exercise and self-awareness. It works with the Human Energy Field, and more specifically with the electromagnetic patterns expressed in mental, emotional and physical experience. In Polarity Therapy, health is viewed as a reflection of the condition of the energy field. Therapeutic methods are designed to balance the field for health benefits and increased wellbeing. Polarity therapy is a healing art designed to more fully awaken and balance the flow of life energy in the human body and mind. This training manual offers a foundational approach to the use of Polarity Therapy as a hands-on healing art that can be successfully combined with massage therapy and process-oriented counseling. As a natural health care modality, Polarity Therapy dates into antiquity, perhaps to the time when humans first realized that they could place their hands on one another and effect positive change.
Basic characteristics of the Human Energy Field are described in many sources, and Polarity has strong, mutually supportive connections to many other holistic health systems. For example, the term Polarity refers to the universal pulsation of expansion / contraction or repulsion / attraction known as Yang and Yin in Oriental therapies. Similarly, Polarity Therapy integrates the Three Principles of “Aryuveda” and the concept of Chakras found in several healing traditions with the Hermetic Principles of the ancient mystery schools, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Cranio-sacral Therapy, and modern physics. Polarity Therapy has a particularly strong link with Cranio-sacral Therapy, which is based on the profound intelligence of the Breath of Life within cerebrospinal fluid. Polarity and energy-based Cranio-sacral methods inform and support each other, and are often practiced together.
Polarity Therapy was developed by Randolph Stone, DO, DC, ND (1890-1981), who conducted a thorough investigation of energy in the healing arts. He found that the Human Energy Field is affected by touch, diet, movement, sound, attitudes, relationships, life experience, trauma and environmental factors. Dr. Stone was born in Austria in 1890 and moved to the U.S. at a young age. He studied osteopathic, chiropractic and naturopathic medicines. He then traveled the globe in an attempt to understand and integrate the wide variety of healing arts being practiced. Particularly significant, were his studies of Christianity, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda (the traditional healing science of India) and the meditative disciplines of the East. His unique synthesis reflects the view that life energy (prana, chi, ki) is at the heart of our experience of life. In its purest form, life energy manifests as unconditional love. All forms and things are an expression of this one unifying force. Dr. Stone dedicated his life to the development of a wide range of methods for awakening and balancing the flow of life energy in the human body. Diet, exercise, attitude change, and of course bodywork were all part of the method he came to call Polarity Therapy. Dr Stone passed in 1981, at the ripe age of about 91. His gifts and discoveries continue to benefit many.
The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.