Take back your health!

This short Health Talk was delivered in Worcester MA at Art Reach.  Please listen. And please, Take back your health America!

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

I Smoke Medicinal Cannabis

I recently was speaking with someone about our Bulldozer Health Inc. project, and telling them that medicinal cannabis changed my life for the better.  The use of it, allowed me to get through the withdrawal process from pharmaceutical drugs with fewer symptoms.  It also effectively replaced 7 pharmaceutical drugs in a months time. Over time, it replaced 15 of the 16 pharmaceutical drugs I had been placed on.

This organic medicinal treatment decreases the pain, anxiety, depression, and overall body inflammation that I suffer from in a more complete way than the pharmaceutical drugs ever had.  But as I was discussing this with the person, I felt that twinge in my stomach that I get when they ask the question, “Well, how do you use it? You don’t smoke it do you?”  After over a year of discussing this with people, this is still the most dreaded question that I receive. I  think it is because people often have an uninformed and reflexive prejudice against smoking cannabis and calling that smoking, “medicine”.  This prejudice may even extend to its users. It’s interesting, because I feel this attitude of condemnation has improved toward those who cook it into their food, or use the oil or tincture, but not towards those who smoke it.  I find myself having to qualify that I “only smoke it when I need to quickly bring pain down, or reduce anxiety”.  When the truth is, I really shouldn’t have to explain at all.  Cannabis is my medicine, and smoking it is an acceptable route for this medicine.

I have been reading articles related to the link of cancer to the smoking of cannabis. The fact is there are concentrations of certain hydrocarbons, in the cannabis when it is smoked. This has caused some fear  that chronic smoking of cannabis may increase risk factors similar to those that increase when someone is smoking tobacco.  But cannabis  smoke also contains cannabinoids such as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabinoid).  These are  non-carcinogenic, and in fact, show some anti-carcinogenic properties, in the articles I looked at.

So the fact is, the use of cannabis by the route of smoking has not been definitively linked to cancer in humans, including those cancers associated with tobacco use. And it may even decrease cancer risk.  I tell people this, and they look at me with the kind of look that one gives a two-year old when they come out of a room after being quiet for 10 minutes and you ask, “What have you been doing? ” and they respond, “Nothing”.  I tell them at that point to do their own research so that they can see it with their own eyes.  I feel everyone should do this anyway for all matters related to their health or any substance that they are going to put into their body. This is part of what health empowerment is all about.

There are times that I feel very bold. At a big event not too long ago, I said, “I use cannabis daily, and when I smoke it, I do inhale”.   Everyone laughed. My attempt at a joke was to be bold and state it up front, giving people cause to think over their opinions about it. When one on one with someone though, if I am feeling bold, I look someone directly in the eye and say with conviction, “I cook it into my food, juice the leaves, and smoke it a couple of times a day. I smoke it also if I need quick pain or anxiety relief”. For some reason, I find it necessary to let them know that my route of choice is eating and juicing it, not smoking it.

So I had to examine whether the need to explain how I use the medicine, was purely for their education, or because I had a residual prejudice myself against smoking it. Or if I was worried I might lose some credibility with the person if I boldly stated I was a cannabis smoker. I think the truth lies in some combination of all that.

I have decided that in the future when someone learns that I use cannabis medicinally, and asks, “Do you smoke it?”, I am simply going to say yes, and see what comes next.  This way, I am not encouraging people to continue the stigma against the smoking route of this important medicine.

I also want to point out, that when I was being infused with Remicade every six months to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, no one asked me, with that judging look in their eyes, “Are you shooting up that drug that can cause cancer?”  They didn’t because infusion of Remicade and drugs like is, is a widely socially acceptable route to take with a pharmaceutical drug.  Additionally,  it is thought that  the cancer causing element to this drug is a risk that is acceptable to take. I used to be one of those people, but that is no longer true.  I’ll take the risks that go along with the medicinal use of cannabis over that any day, no matter the route I take for its use.

Yes, my name is Wendy Love Edge, and I smoke cannabis daily.

Take back your health America!

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

http://www.bulldozerhealth.org

The Bulldozer Health Show Episode 17: A conversation about art&health w/Jori Costello

Here is the next episode of our podcast, The Bulldozer Health Show, Episode 17.

In this episode I had the pleasure of sharing ideas with The Great Jori Costello about how art and music impact health.

Please listen here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2AUgtvJRXo-Q0Z2cElraU9oSlk/view?usp=sharing

You can contact Jori at:

http://www.joricostello.com

http://www.bigbadgina.com

http://www.jorianoxygen.com

Twitter: @jorianoxygen @joricostello

Jori Costello has been a dear friend of mine for many years.  She is also an incredibly gifted artist and musician, and a contributing volunteer on many levels including her part on the media team at Bulldozer Health Inc.  I remember once during the time I was withdrawing from the very heavy duty pills and injections,  I texted her about the pink ponies I was seeing in my room. She was so compassionate, kind and understanding.  And well, in the scheme of things, pink ponies really aren’t so bad.
Love you Jori. Follow her. Listen to her music. Watch her one womyn play. She is amazing and not to be missed!

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

The Bulldozer Health Show is produced by Angela Oxygen Edge.

You can reach Oxygen on

Twitter:  @oxygenedge or on her web site http://www.yourtruthsetfree.com

Many thanks also To Fayetteville Public Access Television

Trailer for Jori Costello’s one womyn show:

Positive Steps to Managing Personal Change

In the midst of personal change, fear can often erupt. Worry then ensues. These two things, fear and worry serve no positive purpose in managing change. Well really, they serve no positive purpose in any part of our lives.

So how does one limit the fear and worry when change is happening and an inevitable part of life?
The mind is the most important piece of the puzzle to maintaining rationality and making decisions that will achieve a positive change. When you have your mind right and are staying positive and rational, you can do anything! Your mind tells you what needs to be done. Listen to it, but only with a rational tone. If it starts running away with itself it’s time to rope it in and bring it into balance. Fear and love are inversely proportional. So reduce the fear about the change by showing yourself love and kindness. You could do any or all of the following: Take some time to exercise, go for a walk, ride your bike, walk your dog, or practice deep breathing, Make sure you are nourishing your body, and are eating for health. Try some simple meditation. Remind yourself that you have a 100% track record for getting through other changes in your life. If you can, write some positive affirmations on pieces of paper and put them around your house where you can see them. These things will keep your mind positive and rational.

Once you feel you have decreased the fear and worry sufficiently, then ask yourself, “what do I need to accomplish to get through this change?” This is the action that is necessary to make the change. So answer your question! Start a list of these things with everything you can think of. Even if the list is starting to get long, don’t allow that to increase your fear and worry again. This is a list of things you will do over time. You may want to put time frames on each item if that will help you to sort out the time you need to get through the change you are making. You are in the drivers seat of this change. You are not a victim, and it is not driving you!

The fact is, this change might just help you onto the path that you really want. Check in with yourself about that, and about what you heart is wanting, what your higher self is needing, what your true self feels about the change that you are making. It is a good idea to journal these thoughts to help you sort them out. If journaling doesn’t work for you, then sit quietly and sort out what you feel about the change with regard to your life path, your heart and your higher self. By taking the time to feed the heart and soul, and listen to it, you will find that your head will continue to decrease in fear and worry.

As I said at the start, change in life is inevitable. We can only control our reaction to it, and how we manage it. When we do this, we are caring for and loving ourselves. This is an essential element of good health and well-being.
Take back your health America!

Peace,
Wendy Love Edge
http://www.bulldozerhealth.org

Here’s a grounding meditation by Wendy Love Edge to assist you in managing change

Free Yourself from Pain and Tension

Empowerment in one’s own health and one’s health choices is a process.

wnedy alone, angela version

In fact, it starts with making a decision to change your mind to the positive, and then proceeds to becoming mindful of everything that you do, everything you say and think about yourself, everything that you eat, how much rest you give yourself, how much you move your body, and so on. It can be overwhelming at times. The truth is though, once you have awakened this part of you, it is nearly impossible to shut it off. It is a complete lifestyle change where you are in charge and in the drivers seat of your health. This, while as I said can be overwhelming, also feels very, very good. It lifts you up to a higher state of being.
I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I realized too, that with the changing my mind and deciding I could be healthy and well, also came this immense self-love. This may be an ingredient that has to start with a seed and grow slowly as one becomes empowered in all of their life choices and health choices. It is however, an ingredient that is necessary. Because the desire to make changes, live well, and become a healthy individual is a journey. This journey takes perseverance and patience and one has to know that they are worth it to continue. I know you are worth it. If you are reading this, you are wanting to be free of pain and tension and you are wanting better for yourself. That may just be the seed that you need of your own self-love to the start of your journey. Or maybe you have just hit a stumbling block, and needed a little pep talk. Well here ya go:
You are capable of growth and positive change. Your body, under the right conditions, will heal itself, and you in all of your power can free yourself from pain and tension too. You are complete, beautiful, perfect, and whole just as you are. Let go of the pain and tension, and free yourself!

Peace,
Wendy Love Edge
Take back your health America!

Try this meditation:

The Power of The Placebo Effect

wnedy alone, angela version

I have some dear ones, A and Z, and they have been talking about “the placebo effect” for some time now. I brushed it off, even sometimes feeling annoyed with their comments about it. After all, I have worked hard to choose a healthy lifestyle and make natural healing choices for the numerous autoimmune issues that they tell me I have. If my choices are simply a result of “the placebo effect”, then what is turning out to be my life’s work through Bulldozer Health Inc. could just be all in my head. These thoughts and upset, however, are just a result of an emotional response to their inquiries and comments. I needed a more intelligent and intellectual response. So I decided to research the topic. This way, I could understand better what they were talking about, and give an informed response. There is so much information on the topic, and it is actually quite interesting! I think the best article I read though, was about the work of Ted J. Kaptchuk. Here is an excerpt from his biography: “Ted J. Kaptchuk is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard-wide Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.” The article was in Harvard Magazine’s March-April edition, by Cara Feinberg. I find Professor Kaptchuk’s work to carry much weight as he has ample education and experience in many healing traditions and then turned to research on the placebo effect.

After pouring through the article and some of this work, I actually became fascinated with the topic. He wasn’t just doing pharmaceutical pill studies giving one patient the drug and one patient the placebo, he was looking at giving acupuncture with needles that didn’t enter the skin and pills with no medicine in them only, and comparing that! Many of the patients in that study reported back exactly the symptoms they were told they might experience. Further, those that fakely received acupuncture reported more relief than those that received fake pills. So something about the interaction of the acupuncture provider with the patient probably increased their thought that it was providing more relief than just being handed pills. This I found to be a really compelling idea.

I began to think about how this might apply in my health journey. After all, the attention to my health alone, the feeling of empowerment I began to experience when I took my health into my own hands, had improved my outlook and well being. I also realized that as I have gone through this journey, I receive more praise and attention for the choices I am making now. When I was doing mainstream medicine and pharmaceutical pills, people mostly felt sorry for me. I could feel it. So positive reinforcement and psychological effects of making a positive change cannot be discounted. So is the improved health I am experiencing simply the result of the placebo effect?

How exactly is the placebo effect defined? Here is one definition: “A beneficial effect, produced by a placebo drug or treatment, that cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment.”

Okay, well, it is true that I believe in the treatment I am using now for my health. But when the doctors told me I was going to die and I needed to take the medicine they were giving me (which they said might also kill me), I believed that too. I did everything they said because I wanted to live. And I lived. I survived really, more accurately. Two years later I was still surviving, my family torn apart and I was stilt unable to do many things. The belief in what they were giving me for treatment was strong enough to keep me on it for two years, but not strong enough to really improve my health. I had to change my mind and decide I could get healthier. Once I did that, lots of other options opened up for me.

I am going to say this. The psychological effects of believing in a health treatment are very powerful. They can be life affirming even. I cannot completely eliminate the placebo effect as a positive influence in my journey of health recovery. After all, even “fake” treatment can cause physiological effects. That said, for me the effects of the herbs, medicinal cannabis, exercise, nutrition, adequate rest, and reduced dependency on pharmaceutical drugs all work together with this placebo effect,to improve my health. I am okay with that. Our minds are extremely powerful, and we can use them to create a positive healthy outlook, or the opposite. As I always say, change your mind and you change your life.

Peace,
Wendy Love Edge
Take back your health!
http://www.bulldozerhealth.org

Emotions will affect your heart health!

There are many links between an individuals emotional state and their health. This blog will focus on the heart, because the heart is a vital organ to health that most certainly is affected by our emotions. In fact in Chinese medicine, the heart is the ruler or Emperor of the body, containing it’s “Shen” or Spirit. I am not an expert by any means in Chinese medicine, however, I was informed about this from a very reliable friend and acupuncturist some years ago. It totally makes sense to me, as I have seen how my heart is affected when my emotions are flared. Just think about the phrase, “heart-sick”. If you have felt it in your life, it may elicit a physical and emotional response even now. You feel it in the heart area of the chest, and it seems to pour into every area of the body. Depression and loneliness, and even losing a love, can sure make the heart feel heavy and even painful. Anger can also transform the heart. Have you ever felt pain in your heart when your anger goes through the roof and you “see red”? Again, a phrase that displays the real life heart health affect of emotions. And positive emotions also affect the heart. Have you ever really enjoyed something or someone and said, “You make my heart sing” or “That makes my heart sing”? Again, some phrases displaying how the heart is affected by our emotions.
So how can one protect their heart from emotions contributing to decline of heart health? After years of having my heart affected by emotions, I have come up with a few exercises that I feel have helped me when I am in a situation where I know my heart is being affected.
Here they are:
1. Reach out to friends and family. These days, we may not have family close, but typically we have at least one friend who we can reach out to and talk about our loneliness, depression, or “heart sick” feeling. This may not be comfortable at first, especially if you are not one to talk about your feelings. If that is the case, sometimes just connecting with someone, getting out of the house, or having a laugh or two with a close friend will break the cycle. I am aware that is very hard to do sometimes for some people. In this case have a plan in place. Talk to one or two people you are close to when things are good, about the fact that it is hard for you to reach out when you are in pain emotionally. This way you have set the stage and felt them out as to whether they will grab your hand if you are falling. Many times a person will say in response, “I know how that can feel. You can contact me if you need support”. If they don’t, bite the bullet and ask them if they can be your person. It won’t hurt anything, and they will say yes or no, and then you will know. If they say no, don’t feel bad. It’s better to know ahead of time who can be there for you in these situations.

2. Positive affirmations about yourself and your life are vitally important. We are what we say we are and what we think we are. When you are feeling well, make a booklet of positive heart health affirmations for yourself. Add in positive life affirmations. You can have one on a page or several on a page. If you like to draw or paint as well on each page. Label the cover of your book, “Heart Health”.
If you are feeling low, depressed, angry, overly elated, or broken-hearted, grab your book and say each affirmation aloud. Some examples of affirmations are: My heart is whole and healthy. My heart works perfectly for the health of my body. I am whole and happy just as I am. My life gives me opportunities for growth. I am a perfect and beautiful being. I am healthy. These are just examples and you can find more online. You could also sit quietly with yourself and ask the Universe to give you some positive statements for your book.

3. Visualizing yourself whole, happy and healthy. This is a meditation that you can do, to keep yourself grounded, even-tempered, and with good boundaries. If you have someone in your life that you can’t stop thinking about but it is hurting you, you can visualize them as completely separate from you and not affecting you in any way. If they have specifically hurt you and it is eating away at you, you can talk to them about it without them even being there for your own piece of mind. Sit quietly, close your eyes and do not cross your arms or legs. Breathe quietly for a few moments. Picture yourself happy, whole and alone. Sit with this image for a moment. Now picture the person across the room, but they are in a glass box. They cannot reach you for any reason. You tell them what you need to, and no matter what they feel about it, they cannot come out of their glass box. You can see them, but they cannot reach you. Once you have accomplished this, notice any pain or imbalances in your body. Breathe through them. Try not to focus on what your mind creates as their reaction, because that is all it is, a creation of your mind. You are whole and happy. You have gotten what you had to say “off of your chest”, literally. You are complete and balanced. Stay with the image of yourself in your mind until you see yourself whole and happy again, and you have no bodily symptoms of emotional upheaval, sadness or anger. Breathe. Breathe again. When you have accomplished feeling relaxed, whole and healthy, visualize the person and the glass box is gone. Now you are alone, and you are still healthy, whole and happy.

We are in control of our body, mind and Spirit. That said, sometimes our emotions can run away with us due to life’s happenings and we feel it in our heart. In those times, it is my hope that you will find some peace and balance utilizing some of the exercises that I have presented. When they work for you, it will allow you to listen to your logical mind and connect it to your heart, for it’s health. For your health.

Peace,
Wendy Love Edge
Take back your health!

http://www.bulldozerhealth.org

Exercise: Keep that body moving!

Bulldozer remedy for health #4 includes exercise, rest and leisure activities.  This post will focus on the exercise part of that.

Many people who I meet feel afraid to start an exercise routine if they have been in pain or haven’t exercised in a long time.  I think that the key here is to first reduce one’s fear about it. Love your body as it is, and accept that you can make positive changes to continue to love your body.   I know that is easier said than done, however, that love for your body  reduces the fear of moving it and making changes.   I had to begin by telling myself positive statements like this:

1.  I want  to move through the world a little bit easier. If I stretch and exercise, it will become easier to do this.

2.  If I start small, breaking exercise into tiny components of movement, I know I can do this.

3.  Every day, I will add a little bit more movement to my routine, and before long I will be moving easier and have more energy.

4.  My body is beautiful as it is.  Exercise will make it feel inside,  as good as it looks on the outside, or even better.

I am a big proponent of positive affirmations.  I focus on what I can do, not what I can’t.  In the beginning of starting to exercise after being ill for so long, it took every ounce of energy I had, just to march in place for 3 minutes, or get my things together for someone to take me to the pool.  I pressed forward.  Before long, the exercise didn’t exhaust me any longer, and my body hurt less from stretching and strengthening the muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Now, my body needs exercise.  It is like medicine to me.  If I am hurting, going to the gym helps to turn it around. Sometimes that is from the rush of endorphins that I get,  and sometimes it is simply  from the act of moving my body, and sometimes it is both.  It isn’t necessary to do it at a gym, but I enjoy that.  If you don’t have access to the gym or don’t like that environment, just move your body while watching TV or listening to the radio.  March in place, or lift your arms up and down.  Look up some stretches online and add those into your routine.  Use soup cans to lift to strengthen your arms.  If the weather is nice, head outside for a walk or a bike ride.  You’ll be surprised what you can do.  I surprise myself all the time!

When I was very ill, many doctors told me that exercise wouldn’t help me.  I believed them, just like I believed a lot of other things that they told me.  They were very wrong.  Even though I have daily pain that I deal with and a number of autoimmune diseases, exercise has become an essential part of taking back my health.  It improves my mood and my general well-being.  Remember, no matter what level you are at today, you can make positive changes through keeping your body moving.  Show your body some love, and start today!

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

http://www.bulldozerhealth.com