My personal note to my readers
(on this day, marking my 70th year alive
on this glorious planet):
I am so very fortunate, and so very appreciative of the 70 years I have been alive on this planet. It – this life of mine – has been such an interesting journey, filled with both pleasure and pain, excitement and clarity, mundaneness and confusion. When I moved to NY, in 1969, I was wracked with emotional pain. I had been almost killed in a brutal assault a year earlier, and the effects of that were still lingering with me. After graduating from college in St. Louis, I had moved back home to New Orleans to the safety of my parents’ home in an attempt to find a sense of security, without perpetual fear. A year later, having recovered sufficiently, and having an irresistible urge to be on my own again, I moved NYC, where I knew no one, and enrolled in graduate school. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, no idea of what was possible or even desirable.
I had been raised by a loving, devoted, interesting woman – whose mantra about her life and her own pain – being raised by a mother who she felt wanted her dead – was that psychoanalysis had saved her life. She spoke to me about her analysis often, and with deep feeling for both her analyst (who she came to feel loved by – the first woman she felt loved by) as well as for the experience of introspecting about her internal life. I never really knew what my mother meant by the extreme statement of analysis saving her life. I accepted the veracity of it, but never knew quite what she was referring to.
And after a couple of years in NY, I found my analyst. And I came to understand the sentiment that my mother had been expressing to me all the years I was growing up. I found a woman who inspired me, challenged me, in essence, GREW me to the next period of my life. I found my passion for living, loving and learning. And this is what remains within me. This is what propels me, moves me, directs me. Every day – my passions for living, loving and learning.
I have directed my passion for living into immersing myself into a holistic life-style that has given me to-date, and will continue to give me (I presume), a longer life than anyone in my nuclear family. My father died (killed by an overdose of medical steroidal drugs) when he was 64. My mother died when she was 68, felled by the terminal cancer that she had vanquished many years earlier through holistic practices, but then having lost her will for life after the death of her one and only, love-of-her-life, her cancer returned in full force. My sister died, also of cancer, when she was 57, after a 31 year valiant battle. And my brother was killed at the age of 67, murdered by a disturbed young man whom he had befriended and tried to assist in living a more meaningful life.
Thus, I remain the sole survivor of my family of origin. Yet, through the pain of these multiples losses, I have gone into my “orphanhood” with the same vim and vigor that my analyst led me to so many years ago.
I have directed my passion for loving into my miraculous, wonderful, exquisite creature who I have the good fortune of calling my daughter. And I have embraced the love I feel toward and from Gregg, my daughter’s father, and the man who has served as La Casa’s guide, director, and manager for the 23 years of its existence.
I have directed my passion for learning into reading and writing. My writing, my sharing my thoughts, and feelings, and theories and concepts – has been a joy and commitment, that I spend much time on. As a writer—of books (seven published, the latest, the eighth coming out in Oct), contributor to blogs and newspapers (GreenMedInfo, Huffington Post, NaturalNews, Epoch Times, Health Nut News) as well as creator of my own blog (MusingsFrom20thStreet), I never know whether a single person is reading what I write. But hope dies hard. The things I think about and say, they come from time consuming research, and reflective thought. and they are here, for the record (on La Casa’s website, lacasaspa.com, as well as on my own, DrJaneGoldberg.com), for anyone to avail themselves of. They are pieces of information that will enable one to live better and healthier, should one choose to believe and embrace the information I present.
To my analytic patients, as well as those who come to La Casa as clients looking for a healthy, or fun, or both experience for a few hours, and to those who enjoy my writings: all of you, over the years, have contributed to giving me all three: life, love and learning. On this day of my birth 70 years ago, I give myself time to reflect on what my mother said all those times, so many years ago about her own experience: psychoanalysis has saved MY life. It has given me a profession that I love every moment I practice it. It has given me coming to know, and I daresay even love, people on the deepest level possible – their innermost thoughts and feelings, the interior of their very being. It has connected me with other living beings who share their humanness with me, and make me more human in the process. My patients honor me by their openness with me and trust in me. And to the La Casa clients who have come to my center for healing, my mother is also the one who gave me the first experience of being able to reverse disease—even terminal disease—through living a healthy holistic life-style that emphasizes nutrition and detoxification. I value the commitment each of you has made to your own life, and I commit with you to continue your journey into health and longevity. And to my readers, I value the time you give me, and I commit to continuing to learn all I can about the manifold ways that we can live our lives feeling good, within our psyches and our bodies.
I thank all of you for your role in this life of mine, a life well lived and well enjoyed of which you all have been a deep, meaningful part.
and now, on to my Musings for the day
GROWING NEW CELLS
and good reasons
1) to throw out your scale if you’re over 50
2) to float at La Casa if you’re any age
There’s a group of people called the super-agers, and they have taught us a lot about how to age successfully and live longer. A study of them was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, who recruited more than 1,000 residents from a retirement community to study what exactly caused these people to live to age 90 and beyond.
Known as the “oldest-old,” this group is comprised of about two million Americans and is the fastest-growing segment of the US population. The 90-Plus Study, which is ongoing, holds important lessons for all of us who hope to reach advanced age with our mental and physical faculties intact.
The first finding leads to the conclusion to throw out the scale. While obesity is harmful for everyone, older adults who carry a few extra pounds (only a few extra pounds) are more likely to live longer than those who are lean. As well, the oldest-olds who exercised for 45 minutes or more a day, most days of the week, were 27% less likely to die within an eight-year period than those who exercised less than 15 minutes daily. Their activities included swimming, biking, tennis, vigorous walking and dancing. They also were more likely to retain more of their memory and other cognitive functions. Even participants who got very little exercise—as little as 15 minutes a day—lived significantly longer than those who were completely sedentary. Among the oldest-old, those who scored in the lowest 20% in physical performance—which measured such factors as balance and the ability to walk a certain distance—were four times more likely to have dementia than those who scored in the highest 20%.
Physical activity not only improves cardiovascular and cerebral blood flow, but also increases circulation so that brain cells receive more nutrients. There is also strong evidence that exercise promotes neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells (neurons) and the connections between these cells.
If exercise is not appealing to you, the Whole Body Vibration is quite an enjoyable experience. It’s the “exercise substitute.” It confers many of the benefits of exercise while you are standing on a platform, having your whole body shaking, rattling and rocking and rolling. It is available at La Casa, and especially recommended as a prelude to all detoxification therapies we do, but most especially colonics, as it helps to loosen waste debris that your body wants to eliminate.
THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE
(and one more reason to float)
Regular exercise and being a little over-weight going into old age are not the only things that can lead to a healthy longevity. So does daily silence, according to new research.
I remember the first time I went to Marin County in California. I was visiting a friend who had a house that overlooked the hills. I was standing on his back porch, and found myself saying to him that I felt strange—eerie and even a bit afraid. He asked why. And I realized it was the absolute quietness. I had been living in New York for quite a while. I had struggled nightly with the sounds of the city every time I tried going to sleep. I lived on a busy street, and I was a block away from a fire station. It was noisy on a constant basis, and sleep was intermittent at best. As I stood there on my friend’s deck, I realized I hadn’t heard such a lack of noise since I had moved to NY. And my body/psyche experienced this strange quietness as uncomfortable and frightening.
I now understand that living in that apartment was doing more damage to myself than loss of sleep. The Body/Brain Brigade (a term I invented to refer to all the ways each of us has available to repair, restore and regenerate our body, mind, psyche and spirit) needs to grow new cells.
New cells are essential for continued body/brain integrity and health. The body/brain systems have lots of these repair mechanisms. I have spoken extensively at Expos and conferences about the three main repair mechanisms: regeneration, isolation and inflammation (video). The body/brain is in a continuous state of repairing everywhere on all levels.
But, we are not altogether different than cars. If you keep repairing an old car, you will certainly get more life out of it. But eventually, even repairs can’t make an old car run forever. So, we finally make the tough decision to allow our old cars to give up the ghost, and buy a new car. It’s the same with cells. The body/brain HAS to be able to grow new cells—not just repair old cells—in order to continue with life.
Of all the therapies that La Casa offers, I have to admit that I have a favorite. It’s floating. There are so many amazing and diverse benefits to floatation that involve both rejuvenation as well as detoxification. The rejuvenative effect on the brain is shown to be equivalent to five hours of sleep. The detoxifying effect on the body is equivalent to a three-day fast.
More specifically, the benefits are:
• drop in blood pressure
• slowing of pulse rate
• allows the blood to circulate more freely throughout the body
• increase in alpha and theta waves in the brain
• synchronous and symmetrical rhythms are achieved throughout the
• decrease in levels of the hormones associated with stress, the “fight or flight” hormones of epinephrine, norepinephrine, ACTH and cortisol
• pH levels and electrolytes are balanced; reduction of acidity
• heavy metals detoxification
• improvement of skin elasticity
• re-mineralization of skin
Recent research has just discovered another benefit, and it has to do with the experience of silence and growing new cells.
A study on mice (published in Brain, Structure and Function) used differed types of noise and silence, and then monitored the effects of both the sounds and the silence on the brains of the mice. The researchers found that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day, they developed new cells in the part of the brain called the hippocampus. This region of the brain is specifically associated with memory and learning.
The mere growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. New cells have to do something to become useful.
And that is exactly what happened with the mice, much to the surprise of the researchers: the cells became functioning neurons. According to researcher, Imke Kirste: “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”
Silence can quite literally grow your brain.
We understand intuitively, and it is correct that silence has the opposite effect on the brain to noise. While noise often causes stress and tension, silence, on the other hand, releases tension in both the brain and body.
One study, published in the journal Heart, discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to relaxing music. These results were based on findings of changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.
The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been studied extensively. Reading attention, memory and problem solving are most affected, and these effects have been found in both the work and school environments. Noise pollution has also been seen to cause decreased motivation as well as an increase in error making. Children who live in homes or go to school near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills
The floatation chamber at La Casa is one of the quietest places in NYC. Come enjoy the serene silence within one of the busiest islands in the world. Come float.