WELLNESS–Cloud seeding has been around for decades, but the general public has not known about it until recently. In 1946 it was discovered by a General Electrics lab that Silver Iodide could be used to make already existing clouds put out more rain. It was the 1950’s that this technology started to be used en force to battle drought. Since that time it is used as needed all over the world depending on the drought levels, and with the increasing water shortages worldwide, cloud seeding is becoming more and more common.
In order for cloud seeding to work, there has to be rain clouds already present. By filling the cloud with silver iodide, they can increase the rainfall by 5 to 30 percent depending on where they clouds are located. It’s easier to make more rain from a cloud near the coast as opposed to inland.
Today, companies like the North American Weather Consultants, Inc create and set up cloud seeding stations that are portable and easy to transport so they can get them where they are needed most. In Los Angeles there are currently 10 towers set up between Sylmar and Pacoima.
These portable generators shoot Silver Iodide into the already existing clouds, which bind to the water molecules creating an instant freezing of the water particles. The now heavy frozen water vapor falls from the sky as rain.
The concern over silver iodide in our water and air supply is a real one. While the studies are still being conducted around this topic, what we do know is that silver iodide is highly susceptible and when it drop and falls into our atmosphere it quickly breaks down. The US Public Health Service claims there is a negligible environmental impact by cloud seeding. That said, silver iodide when studied in labs is a different story all together and is indeed toxic and dangerous.
There are other studies showing that silver iodide is toxic especially to fish and wildlife. This particular study is quoted as stating that “repeated exposure of animals to silver might produce anemia, cardiac enlargement, growth retardation, and degenerative changes in the liver.” (Seiler, H.G., H. Sigel and A. Sigel (eds.). Handbook on the Toxicity of Inorganic Compounds. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1988. 622)
This same study says that silver is not known to be carcinogenic to humans. From what most of the studies show, the one known risk humans take by being exposed to silver is called Argyria which is a grayish blue discoloration of the skin. If you look at the pesticide info website you will see that silver iodide is not shown to be toxic for humans but it does show an accumulation in fish.
Most of the government sites say that this chemical can only cause skin discoloration, but it proves challenging to find any other information regarding silver iodide and it’s possible toxic effects on humans.
In spite of claims that the long-term effects of this procedure are said to be harmless, it still feels like we are something of test subjects in the area of cloud seeding.
WELLNESS–In today’s busy world, there never seems to be enough time for us. Add the stress of family on top of work and bills, and it makes getting out of town more challenging than ever. What people don’t realize is there is a clear link between over-working, not taking down time, and coronary heart disease.
With the new year comes a new energy. Why not use that energy to create new goals that will improve ourselves and our lives? Some people prefer to call them intentions instead of resolutions, but whatever you want to call them, if it makes you a better version of yourself I am all for it.
One of the keys to a successful resolution is aiming at the action steps instead of the end goal. Studies show that people who set unrealistic goals and resolutions are less likely to achieve them than people who start with small bite sized action steps. Our brains know who and where we are now in our lives, and if we set far off goals the brain can reject these ideas and cause us to drop the intention all together.
For example, people who set the goal of losing a large amount of weight are less likely to succeed compared to someone who sets the intention to replace unhealthy food choices with healthier more nourishing nutrition. Another example is someone who is not exercising and wants to get in better shape. You are better off setting the goal of exercising a few times a week to begin with as opposed to saying you’re going to be in the best shape of your life in 6 months. The byproduct of this new exercise schedule will organically evolve into an improved physique that is sustainable over the long term. The same goes for meditation or any other goal you are hoping to attain in 2016. Remember, you can do it if you take small action steps every day, get support from your community, and believe in yourself!
What has Christian been up to?
Sorry it has been so long since my last email. I have now been in LA for 15 months and it has been quite a ride. Besides being blessed with a busy Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine practice, I am still producing fun and exciting video content and writing lots of articles for CityWatchLA.com/Wellness. Take peak at a recent video that I co-hosted and produced with my media business partner Jay Bradley, and if you’re overdue for some healing work, call ProEx Performance at 323.935.3420 and get in to see me. Happy New Year everyone!
Check out this video of where I work that I co-hosted and co-produced with my business parter Jay Bradley.
Parabens are broad spectrum chemical preservatives used in some foods and about 80% of all cosmetics. They help to prevent products from growing fungus or going rancid and have been used since the 50’s. Scientists continue to use them today because of their efficacy and affordability.
The problem with these chemicals is that while there is not a proven link between parabens and cancer, there is troubling evidence. In 2004 multiple breast cancer tumors were found to have parabens in them strongly pointing the finger at a paraben-cancer link. In addition to the cancer connection, there is also evidence that parabens may disrupt hormonal activity.
A study conducted in 2002 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health confirmed that proply paraben lowered sperm count in rats by altering normal hormone levels. More disturbing is the fact that these rats were given less than the amount considered safe by the FDA meaning that we are consuming higher amounts of parabens in food products and cosmetics than these rats were given.
The FDA still allows for parabens in foods in spite of the mounting evidence of them disrupting hormones and possibly causing cancer. There are movements trying to disallow parabens in our foods and skin care products including petitions being launched by the EWG.
According to the Environmental Working Group, propyl paraben is found in pastries such as Cafe Valley mini muffins, Sara Lee cinnamon rolls and Weight Watchers cakes to name a few. Pancake syrup was found to have the highest concentrations of parabens of all foods. Unfortunatley, studies show that toddlers tend to get the most amount of parabens in their diets followed by children and then adults eating the least. This is mainly due to the fact that children tend to eat more snack food containing these chemicals. Here is a comprehensive list of paraben containing foods that you need to look out for.
It is possible to get all the paraben containing products out of your diet and your home. Below are a few links to paraben-free products. With just a little research you can find many more.
-Burt’s Bees (burtsbees.com)
-Dr. Hauschka (drhauschka.com)
-John Masters Organics (johnmasters.com)
-Josie Maran Cosmetics (josiemarancosmetics.com)
-Pangea Organics (pangeaorganics.com)
There is no need to be pre-ocupied with parabens. With a little awareness and caution applied to the foods and products you use, you can virtually eliminate parabens with very little work. I have heard multiple patients of mine saying things like “everything causes cancer,” but this is simply not true.
Avoid preservatives by buying fresh food and shopping more often. Get the parabens out of your bathroom cabinet and be especially aware of the skin lotion you use since it covers such a large part of the body. With some attention and focus, you will be taking better care of yourself and your family.
We have all heard of probiotics, but what are they and why are they so important? Human beings are made up of roughly 100 trillion cells, but only about 10 trillion of those are human cells. The other 90 trillion cells are made up of viruses, microorganisms, and bacteria. Most of us have a negative association with the word bacteria, but the truth is without bacteria, our physical bodies would not be able to perform all the functions necessary for life.
Of course, not all bacteria is good either, but probiotics help to increase the good bacteria in the body and balance out the bad bacteria. Probiotics (or healthy bacteria) are beneficial organisms that work to fight off infection, aid in digestion, kill off dangerous organisms in the intestine, assist the immune response, and lower inflammation. There are times that through stress or diet or other genetic factors that our bacteria levels are thrown out of balance. This is when we need to supplement our levels of healthy bacteria by eating specific foods high in probiotics or by supplementing with capsule or liquid form probiotics. Foods naturally high in probiotics are kefir, yogurt, and some fermented vegetables.
Some signs that you may need to start taking probiotics is if you are frequently fighting off colds or if you have gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements, or a serious digestive disease. Keep in mind that there is no risk in taking probiotics, so if you think you may want to experiment with them to see if they help give you more energy or improve some other physical function, there is no harm in that.
If you are buying probiotics my suggestion is to buy a brand that has at least 5 billion strains. You will see that they are not all created equally. You can pay from $15 dollars up to $60 or more. If you have a specific issue with digestion or a disease like Crones, Colitis or IBS, it may help to spend a little more money on one with more strains, but for those of you already feeling healthy the additional cost may not be needed.
Yesterday I finally had a chance to get back into nature. I went to Griffith park here in Los Angeles, and did a long hike. I noticed quickly that my cell phone barely gets a signal there, and I must say there is something about being away from the city and and the electro magnetic fields that helps me regroup and reconnect to myself.
I couldn’t help but ask myself why it had been a full two weeks since I had been in nature. Of course the obvious answer is that I am too busy, but I realize that without including nature in my self care regimen, my productivity declines greatly. After a little fresh air and sunshine, I felt totally different. As a licensed Acupuncturist, I need to walk my talk and stay health and centered, and time in nature is a must. No matter what we do for work, getting outside even if the weather is chilly will benefit our heart mind and soul.
It was Lao Tse that said “many small sicknesses long life, no sicknesses sudden death.” I think what he was referring to was common colds and flus. While getting sick is definitely a bummer, it just may be saving your life! Each time we catch a cold our body has to work hard to fight it off which strengthens our immunity. I personally knew a woman that prided herself for almost never catching colds and flus until one day she had cancer. The theory of hygiene hypothesis supports the idea that the more exposed we are to germs and dirt the stronger our immunity gets and the lower the incidence of allergies and asthma.
In the US at the Ohio State University Cancer Center they are running a clinical trial on viral therapy which is basically injecting pancreatic cancer patients with a common cold virus. So far, it looks very promising with evidence of patients tumors shrinking. Pending FDA approval, the study will be taken to the next phase in 2015. This practice is already being used in certain countries in Europe.
So next time you are sick, instead of asking “why am I sick?” be thankful that you have a cold that will strengthen your immunity and possibly help you to avoid cancer.
Acupuncture by Christian Cristiano
WELLNESS WATCH-Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the nation. The ramifications of being ill and without proper housing are daunting to say the least, and sadly over a half a million Americans including US veterans are experiencing homelessness today. This epidemic in America is closely related to health, and nobody is immune.
What often starts out as a simple malady can quickly become chronic, causing people to lose their employment and health insurance. Factor in the absence of a proper support net and this situation can quickly snowball into the inability to pay the bills and the subsequent losing of one’s home.
Homeless people have higher rates of all major diseases due to crowded homeless shelters, malnutrition, harmful weather and violence. Getting proper health care to the homeless is proving difficult and at times almost impossible.
While the answer to this problem is complex, one thing is certain; preventative and natural medicine could help cut down on illnesses before they begin which could prevent the domino effect of illness that eventually leads to homelessness. A study published by the American Medical Association in 2004 showed that half of all deaths in the year 2000 could have been prevented with behavior shifts and by cutting down on certain exposures.
Preventative medicine will not only help drastically reduce homelessness; it will also cut down on all premature deaths in the Unites States. There are a number of ways to use preventative medicine, but at the top of the list should be building a relationship with your primary care providers and going to see them for periodic screenings to see if you are predisposed to any illnesses such as diabetes and cancer.
Another crucial element in preventative care is to get the proper amount of exercise. It is estimated that up to 400,000 people die each year simply by living a sedentary lifestyle. Using modalities like Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs is another way to ensure proper health. Finally, a healthy diet filled with vegetables and whole grains will help ensure a long and healthy life.
Christian Cristiano is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist working at ProEx Performance Group in Los Angeles, Ca and the ambassador of the Wellness Page for CityWatchLA.
I have recently become aware that in my quest for more, I have a tendency to overlook the love that already surrounds me. Thanks to family and friends old and new, I have been blessed this holiday season with so much fun and love.
Instead of looking towards the future at what’s to come, I choose to simply look at what is already around me and recognize that sometimes love is as simple as allowing people to get close.
In 2015 instead of resolving to stop certain behaviors, I resolve to allow love and life to flow through and around me. I resolve to let the people in my life know that I love them and equally important to allow them to love me back. Thank you to every person that has touched my life this year. I am truly grateful to all of you.
The holidays will be peaking soon, and whether we are spending them with family, friends, or alone, we will all most likely be tested in different ways. One way to ensure that we stay grateful is to take time each and every day to think about what we are grateful for and recognize that whomever and whatever we have in our lives is a gift.
Gratitude is like anything else in that the more we practice, the more grateful we become. We all have people in our lives with good attitudes, and it is with these people that we can find what we are thankful for. Sometimes it helps me to think about the fact that every single person has challenges in their lives. Radical gratitude includes being grateful even for the setbacks because it is through these setbacks that we learn to be better stronger people.