February 2011

To Your Health – A column Dedicated to Sustainable Health and Wellness

Dr. Celeste Skardis, DOM, DNCCAOM, CNLP, D.Hom. dedicated to sustainable health and wellness

To Your Health – A column dedicated to sustainable health and wellness

How to Safely Make It Through the X-ray at the Airport

Dr. Celeste Skardis, DOM, DNCCAOM, CNLP, D.Hom

How to Safely Make It Through the X-ray at the Airport

Just the other day my friends and were talking about all things under the sun. The conversation turned to airport security measures. Lamenting, gnashing of teeth and hopeless thoughts ensued about the potential ill effects from radiation engendered by the new x-ray machines at check-in.

I, too, was thinking hopeless thoughts when I suddenly remembered the beneficial effects of seaweed. Now I’m talkin’ ’bout exceptionally awesome benefits. Benefits so special, that seaweed, along with salt and miso, are in the Hall of Fame for not only reducing, but eliminating the effects of radiation.i

How can seaweed counteract radiation? One very basic example is from the time the United States dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Near the epicenter there was a hospital that was already providing daily miso soup with seaweed. It turned out that none of those patients in that hospital died. There was another hospital equally distant from the epicenter. Those patients, who did not have miso soup with seaweed died. Amazing and true.ii iii

So then, how can this be? How does it work? It seems too simple to be true. These cases are scientifically documented. In fact, Canadian researchers have found a polysaccharide in seaweed that binds radioactive strontium and helps eliminate it from the body.iv v

Well, I would not have believed it myself until I learned about all this from one of my first teachers, Michio Kushi. The word, teacher, hardly conveys the depth of insight and understanding he offered in his compassionate seminars. He has dedicated his life to World Peace. He opened up a whole new world to me. He showed how to transform the complex into simple and easy to understand phenomena. He taught me (and, of course, thousands of other people) how to make complex, principled decisions from seemingly undecipherable chaos. How did he do this? Well, he taught us how to apply the principles of opposites. From applying this simple technique we can understand all phenomena. Of course, this tool took me a few years of unwinding my complex mind to understand and then apply. To this day, I use this awareness as an integral basis of many of my thought processes.

This principle is at the basis of many Asian traditions from flower arranging to martial arts to medicine to cooking to meditation to…you name it. The basic premise is that opposites counter and balance each other. Of course there are vast nuances in this simple awareness. So, in our example in this article, the extreme contractive quality of the salt opposed and cancelled the extreme expansiveness of the radiation.

You may like to try it out yourself. Just eat one half sheet of nori seaweed before and after going thru the airport x-ray. You may also enjoy some nori before and after any medical x-rays. Perhaps some regular miso soup and sea vegetables could help to counteract any negative effects.

Here are some other interesting facts about seaweed.

At the ocean, nori is collected, pounded into a paste and spread out to dry in the sun. This is how it becomes the paper thin sheets that we see on the outside of sushi.

Just make sure to eat the green nori. That means it has been toasted. You may purchase it green or purple. If the nori is still purple when you buy it, then toast it by holding it with salad tongs or chopsticks and gently wave it over a low stovetop flame until it becomes green. After toasting or if it has already been toasted, you can easily tear the nori, or cut it with a scissors, into 1″ by 1″ squares and carry them in a zip lock bag or just wrap it in some tissues.

There are many types of edible seaweed. I like to call them sea vegetables as compared to land vegetables such as carrots or broccoli.

You may have heard about kelp. This is usually in a powdered form to be sprinkled as a condiment. Some other kinds are kombu, hiziki, sea palm, arame, wakame. Yes, these can be unfamiliar names to the western world. Yet, the Asian world has traditionally incorporated sea vegetables along with preparation methods such as fermentation or other types of aging (call it a traditional probiotic) for thousands of years.

Another example is dulse. This is a red seaweed. The redness is an indication of iron. Don’t eat the dulse to help with the radiation. It is very strong and too much could be harmful. Just a pinch in some leek soup is delicious.

Sea vegetables are an excellent source of trace minerals such as iodine and selenium. They can help to reduce radiation sickness in general and also specifically help the thyroid regarding radiation. vi vii

Also, sea vegetables can be a source of protein. While the amount of protein may be minimal, because of the small quantity of sea vegetable ingested, they contain rare amino acids that combine with other amino acids in foods like beans to make more useable complete protein. Look to some of my future columns in the next Green Fire Times issues. I plan to include some recipes with sea vegetables.

You can find nori and other seaweeds at many health food stores. Usually they are in the section of the store along with the soy sauce.

For many of these facts you may go to The Kushi Institute of Europe website (http://www.macrobiotics.nl/encyclopedia/encyclopedia_n.html). Look under the letter “N.” There you will find references to Nuclear Radiation.

I hope you have enjoyed my first column today. I will have a regular column where I will look at various sustainable healing modalities and present examples of how they work. Any questions? Write to me c/o Green Fire Times, Attn: “To Your Health”

Disclaimer: This column is not meant to be medical advice. If you have a medical problem, please seek appropriate medical treatment.

Dr. Celeste Skardis is one of the founding directors of New Mexico Pain Management (www. NMPM.com). She practices as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and is licensed as a physician in NM. Her husband, Dr. Jonas Skardis and their family moved to Santa Fe almost 25 years ago from Boston where they created and ran one of the largest wholistic medical centers in the country. They continue to enjoy inviting and guiding many people towards sustainable personal and community health. or 505.988-5551, You may reach their office at 505-988-5551 or 800-702-6676.

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