Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

by Celeste Yarnall

There’s so much that is done to our cats that is accepted and mediocre—so  much so that few ever challenge it, especially Western trained veterinarians.  But some of these habitual protocols done so mindlessly and often have turned  out to be quite harmful for our cats. One of those is the routine use of  chemical flea products. Let’s look at what we see advertised today  routinely.

Flea collars (whether herbal or insecticidal) don’t work! 

They don’t kill fleas, and they don’t even particularly repel them, except  for the area right around the collar. The grocery/pet store variety contains  concentrated toxic chemicals, and the herbal ones are irritating to  odor-sensitive cats. Topical (spot-on or pour-on) flea preventatives are  associated with liver disease and other adverse effects in cats. Permethrin,  pyrethrin, or pyrethroid-containing products intended for dogs are extremely  toxic to cats and have caused many feline deaths. Putting a dog flea product on  a cat causes neurological signs (twitching, disorientation, seizures) that  ultimately kill about 10 percent of cats.

Healthy cats eating a balanced, properly supplemented raw meat and raw bone diet are much  less susceptible to fleas and other parasites. If your cat is experiencing a  flea problem, work on improving your cat’s overall health and deal with the  immediate parasite situation. This is a “holistic” approach in the truest sense  of the word!

The conventional thinking that fleas are the problem is like saying  “flies cause garbage” just because the two are often found together. It is the  unhealthy state of the animal that attracts the parasites, just like garbage  attracts flies.

Fleas, those nasty little blood suckers, are tough, highly evolved parasites  that, once entrenched, are not easily eliminated. Fleas are attracted to warmth,  moving shadows, and the vibrations from foot (or paw) steps. When dealing with  fleas, you need to protect your cat and reach fleas and larvae hiding in carpets  and yards. Even exclusively indoor cats can get fleas, which travel in on  peoples shoes and clothing. (Keeping your cat indoors, however, will eliminate  the risk of ticks.) And removing shoes at your front door keeps fleas out and  helps keep other germs out as well.

Adult fleas spend most of their time on the cat, where they feed on blood  several times a day. Flea eggs are slippery and quickly fall off the cat and  onto the cat’s resting areas, floors, rugs, bedding, and furniture. The eggs  hatch and go through several intermediate stages before emerging as adults in as  little as two weeks, but they may remain dormant for months. That’s why even if  you get rid of the fleas on your cat, reinfestation is a common and very  frustrating phenomenon.

A Three-Pronged Approach to Treating Fleas

Try this one-two-three punch to eradicate fleas from your—and your cat’s—life.

ON YOUR CAT:

Use an ultra-fine-tooth flea comb daily. Pay particular attention to the neck, tummy, and base of the tail, which are favorite flea hangouts. Have a glass or bowl full of warm, soapy water at hand to drown any fleas that turn up.

Bathe your cat. Bathing your cat will drown a lot of fleas, but apply soap around the ears and neck first to keep the fleas from rushing up to the cat’s head and face. The herb Erigeron Canadensis (Canadian fleabane), found in some herbal shampoos, will help kill fleas. Bathe no more than once a week.

IN YOUR HOME:

Floor/carpet treatments such as diatomaceous earth (the fossilized shells of one-celled organisms called diatoms) and boric acid–derived powders will kill flea larvae, primarily through dessication (drying). Exterminators use borates; you can either hire professionals to treat your home or do it yourself. For a serious flea problem, it may be worth paying a professional since their work is guaranteed. Vacuuming is very effective against flea eggs and might even catch a few adults. To keep the eggs from hatching or the fleas from escaping, discard the bag immediately or use a flea spray in the vacuum bag or container, (not on the cat) either before or right after you vacuum.

IN THE YARD:

Beneficial nematodes eat flea eggs and will help control flea populations outdoors.

Garden-grade diatomaceous earth is very effective. Concentrate on areas under shrubs and decks and other cool shady spots where animals (such as rodents, raccoons, and outdoor and feral cats) have access.

Be very careful about the so-called natural approaches to flea treatment such as the use of essential oils topically or internally for cats.

Remember essential oils can be very toxic to cats even though they are highly touted by so-called holistic pet experts. Do keep in mind that:

Cats’ livers do not have the necessary enzymes to break down and excrete certain chemical compounds in essential oils. The chemical compounds accumulate in a cat’s body and are sometimes toxic to the point of death. Cats are very sensitive to morphine, certain sulfanomides, salicylic acid (aspirin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), allyl propyl disulfide (onions) and compounds containing bezene (benzyl alcohol preservative). Avoid all of the following oils around cats:

Wintergreen and birch oils contain methyl salicylate, the same chemical compound in aspirin.

Phenol-containing oils: oregano, thyme, cinnamon (cassia), clove, savory, cedar, birch, and melaleuca (tea tree oil)

Ketones, such as sage

Monoterpene hydrocarbons pinene and limonene, most commonly found in the citrus and pine oils: lemon, orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, pine, spruce, and any fir oil. Many household cleaners and even pet products have these latter substances in them to make them smell nice to the owners.

Hydrosols are the appropriate form of essential oils to use in cats. Regardless, the cat should always be given a choice as to whether to “partake.” Forcing a cat to ingest oils that have not been tested for safety in their species seems most unwise and many essential oil people will do their best to tell you it is ok. However do not ever attempt this without a vet’s supervision at best.

Let’s only use foods and supplements that are safe and proven to be safe and effective for cats. The best oils for cats come from animal sources such as those that possess anti-inlammatory benefits such as Omega-3s from marine lipids which also help treat flea bite dermatitis.

For more holistic protocols for cats and information see The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care, An Illustrated Guide by Celeste Yarnall, PhD and Jean Hofve, DVM.

Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

By Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

There’s so much that is done to our cats that is accepted and mediocre—so much so that few ever challenge it, especially Western trained veterinarians. But some of these habitual protocols done so mindlessly and often have turned out to be quite harmful for our cats. One of those is the routine use of chemical flea products. Let’s look at what we see advertised today routinely.

Flea collars (whether herbal or insecticidal) don’t work!

They don’t kill fleas, and they don’t even particularly repel them, except for the area right around the collar. The grocery/pet store variety contains concentrated toxic chemicals, and the herbal ones are irritating to odor-sensitive cats. Topical (spot-on or pour-on) flea preventatives are associated with liver disease and other adverse effects in cats. Permethrin, pyrethrin, or pyrethroid-containing products intended for dogs are extremely toxic to cats and have caused many feline deaths. Putting a dog flea product on a cat causes neurological signs (twitching, disorientation, seizures) that ultimately kill about 10 percent of cats.

Healthy cats eating a balanced, properly supplemented raw meat and raw bone diet are much less susceptible to fleas and other parasites. If your cat is experiencing a flea problem, work on improving your cat’s overall health and deal with the immediate parasite situation. This is a “holistic” approach in the truest sense of the word!

The conventional thinking that fleas are the problem is like saying “flies cause garbage” just because the two are often found together. It is the unhealthy state of the animal that attracts the parasites, just like garbage attracts flies.

Fleas, those nasty little blood suckers, are tough, highly evolved parasites that, once entrenched, are not easily eliminated. Fleas are attracted to warmth, moving shadows, and the vibrations from foot (or paw) steps. When dealing with fleas, you need to protect your cat and reach fleas and larvae hiding in carpets and yards. Even exclusively indoor cats can get fleas, which travel in on peoples shoes and clothing. (Keeping your cat indoors, however, will eliminate the risk of ticks.) And removing shoes at your front door keeps fleas out and helps keep other germs out as well.

Adult fleas spend most of their time on the cat, where they feed on blood several times a day. Flea eggs are slippery and quickly fall off the cat and onto the cat’s resting areas, floors, rugs, bedding, and furniture. The eggs hatch and go through several intermediate stages before emerging as adults in as little as two weeks, but they may remain dormant for months. That’s why even if you get rid of the fleas on your cat, reinfestation is a common and very frustrating phenomenon.

A Three-Pronged Approach to Treating Fleas
Try this one-two-three punch to eradicate fleas from your—and your cat’s—life.

ON YOUR CAT:

Use an ultra-fine-tooth flea comb daily. Pay particular attention to the neck, tummy, and base of the tail, which are favorite flea hangouts. Have a glass or bowl full of warm, soapy water at hand to drown any fleas that turn up.

Bathe your cat. Bathing your cat will drown a lot of fleas, but apply soap around the ears and neck first to keep the fleas from rushing up to the cat’s head and face. The herb Erigeron Canadensis (Canadian fleabane), found in some herbal shampoos, will help kill fleas. Bathe no more than once a week. See CelestialPets.com for erigeron shampoo.

IN YOUR HOME:

Floor/carpet treatments such as diatomaceous earth (the fossilized shells of one-celled organisms called diatoms) and boric acid–derived powders will kill flea larvae, primarily through dessication (drying). Exterminators use borates; you can either hire professionals to treat your home or do it yourself. For a serious flea problem, it may be worth paying a professional since their work is guaranteed. Vacuuming is very effective against flea eggs and might even catch a few adults. To keep the eggs from hatching or the fleas from escaping, discard the bag immediately or use a flea spray in the vacuum bag or container, (not on the cat) either before or right after you vacuum.

IN THE YARD:

Beneficial nematodes eat flea eggs and will help control flea populations outdoors.

Garden-grade diatomaceous earth is very effective. Concentrate on areas under shrubs and decks and other cool shady spots where animals (such as rodents, raccoons, and outdoor and feral cats) have access.

Be very careful about the so-called natural approaches to flea treatment such as the use of essential oils topically or internally for cats.

Remember essential oils can be very toxic to cats even though they are highly touted by so-called holistic pet experts. Do keep in mind that:

Cats’ livers do not have the necessary enzymes to break down and excrete certain chemical compounds in essential oils. The chemical compounds accumulate in a cat’s body and are sometimes toxic to the point of death. Cats are very sensitive to morphine, certain sulfanomides, salicylic acid (aspirin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), allyl propyl disulfide (onions) and compounds containing bezene (benzyl alcohol preservative). Avoid all of the following oils around cats:

  • Wintergreen and birch oils contain methyl salicylate, the same chemical compound in aspirin.
  • Phenol-containing oils: oregano, thyme, cinnamon (cassia), clove, savory, cedar, birch, and melaleuca (tea tree oil)
  • Ketones, such as sage
  • Monoterpene hydrocarbons pinene and limonene, most commonly found in the citrus and pine oils: lemon, orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, pine, spruce, and any fir oil. Many household cleaners and even pet products have these latter substances in them to make them smell nice to the owners.

Hydrosols are the appropriate form of essential oils to use in cats. Regardless, the cat should always be given a choice as to whether to “partake.” Forcing a cat to ingest oils that have not been tested for safety in their species seems most unwise and many essential oil people will do their best to tell you it is ok. However do not ever attempt this without a vet’s supervision at best.

Let’s only use foods and supplements that are safe and proven to be safe and effective for cats. The best oils for cats come from animal sources such as those that possess anti-inlammatory benefits such as Omega-3s from marine lipids which also help treat flea bite dermatitis.

For more holistic protocols for cats and information see The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care, An Illustrated Guide by Celeste Yarnall, PhD and Jean Hofve, DVM.

Anti-Aging for Cats

Anti-Aging for Cats

  • Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

As we baby boomers incorporate anti-aging protocols, such as organic foods, exercise, and nutritional supplements into our own health regimes, we can also examine the best of these principles and adapt them in a way that is safe and appropriate for our companion cats. These are not just theories, they are the very principals and protocols that were the backbone of my 11 generation Championship Tonkinese Cat breeding program, which through to its conclusion in 2009, spanned nearly 20 years. I personally conducted this anti-aging holistic natural rearing program (on a small scale, and always finding wonderful homes for all the kittens and cats through the years) and have seen first hand what this regime produces, generation after generation, as I personally witnessed the difference between my cats and those born and raised on commercial pet foods, the overuse of drugs, and abuse of booster vaccines. How do I know the difference you might ask? Because I raised my first litters that way.

I was so concerned by what I experienced, that I began my own research and challenged what I was being told by many veterinarians and mentors. I broke away from those tired methods and launched my own holistic breeding program. I consulted with experts, including my friend, Jean Hofve, DVM, who joined me as my Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care co-author. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that the single most important anti-aging modality for cats is feeding a properly balanced, naturally raised, raw meat and raw bone based, species-specific diet. This is the foundation upon which all of our holistic regimes rest. The recipes for these homemade foods are found at CelestialPets.com

The goal of anti-aging is to ensure that one’s later years are enjoyed in optimum health and well being. In human medicine, we talk about ways to lengthen telomeres, we fix and even replace body parts that have degenerated. However, these techniques are not readily available for our cats. Kidney transplantation is available, but impractical and unaffordable for all but a very few cats. Perhaps one day, we will see bio-identical hormone replacement for altered cats, biomedical technologies, such as autologous stem cell therapy (harvested from the cat’s own body), nanotechnology drug delivery, and even development of bio-identical replacement organs. One day, we may even see these techniques as common place in veterinary clinics. But what can we do in the meantime? As our cats mature and become senior citizens, it becomes important to support not only their physical well being (flexibility, eyesight, hearing, energy levels and general body systems) but their emotional equilibrium; nourishing and nurturing their bodies and spirits as they mature and keeping their stress levels as well as our own down to the barest minimum possible.

Modalities in veterinary medicine must often first be firmly entrenched in human medicine before they trickle down to our pets. The use of supplementation has become extremely popular in feline preventative medicine, as have herbal remedies and homeopathic remedies. Since cats are such unique and sensitive beings, we must be very careful with the so-called super supplements and herbal remedies which may work perfectly well for most people and dogs, but can be deadly for cats. For example, Alpha Lipoic acid is great for dogs and people but deadly for cats. Resveratrol is also excellent for people and their anti-aging regimes but is not to be given to either dogs or cats. Make no mistake that the success of all supplements and remedies work hand in hand with the species-specific raw meat and raw bone diet of the cat and are primarily derived from animal sources.

Nature has created a wonderful plan where each gland and organ found in the prey animal nourishes the corresponding system in both our dogs and cats. Our cats natural diet of fresh raw prey which they eat in their wild environment serves as the recycling plant for the cat. In other words, the prey animal processes by eating what the cat, an obligate carnivore needs nutritionally and when the cat consumes the prey, she gets these nutrients second hand. The carnivores therefore naturally, for the most part, eat the vegetarian animals. We look to these animal sources to round out the diet when we make it at home, from scratch in our own kitchens. See my Care2 Celestial Musings blog on this topic for instructions on how to prepare your cat’s food. Simply giving supplements with commercial pet food from bags and cans is no different from eating Big Macs and swallowing vitamins with a Diet Coke! We all know better than that, but if your vet tells you to feed out of this bag or can, most people follow like sheep (even though vets know next to nothing about diet and nutrition other than what pet food companies tell them) rather than do some research, to see how other well informed cat guardians make their cat food themselves – something I have been doing and teaching others to do for over 20 years. I even formulated a line of supplements because there was nothing specifically formulated for homemade food. I call them Celestial Pets Supplements and this I did first of all for my own cats and then to share with others since they did not exist in the marketplace.

 

What causes our cats to age?

In a word, inflammation. Current research points to chronic inflammation as the major cause of many, if not most chronic and degenerative diseases as well as other features of aging, such as liver disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer. However, inflammation is also the body’s primary defensive and healing mechanism. Trauma, toxins, allergens, and infectious organisms all trigger inflammation. On one hand, that’s a good thing. If inflammation didn’t happen, wounds would never heal, and viruses and bacteria would rampage unchecked. Inflammation is a normal part of living. The key is to moderate inflammation—not too little, not too much, and for the appropriate amount of time. The addition of a cold extracted, organic, greenlip mussel oil extract and antioxidant supplement can go along way to relieve the symptoms of inflammation much better than fish, krill, salmon, or cod liver oil and aid greatly in our anti-aging efforts. My choice is Moxxor as it meets this criteria perfectly and is therefore an anti-aging supplement for cats, dogs, horses and children and adults of all ages, too.

Many feline experts have over the years, prior to the advent of the state of the art new Omega-3 supplement, Moxxor, used flax, cod liver, krill or salmon oil for the purpose of including some essential fatty acids and Omega-3s, into their cats’ diets and I did this too, but since I learned how these oils are all made, (they are nearly all molecularly distilled or esterified – heated at high temperatures, laced with alcohol, solvents, salt, and deodorizers to rid them of heavy metals such as mercury), they are far less than desirable to me now because they contain only two Omega-3s (DHA and EPA) whereas Moxxor contains 18 Omega-3s including one called ETA which is not found in anything else to any measurable degree. All oils, with the exception of Moxxor are impossible to keep from going rancid under the best of circumstances, (rancidity is the bane of the oil industry).

Cooked food products (and that includes the heat processing of supplements) do not track with the way felines have hunted and eaten their fresh raw prey for thousands of years. There are no toaster ovens or vats in the wild to cook their meat or distill their oils, so therefore all ingredients for cats and dogs must be raw or as close to raw as possible in order to duplicate the macro-nutrients found in their wild diet and take advantage of some solid evidence-based science now available for the need for clinical nutrition and supplementation. There is even recent information (which you can read about here) clearly demonstrating that raw meat or even lightly cooked meat is more nutritious than kibble and this study was done by a pet food company. The co-author, Dr. Jean Hofve of my book Holistic Cat Care, is interviewed here by Dr. Becker. Dr. Jean, who corroborates this fact, quotes from our book and is interviewed as an expert on the benefits of real food for cats.

NOTE: A great anti-aging tip for cats as well as dogs, is the feeding of cut up, raw, free-range/organic chicken necks for dessert, as this is the way nature intended for cats to clean their teeth. Keeping cats’ teeth clean and gums healthy this way prevents kidney and heart disease as diseased gums (cervical neck lesions), which erode under the gum line, trap bacteria and infections driving the bacteria down to the heart and kidneys. Cats, because of this condition, start to have kidney disease and can be deemed geriatric at age 7 or 8 years old today! Watch how we recommend that cats clean their teeth. No dental appointments at the vet’s office with dangerous anesthesia are necessary when we use the techniques mother nature intended. See CelesteCats Matrix clean his teeth the natural way. Having had two of my beloved cats die as a result of the anesthesia from a routine dental cleaning, you can bet that I will avoid this procedure whenever possible! This is the best cleaning your cats teeth can ever have.

Besides the benefits of living indoors and being loved and treated as a member of a family, you can take steps to help your cat live to her full life expectancy. We can thereby help guard against turning on potentially dangerous genes that might have been passed down the line to our cats, through our species-specific diet, state of the art supplementation, herbs and homeopathy, and even some new age modalities such as veterinary energy medicine and high tech bio-resonance machines, and much more. We can now create an anti-aging lifestyle for ourselves and our companion cats. See Holistic Cat Care for more details on anti-aging modalities for our beloved cat companions and as always I am available for one on one phone consultations.

The Aries Cat

The Aries Cat

  • Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

By Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

ARIES (THE RAM): MARCH 21–APRIL 19

  • Cardinal element: FIRE
  • Ruling planet: MARS
  • Earth colors: CERISE, MAGENTA
  • Astral colors: WHITE, ROSE PINK
  • Gems: AMETHYST, DIAMOND
  • Mineral element: IRON

A physician without a knowledge of Astrology
 has no right to call himself a physician.” ~ Hippocrates, the father of Astromedicine

Why Do I Need to Know My Cat’s Birth Sign?

You don’t need to know your cat’s birth sign. You can simply select the sign that suits his personality best to select his sun sign. Besides just knowing the breed of your cat or perhaps guessing at its mixed genetic makeup, the personalities of cats, especially among young kittens, in a litter tend to be quite similar, even when taking into consideration differences in sex and pecking order, depending on what time of year they are born. Therefore some cats and kittens are often quite typical of their sun signs.

Many moons ago, wise women used to say that kittens born in the spring were the super healthy ones, whilst cats born in winter (out of proverbial kitten season which is usually spring/summer) would be weaker and more prone to upper respiratory problems, which is one of the biggest problems for kittens these days, as they chill easily and are highly susceptible to viruses, often failing to thrive in the cold winter months. However for an Astrologer, these similar personality traits could be explained by the fact that they were born close together in time and therefore at least share the same sun sign. It is the reason an Aries kitten is quite a bit different from a Pisces kitten. To learn more about astrology for cats and natural cat care, see my book, The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Guide, with Jean Hofve, DVM, which offers and appendix on Astromedicine for Cats.

Whilst it is certainly true that a serious astrological practitioner would create a natal horoscope based on the exact time and place of the kitten’s birth, which could be 100 pages in length or more is not necessary for our purposes. Astrology, when practiced seriously, is an exacting exercise. However here, I am simply sharing some broad strokes of the astrological sun sign pen in an attempt to bring you and your cats closer together, by having you take a close look at his or her personality.

Note: In the case of Aries, we use the masculine pronoun not because it is known as an aggressive sign, but because the pronouns alternate around the 12 signs of the zodiac.

I have always felt that the care, feeding, and spiritual well-being of our cats is a huge responsibility and should be taken seriously. Close scrutiny of your cats personality, however you achieve it, can be of great benefit if we learn something constructive about them from their astrological archetype. If you don’t know your cat’s birthday or exact age, you may choose a sun sign that seems to match your cat’s personality and therefore celebrate the day you adopted this precious little being or choose the sign closest in characteristic likeness.

Let’s just have some fun with this and keep in mind the personality types for the Aries cat might just apply to other species as well.

 

ARIES is the first sign of the zodiac and it represents birth. Aries affects the cerebral nervous system as well as the spinal cord, sensory nerves, pituitary, face, and lower jaw. The planet Mars stimulates the cells, influencing diseases relating to inflammation, fever, and organ lesions. There may be a predisposition to liver problems. An elementary quality of dry heat is associated with this cardinal fire sign. Since Aries is prone to excess, he may be overweight, therefore you never want to diet this or any cat due to liver complications which can occur from weight loss accompanied by inflammation. A condition called Hepatic Lipidosis can occur when cats lose body fat too rapidly and can be fatal. You can learn all about the species-specific method of feeding cats that are in truth obligate carnivores in my Care2 post on homemade food for cats. Cats fed that natural raw food diet don’t get fat! They are meant to be lithe and lean.

If we were painters, we might want to paint the Aries cat red, as red is the color for fire signs and Leo and Sagittarius are also fire signs. My husband Nazim Artist is a painter and he has painted cats both large and small in vivid red hues (see image accompanying this post). The personality of an Aries cat is also said to be “on fire” as they can be restless, pace a lot and if left to their own devices be always “on the prowl.”

Aries cats like to play hide and seek and can often be found posing like little crouching tigers, ready to pounce on their toys in a mock hunt-and-capture scenario. You can almost see the wheels turning in their heads as they lock onto their intended victim. They seem to be strategizing their next chess move with something they have selected for prey, which might even be a scrap of paper rolled into a little ball.

The Aries cat, in his mind, even when from a large litter, is still an only child. Strong and assertive, he makes his needs known when he’s hungry or just wants your attention. When he wants something, he’ll get it for sure. He often violates the Star Trek famous “prime directive” as he thinks he is the Captain Kirk of his own universe where you are only one of the pieces on his chess board! “No” has absolutely no meaning to the Aries cat!

When he’s awake, everyone’s awake. If he doesn’t answer when you call, it’s not that he doesn’t know his name—the Mars-ruled cat is self-absorbed—he’ll get to you when it’s convenient for him.

Give your Aries cat a tall cat tree to climb so he can rule from on high so that he will always have something available to conquer — from this high vantage point he can leap to even greater heights. That’s why sometimes you look but you don’t see this little “Ninja.” They can, however, be your home security watch cat and or guardian as they also like to protect but never serve.

It’s easy to fall in love with an Aries kitten as his charms and naiveté linger into old age. He’s captivating, cunning and hard to resist. He nearly always gets his own way with people and other animals. He’s also fearless and somehow always able to land on his feet.

The old motto “If at first you don’t succeed” fits the Aries Cat to a T. As one of the three fire signs, the Aries cat’s sunny disposition will cheer you in your darkest hours. Though he’s not usually a lazy cat, the Aries cat does seek warmth and lies in your lap or by your side when you sleep. If you are home in bed with a cold, he will lie on your chest in order for his purr to help heal your heart chakra.

An un-neutered Aries, or “whole male” cat is a tyrant and is the eternal night stalker and he can get into brutal fights, as exemplified by the Greco-Roman god of war, Mars (Aries). Aries cats can be so aggressive that the chances of his becoming seriously injured or dying in a cat fight are very high. Keep Aries (and all other cats) indoors and please spay or neuter them when your veterinarian recommends. Many of the aggression problems encountered in Aries cats disappear after this procedure, so don’t think for a moment you are doing your cats a favor by not having them altered. We don’t want to be part of the pet overpopulation problem, we want to be part of the solution! All cats are far more comfortable with the overwhelming urge they have to fight for territory and procreate calmed down and they then will become much better companions. However, the Aries cat will never stop believing he is the “top cat.”

The Aries cat is extremely curious and can be accident-prone. He’ll love you intensely and share his possessions, but don’t try to take something away from him unless it’s dangerous, as he will resent you for it. Aries is the sign of authority, after all.

As always, be gentle, as Aries’s ego bruises easily. When led with love and given plenty of exercise, this cat will be a champion at everything he does. Remember your hand is not his toy! Hands are for loving and grooming.

Whether pedigreed or of divine mixed genetics, the Aries cat is very outgoing and enjoys the spotlight.

To call him extremely intelligent is an understatement. If he could speak in human words, he’d have an answer for everything and would need always to be right. As it is, your life with the Aries cat (just like an Aries man woman or child) will be a contest of strength and wit, with never a dull moment.

Auras, Chakras, Light and Sleep Cycles

Auras, Chakras, Light and Sleep Cycles

  • Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

What is an aura?

An aura is an electromagnetic energy field that surrounds, encompasses, and permeates all living things; it includes the being’s physical structure as well as its energetic outer layers. It is made up of four bodies outside the physical body: the etheric body (where some suggest our past life experiences may be stored), the emotional body, the mental body (two layers: higher and lower), and the spiritual body (three layers: higher, middle, and lower). The colors of an aura vary depending upon the condition of the being. Anyone can learn to see auras; there are also professional readers and even cameras that can photograph them.

Where are our chakras located?

First chakra (root/base of spine)
Second chakra (chi/below navel)
Third chakra (solar plexus)
Fourth chakra (heart)
Fifth chakra (throat)
Sixth chakra (third eye/brow)
Seventh chakra (crown/above head)

What are the Chakras?

The chakras are energy centers aligned along a spiral column in the etheric double; energy is absorbed from the surrounding air and brought through the chakras into the physical body. The Vedas, ancient texts of India, contain the first known reference to chakras. The chakras are considered to be spinning wheels of light energy. (Chakra means “wheel” in Sanskrit.)

Various spiritual schools have different systems of identification for the chakras, but a widely accepted version identifies seven major chakras, beginning with the first, or root, chakra, located at the base of the spine and moving up the body to the seventh, or crown chakra, located a few inches above the top of the head. (There are also five minor chakras, at the hands and feet or in the case of our dogs and cats, their paws, {which I cover for our feline companions in my book The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care}, co authored with Jean Hofve, DVM) and then the hollow at the base of the skull, where the brain meets the spine. It is said that as we spiritually evolve, new chakras will emerge.)

Why are the various Chakras assigned colors?

A specific color is associated with each chakra because color can be used to stimulate, sedate, or balance the chakras and their associated organs.

The use of light and color in healing dates from ancient times. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that there are cycles that are the most conducive for certain activities. In Chinese medicine, yang and yin symbolize light and dark. It is of utmost importance to honor our daily cycles of light turning into darkness, as our moon travels around our planet and our planet travels around our sun.

FIRST CHAKRA (root/base of spine)
Red stimulates the immune system by building up the blood and helps with detoxification. It is said that this color fights tumors, has an antiviral effect, and relates to the reproductive system and the procreative imperative to survive. Those with compromised immune systems may benefit by be ing surrounded by the color red as much as possible.

SECOND CHAKRA (chi/below navel)
Orange is said to be an appetite stimulant and a lung builder. It may depresse the parathyroid glands, and may stimulate the thyroid as well as the mammary glands in the production of milk for all types of mammals. Qi (chi) emanates from this chakra.

THIRD CHAKRA (solar plexus)
Yellow is thought to stimulate the gastrointestinal system and helps keep hormones in balance. It’s also said to be beneficial for the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and for diabetes and hard chronic tumors. The fear/fight/flight mechanism originates here.

FOURTH CHAKRA (heart)
Green is said to stabilize energy and is a bronchodilator. It may be beneficial in the treatment of infections. Many believe that love emanates from the heart chakra. Pink is the secondary color of the heart chakra.

FIFTH CHAKRA (throat)
Blue is said to aid in the healing of third-degree burns, scratches, sores, and infections. It may be beneficial for all fevers that respond quickly when used in conjunction with holistic remedies. Blue is a very cooling and sedating color. The related color turquoise can be soothing for irritations, inflammation, and itching. It may help induce sleep, and it should follow green in treating all infections. It is known as the chakra of self-expression.
See my note below regarding the importance of sleep.

SIXTH CHAKRA (third eye/brow)
Indigo worn around the neck is said to help stabilize the thyroid if a person or pet has a hyperthyroid condition. The third eye chakra is best known for providing living things with intuition and instinct.

SEVENTH CHAKRA (crown/above head)
Violet is said to increase the white blood cell count, stimulates the spleen, and is a color for high spiritual attainment in humans.

 

NOTE: When we don’t sleep in sync with seasonal light exposure, we not only alter our etheric double, our own aura and our own chakra’s but also alter our biological rhythms that control hormones and neurotransmitters determining appetite, fertility, and mental and physical health as well as those who share our living space with us, such as our children and companion animals.

By relying on artificial light to extend our days, we fool our bodies into living in a perpetual state of summer which is when our ancient ancestors were always anticipating the scarce food supply and forced inactivity of the coming winter, when we do this our body begins storing fat and slowing the metabolism to sustain us through months of hibernation and hunger that never arrive.

We, along with everyone who lives us with us in our homes, including our animals, are all extremely sensitive to natural light and dark rhythms. There is a strong case for all of us to sleep in the summer months between 10:00 p.m. (2200 hours) and 7:00 a.m. (0700), and starting at the Autumn Equinox between 9:00 p.m. (2100) and 6:00 a.m. (0600).

Our early ancestors obeyed these seasonal rules by honoring the seasons and their natural rhythm of light and dark. Our bodies generate a cascade of protective chemicals, including those that help prevent cancer, obesity, diabetes, and depression, to name but a few, only when we sleep deeply with no interference from any light leaks whatsoever, including the LEDs on electronic equipment, digital clocks, night lights, and the light leaks that seep in from outside. We all desperately need a true black night sleeping experience, that tracks with what we did before civilization turned the lights on everywhere. Think about creating a cool dark cave concept which truly produces a wonderful nights sleep. It’s also best to not have caffein after 3pm if you want to sleep well that evening.

The ramifications of not honoring this light and dark concept are enormous for our own health as well as that of all the living things in our household. If just one person leaves a light on in a sleep cycle and any part of our body can sense or feel it we all will suffer the consequences from this chronic addiction and abuse of light. This of course includes our computer screens and TV at night. There is a little trick which helps somewhat if you must work on your computer in the dark cycle and that is to have rose tinted lens made with your prescription in them. This is what I do: I remove my contacts where my glasses which have a rose tint to the lens’s which the eye optometrist called a plus 3 rose tint. You can also use them for driving at night and with or without a prescription they are said to help preserve some of the chemical cascade that we need to have take place in these precious evening hours of darkness when we must remain in artificial light.

I was astounded to learn that studies suggest that even tiny light leaks (0.2 lux), as little as a single candle flame, adversely affect our own health, our childrens health and that of our companion dogs and cats. If light leakage and subsequent lack of melatonin has been found to promote tumor growth. Could the use of light after dark actually be one of the causes of not only having an impact on tumor growth but cancer in people, in children and our pets, as well? So turn out those night lights everywhere in the house. And for a closer look at the importance of honoring light and dark cycles, see “Lights Out” by author, T. S. Wiley.

This simple adjustment in our sleep routine may actually have profound consequences in our own ability to heal ourselves on every level possible, including our chakra’s and etheric double.

I personally include the use of 2.5 mg.’s of sublingual (which you dissolve under your tongue) Melotonin, 30 minutes before bedtime.

Nothing said herein is meant to be construed as medical advice. Please be prudent and consult with your healthcare providers for any serious disorders. These idea’s are presented for informational purposes only and should be treated as such.

We can very easily begin to explore what role our aura and chakra’s play in our modern lives if the idea resonates with you. We can perhaps benefit in many ways when we are open to the ancient idea’s presented by many other cultures around the world. These cultures have all honored nature and the natural order of life from the dawn of our first foot prints on this planet. Perhaps we too can benefit by looking more closely at what we do in our own day to day lives in this modern hi-tech, brightly lit, big blue spinning ball, we live upon.

Do We Have the Power To Heal Ourselves?

Do We Have the Power To Heal Ourselves?

  • Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

The Art of Medicine Consists of Amusing the Patient While Nature Cures the Disease. –Voltaire

Just for a moment, forget all we have been taught about evidenced based medicine and the hallowed halls of science today and just ponder for a few moments the possiblity of a world where we might not ever need a physician or healthcare provider or not ever need a doctor to write a prescription for a drug again. Could the ability to heal ourselves be locked in our DNA, like the lizards that lose their tail and grow a new one? Could this ability be lurking somewhere maybe even in what they refer to as ‘junk’ DNA? What about a world where we wouldn’t need to go to the local health food store to purchase an herbal preparation or a homeopathic remedy or have to endure the slings and arrows of all those negative nay-sayer types whom we all know so well who shoot down anything and everything that is deemed unscientific in the world of energy healing. Isn’t it amazing that it usually takes less than 100 years for todays absolute science to become tomorrows nonsense? A hundred years ago blood letting was the state of the art. If we only we had a crystal ball how many could be helped from suffering through treatments offered today that one day will be deemed harmful and even deadly. What if all healing could be done right inside of our own minds but we just don’t have the tools as of yet to know how to do it? Is it possible that it is there right inside of us and we just need to find the keys to unlock its secret door? What could this kind of magical self healing system open up? What would happen to Big Pharma and our current medical system if it was possible for us to heal ourselves? Would it ever even be allowed to exist, as most likely we would be able to access it for free?

Let’s explore something that is very much part of the 800-million dollar cost to bring a drug to market today; that little sugar pill known as the ‘placebo.’

Newtonian scientists who come from the world of “only matter matters,” find that natural remedies (unless they can stick natural ingredients like fish oil into a patented delivery system or process and make a drug with it) are for the most part described as having a ‘placebo effect.’ The same holds true when scientists look at Homeopathy, and other systems of healing based on an energy meridian system, such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It never fails that we will quickly hear the term ‘placebo effect’ thrown right back at us when these modalities are offered. We can just visualize the ‘usual suspects’ with their hands over their ears muttering ‘la la la’ if we were bold enough to suggest that somebody spend some of their millions on a really big study that could explore our inate ability to heal ourselves, could it ever happen? Probably not, as there has to be something financiallly beneficial for the folks who pay for the study and the doctors who get those lucrative grants to do it! If we could heal ourselves who would make a profit in corporate controlled America where that now famous 1% hold the wealth and power?

There is something going on right now that does seem to be shaking up the scientific troops a bit and that is the fact that Big Pharma has done an amazing job of keeping from ‘us,’ just how potent placebos actually are in the world of drug testing! Also just bear in mind that the third leading cause of death in the Western medical model is from allopathic medicine, this is referred to as ‘iatrogenic,’ meaning induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon, or by a medical treatment or diagnostic procedure. Dr. Leape of the Harvard Medical School of Public health has stated brilliantly, “Medicine is a high risk industry, like aviation. But the chance of dying in an aviation accident is one in 2 million, while the risk of dying from a medical accident is one in 200!” Wow, I know of orthopaedic surgeons who tell their hip or knee replacement patients to take a permanent marker and mark which knee or hip is to be replaced in big block letters, so they don’t operate on the wrong leg!
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While doing a bit of my Celestial Musings, (I have been nick-named Celestial, ‘long not short’ for Celeste), all my life, I found it quite compelling to learn that for years these folks in the hallowed halls of Western Medicine have been protecting a dirty little secret weapon called the ‘placebo’ which causes what has been known for many years as the ‘placebo effect.’

 

In Wired Magazine, writer Steve Silberman, wrote an article in August of 2009 entitled, “Placebos Are Getting More Effective, Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.” This is quite an eye-opening article. I find it amazing to think that Big Pharma has actually been worried about the lowly little placebo for a very long time and I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of it what is happening in order to take a serious look at it.

Many people do not even know where the term ‘placebo effect’ comes from. But in truth it can be traced to a little white lie, according to Silberman, who tells the story of an Army nurse during World War II in Italy who was assisting an anesthetist named Henry Beecher, who was caring for our US troops under German bombardment. When their morphine supply had trickled down to nothing, this nurse assured a wounded soldier, that he was getting a shot of a potent painkiller, though her syringe was loaded only with, saline solution (salt water). Amazingly, the bogus injection relieved the soldier’s excruciating pain and kept him from going into shock!

Beecher returned ultimately to Harvard and became one of the USA’s leading medical reformers. He was so inspired by the nurse’s clever ruse, that he launched a crusade to promote a method of testing new medicines to find out whether they were truly effective. At the time, the process for testing the efficacy of drugs was not very good. Pharmaceutical companies would simply give volunteers some experimental agent of some sort until the side effects would overcome the presumed benefits. Beecher proposed that if test subjects could be compared to a group that received a placebo (a sugar pill), health officials would finally have an impartial way to determine whether a medicine was actually responsible for making a patient better.

The placebo plot thickened; in a 1955 paper entitled “The Powerful Placebo,” which was published in “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” Beecher described how the ‘placebo effect’ had undermined the results of more than a dozen trials by causing improvement that was mistakenly attributed to the drugs being tested. He demonstrated that trial volunteers who got real medication were also subject to placebo effects; the act of taking a pill was itself somehow therapeutic, boosting the curative power of the medicine. Only by subtracting the improvement in a placebo control group could the actual value of the drug be calculated.

The article caused a sensation. By 1962, the news of birth defects caused by the drug, Thalidomide, and its tragic consequences were of such monumental proportions, they hit every front page of America’s Newspapers. The only silver lining of this horror story was that it caused Congress to amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, requiring trials to include enhanced safety testing and placebo control groups. Volunteers would be assigned randomly to receive either medicine or a sugar pill, and neither doctor nor patient would know the difference until the trial was over.

Beecher’s double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial—or RCT—was enshrined as the gold standard of the emerging pharmaceutical industry. Today, to win FDA approval, a new medication must beat placebo in at least two authenticated trials. The question now can be carefully posed…are they worth the paper they are printed on? Why you might ask? Because, even the color of the pills in these studies is at play; yellow is the best for antidepressants as it is like a little dose of sunshine, red pills provide a stimulating effect and give you a kick in the behind, green and perhaps even blue, add a bit of chill to the pill, and white are more soothing to the gut, particularly as an antacid even if they only contain lactose (milk sugar).

It also seems that more pills are better so that if you take your placebo several times a day you get better results and if your pills are embossed with a name brand like Tylenol, the name branding on them seems to make them work better than generic, even if the person offering the tablet to the user, says they are the same! Now how about that? Can we see the power that we each hold in our own belief systems!

It is true, that Beecher in fact did help to cure the medical establishment of its own brand of quackery, but it had a really big side effect – it cast the lowly little placebo as the villain in RCTs, and Beecher ended up stigmatizing one of his most important discoveries. The fact that even dummy capsules can kick-start the body’s recovery engine have now become a problem for drug developers to overcome, rather than a phenomenon that could guide doctors toward a better understanding of the healing process of our miraculous bodies and how to drive it most effectively into perhaps healing itself. Where would the ‘big bucks’ be in that?

 

Beecher just didn’t see the handwriting on the wall nor foresee, the explosive growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The blockbuster success of mood enhancing drugs in the ’80s and ’90s beefed up Big Pharma’s resolve to promote pharmaceutical drugs for a growing cache of mental disorders. One might also ask, which comes first the drug or the new disease or the condition to match it? Even Dr. Oz asked this question on National TV. The question however was not answered to anyones satisfaction when his show aired even though he pitted the Big Pharma ‘rep’ against his expert adversary. One can only ask, “whom shall guard the guardians” especially if they have the power to create the disease first and then the drug or vaccine to market as a treatment for it?

By attempting to dominate the central nervous system, Big Pharma gambled its future on treating ailments that have turned out to be particularly susceptible to the placebo effect. I’m so worried about their financial future, aren’t you? Pardon my sarcasm but when I see the millions of dollars spent on television commercials of epic proportion designed to make us ask our own doctors to give us the drugs we see advertised as if they are the latest ‘must have’ designer footwear, I get a little upset! But just let us dare to walk into our doctors with a new supplement and see how fast they will shoot that idea down in favor of the drug tested against a placebo. I really have to commend their creativity with the creation and marketing of Lovaza which is really just plain old fish oil with a twist and a huge price tag which medicare covers even for the greedy doctors who seem to be too cheap to buy their own supplements and instead take advantage of the system to get it for free!

What about all those clinical trials they wave around, you ask? Remember they don’t have to use the studies that don’t support their drugs, they can use just the ones that do and throw out all the others. It has been said that $100,000 can buy you any outcome ‘they’ want to get from a clinical trial because ‘they’ control whom the drug is tested on and who the placebo is tested on. Since when are any of us the same in a control study group? My cold or flu virus may be a lot different from yours. I might cough and you might have sinus congestion but yet we’d both get the same drug during the test period! And then we might ask, do drugs ever really cure anything or just palliate the symptoms? Remember the days of having a bladder infection and taking the drugs only to have the yeast infection two weeks later and then require another drug for that? We end up chasing symptoms around our body with multiple drugs, which interfere with each other causing more symptoms and so the cycle begins. We just keep palliating these symptoms until something much more catastrophic rears its ugly head..and then we wonder “why me?”

Why on Earth could it be that the Big Pharma boys are now so worried about placebo’s? Why is it that these inert sugar pills are suddenly overwhelming what they refer to as promising new drugs (promising only if you don’t listen to or read the side effects) and already established drugs alike? The reasons are only just beginning to be understood. A group of independent research experts have been for some time actually delving into this phenomena and uncovering the inner workings—and potential therapeutic applications—of the placebo effect. Can they patent a sugar pill with a special delivery system? I wonder!

You can bet on the fact that some drug makers are realizing they need to fully understand the mechanisms behind it so they can design specific trials that differentiate between any positive effects of their products (if indeed there are any) and our body’s precious ability to heal itself. A special task force was even initiated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, by the time Silberman had written his article, which began seeking to stem this placebo vs. drug crisis by quietly undertaking one of the most ambitious data-sharing efforts in the history of the drug industry. After decades in the jungles of fringe science, the placebo effect has become, as Silberman states, “the elephant in the boardroom.”

Now a new term has been coined and that is known as ‘the placebo response,’ instead of ‘placebo effect.’ By definition, inert sugar pills have no effect, but under the right conditions they can act as a catalyst for the body’s ‘endogenous health care system.’ Like any other internal network, the ‘placebo response’ has limits. It can ease the discomfort of say chemotherapy, but can it stop the growth of a tumor? It also works in reverse to produce the placebo’s evil twin, the ‘nocebo effect.’ What on Earth is a ‘nocebo?” A nocebo works like this; men taking a commonly prescribed prostate drug who were informed that the medication may cause sexual dysfunction were twice as likely to become impotent.

There’s more to this tale; everything also depends on the messenger! If a particular doctor was optimistic that something would work it had a better chance of working. No wonder the phrase ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ was coined. Could the diagnosis/prognosis actually be the killer instead of the disease as the body processes its own death sentence?

These very same Newtonian (materialistic) scientists we’ve surrendered so much control to, are seeking ways to suppress and keep this information regarding the ‘placebo response’ quiet and unknown to the ‘pill popping’ public who are constantly told that anything outside the mainstream, such as alternative or natural medicine, is bogus. Please do note that they do seem always to be the first to use the argument of the ‘placebo effect’ to take down homeopathy, or even acupuncture and every other form of energy medicine or natural healing that calls upon the body to heal itself or even to nourish it…well of course they would, it’s so simple…homeopathic and/or acupuncture and other natural remedies, even whole food supplements cannot be patented and only that which can be patented makes Big Pharma their fortunes.

Western medical doctors and pharmaceutical makers take the approach that the living thing is the victim of its circumstances because it is just a collection of body parts and organ systems which are subject to mechanical breakdowns, like a car, due to circumstances outside the individuals control, maybe with the exception of obesity. Obese patients are always given a load of guilt even though ‘they pushed the so-called ‘pyramid’ diet for far too many years, which in turn pushed empty cereals and grains to the bottom and quality protein and healthy fat to the top! Remember how to fatten cattle? Just feed them lot’s of low fat grain! Turn the food pyramid upside down and actually lose weight in a healthy way because if you don’t they will try to sell you the lap band surgery!

Wouldn’t it be amazing to be consciously empowered with the knowledge that if we can get ourselves into a particular state of health we also can have the power to get ourselves out of it? If a sugar pill can work just because the Big Pharma folks in white coats tell people to take it and they will feel better and or get well, AND THEY DO, just think, what we could do for ourselves armed with access to just the right technique or belief system or even the perfect placebo or sugar pill, might we be able in the foreseeable future to heal ourselves? Now that is a healthy thought to ponder!