|Tapestry Life Resources & Body Balance II Newsletter||Resources for Body, |
Mind, Heart & Spirit
All articles written by Suzanne H. Eller unless otherwise indicated. © Suzanne H. Eller, 2012
June is the month when kids get out of school, when families take vacations, and when we enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities as the days lengthen into summer. Father's Day comes in June, and more couples get married in June than any other month of the year. The Farmer's Market is back in downtown Hickory and Conover, and Art in the Park has started in Blowing Rock. It is a wonderful season.
We will be working at Body Balance II during June although sometimes on a modified schedule. Be sure to call early to schedule your appointments so that we can work around both your and our schedules.
This month's issue of Warp & Weft focuses on the elbow injuries and sun safety. It includes an informative article on the history behind summer solstice celebrations and instead of our usual essential oils article, we've included a bit about the health benefits of our favorite summertime fruit - tomatoes. There are some recipes for canning tomatoes and making salsa, too. Classic fiction recommendations round out the issue.
It's been our pleasure to serve you this first half of the year. Can you believe it's half over? Take time to enjoy yourself during these longer days. If you are able, find a way to connect with friends and family and with nature. Have a great summer.
Understanding Tennis and Golfer's Elbow
Elbow pain can occur anytime, but it seems to crop up more in the spring and summer as outdoor activities cause overuse of the tendons and muscles of the joint.
Often this pain is the result of playing sports like tennis and golf; thus, two of the most common kinds of elbow injury are called tennis elbow and golfer's elbow. Tennis elbow presents as pain on the lateral or outside of the elbow. When the pain is on the medial, or inside, elbow, it is called golfer's elbow.
You can have tennis elbow or golfer's elbow even if you don't play these sports. Famous tennis players and golfers with the injuries gave them their names, but more people who do activities like lifting heavy objects, waiting tables, working at computers, scrubbing floors, or working in construction have tennis elbow than do racket sports players.
Tennis elbow is a slight tear or inflammation in the extensor muscles or the tendon that connect them to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. (See drawing) Golfer's elbow is a slight tear or inflammation in the flexor and pronator muscles and the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle. Epicondyles are the rounded projections at the end of the humerus bone.
Often, the injury doesn't start hurting immediately; it takes about two weeks for the pain to become noticeable. During this time, the tear to the tendon starts to develop a v-shaped scar. The scar heals from the narrow end to the wide end. It is the site of the scar that causes the pain.
Similarly, it is the way the tendon heals that makes reinjury so easy. Just think about all the activities you do that require lifting. Even shaking hands with an injured elbow tendon can hurt. This means typical, habitual daily movement makes it hard for the injury to heal completely because we keep tearing the scar open.
Of course, rest is the best treatment, but it is hard to achieve as it can take six month to a couple of years for the injury to heal fully, depending on the person's age. Most of us can't stop movements that could lead to reinjury for that long.
Massage can help tennis and golfer's elbow. Deep tissue massage on the forearm can increase circulation in the muscles and tendons and stimulate faster healing. Deep friction of the tendons can break up scar tissue. If you opt for massage, be sure to tell your therapist if she goes past your pain threshold. You don't want to reinjure the tissue by going too deeply, too quickly.
There are a number of exercises that can help elbow pain. Dr. Michael Kent, an orthopedic surgeon, has a nice exercise handout
. For other handouts from Dr. Kent's Richmond Bone and Joint Clinic, click here
|Health Benefits of Tomatoes|
Summer Eating That's God for You
One of the great things about living in this part of the country in the summer is the tomatoes.
Right now, the Hickory and Conover Farmer's Markets have tomatoes from farther south, but most of us are waiting for the local varieties. Whether it is the increased acid in a vine-ripened tomato or something peculiar to the soil in this area, most of us are looking forward to our first tomato and mayonnaise sandwich of the season. Homegrown tomatoes are just better tasting.
Tomatoes are full of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that cause damage to our cells. The body cannot make lycopene on its own, and although other fruits and vegetables contain lycopene, none have the amounts found in tomatoes. Lycopene is present in all tomatoes, whether they are green (unripe), red, orange or yellow and whether they are fresh, canned, or cooked. Tomatoes can act to protect us from cancer and heart disease.
Research has found that lycopene is especially good at preventing cancers of reproductive and digestive systems, including the prostate, cervix, mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum. It also prevents cancer of the larynx, lung, and breast. In experiments, lycopene that was introduced into pre-existing cancer cell cultures prevented the cultures from growing.
Lycopene and other nutrients in tomatoes can also lower cholesterol and thus prevent heart disease. Drinking thirteen ounces of tomato juice a day lowered bad LDL levels by more than twelve percent in one study. Other studies show that ingesting tomatoes and tomato-based products reduces the risk of macular degenerative disease, fights liver toxicity, improves bone density, and dissolves gallstones. Furthermore, the American Medical Association says daily consumption of tomatoes decreases the oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes. A daily glass of tomato juice could keep a person healthy for life.
For more information on the health benefits of tomatoes, including a chart of all the nutrients contained in this amazing fruit, please go to The World's Healthiest Foods
Tomatoes are easy to can and don't require a lot of expensive equipment. You will need a water bath canner (usually about $30), canning jars, rings, lids, a jar grabber, lid lifter (has a magnet on the end) and a jar funnel. Of course, you need tomatoes (about seven large to a quart), canning salt, lemon juice and water.
The first step is to wash and sterilize the jars, rings and lids. I understand some dishwashers have a sterilize setting, but I always boil the clean jars in the canner and the lids and rings in separate pots for at least ten minutes. This is very important. If these aren't sterilized sufficiently, your whole batch of tomatoes will spoil. Leave the jars and lids in the hot water until you are ready to put the tomatoes into them.
While you are heating the jars, boil another large pot of water and prepare a pot or bucket of ice water. Wash your tomatoes, pull off the stems and put them in your stoppered sink. Don't fill it too full. You can always repeat this step if you have a lot of tomatoes. Pour the boiling water over the tomatoes and after about 30-60 seconds, use tongs to pull out the sink stopper. (Don't burn yourself!) Immediately pour ice water on top of the tomatoes. It will make the skins slide right off. Peel the tomatoes and cut out any bruised or diseased places.
Fill the jars to within ¼-inch of the top. Press the tomatoes down tight so the juice fills any air pockets. Use a spoon or fork to release any additional air pockets. Add 1 tsp. canning salt and 2 tbs. of lemon juice to each quart jar. Wipe the top of the jar and underside of the ring so they are clean and you get a good seal. Seal the lid on with the ring and boil in the water bath for 45-50 minutes. There needs to be about an inch of water over the tops of the jars in the canner.
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool overnight without touching them. You'll hear the lids "pop" as they seal. Once cooled, make sure all the lids are sealed by gently pressing the lid in the center. If it pops up and down, it is not sealed. You can refrigerate the jars that don't seal and use the contents for a short time. Don't replace the lid and reprocess the jar; there's too much chance for botulism. It's normal for the tomatoes to rise and float above a layer of liquid in the jars. Enjoy vine-ripened, canned tomatoes in all your favorite dishes all year long.
Making Homemade Salsa
Salsa is pretty easy to make. You can vary the ingredients, making it hotter or milder, as you prefer. At about 25 calories per ¼ cup serving, salsa is light, delicious, and good for you. Mix the following ingredients except for the cilantro and refrigerate. Top with the cilantro before serving. The recipe makes about 2 ½ cups.
2 c. tomatoes (some prefer them to be seeded)
¼ c. diced onion
½ tsp. minced garlic
¾ tsp ground cumin
2 tbs. lemon juice
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 banana pepper, seeded and diced
¼ cup diced green mango (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼c. cilantro for garnish
|Father's Day Quotations|
Inspiring Thoughts about Dads
A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ˜Unknown
Any fool can be a Father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy! ˜Philip Whitmore
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ˜Bill Cosby
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in just seven years. ˜Mark Twain
The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them. ˜Confucius
One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be. ˜Unknown
By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. ˜Charles Wadworth
He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ˜Clarence Budington Kelland
When the Sun Makes You Sick
Last month, we talked about skin cancer in the May issue of Warp & Weft. The most common cause of skin cancer is too much UVA sunlight.
Many drugs can make you sensitive to sunlight.
However, did you know that there are other conditions related to sun over-exposure. These are not as serious in the long term as skin cancer, but they can cause pain and/or itching in the short-term.
The first of these conditions is called phototoxicity and is caused when drugs you may be taking cause you to become sun-sensitive. The rash reaction looks somewhat like sunburn but occurs quickly when the skin is exposed to UVA sunlight rays. Like sunburn, it is painful.
Some medications that cause phototoxicity or photoallergy (see below) include:
- Tretinoin and Isotretinoin: These are topical ointments derived from vitamin A (and its synthetic counterpart) that are often prescribed for acne and wrinkles. Brand names include Retin-A , Renova and Claravis.
- NSAIDS: These nonsteroid pain relivers include ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Antibiotics: Tetracycline, fluoroquinolones, and sulfonamides head this list.
- Diuretics: Furosemide and hydroclorothiazide can cause photosensitivity.
- Statins: Use of this group of drugs has a significant correlation to sun exposure and basal cell carcinoma.
- Other Drugs: Neuroleptic drugs, some anti-fungals, and some antidepressives may cause photosensitivity.
- Herbs and Fragrances: St. John's Wort, Bergamont, other citrus oils and sandalwood have been known to cause photsensitivity. See also Botanical Online.
The above list is not exhaustive. To determine whether the drugs you use cause photosensitivity, you can view the chart at this link
, or better yet, read the drug sheet given to you by your pharmacy. If you have additional questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Sun allergies don't develop as quickly as toxicity, but can be both dangerous and uncomfortable. Usually these show up as an itchy rash that may take a while to disappear. Fragrances and lotion additives are the usual culprits, and some of these additives may even be found in sunscreens. These substances react chemically with the sun, and your immune system thinks it is being attacked. Antihistamines may help, but for severe cases, see a doctor. Obviously, stop using any product that may have sparked the reaction.
Sun-induced eczema is the third condition. It usually occurs in older adults who have a history of sunbathing or working outdoors. Doctors think many years of sun exposure actually changes the structure of the skin, so that the body thinks it is foreign. An autoimmune response develops, and an itchy rash and blistering can occur anywhere on the body. You should see a dermatologist if you have this condition.
History of Summer Solstice Celebrations
|Wikicommons Image: Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of summer solstice on northern hemisphere. Image by Przemyslaw "Blueshade" Idzkiewicz.|
A view to eastern-hemisphere showing noon in Central European Time zone.
The summer solstice occurs each year in the northern hemisphere when the Earth's northern axis points most directly toward the Sun. It is the longest day of the year and the official first day of summer. This year it occurs on June 20 at 7:09 PM in our time zone (EDT).
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac
, "The word solstice
is from the Latin solstitium
, from sol
(sun) and stitium
(to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice)."
In pagan times, the solstice was connected with fertility rites. After Christianity began to supplant paganism, the solstice celebrations were replaced with the Feast of St. John the Baptist on June 24. This is exactly six months before Christmas, which replaced the winter solstice celebrations of Midwinter. (Traditionally, John the Baptist was born six months before Jesus Christ.) Indeed, June 24 is a public holiday in some countries like Latvia, Estonia, and Canadian Quebec.
Anyone who has read Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream is aware of the magical symbolism surrounding the night before the solstice. These traditions were familiar to Shakespeare's audience.
One of the traditions of the solstice is the lighting of bonfires on Midsummer's Eve to drive off evil spirits, who presumably would cause the crops to fail. Couples jumped over the flames, and it was believed that the crops would grow as high as the couples could jump. The leaping couples were also blessed with increased fertility. Couples married on this day as well, and June weddings are still a tradition.
Plants like St. John's wort, vervain, mugwort and calendula were picked because gathering them on Midsummer's Eve was believed to enhance their healing properties. The custom of making and wearing wreaths of flowers is probably connected to this idea of plant potency.
Midsummer was a traditional time of honoring the water goddesses in pagan times. People placed flowers and candles around wells and other water sources. During the Festival of St. John the Baptist, these traditions have continued in many countries. Indeed, St. John the Baptist is considered the patron saint of water, probably because of his ministry of baptism. Eastern European women collected water in tubs and bathed their children in the water for protection on St. John the Baptist Day. Even today, many modern Christians countries celebrate the Festival with swimming games and diving contests.
Many ancient cultures built fantastic architecture that noted the solstices and equinoxes. These include Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in England and the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming. Modern scientists are amazed at the accuracy of these astronomical structures.
In the United States, our mid-summer celebration is more likely to be July 4 than the summer solstice. However, we all usually take notice of the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer.
Read a Classic This Summer
A few weeks ago, folks in my Sunday lunch bunch were talking about some of their favorite classic novels. For me, this means a book I've read more than once and a book I'd read again. Reading a book again means I see things I missed on the first read and means I can be interrupted without feeling deprived of my story if I'm on vacation. Here are a few of my favorites for reading again.
Gone with the Wind, 75th Anniversary Edition
by Margaret Mitchell by Scribner
I was shocked when people at my table said they'd never read the only book Margaret Mitchell ever wrote. If they think it is light reading and/or a chick book, they are dead wrong. Besides being a great love story, Gone with the Wind is real history told from point of view of the defeated and of the women, especially the strong Scarlet O'Hara. There is so much more in the novel than in the movie, and you'll miss out if you only know the film. My sister used to read GWTW once a year. This is one of the best Civil War novels ever written.
To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition
by Harper Lee by Harper
List Price: $25
Like Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee wrote only one book, and like GWTW, To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the South but in the 1930s. Again, if you've only seen the movie, you're missing a great deal of information found only in the novel. Read it to get a compelling look at the prejudice, hypocrisy and violence of this period juxtaposed against true heroism and innate goodness and innocence. All the characters are memorable. You'll laugh and you'll cry at this great American novel.
The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald by Scribner
Our Price: $7.21Buy Now
Set in the 1920s in Long Island, this book has been described as the essence of the Jazz Age. It think it is Fitzgerald's best, and critics believe he may have modeled Daisy Buchanan on his own wife Zelda. It certainly looks at class differences; that might make it especially appropriate for today's world. It is also a story of failed love, greed, deceit and broken dreams. It's been made into a movie several times, and although I love the costuming of the movies, the book is so much better.
The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas by Penguin
This is the only book on this month's list not by an American author, and The Count of Monte Cristo is probably less widely read in the US than the other novels. Translators matter, and the Penguin unabridged edition is the best translation I've seen. The unabridged versions, like the movies, leave out too much, so avoid them. This edition is an easy read although you may be put off by the large number of pages. Don't let that scare you. The story is set in early 19th century France and other European locations. It is the classic story of revenge, good versus evil and getting one's just desserts. I had my tenth graders read it, and one kid who never finished a book said it was the best book he'd ever read. Because it is full of romance, intrigue and action, it think you'll agree.
| Father's Day is June 17th!|
Looking for a way to give your father something he'll really enjoy without spending a lot of money? Trying to decide on a gift for a guy who has everything? Want to give your husband something that shows that you appreciate all the work he does for your family?
This Father's Day, present Dad with a gift of nurturing and wellness by giving him a sixty minute massage gift certificate with Suzanne or Susan at Body Balance II. He deserves it!
It's easy to do with our Online Gift Certificates. You can even choose the design a write a message. Then print your gift certificate or email it to the man in you life.
To get started,
Of course, you can always purchase a gift certificate at the office. Just be sure to call before you come by so that someone will be available to help you.
We hope you've enjoyed this issue of Warp & Weft. Have a great summer, and call for an appointment soon.
Suzanne Eller, LMBT #7619
DBA Tapestry Life Resources
Susan Smith, LMBT #6579
DBA Massage by Susan
Laura Queen, LMBT #3224
DBA Queen Company
Body Balance II
318 2nd Ave. NW
Hickory, NC 28601
Read previous issues of Warp and Weft at the Constant Contact Archive or from our Tapestry Life Resources website Newsletter Archive.