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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reiki Drumming, What is it? How Does it Help with Healing?

Reiki and Drumming

by Michael Baird and Laurelle Shanti Gaia

The more we immerse ourselves in Reiki energy and it becomes a part of our daily life, the more we learn about Reiki’s limitless healing potential.
In our beginning Reiki training many of us are taught that Reiki is a stress-reduction and relaxation technique. We learn that it is used in “hands-on” healing. We learn that Reiki can help to heal physical, mental, and emotional issues. Once we begin using Reiki regularly, we soon learn that the energy is truly a teacher. Some would say the Master teacher.
Our experience of Reiki is that it IS Divine healing Love. There is no time, place, or situation where Reiki is not appropriate, because Divine Love can only enhance our experiences.
Today Reiki is combined with western medical practices in surgical procedures and during cancer therapy. Reiki is often included in massage and bodywork sessions. Many chiropractors and dentists use Reiki, and the list goes on and on. Truly, Reiki can become a part of your daily activities or vocation.
When someone with a passion for drumming, like Michael, began to share his life with Laurelle, who has a passion for Reiki, it would seem that combining Reiki and drumming would have easily occurred to us. However, it didn’t happen quite that way. As Reiki often does, the energy guided us to what has unfolded into a powerful healing method, and much more.
At the International Reiki Retreat, Labor Day Weekend in 1999, Michael was invited to join two other drummers in providing healing drumming sessions for the retreat participants. From that one event grew the beginning of our experience with Reiki drumming. While drumming for those sessions, Michael was able to first experience healing drumming without Reiki and then during the second night’s drumming sessions combined healing drumming with Reiki.
He learned to first prepare himself and strengthen his light with Reiki before picking up the drum. Then he would prepare the drum by charging it as a Reiki healing instrument with the use of all the sacred Reiki symbols. Finally, as he drummed over each person he would visualize the energy of a Reiki symbol moving from his hands and through the drum to the person under the drum.
The intention was for Reiki’s energy to ride on the drum’s sound waves, and for Reiki to help the person under the drum heal in a way that was for the highest and greatest good for all. This allowed the infinite intelligence of Reiki to facilitate healing without the possibility of harm.
That weekend we learned the value of combining Reiki with drumming. We were reminded of the importance of combining Reiki’s Love in all we do.
Since that time, the Reiki energy, the spirit of many drums, the guides, angels, and spirit helpers have taught us much more about powerful new ways to incorporate Reiki with drumming and other forms of sound. We are learning how to facilitate deeper and more profound healing experiences.
The concept of sound and healing is not a new one. In the Reiki Chants booklet contained in his new kotodama CD with the same name, sound healing pioneer Jonathan Goldman states:
If we explore various spiritual paths on this planet, you will find a commonality in their understanding that the first basic creative force was sound. In the New Testament it is written: “In the Beginning was the Word!” The Old Testament tells us: “And the Lord said: ‘Let there be Light!’ . . . the act of sound creating light. In the Hopi traditions, the Spider Woman sings the song of creation over the inanimate forms on this planet, bringing life to them. From the Vedic tradition it is written: “In the Beginning was Brahman, with whom was the Word and the Word was Brahman.” The idea of sound as the principle creative energy is almost universal. Sound creates form.
If you are interested in exploring your ability to heal and manifest with sound, drumming is one good place to start. Absolutely everyone has the talent and ability to drum. Your beat may be different, but it is your very own unique beat. Your beat is neither wrong nor right. It is an expression of your being that is perfect in its wholeness and completion.
Like you, a drum is a sacred healing tool with a unique spirit. The spirit of your drum can often be sensed while it is being played. It is also possible to journey to meet the spirit of your drum. As you drum you may become aware of other sounds contained within the drumming, as if it is connecting to another dimension.
In shamanism, the drum is known as “the shaman’s horse,” as it allows the shaman to “ride” the sound waves created by the drum into another dimension to help a person heal. When combining Reiki with drumming, the Divine wisdom inherent in Reiki energy merges with the sound waves and carries the Reiki energy more deeply into the client at the same time it creates a safe and sacred environment for healing.
What Is Reiki Drumming?
Reiki drumming is a specialized method of healing that makes use of the sound waves from the drum to introduce Reiki energy more deeply into a client’s energy field to facilitate deep relaxation and stress relief. As stress is relieved, tensions in the physical body are often released as well. Biofeedback research indicates that even brief heartbeat drumming can double light meditative brainwaves (alpha) and reduce stress. We now know that stress depresses the immune system and has been linked to nearly all diseases.
Reiki practitioners around the world are beginning to combine Reiki and drumming.
Reiki drumming affects the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies simultaneously, helping to bring them into harmony while raising the vibratory rate to levels that may allow the body to accelerate its innate healing abilities. Drumming reminds our body of its ideal vibratory rate, which is in harmony with the pulse of the earth and the Universal flow of creation.
Reiki drumming can enhance the power of distant Reiki, or help to send Reiki through time, as well as to strengthen the vibration of the peace ray on the planet, while assisting in harmonizing our human consciousness with the Earth.
We connect directly with the Heart and the Mind of the Divine when we access Reiki energy. Drumming is also a way to align with the Divine, as has been experienced since ancient times, through native spiritual and shamanic healing practices. When the two are combined, the result is an enhanced healing experience.
Swiss scientist Dr. Hans Jenny demonstrated how various substances such as sand, plastics, and liquid would take on a particular shape and form when various sound waves were passed through them. These experiments indicate that sound has the ability to affect and change matter.
In addition, sound can only be created by and travel through a material substance such as a solid, liquid, or gas, but cannot travel through a vacuum. Sound travels though different materials at different speeds, traveling through water at about 1500 meters per second, iron at about 5100 meters per second, and much slower through air at about 340 meters per second.
Drumming the sacred directions.
Striking any material will cause it to vibrate, and this can have an effect on nearby objects by creating a sympathetic response. When a drum is played, the drumhead will vibrate causing the nearby molecules of air to vibrate. The vibrating molecules of air will strike other nearby molecules of air and continue on. This is known as a sound wave. This wave will continue and pass through the client you are drumming for, causing the molecules composing their body to sympathetically respond with vibration. When done with a therapeutic intention, the vibration produced will be healthy and will displace any vibrations of disease, which may be present in the client.
The ability to feel Reiki is part of our Divine inheritance. After Reiki drumming many people experience an increased sensitivity to vibration and many who have not had the awareness of feeling Reiki’s energy are able to begin feeling it. We suspect there is a simple explanation for this. Could it be that after feeling the low frequencies of drumming mixed with what may be the high frequencies of Reiki the person has had a direct experience of what healing energy feels like? After having had such an experience are we then able to detect frequencies higher than the frequency of the drum’s sound and actually feel the healing energy of Reiki by itself? Based on our experiences the answer to both questions is yes.
Science has yet to develop devices to measure Reiki’s frequency, but we need to be patient. It was just a few decades ago that radio waves were just the idea of an eccentric thinker. With all of the amazing advancements of science we will likely one day soon have an electronic device that will measure what we all can already feel.
Medical Research
A medical research study indicates that group drumming enhances the functioning of the immune system. Published in the January 2001, issue of Larry Dossey’s Alternative Therapies, the ground-breaking study was performed by a team of MDs using control groups and blood tests.
Led by well-known researcher, author, and cancer expert Barry Bittman, MD, who is the CEO of Meadville Medical Center’s Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville, PA, the study shows that group drumming actually increases cancer-killing (NK) cells, which help the body combat not only cancer but also viruses including AIDS.
According to Dr. Bittman, “Group drumming tunes our biology, orchestrates our immunity, and enables healing to begin . . . When our hands connect with a drum that vibrates with our energy, vitality . . . and unity, we become whole again.” Dr. Bittman’s weekly radio program, Mind-Body Matters, is syndicated nationwide on NPR. For more on Dr. Bittman, visit www.mind-body.org/bittman.html
Drumming has also been used successfully with Alzheimer’s patients to focus attention, with war veterans to end trauma, with addicts in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, and with prison and homeless populations to enhance self-esteem. Progressive corporations like Motorola, AT&T, and Levi-Strauss have drummed with middle management to promote team-spirit building.
Widely published research also indicates that playing musical instruments increases children’s learning abilities. This appears especially true of those instruments that can be played intuitively like the drum. Studies indicate that drumming enhances right-brain functions such as intuition and creativity.
James Gordon, MD, of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington D.C. states “Oncologists should be open to group drumming if their patients are interested in it. Drumming can put people in a state of relaxation. It was used as a healing technique 1,000 years ago. Why not now?” (MAMM Magazine, July/August, 2001)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Is Turmeric Effective for Treating Depression?

I found this study to be very interesting and wanted to share with all of you.



Study Finds Turmeric Is As Effective As Prozac For Treating Depression


Researchers with the Department of Pharmacology of Government Medical College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India performed a study comparing the effects of turmeric (curcumin) and Prozac (fluoxetine). The randomized and controlled clinical study determined turmeric was as effective as Prozac in treating major depressive disorder. Turmeric treatment was also absent of dangerous side effects often found in Prozac use.
The objectives of the trial was to compare the efficacy and safety of curcumin with fluoxetine (Prozac) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). The study observed 60 patients diagnosed with MDD. Patients were  randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio for six weeks in an observer-masked treatment using fluoxetine (20 mg) and curcumin (1000 mg) both individually or in combination. To determine the efficacy of each treatment, the main variable used was response rates according to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version (HAM-D17 ). They also employed a second efficacy variable which examined the mean change in HAM-D17 rating after the six week observation period.
Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family. The average person may best recognize turmeric as a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. The active compound curcumin is known to have a wide range of medicinal benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. In India, turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for stomach and liver ailments. Turmeric can also be used topically to heal sores due to its antimicrobial properties.
According to the study:
We observed that curcumin was well tolerated by all the patients. The proportion of responders as measured by the HAM-D17 scale was higher in the combination group (77.8%) than in the fluoxetine (64.7%) and the curcumin (62.5%) groups; however, these data were not statistically significant (P = 0.58). Interestingly, the mean change in HAM-D17 score at the end of six weeks was comparable in all three groups (P = 0.77). This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.
This marks the first published study using a randomized and controlled clinical trial which indicates the efficacy of turmeric (curcumin) in treating serious depression. Results show that turmeric is just as effective as Prozac and possibly more effective than other depression drugs on the market. It is important to note the study does not account for the negative effects (side effects) that come with Prozac. Prozac is known to cause suicidal ideation and/or other psychotic disorders, however, these are not present when treating with turmeric. The use of turmeric as a treatment for depression is safer and less taxing on the body when compared to treatment with pharmaceutical drugs. These results are not surprising given the comparison of synthetic treatments vs natural.
The anti-depressant market reaches annual profits of about $12 billion. This number is expected to increase to $13.5 billion by 2018. These medications do not help cure depressions but instead mask symptoms and create a life long reliance on them. Utilizing natural treatments coupled with a holistic approach of assessing lifestyle, diet and the root cause of depression is an approach that is much more effective both in cost and curing patients. It is important to keep in mind that the pharmaceutical industry is a business before anything else. We are seeing a growing body of evidence to suggest natural treatments are much safer and effective when treating a variety of diseases, disorders and illnesses. It’s time they get more attention.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Health Benefits of Turmeric

This is a great article I wanted to share from the from the World's Healthiest Foods website found here http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78#descr  Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.  Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Turmeric was traditionally called "Indian saffron" because of its deep yellow-orange color and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.
Turmeric, ground
2.00 tsp
(4.40 grams)
Calories: 16
GI: very low



 vitamin B64.7%




This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Turmeric provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Turmeric can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Turmeric, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Health Benefits

Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, is a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.  

A Potent, Yet Safe Anti-Inflammatory

The volatile oil fraction of turmeric has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is called curcumin. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.  

An Effective Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Curcumin may provide an inexpensive, well-tolerated, and effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, recent research suggests. In this study, mice given an inflammatory agent that normally induces colitis were protected when curcumin was added to their diet five days beforehand. The mice receiving curcumin not only lost much less weight than the control animals, but when researchers checked their intestinal cell function, all the signs typical of colitis (mucosal ulceration, thickening of the intestinal wall, and the infiltration of inflammatory cells)were all much reduced. While the researchers are not yet sure exactly how curcumin achieves its protective effects, they think its benefits are the result of not only antioxidant activity, but also inhibition of a major cellular inflammatory agent called NF kappa-B. Plus, an important part of the good news reported in this study is the fact that although curcumin has been found to be safe at very large doses, this component of turmeric was effective at a concentration as low as 0.25 per cent—an amount easily supplied by simply enjoying turmeric in flavorful curries.

Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Clinical studies have substantiated that curcumin also exerts very powerful antioxidant effects. As an antioxidant, curcumin is able to neutralize free radicals, chemicals that can travel through the body and cause great amounts of damage to healthy cells and cell membranes. This is important in many diseases, such as arthritis, where free radicals are responsible for the painful joint inflammation and eventual damage to the joints. Turmeric's combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects explains why many people with joint disease find relief when they use the spice regularly. In a recent study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was compared to phenylbutazone and produced comparable improvements in shortened duration of morning stiffness, lengthened walking time, and reduced joint swelling. 

Help for Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers

Curcumin, the major constituent of turmeric that gives the spice its yellow color, can correct the most common expression of the genetic defect that is responsible for cystic fibrosis, suggests an animal study published in the Science (April 2004). Cystic fibrosis, a fatal disease that attacks the lungs with a thick mucus, causing life-threatening infections, afflicts about 30,000 American children and young adults, who rarely survive beyond 30 years of age. The mucus also damages the pancreas, thus interfering with the body's ability to digest and absorb nutrients.  Researchers now know that cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in the gene that encodes for a protein (the transmembrane conductance regulator or CFTR). The CTFR protein is responsible for traveling to the cell's surface and creating channels through which chloride ions can leave the cell. When the protein is abnormally shaped because of a faulty gene, this cannot happen, so chloride builds up in the cells, which in turn, leads to mucus production.   The most common mutation, which is called DeltaF508, results in the production of a misfolded protein. When mice with this DeltaF508 defect were given curcumin in doses that, on a weight-per-weight basis, would be well-tolerated by humans, curcumin corrected this defect, resulting in a DeltaF508 protein with normal appearance and function. In addition, the Yale scientists studying curcumin have shown that it can inhibit the release of calcium, thus allowing mutated CTFR to exit cells via the calcium channels, which also helps stop the chloride-driven build up of mucus. Specialists in the treatment of cystic fibrosis caution, however, that patients should not self-medicate with dietary supplements containing curcumin, until the correct doses are known and any adverse interactions identified with the numerous prescription drugs taken by cystic fibrosis sufferers.

Cancer Prevention

Curcumin's antioxidant actions enable it to protect the colon cells from free radicals that can damage cellular DNA—a significant benefit particularly in the colon where cell turnover is quite rapid, occuring approximately every three days. Because of their frequent replication, mutations in the DNA of colon cells can result in the formation of cancerous cells much more quickly. Curcumin also helps the body to destroy mutated cancer cells, so they cannot spread through the body and cause more harm. A primary way in which curcumin does so is by enhancing liver function. Additionally, other suggested mechanisms by which it may protect against cancer development include inhibiting the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation and preventing the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth.  

Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth and Metastases

Epidemiological studies have linked the frequent use of turmeric to lower rates of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer; laboratory experiments have shown curcumin can prevent tumors from forming; and research conducted at the University of Texas suggests that even when breast cancer is already present, curcumin can help slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice. In this study, published in Biochemical Pharmacology (September 2005), human breast cancer cells were injected into mice, and the resulting tumors removed to simulate a mastectomy. The mice were then divided into four groups. One group received no further treatment and served as a control. A second group was given the cancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol); the third got curcumin, and the fourth was given both Taxol and curcumin.  After five weeks, only half the mice in the curcumin-only group and just 22% of those in the curcumin plus Taxol group had evidence of breast cancer that had spread to the lungs. But 75% of the mice that got Taxol alone and 95% of the control group developed lung tumours. How did curcumin help? "Curcumin acts against transcription factors, which are like a master switch," said lead researcher, Bharat Aggarwal. "Transcription factors regulate all the genes needed for tumors to form. When we turn them off, we shut down some genes that are involved in the growth and invasion of cancer cells."  In another laboratory study of human non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cells published in Biochemical Pharmacology (September 2005), University of Texas researchers showed that curcumin inhibits the activation of NF-kappaB, a regulatory molecule that signals genes to produce a slew of inflammatory molecules (including TNF, COX-2 and IL-6) that promote cancer cell growth. In addition, curcumin was found to suppress cancer cell proliferation and to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (cell suicide) in the lung cancer cells. Early phase I clinical trials at the University of Texas are now also looking into curcumin's chemopreventive and therapeutic properties against multiple myeloma and pancreatic cancer, and other research groups are investigating curcumin's ability to prevent oral cancer.

Turmeric and Onions May Help Prevent Colon Cancer

Curcumin, a phytonutrient found in the curry spice turmeric, and quercitin, an antioxidant in onions, reduce both the size and number of precancerous lesions in the human intestinal tract, shows research published in the August 2006 issue of Clinical Gasteroenterology and Hepatology. Five patients with an inherited form of precancerous polyps in the lower bowel known as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) were treated with regular doses of curcumin and quercetin over an average of six months. The average number of polyps dropped 60.4%, and the average size of the polyps that did develop dropped by 50.9%.  FAP runs in families and is characterized by the development of hundreds of polyps (colorectal adenomas) and, eventually, colon cancer. Recently, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen) have been used to treat some patients with this condition, but these drugs often produce significant side effects, including gastrointestinal ulcerations and bleeding, according to lead researcher Francis M. Giardiello, M.D., at the Division of Gastroenterology, Johns Hopkins University.  Previous observational studies in populations that consume large amounts of curry, as well as animal research, have strongly suggested that curcumin, one of the main ingredients in Asian curries, might be effective in preventing and/or treating cancer in the lower intestine. Similarly, quercetin, an anti-oxidant flavonoid found in a variety of foods including onions, green tea and red wine, has been shown to inhibit growth of colon cancer cell lines in humans and abnormal colorectal cells in animals.  In this study, a decrease in polyp number was observed in four of five patients at three months and four of four patients at six months.  Each patient received curcumin (480 mg) and quercetin (20 mg) orally 3 times a day for 6 months. Although the amount of quercetin was similar to what many people consume daily, the curcumin consumed was more than would be provided in a typical diet because turmeric only contains on average 3-5 % curcumin by weight.  While simply consuming curry and onions may not have as dramatic an effect as was produced in this study, this research clearly demonstrates that liberal use of turmeric and onions can play a protective role against the development of colorectal cancer. And turmeric doesn't have to only be used in curries. This spice is delicious on healthy sautéed apples, and healthy steamed cauliflower and/or green beans and onions. Or, for a flavor-rich, low-calorie dip, try adding some turmeric and dried onion to creamy yogurt.

Turmeric Teams Up with Cauliflower to Halt Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer—the second leading cause of cancer death in American men with 500,000 new cases appearing each year—is a rare occurrence among men in India, whose low risk is attributed to a diet rich in brassica family vegetables and the curry spice, turmeric. Scientists tested turmeric, a concentrated source of the phytonutrient curcumin, along with phenethyl isothiocyanates, a phytochemical abundant in cruciferous vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi and turnips.  When tested singly, both phenethyl isothiocyanate and curcumin greatly retarded the growth of human prostate cancer cells implanted in immune-deficient mice. In mice with well-established prostate cancer tumors, neither phenethyl isothiocyanate nor curcumin by itself had a protective effect, but when combined, they significantly reduced both tumor growth and the ability of the prostate cancer cells to spread (metastasize) in the test animals.  The researchers believe the combination of cruciferous vegetables and curcumin could be an effective therapy not only to prevent prostate cancer, but to inhibit the spread of established prostate cancers. Best of all, this combination—cauliflower spiced with turmeric—is absolutely delicious! For protection against prostate cancer, cut cauliflower florets in quarters and let sit for 5-10 minutes; this allows time for the production of phenethyl isothiocyanates, which form when cruciferous vegetables are cut, but stops when they are heated. Then sprinkle with turmeric, and healthy sauté on medium heat in a few tablespoons of vegetable or chicken broth for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and top with olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste.

Reduce Risk of Childhood Leukemia

Research presented at a recent conference on childhood leukemia, held in London, provides evidence that eating foods spiced with turmeric could reduce the risk of developing childhood leukemia. The incidence of this cancer has risen dramatically during the 20th century, mainly in children under age five, among whom the risk has increased by more than 50% cent since 1950 alone. Modern environmental and lifestyle factors are thought to play a major role in this increase.  Childhood leukemia is much lower in Asia than Western countries, which may be due to differences in diet, one of which, the frequent use of turmeric, has been investigated in a series of studies over the last 20 years by Prof. Moolky Nagabhushan from the Loyola University Medical Centre, Chicago, IL. "Some of the known risk factors that contribute to the high incidence of childhood leukemia are the interaction of many lifestyle and environmental factors. These include prenatal or postnatal exposure to radiation, benzene, environmental pollutants and alkylating chemotherapeutic drugs. Our studies show that turmeric—and its colouring principle, curcumin—in the diet mitigate the effects of some of these risk factors."  Nagabhushan has shown that the curcumin in turmeric can:
  • inhibit the mutagenicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (carcinogenic chemicals created by the burning of carbon based fuels including cigarette smoke)
  • inhibit radiation-induced chromosome damage
  • prevent the formation of harmful heterocyclic amines and nitroso compounds, which may result in the body when certain processed foods, such as processed meat products that contain nitrosamines, are eaten
  • irreversibly inhibit the multiplication of leukemia cells in a cell culture

Improved Liver Function

In a recent rat study conducted to evaluate the effects of turmeric on the liver's ability to detoxify xenobiotic (toxic) chemicals, levels of two very important liver detoxification enzymes (UDP glucuronyl transferase and glutathione-S-transferase) were significantly elevated in rats fed turmeric as compared to controls. The researchers commented, "The results suggest that turmeric may increase detoxification systems in addition to its anti-oxidant properties...Turmeric used widely as a spice would probably mitigate the effects of several dietary carcinogens."  Curcumin has been shown to prevent colon cancer in rodent studies. When researchers set up a study to analyze how curcumin works, they found that it inhibits free radical damage of fats (such as those found in cell membranes and cholesterol), prevents the formation of the inflammatory chemical cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzyme, glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes. When the rats were given curcumin for 14 days, their livers' production of GST increased by 16%, and a marker of free radical damage called malondialdehyde decreased by 36% when compared with controls. During this two week period, the researchers gave the rats a cancer-causing chemical called carbon tetrachloride. In the rats not fed curcumin, markers of free radical damage to colon cells went up, but in the rats given turmeric, this increase was prevented by dietary curcumin. Lastly, the researchers compared giving turmeric in the diet versus injecting curcumin into the rats' colons. They found injecting curcumin resulted in more curcumin in the blood, but much less in the colon mucosa. They concluded, "The results show that curcumin mixed with the diet achieves drug levels in the colon and liver sufficient to explain the pharmacological activities observed and suggest that this mode of administration may be preferable for the chemoprevention of colon cancer."  

Cardiovascular Protection

Curcumin may be able to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. Since oxidized cholesterol is what damages blood vessels and builds up in the plaques that can lead to heart attack or stroke, preventing the oxidation of new cholesterol may help to reduce the progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. In addition, turmeric is a good source of vitamin B6, which is needed to keep homocysteine levels from getting too high. Homocysteine, an intermediate product of an important cellular process called methylation, is directly damaging to blood vessel walls. High levels of homocysteine are considered a significant risk factor for blood vessel damage, atherosclerotic plaque build-up, and heart disease; while a high intake of vitamin B6 is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.  
In research published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, when 10 healthy volunteers consumed 500 mg of curcumin per day for 7 days, not only did their blood levels of oxidized cholesterol drop by 33%, but their total cholesterol droped 11.63% , and their HDL (good cholesterol) increased by 29%! (Soni KB, Kuttan R).

How Turmeric Lowers Cholesterol

Tumeric's cholesterol-lowering effects are the result of the curry spice's active constituent, curcumin, which research reveals is a messaging molecule that communicates with genes in liver cells, directing them to increase the production of mRNA (messenger proteins) that direct the creation of receptors for LDL (bad) cholesterol. With more LDL-receptors, liver cells are able to clear more LDL-cholesterol from the body.  LDL-receptor mRNA increased sevenfold in liver cells treated with curcumin at a concentration of 10 microM, compared to untreated cells. (Liver cells were found to tolerate curcumin at levels of up to 12. microM for 24 hours). (Peschel D, Koerting R, et al. J Nutr Biochem)  Practical Tips: Help increase your liver's ability to clear LDL-cholesterol by relying on turmeric, not just for delicious fish, meat or lentil curries, but to spice up healthy sautéed onions, potatoes and/or cauliflower; or as the key flavoring for a creamy vegetable dip. Just mix plain yogurt with a little omega-3-rich mayonnaise and turmeric, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with raw cauliflower, celery, sweet pepper, jicama and broccoli florets. Be sure to choose turmeric rather than prepared curry blends. Recent research indicates the amount of turmeric (and therefore curcumin) in curry blends is often minimal.(Tayyem RF et al.,Nutr Cancer)
For the most curcumin, be sure to use turmeric rather curry powder—a study analyzing curcumin content in 28 spice products described as turmeric or curry powders found that pure turmeric powder had the highest concentration of curcumin, averaging 3.14% by weight. The curry powder samples, with one exception, contained very small amounts of curcumin. (Tayyem RF, Heath DD, et al. Nutr Cancer)

Protection against Alzheimer's Disease

Growing evidence suggests that turmeric may afford protection against neurodegenerative diseases. Epidemiological studies show that in elderly Indian populations, among whose diet turmeric is a common spice, levels of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's are very low. Concurrently, experimental research conducted recently found that curcumin does appear to slow the progression of Alzheimer's in mice. Preliminary studies in mice also suggest that curcumin may block the progression of multiple sclerosis. While it is still unclear how it may afford protection against this degenerative condition, one theory is that it may interrupt the production of IL-2, a protein that can play a key role in the destruction of myelin, the sheath that serves to protect most nerves in the body.
A number of studies have suggested that curcumin, the biologically active constituent in turmeric, protects against Alzheimer's disease by turning on a gene that codes for the production of antioxidant proteins.

A study published in the Italian Journal of Biochemistry (December 2003) discussed curcumin's role in the induction of the the heme oxygenase pathway, a protective system that, when triggered in brain tissue, causes the production of the potent antioxidant bilirubin, which protects the brain against oxidative (free radical) injury. Such oxidation is thought to be a major factor in aging and to be responsible for neurodegenerative disorders including dementias like Alzheimer's disease. Another study conducted jointly by an Italian and U.S. team and presented at the American Physiological Society's 2004 annual conference in Washington, DC, confirmed that curcumin strongly induces expression of the gene, called hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) in astrocytes from the hippocampal region of the brain.

Curcumin Crosses Blood-Brain Barrier, May Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Research conducted at UCLA and published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (December 2004), which has been confirmed by further research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (April 2006), provides insight into the mechanisms behind curcumin's protective effects against Alzheimer's disease.  Alzheimer's disease results when a protein fragment called amyloid-B accumulates in brain cells, producing oxidative stress and inflammation, and forming plaques between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain that disrupt brain function.  Amyloid is a general term for protein fragments that the body produces normally. Amyloid-B is a protein fragment snipped from another protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP). In a healthy brain, these protein fragments are broken down and eliminated. In Alzheimer's disease, the fragments accumulate, forming hard, insoluble plaques between brain cells.  The UCLA researchers first conducted test tube studies in which curcumin was shown to inhibit amyloid-B aggregation and to dissolve amyloid fibrils more effectively than the anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and naproxen. Then, using live mice, the researchers found that curcumin crosses the blood brain barrier and binds to small amyloid-B species. Once bound to curcumin, the amyloid-B protein fragments can no longer clump together to form plaques. Curcumin not only binds to amyloid-B, but also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, supplying additional protection to brain cells.

Turmeric Boosts Amyloid Plaque Clearance in Human Alzheimer's Patients

The most active ingredient in turmeric root, bisdemethoxycurcumin, boosts the activity of the immune system in Alzheimer's patients, helping them to clear the amyloid beta plaques characteristic of the disease.  In healthy patients, immune cells called macrophages, which engulf and destroy abnormal cells and suspected pathogens, efficiently clear amyloid beta, but macrophage activity is suppressed in Alzheimer's patients.  Using blood samples from Alzheimer's patients, Drs. Milan Fiala and John Cashman have shown that bisdemethoxycurcumin boosts macrophage activity to normal levels, helping to clear amyloid beta. Fiala and Cashman also observed that bisdemethoxycurcumin was more effective in promoting the clearance of amyloid beta in some patients' blood than others, hinting at a genetic element. Further study revealed the genes involved are MGAT III and Toll-like receptors, which are also responsible for a number of other key immune functions. Bisdemethoxycurcumin enhances the transcription of these genes, correcting the immune defects seen in Alzheimer's patients. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 31;104(31):12849-54.


Turmeric was traditionally called Indian saffron since its deep yellow-orange color is similar to that of the prized saffron. It has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.  Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. This herb has a very interesting taste and aroma. Its flavor is peppery, warm and bitter while its fragrance is mild yet slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, to which it is related.


Turmeric is native to Indonesia and southern India, where it has been harvested for more than 5,000 years. It has served an important role in many traditional cultures throughout the East, including being a revered member of the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia. While Arab traders introduced it into Europe in the 13th century, it has only recently become popular in Western cultures. Much of its recent popularity is owed to the recent research that has highlighted its therapeutic properties. The leading commercial producers of turmeric include India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Haiti and Jamaica.  

How to Select and Store

Even through dried herbs and spices are widely available in supermarkets, explore the local spice stores or ethnic markets in your area. Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansive selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness than those offered in regular markets. Just like with other dried spices, try to select organically grown turmeric since this will give you more assurance that the herb has not been irradiated. Since the color of turmeric varies among varieties, it is not a criterion of quality.  
For the most curcumin, be sure to use turmeric rather curry powder—a study analyzing curcumin content in 28 spice products described as turmeric or curry powders found that pure turmeric powder had the highest concentration of curcumin, averaging 3.14% by weight. The curry powder samples, with one exception, contained very small amounts of curcumin. (Tayyem RF, Heath DD, et al. Nutr Cancer)
Turmeric powder should kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place. Fresh turmeric rhizome should be kept in the refrigerator.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Turmeric
Be careful when using turmeric since its deep color can easily stain. To avoid a lasting stain, quickly wash any area with which it has made contact with soap and water. To prevent staining your hands, you might consider wearing kitchen gloves while handling turmeric.  If you are able to find turmeric rhizomes in the grocery store, you can make your own fresh turmeric powder by boiling, drying and then grinding it into a fine consistency.  

How to Enjoy

A Few Quick Serving Ideas
  • Add turmeric to egg salad to give it an even bolder yellow color.
  • Mix brown rice with raisins and cashews and season with turmeric, cumin and coriander.
  • Although turmeric is generally a staple ingredient in curry powder, some people like to add a little extra of this spice when preparing curries. And turmeric doesn't have to only be used in curries. This spice is delicious on healthy sautéed apples, and healthy steamed cauliflower and/or green beans and onions. Or, for a creamy, flavor-rich, low-calorie dip, try mixing some turmeric and dried onion with a little omega-3-rich mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Serve with raw cauliflower, celery, sweet pepper, jicama and broccoli florets.
  • Turmeric is a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils.
  • Give salad dressings an orange-yellow hue by adding some turmeric powder to them.
  • For an especially delicious way to add more turmeric to your healthy way of eating, cut cauliflower florets in half and healthy sauté with a generous spoonful of turmeric for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes.

Individual Concerns

Turmeric is not a commonly allergenic food and is not known to contain measurable amounts of oxalates or purines.

Nutritional Profile

Turmeric is an excellent source of both iron and manganese. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, and potassium. For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Turmeric.

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Turmeric is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications).

If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart.

Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.
Turmeric, ground
2.00 tsp
4.40 grams
Calories: 16
GI: very low
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
manganese0.34 mg17.019.6excellent
iron1.82 mg10.111.7excellent
vitamin B60.08 mg4.75.4good
fiber0.93 g3.74.3good
copper0.03 mg3.33.9good
potassium111.10 mg3.23.7good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
excellentDRI/DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%
very goodDRI/DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%
goodDRI/DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%
In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Turmeric

To see the resources and any other information that the authors have on their website please visit here

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Losing Weight with Green Tea


I imagine you all have been waiting for me to post an update about my weight loss with green tea. I have lost another two pounds and just from drinking the green tea each day. I recently began drinking more Oolong tea in the day. I am up to five cups of green or oolong tea per day. Here is what I have noticed thus far. My face has cleared up, like I used to get cystic acne and I haven't had any of this on my face and when a pimple has appeared it goes away in a short period of time. I noticed a canker sore in my mouth a few days ago and normally these would last for two weeks before healing, but the next evening it was gone. I don't know if this is from the tea, but I am optimistic that it is and it is the healing properties of the tea that have helped me.

I will continue to drink this tea and see where I can go with this for weight loss. At this point it seems very slow, but I am not dieting or depriving myself of any foods that I love either. Drinking the tea helps to relax me and feel good. I still drink it cooled off about an hour after I make it, which is about an hour after I eat my main meals.

I am planning to add this to a protein diet and see how it can help me to lose these extra pounds that I carry around with me each day. Has anyone else tried the tea and lose weight? I am anxious to know how others have been successful with this program.

I will be back in a few weeks to update you on my weight loss. So far I have lost 5-6 pounds total without diet or exercise just with drinking at least three cups of green tea a day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Asperger's Syndrome Suddenly Everything Made Sense

I'd always found the world a bit confusing. I never understood why people behave the way they do and why I never really seemed to fit in. I'd done well at school, but had found it difficult to relate to people and to make friends. I always tried to avoid social occasions but when I couldn't get out of them I'd end up sitting in a corner, lost in a world of my own.
I did well at university, though and married my fantastic (and extremely patient) wife. After graduating, I got a good job that I enjoyed. But I still couldn't help feeling that I was an observer on the outside, as if there was a big secret that everybody in the world knew but me.
Then, about two years ago, my wife watched a documentary about Asperger syndrome and instantly recognised that it was describing me. Suddenly everything made sense. I realised why I find some things difficult, when they seem to come naturally to everyone else. I realised why I don't always understand what people are saying or feeling. And I realised why I sometimes feel isolated and alone.
Since then, I've tried to learn more about things, such as understanding body language and facial expressions, which had previously eluded me. I've read book after book on social interaction and communication, which have helped me to build up my own set of rules for dealing with people. Although this doesn't yet put me on a par with 'neurotypicals' who understand these things automatically, it does make it easier for me to socialise and to develop relationships with friends and colleagues.
For instance, I'd always found it difficult to make small talk until I read that the aim of such conversations is merely to pass the time, and that it's OK to drift from topic to topic without reaching any specific conclusions. If only I'd known that it was that simple!
I've also realised that there are some things that come easily to me that other people find difficult. For example, I've found that I'm able to understand complex ideas and then explain them to others, and that I can see patterns or trends in numbers and other information that other people can't. I find it easy to learn foreign languages: I speak French, German and Russian, and am learning Dutch and Chinese. I'm also fairly bright academically and enjoy learning new things, even though I find it difficult sometimes to concentrate and to understand things that I have read.
Learning about Asperger syndrome has taught me that I have many talents but that I need to nurture these rather than try to pretend that I'm 'normal' like everybody else.
So I've made a few changes to my life. I still work in my old job, though now part-time for three days a week. This means that I can focus on solving technical financial and organisational problems for my clients, which I enjoy and am good at, rather than on managing staff.
In my two 'extra' days, I'm doing a degree in physics with the Open University, which not only challenges me intellectually but also feeds my passion for learning and knowledge. Since my optician diagnosed me with visual dyslexia, I'm now the proud wearer of a pair of blue-tinted spectacles, which means that I now find it much easier to read and to recall what I've read.
In the small amount of spare time that remains, I'm trying to learn more about my Asperger syndrome and to write about my experiences and the many other things that interest me. I do this just for fun at the moment, but hope to get some of my articles published one day. Although, given the length of time it's taken me to write this, I'm glad I have another source of income!
These may not sound like momentous changes, but to me they represent a fundamental shift in what I want to do with my life. I've realised that it's not about doing what everybody else does, but about doing what I want to do. It's about following my own path, living my own life and finding my own definition of success. I'm still not sure whether having Asperger syndrome is a good or a bad thing, but what I do know is that it's part of what makes me who I am. And I'm OK with that.
By Simon
Editor's note: since writing this article, Simon has become the author of Body language and communication: a guide for people with autism spectrum disorders, published by The National Autistic Society. www.autism.org.uk

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Teacher's Letter to Child with Autism

This is a beautiful letter that I wanted to share with you all.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014View Comments
This post is by Sheila who blogs for Sprinkle Teaching Magic and offers a free resource for all teachers with her videos on her Youtube Page Teaching Magic. You can find this original post on her blog here

Dear Child With Autism,
You brighten each and every day. You may not know this but I look forward to school because of you. I know school is hard. Every day I see the worry on your face. School goes quickly. Daily changes throw you off-course. You worry. About yourself. You worry about the weather. In a drought, will the animals suffer? You obsess.
I don’t even mind that you blurt things out. I walk in your shoes. The idea explodes to the surface and you can’t contain it any longer. I am patient and smile. We will work on this. At least you have interests. At least you participate. At least you are taking a risk.
You have talents and wisdom far beyond your years. I don’t think you realize this. That is my job. You have enthusiasm for science, word play in poetry and mythical creatures. I can’t teach creativity and passion. You got it. Others may brush you off. There he goes again. I smile. You were given a window into this world that not a lot of us have. You have the power to get so wrapped up in what interests you that the rest of the world disappears.
Throughout the day, students see how special you are to me. I model how to treat you with respect and dignity. I model how to talk to and appreciate you. Your classmates observe and follow my lead. The classroom wouldn’t be the same without you. There would be a void. Too quiet. Too blah. We need you in our patchwork. I see your classmates look out for you. I see protectiveness grow. We are a unit and a team. We have your back.
You have your days when the tears come fast. When you blink rapidly and try to stand strong. These are the days when you have missed the social cues. Social cues. Little things we take for granted that are land mines for you. I assure you. I remind you of powerful affirmations you can repeat. Take deep breaths. I listen and help you to navigate the confusion. I try to provide the best Cliff Notes I can so that in the future, an encounter with your peer may come easier.
Thank you for your honesty. Your bluntness. Thank you for coloring outside the metaphorical lines. Thank you for being in my class. My heart has grown so fond of you. You push me to be a better and more patient teacher. You push me to develop new and innovative ways to meet your needs. You make me laugh. There are times when you say things and I shouldn’t laugh. But I can’t hold it in. You make me laugh so hard that it echoes off the walls of our classroom and fills the hearts of all my students. My mission every day is to make you smile. You approach life with a furrowed brow and seriousness. I make little silly sounds and shoot funny faces just for you to see. I send you a wink. If I am lucky, for a brief moment, I see the glimmer in your eye. Maybe we have connected.
I am your teacher and I will fight for you every day. I just see you. Thank you for being you.
Your Teacher

Want to read more go here http://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2014/03/11/dear-child-autism

Thursday, March 6, 2014

5 Creative Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog Posts

5 Creative Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog Posts

social media how toDo you want more traffic to your blog?
Are you struggling to catch the attention of more readers?
Does this sound familiar? You write an amazing piece of content. You made sure to craft an attention-grabbing headline. You share the link on Twitter, Facebook, even Google+.
Then you wait in breathless anticipation for your share count to skyrocket. Except it doesn’t.
Never fear, in this article you’ll find fresh ideas to generate buzz and get your posts noticed.
two prong
Use a two-pronged approach with a variety of platforms and different types of media to get your post shared. Image source: iStockPhoto.

Promote Your Article Across a “Wider” Variety of Platforms

Everyone is using Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn to promote their content. It’s tempting to focus only on these four networks because they have popularity and community numbers on their side.
However, you get a competitive advantage when you share your content on smaller or less well-known networks. These sites often have active, focused audiences and offer less competition for attention, so your content will stand out.
Here are some examples of smaller networks:
  • Quora.com—A question/answer-based website founded by two former Facebook employees. What makes Quora unique is that all content is created, edited and organized by its user community. The user base tends to be more business- and academic-oriented.
  • Tumblr—A microblogging site that recently made headlines when Yahoo! acquired it. Its user base tends to be younger and more “hip,” making it the perfect platform to share edgier, niche-based content.
  • Empire Avenue—Part social network, part social media marketing tool, Empire Avenue uses gamification to enable users to broadcast content across all of the other social networks. The primary members of EAv are small businesses, social media professionals and bloggers.
    intel on empire ave
    Intel on Empire Avenue.

Grab Viewer Interest With Different Types of Media

Sharing a link to your post isn’t enough to guarantee that it gets read. You need to give users a compelling reason to click your link.
Use one or more of these outside-the-box, creative methods to promote your posts with images, audio and video.

#1: Use Dubbler to Give a Short Audio Introduction

Available for iPhone and Android devices, Dubbler offers a simple way to record up to 60 seconds of audio on your phone, and then share it with other Dubbler community members.
Dubbler brings the simplicity and fun of audio to the social world. Record your voice, add a filter or photo and share with your friends.
The app includes voice filters and lets you add a cover image.
Spark interest in your blog post and record an audio message that communicates your excitement and passion about the content in a way that text or static images can’t.
Add an image, enter your blog post URL in the description and you’ve got a ready-made sound bite that can be shared with the Dubbler community, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
link on post
Add a link to your blog post. Record your teaser audio and share.

#2: Create a 6-Second Preview of Your Post with Vine

Vine is an iPhone app that lets you create 6-second looping video shorts. A Vine video is a great way to give viewers a 6-second teaser about the blog post contents.
For example, this bicycle blog created a short Vine of one of their bikes and tweeted it with a link to their blog post about its features and availability.

Here is an example with the blog post URL in the video description:

Vine has an active and growing community to share with. Additionally, you can also share to Twitter and Facebook.
Since Vine is owned by Twitter, your video will display automatically when you tweet it, as well as provide a link to the blog post and specific hashtags.
There’s another benefit of using Vine. Tweets with Vine videos are four times more likely to be shared than standard video, according to research by Unruly.

#3: Create a SlideShare Overview of Your Post

SlideShare is more than a just a content-sharing platform.
With 51.6 million monthly visitors, SlideShare is a thriving community with five times as much traffic from business owners than Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
A presentation by Pam Moore, the Marketing Nut, demonstrates the cross-promotional opportunities between SlideShare and her blog. In this example, Pam created an overview of her blog post with the slides and then included a link back to her post in one of the presentation slides.
At the end of her post, she embedded the presentation, which links back to SlideShare and more of her content.
pam moore link
Pam put her links at the end of her presentation on her closing slide.
Your finished presentation will be visible and searchable from within SlideShare and you can extend its reach and share it to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

#4: Pin Your Post to a Pinterest Group Board

Pinterest allows you to pin on individual boards and collaborate by pinning to contributor boards. The benefit of pinning to a contributor board is increased exposure. When you pin to a contributor board, your fellow contributors see the pin and so do their followers. The more members and followers a group board has, the more people will see your pin.
Here are some tips for pinning your post to Pinterest:
  • Choose an interesting image from your blog post to pin
  • Make sure the title of your blog post is visible on the image you choose
  • Add keywords to the description
  • Use hashtags, if they’re relevant
  • If you mention someone in your blog post, you can @ mention them on Pinterest, too
  • Pinterest will add the URL to your blog post
    blog post on pinterest
    A great way to increase exposure for your blog post.

#5: Instagram an Image From Your Post

Instagram has a constantly updating feed of images that is viewed by over 100 million monthly users. Sharing your main blog image, overlaid with the post title, is a great way to drive organic traffic to your blog. You can leverage the sheer volume of Instagram traffic by using the same blog post image that you shared to Pinterest. Instagram is also very hashtag-friendly! Here’s an easy way to post your picture to the Instagram community and beyond:
  • Save your blog image to Dropbox
  • Access Dropbox from your mobile device
  • Upload the image to Instagram
  • Add any relevant hashtags and the URL of your blog post to the caption, using Bitly to shorten and track click-throughs
  • Be sure to @ mention anyone you referred to in your post
  • Remember to share your Instagram image to Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and Foursquare
Pro Tip: Twitter no longer displays the actual Instagram. Instead, it links to the image. You can use IFTTT to circumvent this issue. Here’s the recipe and here’s what the tweet will look like using IFTTT.

Get Creative When Promoting Your Blog Posts
There are many other creative ways to promote your blog post. Don’t be afraid to try something new!
Just because no one else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. Some tactics will resonate with your readers. Some will not. And that’s ok. The important thing is to keep innovating.
What do you think? Have you used any of these creative alternatives? Do you have another, outside-the-box idea for promoting your blog posts? Please let me know your suggestions and come read more posts that I have written here http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/author/qrkim/

About the Author, Kimberly Reynolds
Kim Reynolds has been a website developer and internet strategist since 1995. She now has her own social media agency called SocialNotz. Follow Kim on Twitter as @KimReynolds Other posts by Kimberly Reynolds »