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Kristen Harper’s interview on the Marc Struczewski’s Podcast #health #wellness #productivity

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Health & Wellness
Kristen Harper’s interview on the Marc Struczewski’s Podcast #health #wellness #productivity

Kristen Harper’s interview on the Marc Struczewski Podcast will be released on October 19th at 5am CT at https://markstruczewski.com/kristen or on any podcast player (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, etc.

 

Kristen Harper is a radio host on VoiceAmerica.com, Founder of Perfect Health Consulting Services, and a Health & Wellness Speaker.  Her radio show is called “Tips to Keep You Healthy, Happy, and Motivated, which is aired each Tuesday at 3pm Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica’s Health and Wellness Channel.

 

On this episode of the Marc Struczewski Podcast with Kristen Harper, learn about….

the incredible power of hair analysis, why you shouldn’t eat fruit or do vigorous exercise and ten seconds of silence…?

Kristen Harper’s websites:

Home

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Tips to Keep You Healthy, Happy, and Motivated radio show:  https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2687/tips-to-keep-you-healthy-happy-and-motivated

Prevent and Reverse Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease and More

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Empowerment
Prevent and Reverse Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease and More

Buddha_Meditation_Tree.jpg

In a recent episode from my radio show, Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit,  my guest Dr. Pankaj Vij and I discuss the necessity of healing the mind in order to heal the body. The mind and body are inextricably linked, dependent upon each other’s health for overall vitality. In today’s blog, in addition to my tip of the week and my silver lining story, Marian Stephens shares how she is using the information in this episode to change her life. All my previous blogs, including the first three posts with Marian’s Story, are on my website, paulajoyce.com. Be sure to check them out and follow Marian’s progress.

 Dr. Paula’s Tip of the Week

 Our country is facing an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune illness. A fast-paced lifestyle packed with exposure to news events, social media, and numerous entertainment outlets leads people to suffer from depression and anxiety which makes taking care of one’s health even more difficult. My tip this week is a simple way to alleviate anxiety.

Limit your access to the news: Too much news can create fear, sadness and depression. Minimize your exposure to things that you cannot change. Watching the news can be more upsetting than listening to it or reading it. Pay attention to your responses to the different media and get your news in the way that upsets you the least. Once you have the information, you don’t have to keep exposing yourself to the trauma of the day over and over again. Some people pride themselves on being news junkies. Even the word “junky” should be a warning that too much news is addictive and not good for you. This tip is especially important if you are in the habit of watching the news before bedtime because that will interfere with a good night’s sleep. As our guest today knows, anxiety makes sleeping more difficult, which ultimately impacts your health. Especially in current times when there is so much violence and discord, we are all experiencing increased levels of fear. It’s as if we’re all living with PTSD. We need a good night’s sleep for our bodies and minds to recover, heal and be ready to face a new day with positive energy and optimism. I think there’s a reason we have late night comedy shows. Intuitively people know it’s better to go to sleep smiling and laughing than sad and fearful. Yes, we must know what is going on in the world, but we also have to be sensible. Some things we can change and others we can’t. We have a moral obligation to work for positive change in the world, and we also have an obligation to ourselves, our loved ones and our community to not destroy our own health in the process. We all must continue to find the joy in our own lives and spread optimism and hope.

 Dr. Paula’s Silver Lining Story

Positive social interaction, friendship, and relationships with family are keys to maintaining good health and vitality. Here are three stories that describe encounters between strangers that had a positive impact on everyone involved. While kindness, compassion, and a willingness to listen might seem inconsequential, they might alter someone’s outlook on their day and life.

Cheryl was driving home alone late one night when she had a flat tire. Since she was just a few blocks from her destination, she decided to walk home and deal with fixing the flat in the morning. Given the time of night, she didn’t feel safe walking alone. She solved her problem by calling the local police station. The policewoman said she would stay on the phone until Cheryl was safely home. Although Cheryl isn’t very comfortable with superficial conversation, she also didn’t like the silence. So, she decided to try talking with the policewoman while she was walking. As Cheryl relayed the story to me, she said it was one of the most pleasant conversations she could remember having with a stranger. It turned out they were both from Detroit and had a delightful time finding things in common. Cheryl took what could have been a traumatic experience with a flat tire in the middle of the night and awkward silence with a stranger on the other end of the phone into a pleasant social interaction that brightened both of their lives–so much so that days later my friend was still sharing the story and recreating that happy feeling.

My car has been broken into twice over the last three years by people obviously looking for something worth stealing. The first time they broke my window, which caused me time and money to fix. They found $2 in change that I keep in a little drawer in my car. This time they didn’t break the window. Obviously, there are now devices that can override the locks and alarm systems that are supposed to protect my car from break-ins. I didn’t even know they had been there until I got in the car and saw the contents of my glove compartment thrown all over my front seat. This time they missed the $2 in change and didn’t seem to want the small umbrella, coupons or bottle of water that were stored in there. I was relieved that I didn’t have to replace the car window, which cost me over $200 previously. It is, however, a violation of my personal space and creates a feeling of not being safe. After I put everything back, I continued to the grocery store. I felt calm and thought I was ok until I was checking out and I heard myself telling the cashier that my car had just been broken into. She simply said: “I’m sorry that happened to you.” I felt an instant shift in my body. Whatever stress was there, just disappeared. Her compassion connected us as people, not as employee and customer. The conversation expanded, and we were talking about moving to Texas and what brought us here. A crime became an opportunity for empathy and kindness, just like my friend’s flat tire created the same opportunity for human connection, proving again that it isn’t what happens to you, it’s what you do with your experience that makes all the difference.

My third story is about a woman who called because she wanted to attend my upcoming workshop. In the phone message, she said she somehow found my website. She proceeded to share that she had been abused since childhood when her mother put cocaine in her milk bottle, and she wanted people to know that they are never alone because God is always with them. She ended by asking me to call her back. When I did return her call, she was surprised, saying “I didn’t think you’d call.” We spoke for a few minutes and I gave her the information she needed to attend the workshop. After we said good-bye, but before she hung up, I heard her telling the people she lives with: “Dr. Paula Joyce called me back.” There was such excitement and joy in her voice. It demonstrated so clearly how we never know the full impact of our actions, even a seemingly small one. With all the abuse she has experienced, including homelessness, she has the passion of wanting to heal and of wanting others to know that God is always with them. Once again, your life isn’t about what happens to you. What matters is how you think about what happens and how you use it to create your life in a positive way.

Marian Stephen’s Story

Each week that I listen to the show, I am amazed and left feeling optimistic because I am gaining much insight into ways to make lasting change. It is exciting to be listening and using Dr. Paula’s teachings to improve my whole body – mind, body, and spirit – and sharing my progress because I believe she is tapped into what people need and desire. Every show is relevant to my journey, and I know if it speaks to me, it will to so many others. Dr. Paula suggested that I keep a success journal and I want to share an entry: Today I made a true connection with my in-laws. We had meaningful conversation, enjoyed each other’s company, and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Beau (2-year-old) was well-behaved and they got to experience an enjoyable outing with him.

Dr. Paula asks listeners: How can you create more positive human connections with people? I am an introvert, so this is a hard one for me! I am shy, so it makes socializing a nerve wracking experience. I am very close to my parents, sister, and husband. I am also becoming close to my husband’s parents, and that is exciting. However, I know that these connections are not enough. I know from experience friendship is fulfilling in so many ways, but I am not always the greatest friend. I have a very good friend that I have hurt recently by breaking plans and not being available, and I need to fix this. This friend sees the very best in me and holds me to a high standard, and I want to embrace this instead of running from it. I am going to be mindful of keeping plans we make and work on reestablishing the connection I have with her.

As I have said, I have progressive multiple sclerosis. I have been on over ten medications to treat this disease and they either do not work or I am allergic. It is disheartening to keep trying new things only to hit a wall. I was to begin a new medication this week (a monthly injection), and I was apprehensive about the side effect profile. Multiple Sclerosis medications are often immunosuppressants with a hefty list of potential side effects. I kept pushing that nagging feeling out of my mind because I am stubborn, and sometimes desperately want something to work. The nurse was at my house to give me the injection when my doctor called and said the medication was pulled from the market due to safety concerns. Several patients on this med died or are critically ill. I had just listened to Dr. Vij and Dr. Paula express the importance of healing the mind and spirit before the body can be healed, and now the medication is yanked off the market. The timing of this is not coincidental. I must work on healing the pain that I have experienced in the past few years, even though that is scary, and I am not sure how to accomplish it. I also ignored my inner voice that kept telling me to pay attention to my apprehension about the medication, and my intuition was right.

Dr. Vij has great advice for diet and lifestyle changes. He is very straightforward, it doesn’t feel overwhelming to think of making small changes. Like many people, I tend to be all or nothing when it comes to diet. It is good to be reminded that a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet is optimal. I can easily make that a focus in my household. I love the six things he says to focus on: feet, forks, fingers, sleep, stress, and love. Pay attention to exercise, what we eat, eliminating toxins, getting good sleep, managing stress, and the positive social connections. While it will take work to incorporate these changes, it is not an insurmountable challenge. As Dr. Vij said, “How do you eat an elephant? You eat it one bite at a time.”

For more shows on improving your health, please listen to the following:

·       Increasing Bone Density with Deb McFarland

·       No prescription drugs and only 1 pill a day! with Dr. Lewis Cone

·       Integrative Medicine: New Approaches To Healing with Dr. Paula Fayerman

 FREE CHAPTER, THE ULTIMATE CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESS, FROM MY BEST-SELLING BOOK, NOTHING BUT NET

 To learn more about my unique process that removes hidden blockages, helps you solve your most challenging problems, and achieve success with ease and speed, sign up for my newsletter and receive the chapter as my gift: http://paulajoyce.com/wpsite/newsletter-sign-up/

RX for Health

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Empowerment
RX for Health

“Hope and faith flower from the cheerful seeds of the old year to the sprouting garden of the New Year’s dawn.”
~Terri Guillemets

For the past few weeks it seems that everyone I encounter has been sick with a cold or flu or has been nursing a loved one who is suffering from such malaise. The drastic change in weather conditions plus the excitement and multiple engagements of the holiday season have exacerbated this season of illnesses. To help aid in the symptoms that are bothering you, the closest pharmacy may be your garden.

Food has always been the best medicine. What we eat and how we eat it determines our vitality and our health. Culinary herbs and spices such as basil, mustard, oregano, and thyme enjoy both flavor enhancing and digestive benefits. Using echinacea or goldenseal, both bitter herbs, can be helpful in clearing congestion and boosting your immune system. Chamomile or passionflower tea helps you relax and unwind, quieting your body and your mind.

A natural remedy to soothe a sore throat and still a cough that I have been using for decades in my work as an actor is a hot tea brewed with a combination of grated ginger, torn mint leaves, the juice, rind, and leaves of a Meyer lemon mixed with honey. (If you are fortunate to be a beekeeper as our Lamorinda Weekly publishers are, the most valuable honey in the world is derived from the bees in your garden!) This herbal tea tastes delicious and really helps with clearing my sinuses. For an extra boost of vitamin C, add the juice and rind of a naval orange to the concoction. Pair almost any herb with ginger and lemon for an extra healing enhancer. If you have an upset stomach, motion sickness, or feel nauseous, chewing on a slice of ginger root relieves the symptoms rapidly.

Herbal medicine, herbalism, or phytotherapy has been utilized for centuries around the globe in many cultures for the prevention and treatment of illness. Contained in many plants are powerful chemicals that can assist with natural healing. However, before ingesting or using any plant as a medication, make sure you are certain of its identity and be aware that allergic reactions can occur. If in doubt, leave it out. Always consult your physician for any ailments that worsen. Pregnant and breast feeding women need to err on the side of caution by always discussing any new remedies or herbal concoctions with their doctor before using,

Here are a few of the botanical medicinal plants that many people already grow in their gardens that I have safely used as a natural prescription for illness.

Basil: Besides being extraordinarily flavorful in just about everything, adding basil leaves or flowers to your salads, sauces, and stews aids digestion, alleviates anxiety, and reduces gas.
As an annual herb, basil grows vigorously in the warm weather and is slowly dying back at this time of the year. Harvest the leaves now to freeze or dry.

Bee Balm is a bergamot with edible flowers. The leaves are spicy and the shoots can be made into a pesto just like mint or basil. Dry the bergamot leaves and flowers to use in a steam bath to loosen phlegm and coughing. Make an herbal compress of the plant to treat bacterial or fungal infections. Bee balm spreads vigorously by runners just like mint. It is a pollinator attractor and can be harvested all year long.

Calendula has been used for centuries to heal burns, wounds, and rashes. It can be used topically or ingested. The edible flowers are filled with antioxidants and I love adding them to salads and frittatas. Dried flowers can be added to stews and soups to enhance your immune system. Calendula spreads by seeds and in my garden, it flourishes year around because as a plant dies I scatter the seeds elsewhere and within a short time new plants emerge that flower quickly.

Lemongrass is not a very pretty plant but it is popular in Asian dishes and is used throughout the world as a tea to soothe many health issues including headaches, indigestion, anxiety, coughs, colds, flu, and insomnia. For motion sickness or flu, make a tea of lemon juice, catnip or mint, ginger, and basil. Like many herbal teas, lemongrass is best combined with ginger for swifter results.

Passionflower is used in teas to alleviate pain such as headaches, earaches, or cramps. It also promotes better sleep. In winter this vibrant vine dies back but will return in the spring, preferring a full sunshine location. It is a short-lived perennial, producing flowers for a few years before dying. The Cherokee Native Americans were known to use passionflowers to decrease inflammation from thorn wounds, although I haven’t used passionflower for this purpose…yet.

Mint is a beautiful and functional botanical herb. Mint leaves will root in a glass of water so when you find a mint that delights you, take a snip and start growing your mint garden. All mints are invasive and will take over your landscape. It’s best to keep mint in a container. Spearmint, peppermint, pineapple mint, and catnip all make excellent teas that will help ease the effects of the common cold, comfort a queasy stomach, and promote sounder sleep. As a culinary herb, it is stimulating chopped into a salad, soup, or made into a jelly.

May you benefit with wellness by visiting your garden pharmacy, Wishing you a very healthy and happy 2018.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing,

Cynthia Brian

Not To Be Missed:
⎫ Tune in to my live radio broadcast on Wednesday, January 24 from 4-5pm PT when I’ll be interviewing renowned rosarian, Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses in England. He’ll give us the tips we need to prune as well as how to plant bare root heirlooms. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

Read more, see photos: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1123/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-pharmacy.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3.
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.
Her new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store.
Available for hire.
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com

Ayurveda Perspectives on Sports and Menstruation

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Health & Wellness
Ayurveda Perspectives on Sports and Menstruation

If you’re currently working out in the United States, odds are that if you’re a woman you’re powering through your exercise and training routines. When’s that last time you thought about how your periods and exercise regimen might be impacting your performance or health? I hope this thought provoking article inspires some curiosity and awareness.

Guest post on sports and menstruation written by Sinu Joseph

**********

It is hard enough to talk about menstruation as it is. Add sports to this, and we have more questions than answers. Have you ever wondered why an ace sportswoman suddenly loses to a newcomer on a big match?
Or how sportswomen manage during their period, when so many regular women suffer from menstrual cramps and pain? And how should sports authorities ensure a fair match, if menstruating women indeed have a disadvantage over their non-menstruating opponents?
Too many questions. Too few answers.
No wonder then, we all act as if sportswomen never bleed.

What the Latest Research Indicate
A blog in the The New York Times titled How Periods Might Affect Athletic Performance by Gretchen Reynolds (dated Aug 17, 2016) quotes Dr Lynn Rogers, the director of the Neuralplasticity Laboratory at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, stating two contradictory findings:
First, she says that some women may have a higher risk of tissue injuries at certain points of the menstrual cycle; and that researchers found that women tend to be more likely to experience injury in the first half of the menstrual cycle, especially as they approach ovulation.
The same article quotes Dr Rogers again to say “The available research, such as there is suggests that progesterone can alter the body’s fuel metabolism and its ability to handle heat”, meaning that women will probably feel hotter and more fatigued during prolonged exercise in the second half of the menstrual cycle, when progesterone levels rise, than before menses, when progesterone is low”.
The concluding lines of the blog, quote Dr Rogers again saying “The available research at the moment related to athletes and menstruation is woefully inadequate”.
This pretty much sums up the extent to which the confusion and information exists in modern science.

Knowledge of Menstruation in Modern Science
The deepest level at which the Modern Science explains menstruation is through an understanding of hormones. Here is a simplified explanation of how the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone influence the menstrual cycle (assuming that most readers may not be medically trained).
The Menstrual Cycle is counted from the first day of a woman’s period to the first day of her very next period; typically it is around 28 days.

Day 1 – 4: On Day 1 of the menstrual cycle, i.e. when a period starts, estrogen and progesterone levels are low. The low estrogen levels result in women feeling a little down/depressed and low on energy during her period.
Days 5 – 14: Once the period ends, estrogen levels begin to rise. Estrogen is responsible for thickening the lining of uterus for pregnancy; it influences how the body uses calcium and maintains thickening the lining of uterus for pregnancy; it influences how the body uses calcium and maintains healthy cholesterol levels in the body. This rise in estrogen results in women feeling a lot more energetic and strong, physically as well as emotionally just after menses. The rise of estrogen continues until Ovulation, which happens around the 14th day of the menstrual cycle. At Ovulation, there is also a rise in Testosterone. Testosterone in females increases the sex drive, metabolic and muscular function.
Days 15 – 28: After ovulation, progesterone levels begin to rise. Progesterone causes thickening of the endometrium in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs, progesterone levels remain high. The high levels of progesterone just before menses are considered responsible for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), such as breast tenderness, bloating, mood swings, etc. If pregnancy does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and, around Day 28, the menses begin. The drop in progesterone causes the endometrium to shed its thickened lining, which becomes the period we experience.

Modern Medicine has not yet been able to pinpoint what causes the hormones to be released at certain points, what causes hormonal imbalance and how sports or excessive exercising might impact the normal course of hormones.
The causes for menstrual disorders such as Dysmennorhea (period pain), Mennorhagia (heavy bleeding), Amenorrhea (missed periods) and PCOD are still being researched. So, that leaves us with hardly an option, but to turn to other forms of science, which can offer explanations and a deeper understanding. Perhaps, it can even aid research.

Ayurveda as a Language to Understand the Body

While Ayurvedic doctors themselves maintain that Modern Medicine has made great advances, when it comes to handling emergency situations, where it greatly lags is in explaining causes and effects. Just as menstruation has been reduced to use of sanitary products, in recent times Ayurveda too has been reduced to herbal medicines and belief systems. Whether one chooses Ayurveda as a line of treatment or not is a personal choice, and outside the purpose of this write-up.

This write-up looks to draw from Ayurveda’s holistic knowledge of the human body to explain how sports and excessive physical exercise can impact the menstrual cycle and a woman’s health.

In other words, we look at how Ayurveda can be used as a language to explain, express and understand how menstruation affects sportswomen, and why performance in sports might be altered if a sportswoman is menstruating.

This is especially needed, when Modern Medicine is falling short of explaining seemingly contradictory things, as earlier quoted by Dr Rogers.

To arrive at the content of this write-up, women from diverse sports backgrounds, such as athletics, long jump, power lifting, gymnastics, sports bike racing, kabbadi and traditional martial arts, such as Capoeira, Kalaripayattu and Silambam, have been interviewed. To understand the Ayurvedic perspective, Dr Ramya Bhat, an Ayurvedic Physician based in Bengaluru, has been consulted.

Do Menstrual Experiences Vary?

An article in The Telegraph quotes former British number one tennis player Annabel Croft saying:

“Every woman is different, but any woman, who has bad or heavy periods will know you feel overwhelmingly tired…. I’d get really achey legs and quite headachey. Your mood changes as well. You get more emotional and tearful. I would have had all of those symptoms, when I was playing.”

Another article in BBC mentions the opposite example of Paula Radcliffe, who set the marathon world record in 2002, while she was menstruating!

Back home in India too, we find that experiences of menstruation among sportswomen greatly vary. This is what former top athletes Ashwini Nachappa and Reeth Abraham had to say in an email interview:
Ashwini Nachappa, an Arjuna Awardee, who represented India in three South Asian Federation Games and two World Championships, said in an email interview to me:
“I was lucky, when compared to some of my fellow athletes, who suffered from dizziness, nausea, low energy levels and spells of feeling light-headed and the physical pain they went through.”
Whereas, Reeth Abraham, a former athlete and South Asian Games Champion in Long Jump, had quite an opposite experience during her period. When I interviewed her via email, she wrote:

“Couple of times during the Asian championships, I was expecting to win a Gold, but due to my periods, I could not Jump as well as I had expected and could only win Bronze ….. My body gets heavy, exhausted sooner than normal days. During training, it wasn’t much of an issue, but during competition, it is totally demotivating.”

Often coaches and sportswomen themselves tend to think that it is just a matter of mind over body. Sure, mind does play an important role. But to say that it is all about the mind and nothing else, makes it difficult for those whose physical problems during menstruation are very real. The silence on this subject is proof enough that they would rather suffer than be looked at as making excuses for underperformance. So, how do we explain why different women, sometimes involved in the same activity, experience menstruation and its impact on their performance, differently?

Body Type and Menstrual Experience

According to Ayurveda, each individual has a specific body constitution or Prakriti, based on which our health, personality and menstrual experiences vary. This is called the Tri-Dosha system, wherein the three doshas of Vata, Pitta and Kapha in different combinations occur in individuals. Being disease free means having an equilibrium of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Disease and imbalance can cause doshas to increase or decrease temporarily. Therefore, treatment in Ayurveda is centred around bringing the doshas back in balance, rather than suppressing symptoms.
A brief explanation of each dosha and its function is presented below.
(Note: The explanations are largely restricted to the purpose of this study and further information can be found by referring to the books mentioned in the reference section at the end of the article.)
Vata – Vata Dosha comprises the elements of air and ether. It is the primary mover of all things within the body. It is responsible for blood circulation, movement of wastes out of the body, movement of menstrual blood and even the downward movement of a child during birthing. It is considered as the life breath of living beings.
With respect to sportswomen, Vata performs several important functions – it manages the movement of hormones; it maintains the equilibrium of tissues and strength of joints; and, it is responsible for coordination of the senses. While Vata plays an important role throughout the menstrual cycle, it naturally increases during the process of the menstrual/blood flow.
Those with an aggravated Vata dosha will be restless, moody, have dry skin, cannot tolerate cold, are more prone to have gastric problems and constipation.
Pitta – Pitta Dosha comprises the elements of fire and air. It is responsible for digestion, all the transformative processes and metabolism within the body. During the menstrual cycle, Pitta increases during ovulation and the week after that when women experience more heat (or Pittam). It is the Pitta, which causes skin eruptions just before the period.
Those with an aggravated Pitta dosha will be more prone to skin diseases, have excessive body heat, short-temper, aggressive personality, intolerance to hot environments and improper digestion causing frequent loose bowel movements.
Kapha – Kapha Dosha comprises the elements of earth and water. It is responsible for maintaining structure and stability. Kapha dosha increases in the first week of the menstrual cycle, soon after menstruation, when women feel the most energetic and healthy.
Those with an aggravated Kapha dosha, will feel lethargic, heavy, dull, depressed, need for excessive sleep, are more prone to problems of the upper respiratory tract (cold, congestion, cough, etc.), have difficulty breathing and obesity.

Of the three doshas, Vata is the most important as any disturbance in Vata can affect the other two doshas as well. It is said that all gynaecological disorders have their root in Vata imbalance, and that needs to be treated first before fixing the other doshas.

Causes of Menstrual Difficulties Among Sportswomen
As per Ayurveda, Vata dosha is responsible for sending signals to initiate movement of hormones that cause ovulation and menstruation. However, if Vata is aggravated and not functioning normally, this sending and receiving of signals to trigger hormones could be affected, resulting in various menstrual disorders.

Let’s take a look at the different menstrual disorders and how it might be caused among sportswomen.

Dysmenorrhea (Menstrual Cramps/Pain/Discomfort)
Vata Dosha has five sub-types which govern movements in different parts of the body. The sub-type, which is responsible for downward movement of urination, excretion, menstrual blood and child birth is called Apana Vata. It is located in the lower part of the body near the genitals. During menstruation, Apana Vata moves downwards to facilitate the flowing out of menstrual blood.

Dysmenorrhea can result from any of the below causes:

Improper diet just before or during menses – Among most women suffering from menstrual pain and cramps, Dysmenorrhea occurs due to consumption of unwholesome food just before or during menses and incomplete digestion, which causes gastric problems. When Apana is acting downward during menstruation, it pushes out the toxins and excessive gas accumulated in the body. If the toxins are more due to unhealthy food habits, we experience greater pain and cramps.

In this sense, are more due to unhealthy food habits, we experience greater pain and cramps. In this sense, menstruation is viewed as a detoxification process in Ayurveda since it forcibly ejects accumulated toxins.

Excessive Physical Exercise

Among sportswomen, the Vata aggravation happens mainly due to excessive physical exercise just before or during menstruation. Since Vata is associated with movement, excessive movement disturbs the natural balance of Vata. Menstruation is a process where Vata naturally increases; therefore, putting the body through excessive physical exercise during menstruation aggravates the Vata, causing menstrual discomfort.

Stopping of upward movement of Apana

During menstruation, if women undertake activities which change the direction of Apana or temporarily stop its downward flow, then they are quite likely to experience menstrual cramps due to the Apana being pulled in opposite directions. For example, swimming or being under water for long will temporarily stop menstrual flow (we can observe this temporary stopping of menses even when we take a long shower); inverted postures during Yoga or Gymnastics could reverse Apana; activities such as long jump which temporarily lifts the body against gravity, might also cause Apana to act against gravity, causing menstrual pain.

Amenorrhea (missed period for 6 months or more)

During week 1 & 2 of the menstrual cycle, the hormone estrogen increases, i.e. the week after a period and leading to ovulation. During this time, an aggravated Vata can affect the menstrual cycle in the following ways:

If Vata is already disrupted at the beginning of the first week, then estrogen levels do not rise as expected, resulting in anovulation (no ovulation).

If Vata is disturbed during the second week, it prevents signals from being sent to reduce estrogen. Therefore, estrogen levels keep rising and there will be no menstruation. This stopping of periods is called Amenorrhea.

It is mainly a deficiency disease due to Vata. Lack of body fat and too much exercise can bring it about, which is why athletic women often fail to get their period.

Menorrhagia (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding) and Anemia

In 2015, universities in UK undertook a research “The Prevalence and Impact of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia) among Elite and Non-Elite Athletes”. They studied 789 participants via an online survey and 1073 via face-to-face interviews at the 2015 London Marathon. The results revealed that 54% of those surveyed online reported Heavy Menstrual Bleeding and 37% of Elite athletes also reported Heavy Menstrual Bleeding. Overall, 32% of exercising females reported a history of Anemia. Only a minority (22%) had sought medical advice.

According to Ayurveda, Mennorhagia and Anemia are conditions that occur due to vitiated Pitta dosha. Pitta can get vitiated due to over-eating of hot, spicy, sour or salty food, resulting in improper digestion. Any vitiation in Vata can also cause Pitta to increase. Thus, excessive exercising, especially on the days just before and during menstruation, could result in Heavy Menstrual Bleeding. It is more common among women with a dominant Pitta dosha.

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding could also result in Anemia, i.e. a haemoglobin count of less than 12mg/dL.

Anemia can cause weakness, exhaustion and lack of concentration.5 of 9

Anemia can cause weakness, exhaustion and lack of concentration.

Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD)

In an article titled “Role of Testosterone for the Female Athlete,” coach and author Amber Larsen looks at research done to study the effect of exercise on female testosterone. She writes:
“A main effect occurred for exercise with the post-testosterone concentration being greater than pre-exercise, although pre-exercise versus thirty minutes after was not different. All testosterone hormonal concentrations immediately post-exercise greatly exceeded the baseline levels………. So basically, when you work out, your body is either making more testosterone or destroying less of it. Either way, you end up with a higher total level right after you exercise.”

According to Dr. Ramya Bhat, an increase in Testosterone could happen, when women are involved in male-dominated sports, such as wrestling or weight lifting. In such cases, the increased Testosterone could result in Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD), which is characterized by excessive facial hair and infertility.

Injuries while menstruating
A BBC article by Aimee Lewis (dated 22-Jan-2015) titled “Curse or Myth – do periods affect performance?” quotes several sportswomen sharing their experience of how menstruation has affected their performance. The article writes:

In 2009, Anne Keothavong became the first British woman in 16 years to be ranked inside the world’s top 50 but hers was a career troubled by knee injuries sustained when she was menstruating.
“It does affect you, there’s no doubt about it. I had ACL injuries on both knees and both times when I fell over it was that time of the month,” says the 31-year-old.

Traditionally, in most cultures, menstruating women were told not to engage in excessive physical exercise. Somehow being modern has meant that we dismiss everything that was ancient without investigating the reasons enough. So, it has been the trend that in the race to be equal to men, women have been trained to act like their bodies are no different from that of men. And naturally, there have been consequences.

All women are more easily susceptible to injuries, if they engage in excessive physical exercise just prior to or during menstruation. This is because exercise aggravates the already high Vata in a menstruating woman. In healthy women, Vata maintains the equilibrium of tissues and strength of joints. So, when it is aggravated like in the case of menstruation, the chances of injuries become higher. Dr Ramya Bhat says that girls, who are introduced early into sports, such as at the age of 6 or 7 and are not guided on measures to prevent Vata aggravation, become highly susceptible to weak joints and injuries by the time they are 18 or 20 years old.

Disorientation during menstruation

Vata also controls our sensory perceptions and coordination of our sense organs. During menstruation, even simple activities like driving a car would seem a little daunting as our ability to assess distances become clouded, thanks to the increased Vata. So, expecting a sportswoman to perform during menses is like expecting us to do the same, when we experience a jet lag.

When I interviewed Aishwarya Mannivannan, a National & International Silambam* Champion, and asked if she faced any difficulty in hand-eye coordination during menstruation, this is what she had to say in 6 of 9 if she faced any difficulty in hand-eye coordination during menstruation, this is what she had to say in response:

“I have not faced any specific issues so far. During menstruation, I feel that the fatigue and body pain sometimes leads to lack of concentration. In Silambam, even a momentary lapse in focus can lead to injury and one hitting themselves. So, during my period, I have faced situations occasionally, where I have lost concentration due to tiredness and failed to keep up my regular rhythm in movement.”
(*Note: Silambam is a weapon-based traditional martial art from Tamil Nadu.)

Like Aishwarya, other sportswomen, who were interviewed too did not make much of poor concentration or lack of coordination during menstruation, although they might have experienced it. Their sheer mental effort and determination to overcome this temporary disorientation is indeed laudable.

Most women do not distinguish between overall fatigue during menstruation, and specific problems like sensory disorientation. Further, in the absence of any evidence, which supports it in modern science, it is not surprising that disorientation during menstruation is largely unnoticed. But, think of how much it could impact a sport, where hand-eye coordination or assessing distances can make all the difference in winning and losing.

Long term impact

Frequent use of period-postponing pills and excessive exercise during menstruation can have long term health impacts, even if it doesn’t show in obvious ways immediately.

A continuous aggravation of Vata can result in early Osteoporosis, as the bone density lowers with continuous Vata aggravation.

A woman whose Vata has been aggravated and has become pregnant, might face difficulties during childbirth and labour. Since Apana Vata’s downward movement is the force that pushes the child out, any disturbance in it or change in its direction can make labor very difficult.

Summarizing Body Types and Menstrual Impact

The seemingly contradictory observations made by Dr Rogers and team can actually be explained through Ayurveda and its understanding of different body types, as summarized below:

Vata type sportswomen – Women whose body type is dominated by Vata, tend to have more menstrual problems and injuries, especially if they engage in physical activity during or just prior to their period. Vata women are thus more likely to have Amenorrhea, Dysmenorrhoea and injuries. By sheer will of their mind, they might even overcome the cramps, pain and disorientation. But, the long term effect of the continuous aggravated Vata could be difficulty during childbirth and early osteoporosis.

Pitta type sportswomen – Any aggravation in Vata can also result in a disturbance in Pitta. Pitta type women tend to feel too much body heat just before their period and excessive physical exercise can worsen it. Usually, heavy menstrual bleeding is characteristic of a Pitta type. So is Anemia. When it comes to sports, Pitta women are highly competitive, focused and determined.

Kapha type sportswomen – Kapha type women actually benefit from sports as it increases the Vata and balances out the heavy feeling of Kapha. Such women might even feel that they perform better when they have their period! Kapha types have greater endurance and can experiment pushing their limits. Kapha types make great marathoners, sprinters and wrestlers. I found that most of the sportswomen I interviewed have a dominant Kapha dosha. Perhaps it is the reason why they stick to it and do well in sports.

Most women, are a combination of two Doshas with one dominant Dosha. So a combination of Kapha-Pitta might be very well suited for sports and intensive physical exercises, as it combines Kapha’s endurance and strength with Pitta’s focus and competitiveness.

Your individual body constitution should ideally be determined via a Nadi Pariksha (pulse reading) done on an empty stomach by an Ayurvedic Physician.

However, just to get an idea you can try taking this online self-test to know your dominant Dosha Type – http://www.mapi.com/doshas/dosha-test/index.html#gsc.tab=0

As Paula Radcliffe said, “Sport has not learned how to deal with elite athletes’ periods” When women go out there and play for their nation, they do put their health at risk. The solution does not obviously lie in asking a woman not to participate in sports, but rather in acknowledging that menstruation does have an impact, and taking measures to prevent health risks for sportswomen based on their dosha imbalances. Perhaps, Ayurveda’s knowledge of menstruation can play an important role in helping sportswomen perform better.

In the next part of this series, we will cover the measures that can be taken to prevent injuries and menstrual disorders due to aggravated doshas.

Want to learn more…
To learn more about Sinu Joseph, co-founder of Mythri Speaks click here.

View Sinu Joseph’s TEDx controversial talk here.

Listen to Sinu Joseph on The Womb Happy to hear about her TEDx talk here.

References:
1. Charaka Samhita Vol 1 & 2. Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 30th Chapter – Yoni Vyapat
2. Sushrutha Samhita Vol 1 & 2
3. Frawley David, Ayurvedic Healing, a comprehensive guide
4. Bruinvels G, Burden R, Brown N, Richards T, Pedlar C (2016) The Prevalence and Impact of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia) in Elite and Non-Elite Athletes.
5. BBC, Paula Radcliffe: Sports has not learned about periods http://www.bbc.com/sport/athletics/30927245
6. Telegraph. Radhika Sanghani, Periods in sport: Half of athletes don’t perform as well when menstruating.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11794088/Periods-in-sport-Half-of-athletes-dont-perform
7. New York Times Blog, Gretchen Reynolds. How periods might affect women’s athletic performance.

8. California College of Ayurveda. Asthi Dhatu: A Closer Look at the Bones from the Ayurvedic
Perspective – http://www.ayurvedacollege.com/articles/drhalpern/Ashti%20Dhatu
9. Amber Larsen. Role of Testosterone for the female athlete – https://breakingmuscle.com/womens-fitness/the-role-of-testosterone-for-the-female-athlete 10. Simon Peach. Independent. World Championships 2013: Jessica Judd admits 800m performance was ‘a disaster’ after exit in Moscow –
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/athletics/world-championships-2013-jessica-judd-admits-80
10. Scroll.in. Aarefa Johari. As UK tennis player breaks silence on menstruation, Indian sportswomen speak out on taboo subject – http://scroll.in/article/703877/as-uk-tennis-player-breaks-silence-on-menstruation-indian-sportswomen-s
11.

The Gift of Health

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The Gift of Health

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Teens talk and the world listens every Tuesday NOON PT on the Voice America Kids Network. Produced by StarStyle® Productions, LLC and Cynthia Brian, these young adults know how to rock and express their unique views. Join the fun!

  • • If health is wealth, why aren’t we taking care of ourselves? Hosts Brigitte Jia and Joven Hundal spend an hour discussing the elements of wellness, not only for our bodies, but for our minds, self-esteem, and spirits.  Millennials have been given trophies and awards for participating in everything. Joven questions the benefits of such a practice as it does not encourage intrinsic motivation. Brigitte tackles defining physical and mental health. How do we maintain an active lifestyle, stay fit, get enough sleep, do homework, have a social life, and eat properly while managing stress, disappointments, anxiety, frustration, and exhaustion? They read and discuss the chapter, The Gift of Health, from Cynthia Brian’s award winning book, Be the Star You Are! 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference. The take away is that we have one life to live, in one body. Health is a life-long commitment. Being healthy has a profound effect on your happiness and quality of life. It’s worth the effort.
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Listen at Voice America Kids Network: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/102048/the-gift-of-health

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Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES: ! https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

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Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

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Listen to all broadcasts at ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/express-yourself!/id481894121?mt=2

Express Yourself! Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are! charity. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences, visit http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Dare to care!

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Raising Readers, Financial Literacy, Smile Power By Cynthia Brian

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Raising Readers, Financial Literacy, Smile Power By Cynthia Brian

If you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you’ve come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life enhancing results.

It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country. The benefits of being a reader enhance every moment of our life.  From the moment a child is born, reading is an essential activity.

Get ideas on how to grow readers for a lifetime of success. As we say at Be the Star You Are!®, “To be a leader, you must be a reader. Read, lead, succeed!” How do you teach your children the importance of financial independence?  Are they financially literate? Tips on how to talk early, often, and help them invest regularly.

The power of a smile has been documented by activists, singers, and authors since time immemorial. When we feel great, a smile comes naturally.

Find out why smiling is good for your health Tune in at Voice America Empowerment

#StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 .

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Buy books by Cynthia Brian at http://www.starstyleradio.com/store For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® Lend us Your Ears!!! Embed StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.  Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!® http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2206 Be the Star You Are!® charity.

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Yelp Elite Squad & Doctor Talk By Cynthia Brian

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Yelp Elite Squad & Doctor Talk By Cynthia Brian


If you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you’ve come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country.

When you visit your family physician, do you know the right questions to ask? Most doctor visits last less than fifteen minutes and most patients leave without understanding their diagnosis. Cynthia Brian sheds light on how to listen, understand, and communicate what you need to know.

YELP was founded in 2004 with the purpose of connecting people with great local businesses. By the end of 2016, 65 million unique visitors used the YELP mobile app, 24 million visited monthly via YELP, and more than 121 million reviews were written of almost every type of local business, from restaurants, boutiques and salons to dentists, mechanics, plumbers and more. Stephanie Yolish is YELP’s East Bay Senior Community Director who will discuss YELP, the YELP Elite Squad, and the importance of honest reviews.

May is the perfect time to be planting. Gardening burns calories, strengthens muscles, and provides stress relief. To avoid injuries as well as aches and pains, Goddess Gardener Cynthia Brian shares posture positions to help you garden with ease.

Guest Bio: Stephanie Yolish
Originally from the East Coast, Stephanie Yolish started her professional life building and engaging communities for a NYC based national non-profit raising money for a tumor disorder. She went on to launch the New Jersey Yelp community market for Yelp and recently relocated to take over the East Bay community for Yelp.

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Embed StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio
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Cracking the Egg Mystery, Purple Reign, Disciplining Children By Cynthia Brian

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Cracking the Egg Mystery, Purple Reign, Disciplining Children By Cynthia Brian

Nutritionists and cooks are once again touting the health benefits of eggs, but the controversy over cholesterol and diabetes is ongoing.  Life-long chicken raiser and cottage industry egg-seller, Cynthia Brian, sheds light on the scramble with the newest statistics and research.

Purple, the color of royalty, wisdom, and luxury is favored in the majority of Cynthia Brian’s botanical blooms.  The nobility of the season is highlighted with the elegantly perfumed lilac, the scented grace of cascading wisteria, and the pride of the dark and handsome hellebore as it changes from its deep shaded amethyst of winter to the violet and chartreuse of spring.  Join the Goddess Gardener where purple reigns!

If you are a parent, how do you coordinate discipline with your spouse or partner? Is one of you more lenient while the other is strict? Discover a system that will benefit the family.

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For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
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Allergy Alert, Fast Fixes to Live Healthy, End of Life Decisions By Cynthia Brian

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Allergy Alert, Fast Fixes to Live Healthy, End of Life Decisions By Cynthia Brian

If you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you’ve come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country.


It’s spring and that means the beautiful flowers and blooming trees also bring pollen. Allergy sufferers react with headaches, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and noses. There are a few solutions that will alleviate your symptoms.

Our lives are busier and busier but that doesn’t mean we can forgo our health for our hectic schedules. If you only have a few minutes, you’ll be surprised by how much you can achieve. Tune in to Health Matters for fast fixes.

It’s not easy to have an end of life conversation, but it’s important to make decisions before it’s too late. Cynthia Brian will discuss options for advance care planning with choices for medical directives.

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Read our BTSYA March Newsletter

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Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND:  https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

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Veterinary Savings, Grow Grass, Fitness Freebies By Cynthia Brian

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Veterinary Savings, Grow Grass, Fitness Freebies By Cynthia Brian

If you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you’ve come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country.

If you family pet gets ill, veterinary costs can be prohibitive. As heartbreaking as it is, you don’t want to let your pet suffer nor break your budget. We’ll discuss ways to save money on vet costs while maintaining the health of your beloved family member.

We are not talking about marijuana today but how to grow the most sustainable, drought resistant lawns. To manage your efforts maintaining the health, beauty, and benefits of your lawn for the remainder of the year, get started this month with simple best practices with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian. Love your grass!

We are instructed to get at minimum of thirty minutes of exercise per day. By doing a little bit throughout your workday you can easily acquire the benefits of activity. Learn ten simple fitness tricks to keep you healthy and in shape.Listen at Voice America, Empowerment Channel

#StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 . Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

Read our BTSYA March Newsletter

What’s happening? Want to party? Visit our Event page

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Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
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Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity http://www.bethestaryouare.org

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