CIRCUMCISION: IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?

The day I knew I had an opinion about Circumcision was the day I took my eldest son to get his done.  He was 7 days old and I only went along with it because his father was adamant about having it done.  Watching what I thought was the worst live horror show on Earth made me come to the conclusion that this procedure was absolutely not necessary. Even more so absolutely one of another many things about this world that really needs to be eradicated.

I was compelled by a Facebook friend to do so research on the matter and found this intriguing article about it…Check it out and let me know what your thoughts are about the matter:

Modern Circumcision is Not Necessary, Natural, or Biblical

Circumcision is Not Medically Necessary

Did you know America is the only Western nation to implement mass infant circumcision? What does that tell you about the necessity of the procedure? Only 2% of males in the world today are circumcised (9/10th of those being in America.) In 1949 Douglas Gairdner recognized the lack of medical justification for circumcision, which led to the elimination of infant circumcision in the UK. In talking with Kiwis here in New Zealand, one man in his 30s can’t think of anyone in his generation that is circumcised and another woman in her 20s wondered that it was even still widely practiced anymore. As it turns out, the rest of the world functions quite well with their genitalia in tact.

“All of the Western world raises its children uncircumcised and it seems logical that, with the extent of health knowledge in those countries, such a practice must be safe.” -former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrapped up an exhaustive 2 year study in 1999 and concluded that “routine circumcision of male infants was not essential to their current well-being and could not be justified on medical grounds.” (Check out this pdf for that reference and many other facts concerning the medical basis for keeping boys intact.)

So why do we do it? The International Coalition for Genital Integrity (ICGI) names ‘cultural momentum’ as the culprit. But once you learn where the practice began in the first place (below) you’ll wonder how anything this silly could be continued. (But then again, I wonder the same about lots of other things that most people consider ‘normal’ . . . )

Plus, you’ve got to follow the money trail. Let’s not forget that circumcision is a source of income for the medical community.

Where Did Modern Circumcision Come From?

So why do we amputate boy’s foreskin these days? Who decided this was a good idea?  Oh, so glad you asked. Several doctors and psychiatrists in Victorian times got together and came up with the idea hoping to discourage self-stimulation. Yep, that’s right. Edward H. Dixon declared in 1845 that he had cured masturbation with circumcision. As you might have guessed, their little experiment didn’t work, but after a while, the practice just became “tradition.” More and more doctors throughout the 1800s tried to say circumcision cured everything from nocturnal emissions (wet dreams) to crooked eyes.

Diagram of the first circumstraint device

Diagram of the first circumstraint device

Then in 1893 Mark J. Lehman demanded the immediate implementation of mass circumcision for all American boys. In 1953 R.L. Miller & D.C. Snyder reveal their plan to circumcise all baby boys immediately after birth to prevent masturbation and provide “immunity to nearly all physical and mental illness.” Talk about a pointless tradition! And, as the website I mentioned earlier so cleverly recognizes, “there are few things so safely guarded as tradition.” 

“Circumcision is a solution in search of a problem.” -Edward Wallerstein

Check out this great slideshow to see the rise and fall of infant circumcision in the US, UK, and the world, along with some really crazy stats.

What About Keeping it Clean & the Risk of Infection?

Yep, it’s true. Intact boys and men have to make sure the foreskin and entire genitalia is kept clean to avoid a risk of infection. But if you’re a woman reading this, how many folds and flaps do you have in your vagina? Do you have any trouble keeping it clean?

What’s really cool is that when a baby boy is born, the foreskin is sealed shut to protect the vulnerable glans from the urine & feces that will fill his diaper. Then right about the time babies are generally toilet trained, the foreskin begins to loosen and naturally retract. Talk about the crazy cool wisdom of God!

The same sort of skin found on the foreskin is also found in the mouth, nose, and inner genitalia of females. These are all dark and well-lubricated areas. When you change that environment for the male genitalia, you open up that male to problems like:

  • irritated skin
  • rashes
  • chafing
  • redness
  • bumps & blisters
  • sexual problems like chronic erection failure &
  • chronic premature ejaculation

That’s not to mention the risk of these potential side effects from the actual act of circumcision itself (see this pdf for references):

  • Hemorrhaging
  • Infections
  • Urinary retention (swelling from trauma of surgery & pain when trying to urinate)
  • Permanent bowing of the penis
  • Cysts
  • Skin tags (a cosmetic problem if there is an uneven removal of skin)
  • Meatitis (inflammation of the urethral opening)
  • Meatal stenosis (scar tissue causes urinary obstruction – occurs in 1/3 of circumcised males & not at all with intact males)
  • Meatal ulceration (caused by meatitis or abrasions from dry or soiled diapers – does not occur with intact boys but occurs with up to 50% of circumcised ones)
  • Heart failure or myocardial injury
  • Sexual dysfunction

You Wanna Cut off WHAT?

photo credit: urbangarden

Circumcision in the Bible

So why did God command circumcision of His people? It obviously wasn’t for medical reasons (as we figured out above). Is this something we just accept as a “because I’m God and I said so” kind of thing? I actually don’t believe God works like that. He’s far too kind and wise and creative to throw down random commandments from his throne in heaven. (Note: Debating theology is beyond the scope of this blog, so what I’m discussing in this section might make some people angry–if the post hasn’t done that already, that is–so please take what I say with a grain of salt, if you would be so kind.)

Let’s think about the food laws of the Old Testament for a minute. For years I wondered what was up with “don’t eat animals without cleft hooves that don’t chew the cud or fish without scales.” Why all the regulations? I just didn’t get it. So it was like a spiritual revelation to me to read The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin and realize that God had His people’s health in mind when He set up those food laws! He didn’t create pigs and shellfish for food; they fulfill other roles in creation like cleaning up the waste of the farm and the sea.

I realize now there is still wisdom to be found in the Old Testament even though Jesus’s death and resurrection fulfilled the Old Covenant Law with all its rules and regulations and I can live in freedom. So you can imagine my confusion after learning that circumcision isn’t medically necessary and certainly doesn’t seem natural. Why would God create us with certain parts of our bodies that just need to be cut off? And why only boys and not girls?

Modern Circumcision is Nothing Like What Happened in Biblical Times

Learning this was like having blind eyes opened. Turns out modern circumcision is nothing like what happened in Biblical times. The two Hebrew words used to describe Old Testament circumcision are namal & muwl. Namal means “clipped,” like you might clip your fingernails. The word muwl means “to curtail, to blunt, to cut shorter.” There are totally different words used in Hebrew for “cut off” or “removed.”

The whole idea of circumcision as it was ordained by God at that time in history was that a little blood would be drawn as a symbol. It was a symbol of the sin of the world, which would eventually be repaid by the Messiah. God-ordained circumcision was in the same category as animal sacrifices (another symbolic tradition with blood that found its fulfillment in Jesus).

Also think about how you as a parent would feel (or felt) when you saw your son being circumcised. Imagine the pain as a parent knowing your child is having to endure. Then imagine the pain of the Father as He watches His only Son endure the pain of suffocating to death on a cross in order to take the sin of the world into hell and pay for it Himself. (But don’t forget that God never asked His people to mutilate any part of the male genitalia. Clipping a tiny bit of the foreskin to draw blood is nothing like amputating the entire thing.)

The writers of the New Testament are very clear that circumcision (along with animal sacrifices) are no longer necessary. It’s not about the body anymore. Jesus bought our freedom and if we live in Him we are no longer under the burden of the Law anymore. (Can I get an Amen?!)

If you’d like to read more about what the Bible says about circumcision under the New Covenant, check out this website that has lots of great information.

No Judgement Here, People

I do want to make it clear that if you did or do decide to circumcise your baby, I hold no judgement whatsoever. Had I not learned everything that I just shared with you, I would have done the same thing. It’s a personal decision for the parents, though I do hope that it becomes less and less of a tradition so more people can be educated on the facts.

 

SOURCE: http://www.laurelofleaves.com/2011/10/modern-circumcision-is-not-necessary-natural-or-biblical/

Now it’s your turn. What are your thoughts on modern circumcision now that you have the facts?

FASTING: THE NATURAL WAY TO PERFECT HEALTH!

Water Fasting

By Loren Lockman

If you’re suffering from health challenges of any kind, you may want to take a look at the ancient, and amazing practice of fasting. Not well understood by many today, fasting has been used for time immemorial to address problems of all kinds.

Virtually all animals employ fasting in times of sickness or injury.

You may have seen a cat or a dog (or any other animal) lie down and refuse food when ill. Though people often believe that this is a “bad” thing and that the animal will be harmed by its stubborn refusal to eat, in fact, the animal is simply following its instincts and nature’s dictates and giving its body the optimal conditions in which to deal with virtually any problem.

Rumi, the great 11th century poet and mystic extolled the virtues of fasting. Pythagoras understood the impact that a clean body has on the brain, and insisted that all prospective students fast for six weeks before he would tutor them.

After Gandhi was assassinated at 77, his doctors commented that his organs looked like those of a 35 year old. Their only explanation was the extensive fasting he had done.

Plutarch said, “Instead of medicine, fast for a day.” This remains excellent advice. At the first sign of a cold or flu, or any other acute illness, if you will take to bed and cease eating, your body will have the opportunity to cleanse and heal itself much more quickly.

The benefits that can accrue to us via fasting are numerous and varied. Fasting is not magic, though it often seems so. It is simply nature’s way of allowing the organism the best possible conditions in which to cleanse and heal itself.

Heart disease affects 50% of all Americans. Last year, a peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal proved that fasting is three times as effective as hypertension medications at reducing high blood pressure.

It’s helpful to understand that virtually all symptoms that we experience are evidence that the body is attempting to heal itself. Sinus congestion, fever, swelling, even pain, are created by the body on purpose, and are nothing more than evidence that the body is working to address some problem and restore balance, or homeostasis. When the body is given an opportunity to cleanse and heal, all manner of symptoms may arise, and they often do.

Sometimes, those who don’t understand this will believe that the fast has made them sick. In fact, by ceasing to squander the body’s energy on unnecessary activities (including, temporarily, eating!), much more energy is available to cleanse and heal. The appearance of symptoms simply indicates that these processes have begun.

It is always the body that heals itself. Remedies of all kinds generally treat symptoms, not causes, and it is only by eliminating the cause of a problem that we can expect to solve the problem.

Taking a decongestant may relieve the discomfort, but it does nothing to eliminate the actual problem, which was a toxic substance in the body. With its means of elimination paralyzed by the drug, the body is forced to store these toxins, furthering the body’s build-up of them, and eventually creating chronic disease.

If you’ve been eating a Standard American Diet for 20, 30, 40 years or more, your body probably has a lot of stored debris. Additionally, as the body becomes overburdened with the toxins brought in from outside (exogenous) sources from our diet, water, and the environment, it’s also becoming overburdened with toxins created inside the body (endogenous). These endogenous toxins are the waste products of cellular metabolism. When a system is heavily burdened, it’s unable to process and eliminate the cellular wastes quickly enough, and these wastes build up.

Many years ago, French scientist Alexis Carrel won the Nobel prize for keeping the cells of a chicken heart alive for 32 years. He accomplished this by keeping the cells’ fluid bath clean, changing it twice a day. In fact, the cells only died when a research assistant neglected to change their bath one day.

Like the chicken heart cells, we can improve our health and extend our life by providing our internal organs with a clean environment. Fasting is the most effective and efficient way to allow the body to cleanse itself of all wastes, both exogenous and endogenous.

Fasting means different things to different people. I use the textbook definition: “the complete abstinence from all nutrients.” Though people talk about “juice fasting” or “fruit fasting,” these terms are misnomers. Because fruit and vegetable juices contain nutrients, taking only juices is more appropriately termed a “juice diet.” The same is true for long monodiets like the melon or grape diet.

Though many believe that juices and certain foods are “cleansing,” this isn’t true. Rather, simple diets of juices or water-rich fruits allow the body a much greater chance to cleanse itself than it has while eating a typical diet. Though the body detoxifies more than usual while consuming a lighter diet, this is very different than what happens while truly fasting.

There are beneficial physiological changes that occur in the complete absence of nutrients. The body goes through a series of steps to meet its constant glucose needs, looking first to the digestive tract, next to glycogen stores in the liver, then to muscle tissue to create glucose, and finally, to adipose tissue. This last step doesn’t happen if there are any nutrients coming in.

This is important because we retain toxins primarily in the adipose tissue – our long-term fat stores. With nutrients coming in, the body never switches to burning adipose tissue as a primary source of fuel. The result of this is that so-called “juice fasts” are generally much easier on the body because there is much less detoxification going on.

Though one can expect to experience some discomfort while fasting, the degree varies greatly and depends on the specific conditions of the faster. Most people enjoy the process and find it relatively painless.

There are some typical symptoms that one may expect to experience. As mentioned earlier, fasting is the most effective way to treat high blood pressure. Within days of beginning a fast, most people will see their blood pressure begin to drop. In cases where there is a lot of arterial plaque, blood pressure may go up first, as these fatty deposits are broken down and released into the bloodstream, thickening the blood.

There is no cause for concern in either case. However, when fasting, you are very likely to experience dizziness upon standing up quickly, and this can be dangerous if you pass out and hurt yourself when you fall. Take the precaution of sitting up first when getting up from a lying position, rise slowly, and brace yourself if possible.

Aches and pains, cold and flu symptoms, congestion, headache, and many other symptoms may also arise. One thing that often happens is that people find their internal organs. Many people are not really aware of their internal organs, and don’t know where they are. When fasting, it is not unusual to feel some aches in these organs, especially the liver and kidneys, which are the primary organs of detoxification. They will likely be working much harder than usual, and you may feel some pain there as a result.

It is also not unusual to experience aches and pains in old injuries. Injuries that healed improperly or incompletely tend to improve while fasting. When given a chance, the body goes back in and begins the work of completing these repairs. They may hurt while this is going on. This is the body’s way of reminding us to stay off them while they are healing.

Over the last 17 years, I’ve supervised people with almost every condition imaginable through fasts ranging from a few days to nearly 10 weeks. The results have been almost uniformly very positive. This should not surprise us though – the human body is incredibly resilient, and given the opportunity and ideal conditions, is almost always capable of healing itself.

How long your fast should be depends on your conditions. The average person has a six to eight week reserve of nutrients, and can safely fast that long, if she does it properly. Few people ever need to fast that long, though most would undoubtedly benefit from it.

Fasting properly means following the natural model: the sick animal lies still throughout the fast. Fasting means complete physiological rest, so this is the ideal way. I encourage my clients to spend as much time as possible resting comfortably with their eyes closed. Attempting to fast while continuing one’s normal routine is a recipe for disaster, as the body becomes quickly exhausted.

If fasting is a safe and natural process, why would anyone need supervision? No one does. However, many people find that they fare much better when in the proper supportive environment, and under experienced supervision.

There are some contraindications for fasting, though they are few and far between. I believe that almost everyone can safely fast, and will benefit greatly from doing so. Some exceptions to this are women who are pregnant or nursing, anyone who is emaciated for any reason, or anyone with extreme nutritional deficiencies.

Fasting in pregnancy or lactation results in an overload of toxins to the baby. Because fasting means that the body is living on nutrient reserves, those who are emaciated for any reason literally cannot fast. They can refrain from eating, but rather than fasting, they will be starving. In the first case, the body is being fed on non-essential reserve tissue. In the second case, when no reserves are present, the body will consume vital tissue. The body is intelligent enough to distinguish between the two.

The emotional component to this process is also very important. Fasting is an opportunity to clear out long-suppressed emotional “baggage.” The results of this part of the process can be amazing, and coupled with the rejuvenative physical effects, make fasting a very powerful tool.

If you’re having any trouble sticking to your chosen raw diet, you will also benefit from fasting. When you eliminate all of the toxins from your system, you will cease to crave any of the non-foods that still have a hold on you.

If you’re not already experiencing perfect health, you may want to investigate fasting. You’ll want to examine all of your diet and lifestyle choices to achieve this lofty goal, and fasting is a good way to start.

Loren Lockman directs the Tanglewood Wellness Center in Panama, where he supervises fasts, counsels clients one-on-one and teaches the principles of natural law. Loren can be reached by going to: http://www.TanglewoodWellnessCenter.com.

We are interviewing Loren during the 21 DAY DETOX CLEANSE AND FORUM this Sept 15 8pm EST. Please stay tuned.

Peace and Greens
Love
Skai Juice the Chef
http://www.paradisewellness.net
http://www.chefskaicreates.com

Guess What? Im back!

Hola Family!

Ive been on a hiatus with this writing thing…primarily because my laptop’s screen shattered and I had to get it replaced…fortunately under warranty!  Anyway, back to business…Im excited about so many things right now.  This is a very serious time for me…there is a lot of movement of energy around me.  Things are being built up and things are being destroyed. Life is change, see!

So where are we now…well to get you (me) back on track…the summer is coming to an end.  In fact, here in PR its over.  Children are already back to school.  My Sun is going to be starting at the new Montessori program here and I am, guess what, the lunch lady…Well, not really…cause that seems to paint a scary picture in one’s mind.  Actually, I am going to be catering the meals at the school…YEAH!  That sounds better. So, that have contracted me to create a healthy meal program for the little ones…which is super cool.  Its not going to be totally vegetarian every day, but they are going to be focusing on whole foods, veggies, fruits, and a little fish and chicken a couple times a week.  Im honored!  I think this will actually be my toughest challenge yet.  Puerto Rican children who are not used to eating this way…well, I will keep you updated about that. Let’s see how they like my Teriyaki Tofu. =)

Right now, the biggest thing Im working on is the 21 DAY DETOX CLEANSE AND FORUM!  Im pretty excited about it.  I am interviewing over 30 people every night for 21 days…which is going to be amazing in itself…I will keep you posted on the schedule.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Im finalizing the schedule in the next few days.  Stay tuned….

 

Love and Beans!

 

Skai Juice the Chef

www.chefskaicreates.com

www.paradisewellness.net