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Issue 47 Inspiration Journal, April - June 2011 Cover

Happy 8th Anniversary Inspiration
Char’s Message

Thank you for allowing us to serve you these past 8 years, it has been an incredible journey and we couldn’t have done it with your Aloha and unwavering support. We look ahead to fill ing many more pages with inspiration that will “connect those who are seeking with those who are serving.”


Seekers Require Untraditional Counseling by Sunny Massad, Ph.D.

People seeking help with the ordinary challenges of life, and especially those who consider themselves to be on a spiritual path, may find that “getting in touch with feelings,” “rehashing the stories of the past,” or taking medication to treat symptoms can be more of a hindrance than a help.

The Invention and Use of MSG by Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D. and Jack Samuels

The food additive monosodium glutamate was first used in the United States in any quantity in the late 1940s. According to Dr. George Schwartz, author of “In Bad Taste: The MSG Syndrome,” although considerable effort had been spent to introduce MSG to the USA, little had been accomplished prior to World War II.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Nirvana… by Shani Wong

An old friend told me I said to her one day, very seriously, “I’m going on a spiritual journey.” When she told me this later, I replied, “What the *&%@?! Does that sound like something I’d say?!” She insisted that those were my words exactly. So, the drama queen in me has decided to mark THAT moment as the beginning of the search for purpose and meaning in my life.

Other articles:

  • Beginners Mind:One of the Secrets to Manifesting a Soulmate yy Arielle Ford
  • Tristain Hedges Story: A Family’s Will to Conquer Their Son’s ADHD the Natural Wayby Robin Jumper
  • Investor Info: When Looking to Diversify Your Portfolio, Think Internationally by Cindie K. Jones, CFP
  • The Effects of Stress on your Body by Francine Kanter
  • Toxic Lights: How can light and light bulbs be unhealthy?
  • Rolfing: Structural Balance Opens Potential by Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.
  • YogAlign Maps the Body by Erin Wascher
  • Finding Center: Walking Your Life’s Labyrinth by Sara Wiseman

Seekers Require Untraditional Counseling by Sunny Massad, Ph.D.

People seeking help with the ordinary challenges of life, and especially those who consider themselves to be on a spiritual path, may find that “getting in touch with feelings,” “rehashing the stories of the past,” or taking medication to treat symptoms can be more of a hindrance than a help. In fact, the types of people who seek out my services are generally not suited to the standard therapeutic approaches available to them through their health insurance companies. Many are looking for a more direct approach that will resolve the root issues of their current dissatisfactions. Others report failing to experience substantial changes in the way they feel about themselves or the manner in which they interact with the world around them despite years of therapy.

Because health insurance often covers mental health costs, more and more people seek out counselors to serve as mentors and confidants. Others use them as spiritual guides who can help them to delve into existential issues relating to life’s meaning and purpose. But most people do not realize that in order for their insurance to cover the cost of treatment, their counselor must designate a diagnosis in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to justify their visit.

While there is a movement within the mental health field toward a more holistic approach, the current system is laden with specialists who are trained to diagnose and treat from their specific paradigm. Nevertheless, it is the system with which most people are forced to contend when their goal is to get the most out of their high insurance premiums. This is not to say that psychiatrists and clinical psychologists do not do a great service for the populations they are trained to serve. The advancements made in regards to psychiatric and psychoactive medications over the past fifty years have exponentially improved the quality of life of millions of people.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. In fact, you may unknowingly be classed among the 48 million Americans who are considered by the American Psychiatric Association to be mentally ill. This does not mean that one in four adults actually has what you or I might consider a mental disorder. It simply means that the one in four Americans who turn to therapists for help in coping with life’s challenges end up with a label that implies that they have a mental disorder.

Psychologists and psychiatrists alike are educated to help their patients develop personality strength in areas of their lives that are otherwise underdeveloped or compromised, sometimes as the result of a traumatic experience. Clinical psychologists are trained to assist such people to build stronger, healthier, well-functioning egos so as to become more adaptive and thus, more productive members of society.

Many people are unaware that until recently, psychiatrists, who, unlike psychologists, are able to dispense medication to their patients, received very little counseling training. Because their education is focused on pharmacological intervention, this can often mean that when a person books an appointment to see a psychiatrist, they will more often than not leave with a prescription for a medication that will help to relieve their symptoms. Many patients, however, are unaware that the reason they are prescribed medication is because that is what psychiatrists are trained to do. Likewise, if you go to see a surgeon about a knee injury, the surgeon will assess your knee according to whether or not she believes that surgery would remedy your problem. She would not necessarily consider other methods of treatment that are not within the parameters of her expertise.

If you choose to work with a coach or a counselor as a way to move yourself out of a life of mediocrity, consider finding one who will help you to investigate the causal connections of your experience rather than merely focusing on symptoms. Nontraditional counselors will, before referring you to a licensed practitioner, work with you in a very different way. They were not trained to work within the model of pathology that tends to look at symptoms as they relate to diagnosable conditions. So, if you are a healthy, wellfunctioning person who enjoys a periodic “tune up” and you feel worse when you leave your therapist’s office than you did when you arrived, consider finding a counselor or coach who works outside of the DSM model of mental health. Sometimes, a wellness-oriented counselor is better equipped to serve seekers and other such individuals who do not require, and indeed, might even feel impaired by the more traditional therapeutic interventions.

Dr. Sunny Massad is the author of UnTherapy: A Positive Psychology for Enlightened Living who certifies coaches in Honolulu. www.untherapy.com and www.hawaiiwellnesinstitute.org

The Invention and Use of MSG Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D. and Jack Samuels

MSG MSG used as a food (drug, dietary supplement, and cosmetic) additive The food additive monosodium glutamate was first used in the United States in any quantity in the late 1940s. According to Dr. George Schwartz, author of “In Bad Taste: The MSG Syndrome,” although considerable effort had been spent to introduce MSG to the USA, little had been accomplished prior to World War II. However, sometime during the war, the use of monosodium glutamate in Japanese soldiers’ rations was noticed, and in 1948, a symposium on monosodium glutamate presided over by the Chief Quartermaster of the Armed Forces, was held in Chicago to introduce monosodium glutamate to members of the food industry.

By the 1960s, Accent, the leading brand of the flavor enhancer called monosodium glutamate, had become a household word. Simultaneously, hydrolyzed protein products such as autolyzed yeast, sodium caseinate, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein gained in popularity. Every hydrolyzed protein product or ingredient, regardless of the name assigned to the ingredient, contains processed (manufactured) free glutamic acid (MSG) with the same flavor-enhancing potential and the same neurotoxic properties as the processed (manufactured) free glutamic acid (MSG) present in monosodium glutamate.

The flavor-enhancing potential of the processed free glutamic acid used in the flavor enhancer called monosodium glutamate and in the fertilizer/pesticide product called AuxiGro WP Metabolic Primer (AuxiGro), was discovered in Japan in 1908. Prior to that time, the Japanese had used seaweed as a favorite flavor enhancer without understanding that glutamic acid was its flavor-enhancing component. The first monosodium glutamate produced was made by extracting glutamic acid from seaweed.

From 1910 until 1956, the process underlying production of glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate in Japan was one of extraction, a slow and costly method. In 1956, the Japanese succeeded in producing glutamic acid by means of fermentation; and after considerable research to identify suitable strains of microorganisms for starting the requisite cultures, large-scale production of glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate through fermentation began.(7,8,9)

Even before the Japanese discovered the flavor potential of processed free glutamic acid extracted from sea weed, the potential of freeing glutamic acid from protein using acid hydrolysis was being explored in Europe. There, crude gluten or other starting materials were hydrolyzed by heating with hydrochloric acid.(8) At the time, the method was not widely used. Today, however, there are literally thousands of products that contain MSG produced from acid hydrolyzed proteins.

When monosodium glutamate was brought to the United States in the years following World War II, it was still manufactured through extraction. By 1956, however, after considerable research to identify suitable strains of microorganisms for starting the requisite cultures, Ajinomoto Co., Inc. had succeeded in producing glutamic acid through a method of bacterial fermentation wherein bacteria (some, if not all of which are genetically modified)(10) are grown aerobically in a liquid nutrient medium. These bacteria have the ability to synthesize glutamic acid outside of their cell membranes and excrete it into the medium to accumulate there.(11) It was in or about 1957 that truly large-scale production of glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate through fermentation began.

In the U.S., regulation of food additives has its roots in the 1938 Food and Cosmetic Act. The 1958 Food Additives Amendments (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21) changed the law to read that manufacturers must show “proof of a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from the proposed us of an additive.” The intent of the law is clear: “…to protect the public health, to prohibit the use in food of additives which have not been adequately tested to establish their safety.”

In the same year, the Delaney clause was added. The Delaney clause prohibits the use of any food additive shown to cause cancer when fed to either animals or humans.

Prior to 1958, there had been little or no comment to the FDA on the food ingredient called monosodium glutamate, so following passage of the Food Additives Amendments, monosodium glutamate was grandfathered as generally regarded as safe (GRAS). Grandfathered, yes. But never tested for safety. The safety of monosodium glutamate was not then, and has never been, established. Monosodium glutamate has never been tested for safety.

Also basic to the inappropriateness of monosodium glutamate being awarded GRAS standing, is the fact that in or about 1957 the method of producing monosodium glutamate was changed significantly. The monosodium glutamate that was grandfathered GRAS in 1958 was created by extracting glutamic acid from protein-containing ingredients. Since 1957, most of the monosodium glutamate used in the United States has been produced by bacterial fermentation, a process wherein carefully selected genetically modified bacteria secrete glutamic acid through their cell walls. *

The first published report of a reaction to monosodium glutamate in the United States appeared in 1968 when Robert Ho Man Kwok, M.D., who had emigrated from China, reported that although he never had the problem in China, about 20 minutes into a meal at certain Chinese restaurants, he suffered numbness, tingling, and tightness of the chest that lasted for approximately 2 hours.

The following year, John W. Olney, M.D. reported that laboratory animals suffered brain lesions and neuroendocrine disorders after being exposed to monosodium glutamate. Scientists studying retinal degeneration in mice treated with free glutamic acid had noted that these mice became grotesquely obese. Olney, who speculated that the obesity might be a sign of damage to the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that regulates a number of endocrine functions, including weight control), found that infant laboratory animals given free glutamic acid suffered brain damage immediately, and assorted neuroendocrine disorders later in life. Pharmaceutical grade L-glutamic acid was often used to produce these disorders until neuroscientists observed that monosodium glutamate, an inexpensive food additive, could be substituted for laboratory-grade free glutamic acid in these studies and produce the same effects.

In the years that followed, neuroscientists replicated the work of Olney, and Olney spoke out repeatedly about the toxic potential of monosodium glutamate. In 1972, for example, Olney testified before the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs that ingestion of MSG places humans at risk, with the greatest risk being for the very young; and that a National Academy of Science panel organized earlier to determine whether MSG ought to be banned from baby food had produced an industry arranged whitewash by a group of scientists with almost no experience in neuropathology.

In the early 1970s, manufacturers of baby food voluntarily removed the monosodium glutamate from their products, but replaced the monosodium glutamate with MSGcontaining ingredients such as autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. In the late 1970s, manufacturers voluntarily removed all obvious MSG-containing ingredients from baby food, but not from infant formula.

The first published report of a reaction to monosodium glutamate did not appear until monosodium glutamate was being made by bacterial fermentation, and the use of monosodium glutamate in the United States had begun to escalate.

To date, no MSG-containing product has been regulated by any agency of the US government. The FDA has given lip service to reviewing the safety of monosodium glutamate, always staffing the review panels with industry representatives with conflicts of interests, or with persons with little or no knowledge of neuroscience, amino acid toxicity, MSG, or adverse reactions, all of whom were given industry friendly material to evaluate.

By and large, the requirement for “proof of a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from the proposed use of an additive” is satisfied by a statement from the manufacturer that the product is safe. In the case of monosodium glutamate, if there is anything considered to be “proof” by the FDA, “proof” consists of a variety of studies, each sponsored by the glutamate industry and each with negative results so systematically flawed that taken as a whole, one might consider that the intent of the body of research has been to deceive the public.

With publication of Dr. George Schwartz’ book, “In Bad Taste: The MSG Syndrome,” and growing awareness that MSG was causing adverse reactions, industry developed a line of flavor enhancing products that contained processed (manufactured) free glutamic acid (MSG) with flavor enhancing capabilities, and names that gave no clue to the presence of MSG. Indeed, as industry considered that consumers might be considering the fact that monosodium glutamate might be potentially toxic, the production of products with “clean labels” escalated. As defined by the food industry in industry publications, “clean labels” would be those used on MSG-containing products without giving consumers a clue to the fact that the products contained MSG.

There are no comprehensive data on the number of such products on the market, but information from the summer of 2010 salmonella outbreak in the United States points to the extent to which MSG is hidden in food, i.e., there were 177 products containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein recalled from Basic Food Flavors, Inc., just one manufacturer.

Use of MSG in food has grown in the last 30 years and is still growing. MSG is found in most soups, salad dressings, processed meats, frozen entrees, ice cream and frozen yogurt, in some crackers, bread, canned tuna, and very often in “low fat” and “no fat” foods to make up for flavor lost when fat is reduced or eliminated. It can be found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and dietary supplements. It is found in enteral feeding products and in infant formula. It is found in vaccines — including vaccines used on children. It is found in hospitals where it is hidden in the jello, chicken soup, and some IV solutions given to very sick patients. Its use is without restriction.

MSG used as a component of plant growth enhancers, fertilizers, and fungicides applied to growing crops

On January 7, 1998, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established exemptions for the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the biochemicals “glutamic acid” and “gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)” in or on all food commodities when applied as a plant growth and crop yield enhancer in accordance with good agricultural practices. On that date, or shortly thereafter, the EPA granted the unconditional registration of AuxiGro WP (EPA File Symbol 70810-R) containing the two new active ingredients “GABA” and “Glutamic Acid” (PC Codes 30802 and 374350, respectively) for use as a growth enhancer for certain food crops and ornamentals. The exemptions and registration were granted to Auxein Corporation, Lansing, Michigan.

By the year 2009, MSG could be found in and/or on fresh fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. There was no food crop that we know of that had not been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for treatment with MSG. In 2010, the EPA registration of AuxiGro and glutamic acid were not renewed.

MSG used on crops grown in California

In May, 1999, spraying MSG on wine grapes (calling the spray a fertilizer) was approved by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Steven D. Wong, Branch Chief, Agricultural Commodities and Regulatory Services told us that there was no demonstration that use according to label directions would present a significant health hazard to workers, consumers of products grown with the aid of the MSG-containing product, or to the general public. To have a product approved for use as a fertilizer in California, a company need do little more than make application.

In April, 2000, and again in July, 2001, spraying MSG on wine grapes (calling it a fungicide) was approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). Barry Cortez. Branch Chief, CDPR, first told us that the CDPR would only turn down a product if it appeared to be ineffective, and AuxiGro didn’t appear to be ineffective.

By 2009, unrestricted use of monosodium glutamate (called Lglutamate) and AuxiGro had been approved for use on all agricultural products.

In 2009, California registration of AuxiGro lapsed. In 2010, the CDPR registration of AuxiGro and glutamic acid were not renewed. Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D. and Jack Samuels, Directors of Truth in Labeling Campaign, WWW.truthinlabeling.org

7. Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, (1983.) s.v. “Flavor enhancers and potentiators.” pp 1211-1212.
8. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 3rd Edition, Volume 2. New York: Wiley, 1978. pp 410-421.
9. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology Fourth Edition (Wiley, 1992) pp 571-579.
10. U.S. Patent #5,573,945. Mutant and method for producing L-glutamic acid by fermentation. Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (Tokyo, JP). November 12, 1996.
11. Leung, A. and Foster, S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. New York: Wiley, 1996. pp 373-375.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Nirvana… by Shani Wong

It’s hard to tell when my spiritual journey began…. I suppose some would say it began at birth, but the awareness of my spiritual journey began about two years ago. Perhaps it had to do with the disintegration of my marriage, my change in opinion about my career, my age (and aging)…. lots of things collectively were the catalyst, I guess. An old friend told me I said to her one day, very seriously, “I’m going on a spiritual journey.” When she told me this later, I replied, “What the *&%@?! Does that sound like something I’d say?!” She insisted that those were my words exactly. So, the drama queen in me has decided to mark THAT moment as the beginning of the search for purpose and meaning in my life.

I began by exploring books, New Age websites and stores…..it was overwhelming (and a little weird), to say the least. There seemed to be such a huge gap between living ‘of this world’ (with a normal job, good family, good friends and a little religion to top it off) and delving head first into the vast sea of New Age. I was SCARED. Everyone in this New Age world seemed over the top and, dare I say, a bit out there. Was I ready to live off the grid? The vast sea of New Age appeared too deep, dark and unknown for me at that time and I was fearful of getting sucked in and losing myself. So I hopped out of the vast sea of knowledge and set forth walking by the shoreline, dipping my feet in, jumping in here and there…whatever I felt I needed to do…all to eventually immerse myself in the vast sea of New Age. It was my own jimmy-rigged spiritual mission to discover what we all are doing here and, ultimately (and selfishly), how to make myself truly happy.

I explored everything and anything, cutting edge and radical new perspectives as well as long-standing beliefs. All the while, my daily mantra was a quote from Buddha:

“Believe NOTHING, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

That being said, the entire world was now open to me – nothing was taboo. I explored Hare Krishna, Buddhism, yoga and yogis, tarot cards, meditation, Wicca, the Bible, Chinese energy therapy, Tibetan DZI beads, frequencies of stones, stigmata, Bruce Lee, The Power by Rhonda Byrne, life after death, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, aromatherapy, acupuncture, ionic, magnetic…..EVERYTHING that sparked an interest in me. It was beautiful and enlightening. From this buffet of knowledge, I got to serve myself and built a meal of everything that felt right to me. It was the most satisfying meal of my life. My world was starting to make sense! I started to watch sunsets, sunrises, birds flying, clouds breaking, grass growing, people living…… all with new eyes. Different authors started to interest me…Louise L. Hay, Doreen Virtue, Don Miguel Ruiz and Chelsea Handler! When I ceased judging what was right and wrong, I found lessons in everything.

The rest of my story probably isn’t much different from many others, including the entire range of emotions…joy, sadness, first love, broken heart, embarrassments, successes, pain, pleasure.

However, as someone who is ‘in transition,’ I respectfully and humbly offer some advice for all who read this:

If you are new to New Age…. …and are just starting your journey to find the meaning of the universe, God, or whatever….FOLLOW YOUR OWN INSTINCTS AND INTUITION. Don’t be afraid to venture into areas that are judged harshly by others….your truth is your truth. Don’t let someone else tell you who you are or who you should be. Let your own heart and soul guide you. Don’t let fear keep you from learning about everything before you make your own judgments about truth, love, God and the universe. You’ll no doubt be pleasantly surprised. Take your own journey, choose your own path, make your own decisions…because this is YOUR LIFE and YOUR JOURNEY. Knowledge is power. Keep your integrity, challenge your beliefs to date…and keep your faith in the process.

If you are swimming freely in the vast sea of New Age… …and already living deeply and intuitively, please be patient and compassionate to people like me. Fear, worry, emotional baggage and old habits are not quickly shed and we are all trying very hard to find happiness on our own terms. Teach us and share with us…gently and lovingly. Please be patient when we ‘freak out’ from time to time and run back to our old lives. Know that even our smallest interactions with enlightenment have an ultimate impact on us… even if we don’t admit it immediately. I can’t thank certain people enough for the power of their love and understanding in contributing to my growth. And, let me tell you, I have been a real rebel/ /debatequeen… pushing buttons, reacting before thinking, fighting/kicking/screaming whenever my fragile ego was challenged. I have been far from lovable during portions of my journey, but every day I grow just a bit more…and I am so grateful to everyone who continued to love me through it all.

I send love and peace to all of you….we are all necessary parts that make up this amazingly well-oiled machine called the universe. Each piece is connected to another, yet each is unique….how perfectly everything works!

One drop of water can create a ripple effect; each and every drop of water is power….and precious. Never, never underestimate your power to make a difference in the world.

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