How Oral Health and Heart Disease May Be Related

You likely know that regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are good for maintaining oral health—but did you know they may also help keep your heart healthy?

It’s true;rearchers are beginning to find links between poor oral health and an increased risk of heart disease. And yet the vast majority of Americans see a dentist irregularly at best; for instance, some estimate that only 1 in 9 seniors have visited a dentist within the last year. In fact, more than 80 percent of Americans may currently live with periodontal (or gum) disease.

Yet some studies show this could come at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Gum disease and heart disease—linked?

A recent study actually showed that if someone has gum disease, be that disease advanced or even mild, they are at a tremendously increased risk of developing heart disease. But why?

Scientists say that it has to do with inflammation caused by bacteria. That same inflammation that can cause painful gums can also put you at an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up in your arteries.

In particular, inflammation can be present in your gums as part of gum disease in a few different ways. For instance, swollen gums are a pretty common dental issue, and can reflect two main conditions. The first, gingivitis, is simply an inflammation of the gum itself. The second, though, periodontis, can be far more serious, as it’s the result of an infection. As a result, periodontis often includes infected pus pockets—which are a problem, because they allow bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream.

But how does mouth bacteria end up in your blood?

It just so happens that your gums are full of blood vessels, so if the gums are disrupted—such as by pus pockets, for instance—that disruption allows bacteria into the bloodstream. That bacteria, then, has free rein to the rest of the body, where it can trigger inflammation elsewhere. And that inflammation can then cause major damage to blood vessels, including those found in your heart.

And scientists have noted that for those of us with healthy gums, we’re far less likely to have bacteria in our hearts. As it so happens, keeping our gums healthy may just be another way to help keep our heart healthy.

Additionally, researchers note that higher bacterial prevalence has also been correlated with more plaque in major arteries, like the carotid artery. Enough plaque build-up can cause a total blockage, and a blockage of a major artery like the carotid is a recipe for a disaster, such as a stroke. As a result, experts say that lowering our bacterial counts can be a major step toward stroke and heart attack prevention.


Of course, that doesn’t mean we should just load up on antibiotics. After all, taking antibiotics when we don’t need them makes it more likely that they won’t work in the future, when we might really need them. Instead, we should focus on taking care of our oral health by practicing good dental hygiene, and the rest will likely come in time.


Lastly, some researchers note that part of the correlation between gum disease and heart disease may also be related to lifestyle factors. Quite simply, individuals with lifestyles who put them at greater risk for gum disease are also at higher risk for heart disease. For instance, smoking is a huge risk factor for both, as is poor diet or lack of exercise.

Additionally, many people who suffer from periodontal disease are diabetics, which is also a major cardiovascular health risk factor.

Still, in addition to making the lifestyle changes that make us less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, addressing our oral health and dental practices is also a good idea.

Even if the American Heart Association says there is no proven link that preventing gum disease can prevent heart disease, it’s still something you should want for yourself. Good health, quite simply, is good health, so you should want to take good care of your mouth just as you would take good care of your heart.

After all, plenty of research shows the two are related, even if we don’t completely understand how. After all, do you really want gum disease? Good dental hygiene is a great place to start—and it just might help your heart, too!

inner rainbows

kundaliniWe each have an inner sense of knowing and ways to attract the things we need in life. Each color of the rainbow has a particular attribute outlined in ancient traditions connected to the chakra system:

Red=Security — What makes you secure?

Orange=Creativity — What do you create to express your self?

Yellow=Power –Do you express power with rather than “power over”

Green=Love — In what ways do you give and receive love?

Blue=Clarity of Communication — Are you clearly asking for your needs to be met?

Indigo=Vision and Imagination — Are your dreams fulfilled?

Violet=Connection — Are you practicing forgiveness?

Listen to a 12 min. meditation designed to sooth your mind and body using these colors and manifest more of what you need in your life at this time.

The Spiritually Transformative Experience

The Spiritually Transformative Experience

On the soul’s spiritual path the Spiritually Transformative Experience is just one step in the course of a life time of awakenings. When working with you we first listen deeply to what is happening and honor your past or present experiences through the practice of presence. Second, I guide the client’s understanding of any personal issues that are a result of a particular experience or set of experiences. We then work together to define messages and meaning and work toward understanding and integration. Each session is unique to what is going on in the present circumstances. Sessions are based on your needs and religious or spiritual orientation and may include prayer, reflection, meditation, guided visualization, expressive arts or ritual to connect or reconnect within a spiritual guidance framework. In your session with me we may use various altered-states of consciousness including dream work, energetic awakenings, intuitive experiences, kundalini, nature-based spiritual experiences, near-death experiences and visions. I work with clients one-on-one or with family members present, as well as in small groups of peers.
Spiritually Transformative Experience

Every Day Tantra

denae photoEvery Day Tantra

The first association with Tantra is often an experience or practice of sacred sexuality between two people. That is an understanding that brings an air of delight to some, fear to others, and curiosity to the rest.

Tantra is also a way of life. Those who live in a tantric inspired way dance with what life brings energetically. Cycles of energy provide a give and take, a dance, a rest, a fire, a creation, a recharging. Within these cycles are more immediate cycles of presence, unconsciousness, numbing out, tuning in, running from and embracing all. These represent intimate, self-knowledge relationships with a tantric expression focused within oneself.

How vulnerable we are with ourselves, how intimate and interested we are in our own nature makes a difference. We will sculpt more of a conscious relationship with our self or create more distance from ourselves. It is interesting to note that our relationship with ourself is always mirrored in partnerships. Always; the more mirrored, the deeper we go. Can we dance tantrically with this?

Indeed, the sacred sexual practice of Tantra generates the energetic Temple where the God and Goddess come home to Love’s greatest fire and purest ocean. A lot of energy is processed in this kind of love making, and therefore less mental processing is needed between partners.

The Holy connection has been made and feeling safe is in the air. When partners feel safe, the Presence of Love breathes more deeply through the body. That deeper breath literally and metaphorically is exactly what we need to replenish our health, brighten our minds and raise the roof with our extraordinary, primal, cosmic and sacred sexual energy. Who said a Holy Connection couldn’t be an outrageously hot, steamy encounter?

The Tantric way of life teaches us to relax and ride more smoothly. We learn to co-create. We learn our rhythms and this benefits us. We are greatly blessed when we live with-in our own skin, turn toward our self first and then practice this internal relationship with Life itself. All of life becomes a deepening and a nourishment when we practice being in conscious relationship with it.

This includes relationships with others like lovers, partners, children and families. This ultimately includes the world because where we come from, where we generate our creations from, is what we’ll encounter in the dance of life.

All Blessings~ Danae Shanti

5 tips for parents to help their teens overcome learning difficulties

healthy-relationship-hearts-11Teenagers who experience serious and ongoing difficulties with the different areas of learning are said to be suffering from a learning disability. In addition to struggling in school, they may also be undergoing social and emotional pressure. Most adolescents who have this problem are often unwilling or hesitant to approach their parents as dealing with this difficulty can be frustrating to both of them. But avoiding it does NOT solve the problem.

Parents who see signs of learning disabilities in their kids should not panic. They should understand that this is not uncommon and there are ways to overcome these difficulties. When teenagers start to show signs of learning difficulties, parents should keep the lines of communication open. Talking about the problem can be challenging, but it is the first and most effective way of arriving at a solution. It is up to the parent to address the problem.

Understanding the Cause

The first step in helping your child is to accept that s/he may be suffering from a learning disability. Denying the possibility that they may be going through a tough time will not help ease the burden. Ask questions about what is going on, in what ways are they struggling? Once you have acknowledged the problem, explore resources to find out how you can help.

Talk to Your Teen about the Disability

Talking to your child during this time may be both tricky and taxing. However, it is the only way you can both agree on how to come up with a solution to the problem. Keep the communication lines between you and your child open at all times. Make your child feel that you can be a confidant willing to listen and understand, and to find solutions.

Identify Your Teen’s Strengths and Weaknesses

As a parent, you should be aware of what your teen is good at and what areas they need to work on. This way, you can come up with activities to highlight strengths and improve  weaknesses. A great website to discover Multiple Intelligences is Do not forget to make your child feel accepted and not to focus what s/he can and cannot do.

 Seek Help from Experts

It is perfectly acceptable when parents do not immediately know what they can do to assist their child. Extra help is offered by health professionals and experts who understand the problem better than anyone. These people are trained to identify learning disabilities, and they studied ways to treat them. Consult with your child’s teacher or a psychologist. They can recommend professional assessment tests for your child.

 Choose the Right School for Your Teen

Addressing a learning disability is not limited to the home. Parents should choose a school that has an effective program for teens having difficult time learning. These children should be kept in an environment where they can work on their weaknesses while developing their strengths. Find more information at

Help your teens remember they are loved for who they are, not for their accomplishments or failures. We are all different in how we learn and process information. Keep looking for the best fit in a school setting.

Desire is Natural

Sexual Desire is Natural and Beautiful

Guest Post by Fred Burks

The drive towards sexual connection between two people who are strongly attracted to each other is a natural and beautiful part of our biology and of being human. The urge to merge is what keeps the human race going, as that is where we all came from when our parents surrendered to it. Sexual desire is a divine gift which inspires us to seek out deep connection.

Yet the carnal power behind this intense drive all too often causes some to go unconscious and to do things they later regret. Particularly for some men, once sexual desire kicks in fully, trying to stop or control it can feel like not scratching an intense itch or trying to stop a sneeze about to happen. They feel powerless to control it.

For both sexes, this powerful drive can shut down the conscious, thinking mind and the sensitive, loving heart. It can and sadly has led to acts as intense as sexual abuse and rape around the world. Herein lies the root of much psychological and emotional wounding on both individual and collective levels. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

As I’m fortunate to have learned to keep my heart open and stay conscious and considerate even when these powerful sexual urges arise, I’m thrilled to have found ways to dance with and channel this powerful energy that are honoring and supportive not just to me and the person with whom I’m feeling attraction, but to all in my life. Primarily by holding a strong intention to be ever more conscious and by studying practices like tantra and sacred sexuality, which give ideas on this, my life and relationships have changed in awesome ways.

The ability to stay conscious even in the midst of intense sexual connection has left me feeling more free and alive than ever. I trust myself now that I won’t do something I will later regret. Yet I also know I can still experience the full richness of the powerful sexual connection. This has brought a deep peace, joy, and excitement about life that I doubt I could have experienced otherwise without spending years in an ashram or meditating in a cave.

Great book review with interesting twist


BOOKCultivating Healthy Relationships offers an interesting series of meanderings and explorations through diverse wholistic healing discussions. Many interesting ideas are proposed for understanding and appreciating the body (physical and energetic)-emotions-mind-relationships-spirit connections.

In reading this book, I am reminded of when I first struggled to learn the game of bridge. It was difficult to understand bidding when I had not yet understood the values of suits and the hints that are implied in responses of partners to previous bids.

Suzann Panek Robins has much of value to share, and brings to the table a wide variety of sources to explain aspects of the holistic spectrum. Her basic focus is Freudian and Jungian, but her wide-ranging explorations cover numerous other psychological systems of psychology – both from conventional and complementary/alternative sources.

This rich feast will be best appreciated by those who have a fairly good basic understanding of what I call the wholistic spectrum of healing.

Review by Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABIHM
Internatiional Journal of Healing andCaring, Editor-in-Chief


Giving and Receiving

In the past decade, since the events of
what we now call 9/11, many of us seek deeper insights into our
individual biographies. My story involves what happened to my family
as a result of an automobile accident. Other stories are formed
around personal losses due to the tumbling of the twin towers.
Everyone has a biographical story that begins at a time when we ask,
“What is it all about?”

Some people believe we are in the midst
of a multidimensional crisis that involves: ecological, political,
economic, intellectual, psychological, social, and spiritual beliefs.
The world is shifting as evidenced by the various revolutions as well
as the many recent earthquakes and major storms.

We can see more news and know what is
going on in many remote corners of the world more quickly than ever
before, but does this help us feel connected to the reality of what
is happening? We know we are feeling something, but too often it
feels out of control. We cannot control mother nature, nor human
nature. Yet when disaster or revolution strikes, the best in people
often comes out, and we join together in ways previously

I believe people are basically good,
and that we desire to work together toward future goals for the
highest good of everyone concerned. However, this isn’t always true,
some people only want what is best for the few rather than the many.
In the recent past, competition, greed, and corruption appeared to be
winning, but the tide is turning. As a result of the world wide web,
people are becoming connected to the wholeness of our small planet
and awakening to the fact that what happens to one of us, happens to
all of us. This is a difficult concept to grasp, because it appears
there are winners and losers all of the time. Attempts to conquer and
divide seem to pit one group against the other. Too often, people sit
silently by accepting the status quo, but that is changing. Through
the internet we have opportunity to reach like minded people and
therefore be connected on many different levels.

But connection takes effort. We cannot
expect to find intimacy and healthy relationships simply by reading
blogs or social media sites. We must form an opinion and respond.
Writers don’t write for their own enjoyment, most write because they
have something to say they feel is important, and they hope someone
is listening. The same is true for most artists and craft  people,
film makers, even sports figures or race car drivers. Motivation
comes from an inner place, but they desire an audience to enjoy their

This is what really connects us: the
mutual enjoyment of each others activities, thoughts, and creations,
and the mutuality of coming together to overcome an oppressor or
recover from a natural disaster.

Enjoyment is a two way street of giving
and receiving. The best relationships happen when we cannot tell the
difference between what we are offering and what we desire in return.
When we are willing to give before we receive, and to receive so that
we have more to give, the world is a much happier place. When we are
busily hoarding stuff or isolating ourselves, the world misses the
precious piece that we embody, that piece that is unique from anyone
else’s offering. What do you have to give?

What do Rainbows have to do with Relationships?

healthy relationshipsMy company is called Inner Visions & Rainbow Resources because I work with the Inner Rainbow. One of my coaching and training techniques helps to improve relationships both at home and at work.

Our bodies are composed of an endocrine system that connects to our brain. This hormone system influences our health and well-being. It impacts our relationships. When hormones are out of balance we may become depressed and lethargic, or angry and overly aggressive. Hormonal balance brings joy and ease to relationships.

When we become aware of the inner workings of our body’s mind, we gain more control of our mood, of emotions, and of our potential for pleasure. These three things go hand in hand. Rather than “controlling our e-motions” or energy in motion, it is good to let them move ~~ As long as we do not move in a way that is harmful to anyone, including our self. When we are depressed, there is a lack of movement. When we are angry or overly aggressive, some people feel harmed by our tone of voice. In healthy relationships an ebb and flow of a raised voice tone is more easily tolerated. In a work situation or in front of small children, it is not appropriate to raise your voice in an angry manner. Under those circumstances, control is required; just as we would not act out sexually at work or in front of small children. There is a time and place for everything.

As children become teenagers, it is easier for them to understand that sometimes adults need to vent their anger by using a louder tone of voice. In an employee counseling session, it might be necessary for a worker to practice speaking up for what they believe is “right.” But in either situation if the speaker is out of control, the use of a loud and angry tone of voice is considered harmful. Often the tone is heard, but not the words. When this happens the purpose and meaning behind the communication is lost.

So what do these relationship guidelines have to do with rainbows? We each have an inner rainbow of colors that runs from the bottom of the spine to the top of the head and corresponds with our endocrine/hormonal system. Each color has a meaning. Using these colors and their corresponding attribute is an easy way to learn to “run energy.” Activating our energy body, in stillness and in silence, is one effective method of keeping depression, anger and aggression under control. If our energy is blocked, or flowing too freely, walking, dancing, playing sports, physically working on a project, or even cleaning are healthy ways to keep the energy and e-motions moving in a positive direction.

Becoming aware of the inner rainbow is a simple method for either slowing down or speeding up the endocrine responses that cause both our actions and our reactions to events. Just as we can learn to vary our breathing and heart rate, we can vary the energy that flows through out the body and mind. Learning to do this takes a bit of effort, but once learned, it is as easy as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. The trick is to remember to tap the inner rainbow and enjoy its appearance as a way to brighten your life and improve your relationships.

Value of relationship coaching

Everyday interactions are influenced by things that happened in the past. But our past does not need to dictate our future. Learn what your life is about from the inside out. Looking within is a powerful path to creating healthy relationships. Overcoming difficulties in any relationship involves finding the strength of inner security. This begins with learning to trust your instincts.

People look at other people in different ways. Some look for beauty, others for flaws. Some see the essence of the person, others hear only spoken words or they tune into the tone of voice without caring about age or height, weight, gender or their relationship to the speaker. People sometimes miss what is actually said and hear only what they expect to hear. Or they “project” their thoughts about the other person as if that person were a screen that only reflected what the other is thinking.

People perceive each other through filters and we each have filters of our own that prevent us from actually seeing or hearing what the other is doing or saying. Sometimes people are mirrors for us. They reflect something we did or said, or perhaps simply thought, and we were unaware. We can be grateful for the gift, or resent that the reflector saw through the facade we put up for protection.

What is it that we protect ourselves from? What are people afraid of when it comes to intimate relationships? Why is it so difficult to know our self? And even more difficult to let others really know who we are, and what we are about? Perhaps this fear is passed down from previous generations? Or does it develop from an accumulation of bumps and hurts?

I don’t know the answers, I can only guess, based on my own relationship experience and stories from hundreds of clients and thousands of friends. I have found that many people are afraid of their own thoughts! Somehow they internalize that they are not OK. They focus on the bad things that have happened from the beginning of their lives. Little hurts accumulate and become BIG wounds. In psychological circles, we refer to this as trauma, or stress related illness.

Not everyone is traumatized by their childhood or the things that happen to us over time. Instead, they take the bumps in stride and know the path as one of learning, rather than one of difficulty. We define these people as having a positive attitude or a sunny disposition. They are fun to be around because they always see the bright side of whatever is going on. They form meaningful connections.

Are you traumatized or wounded? How sunny or cloudy is your attitude toward overcoming difficult relationships and cultivating healthy partnerships?