Guruatma K Khalsa

healing from the inside out

January 22, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa

steroids like prednisone (cortisone-related drugs) can save your life and really mess you up, too

i am reminded how powerful steroids are by observing their effects on world-famous athlete, Lance Armstrong.  i watched his confession on Oprah and kept expecting an ’emergency broadcast system’ banner to run across the bottom of the screen, heralding the strapping and dangerous side-effects of that particular class of drugs

now, of course there is no excuse for cheating and lying and being a bully but i do know, from my own experience of being on long-term, high-dosage prednisone for 11 years, that steroids amplified the tendencies in me of whatever i happened to be going through at the time – sad, ambitious, happy, dissatisfied, excited, you-name-it

for instance, i am a big-time cook and love to serve people a good meal.  after I started taking that drug, i would have prednisone parties and feed the whole block tons of food, spending hours and hours in the kitchen making my fav recipes

another example  – my husband is a carpenter and artist and our whole property is filled with piles and piles of  logs waiting to be sculpted and all sizes and shapes of lumber waiting to be built into something.  i would go out there and take it upon myself to ‘reorganize’ them, picking up wood that was definitely way-beyond my capacity to lift and move, throwing it around all over the place, seriously-bent on pulling off the project at hand

also, with a life-threatening medical scene going out-of-control at this time in my life, i was naturally sad, scared, upset and confused.  i remember those feelings going way overboard after starting the prednisone and then, i needed to add all these other drugs to my Px drug cocktail like anti-anxiety meds, sleeping pills and anti-depressents

so, hearing lance talk about what a big bully he became and how his killer-drive to win drove him to unethical and insane behavior, hit a cord in me and i kinda understood how it took on an energy of its own and pulled him down into his worst nightmare, ruining his career and reputation, messing up his whole life and creating great suffering for others

don’t get me wrong, prednisone was one of the tools that saved my life.  it’s a phenomenal drug and sometimes the only treatment available for serious or life-threatening illnesses but, the side-effects can be so unpleasant and devastating

7 yrs after weaning off that drug, i still have to cope and fight with some of its lasting effects and collateral damage

there was a great book i found back then that really helped me understand about cortisone-related medicines.  it’s written by a world-famous flutist who was prescribed prednisone to combat a rare lung disease.  she teamed up with her sister, a well-know medical doctor and specialist, to write a first-ever, comprehensive guide for patients undergoing this difficult treatment

here it is – Coping with PREDNISONE* – It may work miracles, but how do you handle the side effects? (*and other cortisone-related medicines)

by Eugenia Zukerman and Julie R Ingelfinger, MD

January 15, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa

rare diseases in children – non-profit organization started by two moms

nothing beats TWO MOTHER’S PRAYERS – i like the way these mom’s rock!

Two Lake Zurich moms have combined their shared love of music with their desire to help children fighting rare diseases.

Lori Butler and Kerry Hughes of Two Hearts Rock started a non-profit that raises awareness of rare diseases, supports the families affected by rare disease and raises funds for research.

“Two Hearts Rock is a platform for raising hope and awareness for rare disease using live music,” Butler said.

“The name comes from a Bruce Springsteen song; Two hearts are better than one and two hearts will get the job done,’ Hughes said.




January 13, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa

Ambien – will I become addicted to it? – worrying about taking sleeping pill drugs

Can you tell me your experience with the sleeping pill called Ambien… was it addictive for you or did you have side effects from it?  anything else?  A friend of mine is using it… it’s helping but she’s feeling tentative about how long she can continue with it.   I told her you had some experience with it and you might be able to share something that would be helpful.

thank you for the question – it’s a predominant and reasonable concern all across the board of chronic and critical illness

what i most remember about about ambien is that pretty soon i needed the next more-potent sleeping pill (restaril) and then double amounts of it, and then i was taking triple the geriatric-recommended dosage

they say ambien is not addictive but i don’t believe that

i used lots and lots of very concentrated YOGI TEA CALMING TEA (4 bags in 1 cup of water that my caregivers prepared for me in a thermos to keep by my bed) and repetition of mantras (positive affirmations) when i woke up in the nites to wean off those sleeping pills – an awful period, as i recall, grueling work!

so, it IS possible to do so

my advice is to do whatever it takes to get through crisis periods and work to re-install your body’s natural patterns LATER

MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE and simply BLESS THE DRUGS – suffering is not an option!

i believe it doesn’t really serve the patient’s highest good to hold onto yet another contraction in the space of that crisis which is already on their plate, by resisting the drugs (in any way, shape or form) they are taking which are helping them be comfortable and move through their healing process

on the same note, i congratulate anyone who is being so very conscious and questioning their drugs in the first place

i remember one of my doctors told me he had never seen anyone make the choices i made (to wean off all my drugs). he was used to patients who are ‘pill-happy’ and go for the drugs without reservation

i know by my experience of it that the body CAN bring itself back into balance even in the most serious case of throwing it off its natural cycles (like mine)

it just takes TIME and EFFORT and PATIENCE, experimentation, determination

…and support during the periods when you feel like you can’t ‘keep up’ and do it anymore




January 12, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa

fear of death and dying of cancer, and your living intention altar

what you focus on grows, doancha know

 i hear you, that reading those front-page of the newspaper articles about people dying of cancer ignites the element of fear in you, you who are in-between post-cancer reconstructive surgeries
if i found myself in your position, here’s what i have learned to do:
cut them out and make a ‘living intention altar’ dedicated to that very theme – my all my fears around dying of cancer altar  …more about living intention altars
i know better than to tell myself that what i am feeling is not true, but i also know that everything is energy and i can be instrumental in taking that negative force and shifting it towards the light, offering it to the highest part of my Self and letting it go in that direction, as opposed to being the paralyzed victim of it
perhaps, in one of those periods where you are alone (therefor not distracted) and ruminating on the fear, you could write about it in your journal
another idea – create an opportunity out of the heaviness of it to help the next person who is being challenged in the same way by writing a post that i could offer on this website devoted to those of us who are experiencing and facing similar challenges
the act of writing would be your process of expressing yourself and letting it go out of you, instead of allowing it to eat you up
i always have to remember that my only choice is in this moment – and that is where i have the power to call forth my creative and unlimited spirit to help me stay on top of that which is pulling me down
here’s another tool you might use to dilute the fear-factor; my friend, a cancer survivor, just sent it to me:
Websites and Social Media for Support and Information
Another way to connect with other individuals who have experienced cancer in their lives: The Internet.
Garrett: Garrett is a survivor of testicular cancer who started a blog on as a way to keep friends updated regarding his treatment and results. However, his blog grew into something therapeutic, since it helped him process what was happening to him. Garrett says that “there is an energy that is created when you start to write your thoughts down in a format that you know others are going to read”. For him, that energy grew into something that helped him become stronger and also helped him understand more about his situation. He says that the “clarification that results from the process of you trying to format your thoughts into an intelligible story can change your very thought and or impression of an experience from the beginning of a paragraph to the end.” Garrett has graciously given us permission to provide a link to his blog. You can view his insightful, beautifully written blog at is an online support website for people who are havingany type of health event, and their mission is “to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier.” You can create your own free online space where you can post health updates to keep friends and family informed. Family and friends can leave supportive messages and stay connected during any type of health event. There is also a “Support Planner,” which is a calendar that can be used to coordinate appointments and caregiver schedules. There is even an “app” for mobile devices. is free due to the donations it receives. Go to to learn more. While is for any type of health event, is specifically for cancer patients. is a nonprofit organization that “encouragescancer patients and caregivers to create free, customized websites.” The mission at is to “empower patients to build an online support community of family and friends to foster connection, inspiration, and healing.” Patients can set up blogs like Garrett’s, and just as with, family and friends can leave supportive messages and stay informed. The “Helping Calendar” section helps coordinate a patient’s support network by showing what kind of support would be helpful on a particular day (e.g., babysitting, transportation). In addition, provides links to articles and guides that provide information specific to cancer and support groups. There is also a mobile “app.” Go to to learn more.

fear is a true (it’s so real) and powerful (it’s so strong) element that presents and stirs about in the lives of those of us challenged by chronic and critical illness

also on this note, there is a lot we can talk about in relation to the hyper-awareness of death and dying that is up on the table and in your face, all coming from that bold-print, dramatic headline on the front page of that newspaper.  perhaps the fear is a calling from your soul to investigate and face your death, prepare yourself for the event which will inevitably happen to all of us
facing my own death was the most powerful yoga exercise i ever practiced
i will also pass along my yogic tools for when you find yourself up and alone in the nite because you can’t sleep since you saw that article
Fears cannot be solved. Never try to solve a fear. Drop a fear. Never solve your problems. Drop your problems. Take them to the highest part of you and drop them.

6/12/85  © The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

January 9, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa

reduce inflammation and nerve pain with a gentle tool – earthing pads work for me!

in answer to your request for gentle healing ideas, i encourage you to consider THIS:

i’m not saying that whatever it is that you are challenged by is the same as what I am challenged by, but I discovered, by my experience of it, that it’s good for inflammation and nerve pain

ya just gotta read about it on the website and see if you can find yourself in there

it runs along the same line as walking out on the grass with bare feet, there being a huge regenerative/re-cooperative energy available through the earth plane’s magnetic field (or, whatever-all is the technology; i didn’t read the book that came with it)

this is what i am now doing and IT REALLY HAS HELPED ME – like, delivered me to a non-suffering state of affairs in the physical body arena

i have an earthing pad under my keyboard and i sleep on an earthing sheet

why i turned to this technology, as strange/weird as it seemed to me, is because i was desperate

doing yoga 6 days/wk and being in the pool 3 times/wk has been my pain medication for years, now, but over time, that nice arrangement started to not be enough

i was desperate enough to go to my rheumatologist and ask for a drug recommendation becaue i had gotten to the point where it even became a “quality of life” issue for me, that i was suffering with the condition of the peripheral neuropathy in my feet (side-effects of 5 yrs of low-dosage chemo and long-term prednisone use) and

my joints were talking to me TOO LOUD all day long – the condition was actually holding me down (not an option)

and, other physical challenges that are on my plate were “getting to me”

my doctor knows i fought long and hard to become drug-free so, she knew it was serious that i was in there, asking for help, investigating drug solutions

she prescribed a low dosage of a drug called gabapentin, a nerve- pain blocker

i took one look at the side-effects and thew them in my drawer – no way jose!

my nutritionist recommended these earthing pads

what made me willing to try was that i saw the mri’s of people’s legs before using the pads/sheets and after – AMAZING color differences where the inflammation had significantly decreased!

my husband uses this technology and i just brushed it off as yet another one of the weird things that he does (sleep in our bed with a coiled wire that is plugged into the third hole/grounding wire outlet of the electrical socket next to our bed) – holy god, what next? : – )

anyway, i had immediate results and never am i thinking desperately, like i was – i am not comfortable but, i am not suffering

a friend of mine helped me, also – she gave me a pad with magnets in it to put under my feet

honest – i could tell the difference right away

go to and check it out

5-8-2012 guruatma

December 29, 2012
by Guruatma Khalsa
1 Comment

enbrel/enteracept helped prednisone descent in Relapsing Polychondritis autoimmune disease

how i see it is that enbrel/enteracept was used to support the long, drawn-out prednisone descent from the Relapsing Polychondritis disease process i am challenged by – i don’t believe it cured the disease
we used it to ‘fake my body out’ (so to speak) by severing the pain response characteristic of  the process of weaning off the high-dosage prednisone.  enbrel is so good at what it does that i had to be carefully educated to watch out for infections because i surly wouldn’t feel what was happening if my body was infected, and things could turn deadly without me even noticing it
as i understand it, that drug eats up (like a pac-man) the inflammatory cells running around in the joints aiming to latch onto receptors which consequently send out pain signals
that was the goal – so many times while i carefully, incrementally decreased the prednisone dosage (i was on high-dosage pred from ’95 – 2006) my body freaked out and the rpc would re-inflame
it was not my doctor’s idea to put me on that drug.  a friend of mine was a nurse in a children’s ICU and met a dr who introduced her to enbrel.  she told me about it and i proposed it to my  rheumatologist who she said we could try it.  the  new drug was in its early trial stages and i think i remember it was being used for heart patients back then (something like that?).  now, it’s being advertised on TV all the time
i think the reason they gave me a 5 yr prognosis in ’95 is because statistics showed that once a rpc patient finally got diagnosed and on the right medicine (after nearly-dying countless times, battling it out through periodic relapses before they figured it out and identified the disease and switched from treating it with antibiotics to steroids) the patient’s bodies had about a 5 yr tolerance for all the serious side-effects and complications of the drug they really needed to be on in the first place – steroids
and we all know that steroids can cause a massive mess in many of the body/mind systems of the body, requiring a lethal cocktail of so many/too many other drugs to handle all the life-threatening side-effects
as useful as steroids are is proportional to the severe and damaging side-effects they cause.  i learned from a friend who had aids, that steroids are one of the few drugs that penetrate the blood-brain barrier, consequently affecting the brain and mind
maybe you disagree with some of the above and will educate me, so i do not misrepresent the truth
what i can say is that all of the above was my experience, no matter words and theories


December 28, 2012
by Guruatma Khalsa
Comments Off on radiation – where on earth to go for the required 5-day detox after the treatment?

radiation – where on earth to go for the required 5-day detox after the treatment?

i have a client who just had a lump in her neck/throat area and thyroid removed.  the biopsy showed 2 small locations with cancer so she will be having a radiation treatment.  she was told she will need to stay away from everybody for 5 days after that.  since her dr is on vacation and she can’t ask him, she is wondering how do people do that! – not touch the doorknobs or sink when other people live in the house, etc etc – a million concerns.  she heard that some people go live in a hotel after radiation and don’t report why they are there; she could never do that and endanger others.  we are wondering if there is a special hotel that understands what to do and accommodates such patients but, when we googled that, came up with nothing.  any advice?

December 28, 2012
by Guruatma Khalsa
Comments Off on breath awareness – how can the average person use breath awareness?

breath awareness – how can the average person use breath awareness?

well, i know that working with our breath can elevate us out of any mood swing.  when you are having a hard time, probably the last thing in the world you are going to be thinking about of is whether or not you are breathing.  that’s why it’s my highest projection to always be in a state of awareness of my breath, and when it happens it is a beautiful thing!  the longer i have practiced yoga and mediation, the more often it happens for me.   i can only speak for myself and say that the times that i am noticing that i am breathing at all, i am reminded that there is a source of that breath that is trusting me with yet another one, and giving it to me as a gift. i might make a different choice in the moment that i am consciously receiving, feeling, working and being with that privilege and gift.  we all know that there is no store in the whole world where we can buy this precious commodity.  breath awareness offers me choices and freedom from acting, speaking or thinking from a limited or binding point of view


December 24, 2012
by Guruatma Khalsa
Comments Off on SELF awareness/considering my SELF – a 2007 journal entry

SELF awareness/considering my SELF – a 2007 journal entry

what i have observed and feel to be one of my greatest challenge is in the area of denial of mySELF

i know that, all too often, i make the choice to spend my energy being busy and determined to accomplish my never-ending lists and agendas for the day

since forever, and to this day, it is my TENDANCY to put off to the side doing what it takes to keep up a conscious relationship with my soul.  i allow myself to be distracted

that does not mean the desire is not there and i know in my heart it’s true that “you have only one friend, you and your discipline, the rest are all promises.” yb

i know that it serves me not to hide behind behaviors reflecting the ‘ghosts of your life ‘ which hang around and dictate the choices i make, keeping me away from living in my excellence

how many times have we been reminded to take care of ourselves so that we can serve others?  no flight leaves the ground before the stewardess demonstrates to the passengers that it is essential to put the mask on your own face, first, should the plane have troubles

i am completely aware of the deep pattern i parrot by generally living in some type of survival-mode which sabotages and takes priority over the energies required to HOLD to the disciplines that would deliver to me my birthright of happiness

i totally understand that any version of neglecting myself is directly proportional to the element of suffering in my life

..and, that would be all about how i regard myself

-it’s about a process of breaking free and re-surfacing from sub-conscious road blocks, consequences that arose out of abuse and loss of innocence in my past – the resulting denial and resistance no longer serves me

-it’s about having faith and remembering the abundance of care and protection that have been shown to me throughout my life process

-it’s about allowing that re-parenting and guidance in my life to ripen and prevail

-it’s about making a decision and trusting the infinite to provide whatever it would take, seen and unseen, to hold a focus and committment to a conscious and balanced life

-it’s about holding the intention that all the energy of self-deprecating patterns be re-directed toward nurturing my innocence and feeling my connection to my infinite soul which knows no limits – everything is energy!

-it’s about letting go of control, slowing down and deeply listening

-it’s about embracing and bowing to my essential Self from whence comes all direction, peace and love

-it’s about knowing the path that my soul has laid out for me and getting on with it

-and, it’s about blessing and releasing myself into the joy of living my highest purpose, that being my teachership-hood

December 23, 2012
by Guruatma Khalsa
Comments Off on for chronic pain and chronic ‘conditions’ – foot reflexology in the hot tub!

for chronic pain and chronic ‘conditions’ – foot reflexology in the hot tub!

i found a great way to get customized, so-very-relaxing, therapeutic reflexology treatments – all-inclusive in my YMCA membership!

their hot tub is @105 degrees and has many choices of different-pressure jet streams located in various places along the walls and bottom of the tub.  yes, you need to move around in the tub and experiment to find the jets that work just right for you

standing up and holding onto the wall, i position myself to the side of one of the jets shooting up from the bottom  -WATCH OUT, the blast of the water is a force to contend with!

from that position, you can pivot the base and sides of my foot back and forth across the jet, aiming at all the reflexology points.  it’s easy to get the inside edge of the sole of the foot where all the reflexes for the spine are and individualize all the spots that coordinate with the internal organs.

…easy to move the toes and webbing between the toes (areas of the head, sinuses and neck) across those jet

YOU CONTROL how close or far away from the jet to hold your foot, depending on the sensitivity of the spots – perfect!

i also discovered that i can sit on the edge of the tub and dangle my foot in front of a jet on the wall, position it to hit on just the right places – it’s easy to get the ankle area (female organs) from this position

all the time you’re treating yourself to a reflexology session, the whole rest of your body is being affected by the heat and the movement of the water – a perfect way to treat chronic aches and pains

sometimes i lie down for a bit on the side of pool before aiming for the shower

my fav book on reflexology is Reflex Zone Therapy of the Feet by Hanne Marquardt – it’s full of colored maps and information on the science of reflexology.  i’ve used my copy so much and for so many years, it’s in tatters

be sure to get your doctor’s permission before beginning hot tub hydrotherapy, especially if you are challenged by chronic pain or disease

SIP – Self-Induced Pain is not an option – stay in your comfort zone while stimulating the toes, feet and ankles

enjoy and heal yourself!