Intro. On-Line Only In-Call Special 1 1/4 hr $50.00 (1st time client’s) Mon – Fri

plus  offering senior and  veteran  in-call discounts with id.   Policies

Please call for an Appointment: 805-637-7482   Please no texts


Save Time and Download 1st Visit Intake Form HERE

❶Nicola offers  Deep Tissue Massage,  Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage, Ashiatsu, ShiatsuCompression Massage, Sports and Injury Massage, Therapeutic Massage, Orthopedic Massage  (OM)  Myofascial Release, Trigger Point MassageNeuromuscular ReleaseSwedish Massage, Relaxing Massage, Reflexology Massage, Chair Massage, Lymphatic Drainage and some Asian bodywork. He also offers Healing Massage for Depression and Anxiety.

Nicola is a practicing licensed and insured professional Licensed Massage Therapist ( State Certification # 7239 ) and artist based in Santa Barbara, CA. Nicola has a wide range of female and male clients from athletes, artists, business people, educators, construction workers, house wives and tourists. He is very flexible in scheduling appointments either at his studio which is located in the San Roque area in Santa Barbara.  He can also make professional appointments at Holistic Centers in Santa Barbara, Buellton, Key2Fitness or can make home or out call visits in the Tri – Counties area. He also works with other local area professional massage therapists and can schedule male and female therapists to come to your home for a couple’s massage. Maybe you own a business with a large group of people or have a large party of people.  Nicola can organize as many therapists as you need to accommodate your specific needs.


A mandala containing symbols from 16 of our world`s many spiritual traditions, designed for honoring all paths to truth. Includes the Jewish Star of David, Buddhist Prayer Wheel, Native  American Medicine Wheel, Christian Cross, Hindu Om, Great Goddess, Taoist Ying Yang, Islamic Moon  and Star, Winged Sufi Heart, Sikh Symbol, Baha`i Star, African Goddess, Zoroastrian Flame, Confucian  Circle and Dot, Wiccan Pentacle and Egyptian Ankh.









A mandala containing symbols from 16 of our world`s many spiritual traditions, designed for honoring all paths to truth. Includes the Jewish Star of David, Buddhist Prayer Wheel, Native American Medicine Wheel, Christian Cross, Hindu Om, Great Goddess, Taoist Ying Yang, Islamic Moon and Star, Winged Sufi Heart, Sikh Symbol, Baha`i Star, African Goddess, Zoroastrian Flame, Confucian Circle and Dot, Wiccan Pentacle and Egyptian Ankh.

Therapeutic Healing Bodywork by NiCoLa!


Santa Barbara Massage. Nicola Bandak is a California State Licensed and Insured CMP (Certified Massage Practitioner) Professional BODY WORKER, by APPOINTMENT ONLY, Last Minute Appointments are OK.





















Warning-Massage can become Addicting!


Warning- Good Bodywork can become Addicting!

If you appreciate high quality bodywork or just want to RELAX and go to “LA LA LAND” call Nicola.  Are you a serious athlete and need EXTREME bodywork or “FIX IT” work, weekend warrior with injuries or just want to keep that body tuned up? Then you have finally found your Santa Barbara Licensed and Insured Massage Therapist.

Nicola (aka – Nick, Chris or Banduechy…so named by his handball buddies) is a California State Licensed and Insured LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) Professional Body Worker, by APPOINTMENT ONLY, Last Minute Appointments are OK!


Get into the ZONE…the PARASYMPATHETIC Zone
Click this link for a diagram  that explains the parasympathetic nervous system


Before you continue PLEASE watch this video called " The Wounded Healer"....
.. fantastic.


My style of Deep Tissue Massage releases the body’s natural painkillers whereby it stimulates the release of endorphins, the morphine-like substances that the body manufactures into the brain and nervous system. Once that happens (your now in a parasympathetic state  (“rest and digest”) I then go to work on your sore or injured areas to break up the damaged fibrous adhesion’s which are spread randomly though out a muscle’s tissue thus increasing blood flow, oxygen, strength, flexibility and tissue re-building. I use a variety of modalities to accomplish this: Swedish: This is your basic massage modality which incorporates long gentle strokes to increase blood flow to and from the muscles. Myofascial Release: This technique involves slower and deeper pressure into the muscle tissue to assist in breaking up adhesions and scar tissue in the muscle. Neuromuscular Release, NMT, Neuromuscular Re-Education, Body Pattern Synchronization (Call it what you want… everybody gives it their own name but we are all trying to do the same thing): This technique is “point-specific” work which targets muscle adhesion’s, muscle spindles in the belly of the muscle, trigger points that restrict normal flow of the nervous system to the muscles. Once the adhesion’s are broken up the client usually experiences an increase in range of motion, strength, and speed. Active Range of Motion: This technique is a stretching modality which takes the client through his or her normal range of motion to assist motor control and aids in the reduction of scar tissue and muscle adhesions. Active Isolated Stretching: This technique involves stretching which incorporates a process called reciprocal inhibition  (RI) to stretch the muscle as well as increase kinesthetic awareness of the body.

The key to “My STYLE” is an aggressive approach combined with sustained pressure ( increasing Ischemic blood supply) over time and a spiritual component.

(This diagram link explains this process)








What does Riktr mean?

Derived from “Off the Richter Scale” meaning that something is excellent, very good, over the top, on the edge, awesome, cool, da bomb, fantastic, hot or amazing.

Nice Quotes:

The strongest of all warriors are these two: Time and Patience.– Leo Tolstoi Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.- Napolean Hill If only we arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. – Rilke (Rilke on love an other difficulties-translations and considerations of Rainer Maria Rilke by John J. L. Mood) I tell you that I have a long way to go before I am –where one begins… – Rilke Resolve to be always beginning—to be a beginner. -Rilke ” The harder you work, the luckier you get.” – Gary Player, golfer “Nothing happens until something moves.” Albert Einstein As Dr. Rolf said, “Put the tissue where it should be and then ask for movement.” Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion. – Buddha Once you label me you negate me.  -Søren Kierkegaard I must find a truth that is true for me. -Søren Kierkegaard   Click here for: other nice quotes

FYI: Where does Riktr’s healing energy come from: These pictures say it all.

God’s Universal Energy or Chi, Ki, Ka, Xi, Netter, Ihund, Life Force, Prana, Holy Spirit, Ruhuh, Biomagnetic Energy or Innate Intelligence starts here. Click these links for more on Universal Energy.

Check out this video called “Angelic Human Race”   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDLUR15Z9o8   (See 101 Names of God)  

The Earth is part of  universal energy.

Check out this video called “Healing the Hearts of Humanity”   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aKcvgTvIMQ&feature=related

The earth captures Universal magnetic energy in many different ways and stores it.

Check out this video called “The Awakening of The Cosmic Heart (The Core Rainbow)”   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es-YbHlBKtU&NR=1

Magnetic universal energy is stored in the earth’s core and then is released.

The earth unleashes it’s energy in different ways.

Keeping your third eye open lets all the magnetic energy flow in and out of your body.


Human beings collect, store and release the magnetic energy.

Human beings collect, store and release magnetic energy some more then others.


Check out these links for Healing Sounds!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URFnBeW423E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73J05gjmMgw http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=HEALING+SOUNDS&aq=f


M—Message of caring A—Aesthetics for the body S—Sacred touch S—Soothing of tension A—Anthology for the body G—General healing E—Energy balanced Massage Is a … Healing time for regeneration. Special time for individuation. Quiet time for imagination. Restful time for gratification. Sacred time for reflection. Sensational time with an exclamation!

by Joan Donato 

CitySlick local ads and coupons. Find Health Care Deals Deals!

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader.


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What are the Zen (10) Oxhearding Pictures?



The Ten Oxherding pictures are an early teaching in the Ch’an/Zen tradition. Oxherding was a useful metaphor for training the mind. There is the story of a monk working in the kitchen when his master came in and asked what he was doing. He replied ‘Just herding the ox’.




The master responded ‘How are you herding it?’.

The monk replied ‘Every time the ox tries to wander off the way to eat grass, I rein it in and put it back to work’.

The ox, of course, is our mind. It must be trained not to wander off into distracting, discursive thoughts. It must be trained to align with the Dharma and so become pure.

Many versions of the oxherding pictures were created. They varied in number and in the content of the pictures. Eventually ten pictures or stages were developed. The most famous set is by K’uo-an Shih-yuan. Many artists have drawn these pictures and many poets have added commentaries. Below is just one example -

  1. The Search for the Ox

    In the pasture of the world,
    I endlessly push aside the tall
    grasses in search of the Ox.
    Following unnamed rivers,
    lost upon the interpenetrating
    paths of distant mountains,
    My strength failing and my vitality
    exhausted, I cannot find the Ox.
    I only hear the locusts chirping
    through the forest at night.

    Humans are different from animals in that they can think and reflect. It is our thinking and reflecting that brings us to wonder or question about ourselves and life. Some people seek a reason for life, they seek the ox. At first they seek outside of themselves, looking at philosophy, science, occult matters, etc. Perhaps wealth and personal possessions have been amassed to cover the aches and discomforts of the heart and mind, and now the person wearies of this, it no longer works.


  2. Discovering the Footprints

    Along the riverbank under the trees,
    I discover footprints.
    Even under the fragrant grass,
    I see his prints.
    Deep in remote mountains
    they are found.
    These traces can no more be
    than one’s nose, looking

    Eventually the sincere seeker discovers that what must be investigated is the mind itself. Perhaps the seeker has fortunate karma ripening, coming into contact with the Buddha Dharma. It is when we stop looking to external things to save or liberate us.


  3. Perceiving the Ox

    I hear the song of the nightingale.
    The sun is warm, the wind is mild,
    willows are green along the shore -
    Here no Ox can hide!
    What artist can draw that massive
    those majestic horns?

    Here the person sees the tail of the ox. There is the realization that one has found the true path for salvation and liberation. What a relief it is! The world can seem a much sweeter place. However, the ox has not yet been grasped.


  4. Catching the Ox

    I seize him with a terrific struggle.
    His great will and power
    are inexhaustible.
    He charges to the high plateau
    far above the cloud-mists,
    Or in an impenetrable ravine he stands.

    At this stage the person has engaged in their Buddhist practice. Here the mind is apparent most of the time. No longer is the person lost in delusion, being not even aware of how they really are. For the first time the undisciplined activities of the mind are addressed. At first it seems so difficult with old, habitual patterns of thought rising up and overwhelming us. Sometimes our mind runs wild. Sometimes it is stuck, not moving with circumstances.


  5. Taming the Ox

    The whip and rope are necessary,
    Else he might stray off down
    some dusty road.
    Being well-trained, he becomes
    naturally gentle.
    Then, unfettered, he obeys his

    Here Buddhist practice continues diligently. Many means of help are used. These can be meditation, mantras, temple services, chanting, sila (precepts), etc. They can also be the kinship of fellow Buddhist practitioners, guides and teachers.

    As the negativities of the mind are quieted it is possible to practise self-cultivation in one’s ordinary life. Here one is not fully overwhelmed by the habitual, negative aspects of the mind. It has become clear what Buddhist practice is.


  6. Riding the Ox Home

    Mounting the Ox, slowly
    I return homeward.
    The voice of my flute intones
    through the evening.
    Measuring with hand-beats
    the pulsating harmony,
    I direct the endless rhythm.
    Whoever hears this melody
    will join me.

    Here the oxherder is playing a flute while riding the ox. The ox still has its nose-ring and rope. But now the oxherder no longer has to hold the rope and pull the ox back to the way. Buddhist practice and self-cultivation have become a natural activity. The sense organs are purified, meaning that the person is aware of the environment but does not generate feelings of greed, anger or lust from the contact with outer things.


  7. The Ox Transcended

    Astride the Ox, I reach home.
    I am serene. The Ox too can rest.
    The dawn has come. In blissful repose,
    Within my thatched dwelling
    I have abandoned the whip and ropes

    In the beginning stages it is like swimming upstream. Hard, diligent practice is needed to make headway against the current of the mind. Here there is no need for the swimmer. The swimmer and the water have become one. Practice is no longer done for a goal, to get somewhere. Life itself is practice.


  8. Both Ox and Self Transcended

    Whip, rope, person, and Ox -
    all merge in No Thing.
    This heaven is so vast,
    no message can stain it.
    How may a snowflake exist
    in a raging fire.
    Here are the footprints of
    the Ancestors.

    In the eighth picture there is no ox and no person. Is a fish aware of the water it swims in? When there is a subject, looking out, then there is an object. When there is an object then there is a subject to know it. If there is one then there must be two. One is only in comparison to something.

    This is the stage beyond all dualities, of no inside, no outside; no subject and object; no person and environment. It is said there is no words to describe this stage. How can you grasp yourself, is it by pointing at your face and saying this is me, or by describing ourselves? When we are truly ourselves we would be able to separate from ourselves. When one has become one with self-nature there is no longer self-nature.


  9. Reaching the Source

    Too many steps have been taken
    returning to the root and the source.
    Better to have been blind and deaf
    from the beginning!
    Dwelling in one’s true abode,
    unconcerned with and without -
    The river flows tranquilly on
    and the flowers are red.

    There is a famous Ch’an/Zen saying that in the beginning mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers. Then, at a particular point in practise, represented by the eighth picture, mountains are no longer mountains and rivers are no longer rivers. After this mountains truly are mountains and rivers truly are rivers.

    This stage is to know the world in its true nature. Rivers flow and a flower is red. There is no more self-consciousness reactions to distort the world.


  10. In the World

    Barefooted and naked of breast,
    I mingle with the people of the world.
    My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,
    and I am ever blissful.
    I use no magic to extend my life;
    Now, before me, the dead trees
    become alive.

    Here is an enlightened person. Bare of self adornments and pretensions. There is only the wholesome outflowings of an enlightened mind.

    The dead trees become alive refers to two things

    1. There is a Ch’an/Zen saying ‘The flower blossoms on the withered branch’. It means that when our negativities have completely withered then our Buddha-nature blossoms, and

    2. It is the activity of the enlightened person to awaken the unenlightened.

Recommended Reading and Quotes: Any book by Dr.David Hawkins


Dr. David R. HawkinsDr. David Hawkins





Product Details
Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins M.D. Ph.D. (Jan 15, 2014)
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Healing and Recovery by David R. Hawkins M.D. Ph.D. (Jul 1, 1905)

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Along the Path to Enlightenment: 365 Daily Reflections from David R. Hawkins by David R. Hawkins M.D. Ph.D. and Scott Jeffrey (Feb 1, 2011)
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Discovery of the Presence of God: Devotional NonDuality by David R. Hawkins (Jun 28, 1905)


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I: Reality and Subjectivity by David R. Hawkins M.D. Ph.D. (Mar 3, 2014)


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When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You: Finding God’s Patterns for Healthy Relationships by David Hawkins (Jul 1, 2010)


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The Discovery: Revealing the Presence of God in Your Life by David R. Hawkins (2007) – Unabridged


My favorite Dr. David R. Hawkins quotes

“There is absolutely nothing in ordinary human experience to compare with the joy of the presence of the Love of God. No sacrifice is too great nor effort too much in order to realize that Presence.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, The Eye of the I, p. 289
“The readiness to initiate the journey cannot be forced nor can people be faulted if it has not occurred in them as yet. The level of consciousness has to have advanced to the stage where such an intention would be meaningful and attractive.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, The Eye of The I, pg.133
“Commitment to the highest spiritual goals tends to bring up the ego’s defects, which is to be expected.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 183
“The seeking of Enlightenment is a very major commitment, and is, in fact, the most difficult of human pursuits. It can be alternately arduous or exhilarating, exciting or tedious, demanding or inspiring. There are great breakthroughs as well as exasperating, seemingly impossible obstacles. It is to be expected that this pattern is par for the course.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 183
“The inspiration to evolve spiritually is already a manifestation of the presence of God within, and it’s certainly indicative of good karma. Just to want to know truth, to evolve, to improve oneself, to become a better person, to fulfill one’s potential – those are all inspirations. And the person doesn’t make them up; they just come to them. It’s like an innate desire to fulfill your potential. That potential as one evolves becomes more and more identified in spirituality – the capacity to love, to forgive, to appreciate, to see the beauty in all that exists, to live in peace and harmony instead of discord and strife […] The only requirement is to do whatever you do to the best of your capacity and leave the rest up to God.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Beyond the Ordinary web radio broadcast
(www.beyondtheordinary.net / drhawkins.shtml), February 10, 2004)
“Life is how you perceive it. The meaning of it is what you project out there. In and of itself, it doesn’t mean anything.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, The 2006 Sedona Satsang Series, January 11th, Disc 1 of 2)
“It is helpful to understand that if one is not happy with present circumstances, the chances are that happiness will still be elusive when conditions change to meet one’s current desire. That is, if happiness is elusive now, it will continue to be so in the future because the ability to locate the source of happiness has not yet been found.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 190
“Desire is fueled by the illusion of lack and that the source of happiness is outside oneself and therefore has to be pursued or acquired. The importance of the object of desire is thereby inflated and overvalued by its symbolism and mystique. The pleasure of the sense of Self is blocked by desire. When that desire is fulfilled, the ego ascribes the resultant sense of joy to the acquisition of an external. However, this is a clever illusion because the actual source of the pleasure is that the block to experiencing the joy of the Self has been temporarily removed. The source of the experienced happiness is the radiance of the Self that shines forth when it is not shut off by an ego distress.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 189
“People hate me” stems from one’s own inner hatreds. “People don’t care about me” stems from one’s narcissistic absorption with one’s happiness and gain instead of others. “I don’t get enough love” stems from not giving love to others.
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 22
“There is a great joy in the realization that one does not actually need anything at all to be happy [...] at an advanced level the awareness of existence itself is sufficient.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 191
“You need to be right, you need to make money, you need to be successful – it’s the neediness that’s the problem. Instead, become that which attracts those things.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Sedona seminar, August 14, 2004
“In the spiritual world, the basic dictum is “there are no justified resentments”. This statement is abhorred by the ego. “Oh yeah,” it says, “but what about so and so?”. It then goes through its laundry list and litany of horrors, violations or ‘rights’, injustices, presumptive arguements of ‘ethics’, ‘morality’, etc. Every councelor, sponsor, or professional is familiar with such recitations. To recover, the question one has to face is whether one wishes to cling to it (and thereby get the ‘juice’) or give it up. This is the point of decision, without which healing cannot occur”
— Dr. David Hawkins,(TLC, pg. 54)
“To let go of the known for the unknown requires great commitment, willingness, and devotion to surrendering one’s faith to God.”
– Dr. David Hawkins, The Eye of the I, p. 110
“The constant awareness of one’s existence as “I” is the ever present expression of the innate divinity of the Self [...] The truth of this identity is obscured by the duality created by perception and disappears when all positionalities are relinquished”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 129
“The attachment to love is really the trap (not love itself) and the barrier to enlightenment. In Reality, love is freedom, but attachment to love is a limitation.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 281
Q: How do I best care for my alcoholic sister?
A: You surrender her / it to God and let go of wanting to control it. Trying to intervene keeps someone in pain and robs them of karmic merit. […] If you intervene, you’re robbing her of karmic merit and of what she needs to know. She’s going to need to hit bottom, whether she knows it or not. Intervening actually increases her suffering, because every time you try to help, you change where she has to go to hit bottom; now she has to go even lower. Do you love her enough to surrender her to God? If she says, “I hate you, you’re deserting me, I’m going to kill myself,” you say, “Well, that’s between you and God.” You need the conviction, the first step in Al Anon. Otherwise, you’re serving your own ego if you say, I’ve got to go in there and intervene.
— Dr. David Hawkins’ Sedona Seminar, April 17, 2004
“Ego is the persistence of animal instinct from an earlier part of the brain. The frontal cortex emerged later and allows thinking. However, the thinking is then used for animal goals [...] We now have rivalry and the quest for domination via the intellect, rather than teeth, claws, etc.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Sedona Seminar, October 2003
“Never underestimate the ego’s wily strategies. The more realistic position is to respect its capacities and compassionately heal it. Once the ego is docile it is much more amenable to evaporating into the sunshine.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 330
“[...] the ego has to be first accepted as though it is a reality in order to be dealt with before it can be transcended. At the higher levels, the ego is seen to be an illusion, without any innate reality. [...] A naive student might hear, for example, that the ego is an illusion and then presume that ‘I don’t believe in the ego. It’s just an illusion.’ At this point, it is actually the student’s ego that is making such a statement.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 329
Man is addicted to the payoffs of being right, blaming others, twisting the knife. [...]Most would rather enjoy hating someone than to give it all up.
— Dr. David Hawkins, Sedona Seminar, October 2003
“The ego gets a grim pleasure and satisfaction from suffering and all the non-integrous levels of pride, anger, desire, guilt, shame, and grief. The secret pleasure of suffering is addictive.[...] To stop the mechanism, the pleasure of the payoff has to be identified and willingly surrendered to God. Out of shame, the ego blocks out conscious awareness of its machinations, especially the secretiveness of the game ‘victim’.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 244
“Everyone gets a secret pleasure from resentments, from being the martyr or the victim, and from feeling misunderstood, unappreciated, etc.[...]To undo the ego, one must be willing to abandon this payoff game, with its grandstanding of emotions and repetitive rehashing of data and stories to justify its positions.[...] When the ‘inner juice’ is abandoned, it is replaced by inner peace.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 310-311
It’s willful to even insist that you’re going to be enlightened. Who wants to be enlightened? The ego. […] So surrender your personal will to God and pray, “I align myself with thee, O Lord, that I may be Thy servant, that I may fulfill my infinite potential to Thy glory.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Sedona lecture‚ Feb. 2005
“A useful approach is to let the love for God replace the willfulness that is driving the seeking. One can release all desire to seek and realize that the thought that there is anything else but God is a baseless vanity. […] Out of an unrestricted love for God arises the willingness to surrender all motives except to serve God completely. To be the servant of God becomes one’s goal rather than enlightenment. To be a perfect channel for God’s love is to surrender completely and to eliminate the goal seeking of spiritual ego. Joy itself becomes the initiator of further spiritual work.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Eye of the I, p. 35-36
“There is one basic saying in zen that one can rely on completely: Walk through all fear no matter what, committed to spiritual truth, no matter what.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Sedona Seminar, December 2002
Dear God, on this day I ask to be a servant of the Lord, a vehicle of Divine Love and a channel of God’s will. I ask for direction and Divine assistance and I surrender all personal will through my devotion. I dedicate my life to the service of God. I choose Love and Peace above all other options. I commit to the goal of unconditional Love and Compassion for all of life in all its expression and I surrender all judgment to God. Amen
“It is only the illusion of individuality that is the origin of all suffering.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, The Eye of the I, p. 297
Full acceptance [...] does not mean becoming an apologist for grossly negative, destructive behavior. A bull may misperceive a bystander as a potential enemy, but that does not mean that one thereby allows oneself to be needlessly gored.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Discovery of the Presence of God, p. 69
“A common spiritual error is made by holding God as the author of human suffering, which is actually the collective negative impact of the ego itself. This understandable error often results in atheism which refuses to believe in a God who is the source of evil. It is a mistake that is easily transcended by simply seeing that suffering is the consequence of the ego’s ignorance (falsehood) and misunderstanding of the true nature of Divinity. In other terminology, suffering is the consequence of linearity. Divinity is nonlinear and detectible as Universal Energy, the subjective essence of consciousness itself, and the primordial Source of existence.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Truth vs. Falsehood, p. 340
“With humility comes the willingness to stop trying to control or change other people or life situations or events ostensibly ‘for their own good’. To be a committed spiritual seeker, it is necessary to relinquish the desire to be ‘right’ or of imaginary value to society. In fact, nobody’s ego or belief systems are of any value to society at all. The world is neither good nor bad nor defective, nor is it in need of help or modification because its appearance is only a projection of one’s own mind. No such world exists.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, The Eye of The I
“The road to enlightenment is not for bleating sheep. To be offended signifies that one is defended, which, in itself, signifies the clinging to untruth. Truth needs no defense and therefore is not defensive; truth has nothing to prove.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 323
“Write down all your faults. Write down all the faults others think you have, even if you think they’re liars. You take responsibility for it all. If you own it all, nobody has any way to attack you. If others attack you, it’s because you’re not owning something. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with being stupid and ugly. (Laughter). So we admit our faults, and we stop labeling them faults. We have to get over narcissistic sensitivity. All negative reactions are not caused from outside; it’s how we choose. The way to become bulletproof is to own anything that seems a fault. The way to overcome the ego’s reaction to that is to say, “I’m stupid and ugly. It doesn’t matter; God loves me.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Sedona lecture on “Responsibility,” April / 2004
“The next core problem is the difficulty of letting go of emotional love – not because of the love itself but because of the attachment to that which is loved. We think that the loss of a love object brings grief, but actually, the grief is about the loss of the attachment itself, which is due to viewing the object of love as the source of happiness.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 41
“Non-attachment is not the same as indifference, withdrawal or detachment.[...]In contrast, non-attachment allows full participation in life without trying to control outcomes.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Eye of the I, p. 145
The ego, or more accurately, the belief that one is the ego, obscures the Realization of the Reality of the Self as the Oneness of All That is. The dissolution of the ego results in liberation from the bondage of the illusions that create suffering.
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 384
“Not knowing the highest good in a situation pray about something, not for something. Everyone is filling their own karmic destiny. You pray for someone to get sober. They don’t. They roll over in a car and they “get it” in the car and then they die. But they got it. From your viewpoint, they did not. Sometimes intervention prevents the person from learning the karmic lesson that the whole thing was set up to provide for!”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Sedona Seminar, December 2005
“Supplication is an act of humility. To lower levels of consciousness, prayer is an attempt to get something for self or others, such as a new car, a job, recovery from an illness, or special favors. With progress, this intention to control God is given up and the act of supplication becomes a dedication instead of a request. In war, both sides pray to win. With progression of consciousness from selfishness to selflessness, the quality of prayer shifts to the willingness to be a servant of the Lord and a channel of His Will without trying to specify the what or the how it is to be done.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Eye of the I, p. 138
“If you look at God as a great Father or great Mother, than S / He would delight in your enlightenment. God experiences the joy of His own Divinity, is both the pathway and the destination, both the traveler and the destination.
— Dr. David Hawkins, Q&A Satsang in Sedona, January 2007
To understand the nature of God, it is necessary only to know the nature of love itself. To truly know love is to know and understand God; and to know God is to understand love.
— Dr. David Hawkins, The Eye of the I, p. 88
“To surrender what one thinks they are to God does not leave one as ‘nothing’, but quite the contrary [...]. Every identification is a limitation.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 384
“Any self-designation or description is illusory. Even the statement “to be enlightened” is misleading and not a reality. The state is beyond ‘ being’ anything and there is no one to ‘be’ that condition.
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 385
“If all actions are taking place spontaneously and not being caused by an inner doer, then the emergence of the ego is a spontaneous and impersonal phenomenon. Like any other expression of life, the belief in the independent. self-existent, autonomous ‘I’ arose of its own – unasked, unwilled, unchosen, unbidden, and impersonal.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 385
“The advance of truth doesn’t necessarily bring tranquil waters. In fact, it can disturb things for a while. You now have a new paradigm, and inherent in it is the downfall of the old.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, Sedona Seminar, October 2004
“Don’t call it anything, don’t label it anything. Keep your mind silent. You stay in touch with whatever you are experiencing, and you let go of resisting it. You are going to experience it, you are going to decompress it. You can do that with pain and any kind of suffering. The suffering is due to the resistance. If you keep surrendering to it you will undo it.
You let go of resisting the depression. You got to sit down and go through it. You’re holding a baggage of it. The way to let go of a thing is to sit down and completely surrender to the energy of it. Don’t label it depression. You don’t have depression. Don’t label it lower feelings or any euphemism. Go into the phenomena itself. Don’t resist the phenomena, because there is only so much of it. Its like a compressed energy thing. And as you stay in touch with it and experience it out, it will come to an end. Because it is not unlimited.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, November Satsang 2006, Disc 1 / 2, track 2
“The willingness to forgive others is reflected in our own capacity for self-forgiveness and acceptance.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 113
“Compassion and forgiveness do not mean approval.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 113
“True asceticism means stringent adherence to truth, and it means of the spirit and not the body. To become a pious, ragged, semi-starved, skin-and-bones entity is a self-indulgence and has nothing to do with Reality.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 383
“It is rewarding to give up the attachment to the glamour of ‘being spiritual’, ‘holy’, or ‘special’. Truth has no trappings.”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 384
“In its broadest and most basic sense, renunciation means the discarding of illusion and the obstruction to the realization of truth and the Reality of God. Thus, all pathways to God renounce falsity and are devoted to that which radiates love, peace, holiness, compassion, forgiveness, mercy and charity. It also means the choice of renouncing ignorance for Truth, darkness for Light, and the temptations of the ego, such as hatred, anger, pride, malice, greed and selfishness. Renunciation also means freedom from the dualistic trap of denunciation”
— Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, p. 121
Posted by Jonathan Kalman at

Yelp’s unscrupulous, nefarious, fishy, cutthroat thug approach to marketing…extortion: by David Lazarus at the LA Times

Yelp’s practices sound to some like extortion

A merchant is told by Yelp that for a fee, troubling ads on the site can be made to go away. A Yelp spokesman says what was meant is that the merchant ‘could buy out the ad space on your own page.’


By David Lazarus March 31, 2014, 4:37 p.m.

Yelp just can’t stop living the thug life.

Five years ago, I asked whether the popular review site was a shakedown racket for merchants. I quoted a number of small-business owners who said Yelp had threatened to run negative reviews more prominently if they didn’t pay for advertising.

Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s chief executive, told me at the time that the San Francisco company doesn’t strong-arm merchants. He blamed talk of shakedowns on disgruntled business owners spreading “false rumors.”

I guess this is another one of those.

Rick Fonger, 62, decided a few years ago to end a career in journalism and move from Canada to Alhambra, where he opened a jewelry store.

“I’ve always been interested in gemstones and gemology,” he said. “It was just something I wanted to do.”

To give his shop, called 58 Facets Jewelry, a little social-media boost, Fonger spent about $300 a month advertising on Yelp. “It worked OK, not great,” he said.

After six months, he decided to shift his limited marketing budget to direct mail. He canceled his Yelp ad in February.

The very next day, Fonger said, a Yelp employee called to say she wanted to help. She pointed out that competitors’ ads were now appearing above the reviews for his store.

“She said that for $75 a month, she could make those ads go away,” Fonger recalled.

He responded that this sounded a lot like extortion.

“She said she could understand why I’d think that,” Fonger said. “But she said they do it to everyone.”

As if that makes it OK.

“It certainly sounds like extortion,” said Kevin Dean, president of WSI Net Advantage, a Fremont, Calif., Internet marketing firm.

“If Yelp just sold the ad space to someone else, fine,” he said. “But to then call up and offer to make the ad go away for a price, that seems like an unscrupulous business practice.”

I’ll pause here to say that I think Yelp is a flawed but valuable consumer tool. I take the reviews on the site with a grain of salt, but it’s a great place to get a quick pulse reading of people’s opinions about restaurants, stores or other businesses.

That said, Yelp is a for-profit business itself, and it makes the bulk of its money from neighborhood merchants. About 83% of the company’s nearly $71 million in revenue in the most recent quarter came from local ads.

This gives Yelp a powerful incentive to turn the screws on small businesses as much as it can.

Vince Sollitto, a Yelp spokesman, said that when the company’s rep told Fonger that she could make competitors’ ads go away for $75 a month, what she meant was that “you could buy out the ad space on your own page.”

He said Yelp is doing the same thing that phone books do: selling ads that accompany related business listings.

The difference, of course, is that the Yellow Pages never told businesses they could pay extra to get rid of someone else’s ad.

By offering this service, Yelp has introduced a more cutthroat approach to marketing, with itself as the broker for whose pitch is seen first by users of the site.

When I checked out the Yelp listing for Fonger’s shop, an ad for a rival jewelry store appeared near the top of the page, undermining the influence of the nine five-star reviews that had been posted by customers.

Sollitto said he was surprised that Fonger likened the company’s practices to extortion. He said Yelp is “all about connecting local businesses and consumers.”

I asked how offering businesses a chance to pay a monthly fee for erasing a rival’s ad was different from websites that post people’s mug shots from arrests and then charge a fee to take them down.

Sollitto seemed offended that I’d even make such a comparison.

“Yelp has created a platform for sharing information,” he said. “It’s a discovery engine for small businesses.”

And maybe he believes that. The reality, however, is that Yelp has created an online venue at which a merchant’s competitors can post negative reviews and run their own ads.

Yelp then makes money by charging to downplay others’ negative reviews and to keep rivals’ ads away.

You know the old chestnut about succeeding in business by finding a need and filling it? Yelp succeeds by making a problem and then taking people’s money to solve it.

This strikes me as an unfair business practice. But, so far, Yelp has weathered various lawsuits challenging its policies. “Their claims keep getting dismissed for lack of any fact-based evidence,” Sollitto wrote last year on Yelp’s blog.

I’m no lawyer, but I know a racket when I see one. Anybody who calls to say that you now have a problem but that they can make that problem go away for $75 a month isn’t your friend.

Dean, the marketing consultant, said that Yelp is a fact of life for small businesses and that challenging the company’s policies is going to be “a fight you’re not going to win.”

Instead, he advised companies to focus on Google and other online resources, and not lose sleep over any shenanigans Yelp might pull.

That’s probably wise. But it doesn’t excuse bad business behavior.

I asked Fonger how Yelp’s tactics differed from, say, Tony Soprano’s or Michael Corleone’s.

“Well,” he answered, “no one’s come by to break my legs.”

Then he thought about it a moment. “At least not yet


Yelp’s tactics feel ‘nefarious’ and ‘fishy,’ even if they’re legal

It could be said that Yelp creates a problem for businesses and then offers to fix it — for a price.

By David LazarusApril 3, 2014, 4:40 p.m.

Among the frequently asked questions on Yelp’s website, there’s this: “Will Yelp remove or reorder bad reviews if a business pays for sponsorship?”

And the answer: “No. You can’t pay us to remove or reorder your bad reviews — it’s just that simple.”

It’s not that simple, at least if you listen to the many small-business owners who say Yelp routinely uses bad reviews and competitors’ ads as leverage to get merchants to cough up some cash.


“They continually harass you and strong-arm you to get you to pay for their service,” said Randy Boelsems, 64, who runs a boating supply company in Fountain Valley.

Have a consumer question? Ask Laz


And if you don’t play ball, he said, it’s likely that negative reviews about your company will be featured more prominently than positive ones.

Such criticism isn’t new, though it appears that Yelp has found new ways to lean on business owners. Earlier this week, I wrote about an Alhambra jeweler who said that after he canceled his Yelp ad, a saleswoman for the site contacted him to warn that competitors’ ads would now appear with his listing.

“She said that for $75 a month, she could make those ads go away,” Rick Fonger, 62, told me.

A Yelp spokesman, Vince Sollitto, defended this practice by saying merchants are being offered the chance to buy out the ad space accompanying their reviews.

Looked at another way, though, it could be said that Yelp creates a problem for businesses and then offers to fix it — for a price.

Kurt Snider, co-owner of a Solana Beach video production company, also was told by Yelp that if he wanted a rival’s ad off his listing, it would cost him.

“It’s unfair and unethical,” he said. “It should be illegal.”

Yelp has faced a number of lawsuits over its practices. They have been dismissed for lack of evidence, a company spokeswoman said.

In a 2011 decision, U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen in San Francisco ruled that Yelp is protected by the federal Communications Decency Act when it decides which reviews to feature on its site.

The 1996 law shields websites from being sued for the content they publish, such as Nazi memorabilia offered for sale on EBay or hate speech in a discussion forum.

“From a small-business angle, is what Yelp does distasteful?” said Erik Syverson, a Los Angeles lawyer specializing in Internet law. “Yes,” but that doesn’t make it illegal.

Antone Johnson, a San Francisco lawyer who formerly worked as vice president of legal affairs for the dating site eHarmony, offered a similar perspective. He used words like “nefarious,” “crafty” and “fishy” to describe Yelp’s practices.

“It doesn’t pass the smell test,” Johnson said. “But I don’t see a statute that they’re actually violating.”

I spoke with a number of small-business owners who related stories about Yelp demanding payment to remove malicious reviews or being uncooperative in addressing false claims.

Illustrating the power Yelp has over merchants, some asked that their names not be used. They said they were afraid of making their relationship with the site even more troublesome or of drawing attention to negative reviews that Yelp has refused to take down.

A Southern California real estate appraiser pointed me toward a review claiming that he sent an unlicensed trainee to appraise a property, which would be against state law. He said that when he explained to a Yelp rep that this simply wasn’t true, the rep declined to do anything and refused to put a supervisor on the phone.

Chris Monks, 32, said he used to pay Yelp $300 a month to advertise his New Haven, Conn., moving company. Then he switched to the $75-a-month plan, which at least kept competitors’ ads off his listing.

After he canceled that in January, Monks said, “suddenly past negative reviews reappeared and all the good reviews disappeared.”

I checked out the Yelp listing for his company, 2 Young Studs Moving. There were four recommended reviews — a five-star review from February, a one-star review from 2012, a two-star review from 2011 and a five-star review from 2009. A mixed bag.

However, if you click on Yelp’s link to “reviews that are not currently recommended,” you’ll find some more negative reviews and then page after page of five-star reviews from recent years. It’s as if all the good reviews had been deliberately buried beneath the bad ones.

Yelp says it has no control over how reviews are played on the site. It says automated software chooses which reviews to recommend and which ones to downplay, and “treats advertisers and non-advertisers exactly the same.”

I asked to speak once again with Sollitto, Yelp’s vice president of corporate communications. A senior PR manager, Kristen Whisenand, asked what I wanted to discuss and then emailed me a statement.

“Not sure what’s left to explore here,” she said of allegations that Yelp is trying to extract money by running competitors’ ads on businesses’ listings. “Yelp disagrees and thinks it’s a perfectly standard advertising practice.”

She also reiterated that Yelp doesn’t play up bad reviews if a merchant doesn’t advertise and that lawsuits against the company have been dismissed “because they fail to present any fact-based evidence.”

Whisenand passed along this quote from Sollitto: “Yelp has increased consumer empowerment and disrupted the traditional landscape for local business advertising. Some businesses understand the opportunity this affords them; some businesses do not appreciate the challenges that brings.”

And one business — Yelp — doesn’t seem to care what other businesses are saying on a consistent basis, that they feel muscled by the site and treated unfairly.

Yelp’s own Yelp listing gives the company 2 1/2 stars overall. But, perhaps because Yelp is a Yelp advertiser, the first review you see is a glowing five-star homage to the service.

And there’s no ad for a competing review site.

David Lazarus‘ column runs Tuesdays and Fridays. He also can be seen daily on KTLA-TV Channel 5 and followed on Twitter @Davidlaz. Send your tips or feedback to david.lazarus@latimes.com.

Migraine disorder comes with its own set of clues to preventing pain. New promise for migraine sufferers!

Migraine disorder affects 12% of people in the U.S., mostly women, and its symptoms can be debilitating. But finding ways to keep life on an even keel can help prevent the pain.

Migraine headaches
By Lily DaytonMarch 28, 2014, 6:40 p.m.

Starting in her 30s, Barbara Schulties began suffering from debilitating headaches, which she describes as “someone taking a hot poker to my eye.” Besides excruciating head pain, the Santa Cruz resident lists a host of accompanying symptoms: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty focusing and hypersensitivity to light, noise and even wind on her face.

“I can’t spell,” she says, describing a typical headache. “It’s very hard for me to visualize words.” Like 12% of people in the U.S., and 1 out of 3 women over a lifetime, Schulties suffers from migraine disorder, an inherited condition that affects the regulation of nerve signals in the brain.

“For some people, it’s absolutely a devastating condition that impacts every aspect of their life,” says Dr. Andrew Charles, professor of neurology and director of the Headache Research and Treatment Program at UCLA.

Though a throbbing, one-sided headache is the hallmark migraine symptom, it turns out that migraine is a complex neurological phenomenon. In the days and hours before a headache even begins — a period known as the premonitory phase — an electrochemical storm begins brewing inside the migraine-af¿icted brain.

“In the premonitory phase, patients will feel tired and they might have some neck discomfort,” says Dr. Peter Goadsby, professor of neurology at UC San Francisco. Other premonitory symptoms include yawning, weariness, dizziness, irritability, thirst, food cravings, increased urination and difficulty concentrating. Using brain imaging, Goadsby and colleagues recently identified specific areas of the brain that are activated in the pre-headache phase.

In 25% of migraine sufferers, headaches may be preceded by another neurological symptom: the aura. Often experienced as a blind spot or a spinning wheel of light that obscures vision, an aura can also cause numbness, tingling or a loss of words. Once a migraine headache sets in, any type of sensory input becomes unbearable — ordinary light, noise and smells become jabs of pain. Hours after the headache has subsided, many people experience lingering fatigue and foggy-headedness.

There is evidence that, between attacks, migraine-disordered brains function differently from normal ones. Studies show that migraine-affected brains have a decreased ability to habituate, or get used to a stimulus. If you expose a normal person to a constantly flashing light, then measure the signals evoked in the visual part of his or her brain, the signals will get smaller with time as the brain gets used to the light. But if you expose a person with migraine to a flashing light, the signal will grow larger with time.

“That’s why migraineurs will notice small things that will irritate them, like a clock ticking in the background,” says Goadsby. “A migraineur gets irritated by things because [he or she] can’t get rid of them easily. A person that’s not migrainous will just ignore things. The difference is quite stunning.”

Is it the chocolate?

Every migraineur knows about triggers: things that seem to set off a migraine attack like a flame kindles a brushfire. And there are several chemical triggers that can fuel an attack in susceptible people, such as alcoholic beverages (particularly red wine, a common trigger among Caucasians), gasoline fumes and nitrates, the last of which are found in cured meats. But identifying triggers is often complicated by confounding symptoms of the attack itself.

Many people crave sugary or savory foods during the premonitory phase, says Goadsby. “If they crave something sweet and they eat something sweet, then five hours later they get a headache, they’ll tell you that if they eat sugar they always get a headache.” But he explains that the craving is part of the actual attack and one of the first signs that a headache is on its way.

“Chocolate is a classic example of this,” adds Goadsby. “If you actually study this and you try to trigger people prospectively with chocolate, it just doesn’t work. But many people will tell you it’s a trigger, and I think that the explanation for that is this very well-described premonitory phase of migraine.”

What does trigger migraine attacks in susceptible people is change. It seems that the migraine brain exists in a delicate physiological balance, with any fluctuation in sleep pattern, dietary pattern, stress level, hormone level, caffeine intake or even weather disrupting that balance and inciting an attack. Women are often plagued by migraine attacks just before their menstrual period, when their levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease. (And they frequently experience a worsening of symptoms with the onset of menopause.) Like a dropped pebble causes disturbance in a pond, a missed meal, late night or extra hour of sleep can trigger a migraine attack that reverberates hours later.

Because stress is often attributable to headaches, many migraineurs are surprised when they suffer attacks over the weekend or at the beginning of a vacation. But it’s this “letdown” from normal stress levels that often initiates an attack, explains Charles. It’s not recommended that migraine sufferers avoid vacations, of course, but rather that they try to manage stress during normal life.

Manage the migraine

Though medication can help many people with migraine disorder prevent or treat attacks, people can minimize the frequency of attacks by adopting the theme of consistency in their lives, says Charles. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, eating regular meals, moderating caffeine intake and exercising regularly can all help.

Of course, not all attacks are avoidable, just as not all triggers, such as weather changes or a bout of insomnia, are avoidable. With this in mind, Goadsby recommends that migraineurs get to know their particular disorder. He suggests that patients keep a headache journal, where they record daily activities and symptoms so they can learn to identify potential triggers as well as premonitory symptoms.

“If you’re starting to get an attack, that’s definitely not a day to drink alcohol or stay up late. It’s a day to be a little bit cautious with yourself,” he says.

“I wish I would have understood that I have a chronic illness,” reflects Schulties, who now, after decades of suffering, has a greater degree of control over her migraine disorder. “I would have treated myself better when the warning signs were there.”

Goadsby emphasizes that such awareness can help migraineurs stem attacks. “Try to understand your disorder so that you get to be in the driver’s seat rather than the attack. Don’t let migraine be your lifestyle.”


Migraine art

Malte Urbschat’s “Phosphenes and Scotomas” describes his migraine aura symptoms. (Malte Urbschat)


New promise for migraine sufferers

New drugs, herbal remedies and magnetic stimulation are among the options for migraine sufferers.

Migraine disorder is an elephant in the room of medicine, says Dr. Andrew Charles, professor of neurology and director of the Headache Research and Treatment Program at UCLA. “All physicians — anybody in any kind of medical practice — knows how common headache and migraine are as a presenting complaint, and yet we don’t really talk about it that much,” he explains.

Though migraine disorder affects 36 million Americans each year and is listed by the World Health Organization as the third most common disorder on the planet, it isn’t well represented in medical school curricula. It also receives relatively little research funding, with the National Institutes of Health dedicating only $18 million to migraine research, out of a budget of more than $21 billion. Most medications prescribed for migraine headaches were developed for other conditions, such as high blood pressure and epilepsy, and were serendipitously discovered to treat migraine. And most of them seem to follow the general rule of working for about half the patients half the time.

At the same time, new treatments are on the horizon.

Drug development

One promising approach targets a peptide called CGRP that is released from nerve cells and is thought to play a role in the pain mechanisms of migraine. Researchers are developing CGRP antibodies that can be injected beneath the skin, where they bind to CGRP and may prevent migraine attacks.

Now that scientists know that migraine is a neurological disorder rather than a vascular one, they are on the hunt for medicines that don’t affect the cardiovascular system and are thus safer for people with heart conditions.

Another drug in development is an inhaled version of dihydroergotamine, a medication that’s usually delivered intravenously in hospitals to relieve patients suffering from continuous migraine.

Supplements and herbs

The American Academy of Neurology recommends several complementary treatments, including the herb butterbur (Petasites hybridus), as effective for reducing the severity and frequency of migraine headache in some patients, though the report cautions that the safety of long-term butterbur use hasn’t been established.

AAN guidelines state that magnesium supplements are “probably effective” at preventing attacks. Side effects can include stomach upset. Riboflavin, known as Vitamin B-2, is also placed in the “probably effective” category.

Magnetic stimulation

A new paradigm in migraine treatment involves the search for non-drug, non-invasive therapies. Transcranial magnetic stimulation delivers a magnetic pulse to the brain, essentially hitting “reset” on electrochemical signals that run awry in migraine attacks. Studies show it is effective in patients experiencing migraine with aura, and the first hand-held, single-pulse device has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.


What is Cortisol and how does massage effect cortisol levels?

Intro. On-Line Only In-Call Special 1 1/4 hr $50.00 (1st time client’s) Mon – Fri

plus  offering senior and  veteran  in-call discounts with id.   Policies

Please call for an Appointment: 805-637-7482   Please no texts

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What is Cortisol and how does massage effect cortisol levels?


Cortisol, known more formally as hydrocortisone (INN, USAN, BAN), is a steroid hormone, more specifically a glucocorticoid, produced by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex.[1] It is released in response to stress and a low level of blood glucocorticoids. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.[2] It also decreases bone formation. Various synthetic forms of cortisol are used to treat a variety of diseases.






Production and release

Cortisol is produced in the human body by the adrenal gland in the zona fasciculata,[1] the second of three layers comprising the adrenal cortex. The cortex forms the outer “bark” of each adrenal gland, situated atop the kidneys. The release of cortisol is controlled by the hypothalamus, a part of the brain. The secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) by the hypothalamus triggers cells in the neighboring anterior pituitary to secrete another hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), into the vascular system, through which blood carries it to the adrenal cortex.


Illu endocrine system New.pngIllu adrenal gland.jpgGray1185.png

Main functions in the body

In the fasting state, cortisol stimulates gluconeogenesis (formation, in the liver, of glucose from certain amino acids, glycerol, lactate, and/or propionate), and it activates anti-stress[citation needed] and anti-inflammatory pathways.

It downregulates the Interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) on “Helper” (CD4+) T-cells. This results in the inability of Interleukin-2 to upregulate the Th2 (Humoral) immune response and results in a Th1 (Cellular) immune dominance. This results in a decrease in B-cell antibody production. Cortisol prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. This is why cortisol is used to treat conditions resulting from overactivity of the B-cell-mediated antibody response such as inflammatory and rheumatoid diseases, and allergies. Low-potency hydrocortisone, available over the counter in some countries, is used to treat skin problems such as rashes, eczema, and others.

Cortisol plays an important role in glycogenolysis, the breaking down of glycogen to glucose-1-phosphate and glucose, in liver and muscle tissue. Glycogenolysis is stimulated by epinephrine and/or norepinephrine, however cortisol facilitates the activation of glycogen phosphorylase, which is essential for the effects of epinephrine on glycogenolysis.[3][4]

Elevated levels of cortisol, if prolonged, can lead to proteolysis and muscle wasting.[5]

Several studies have shown a lipolytic (breakdown of fat) effect of cortisol, although, under some conditions, cortisol may somewhat suppress lipolysis.[6]

Another function is to decrease bone formation.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. The research reviewed includes studies on depression (including sex abuse and eating disorder studies), pain syndrome studies, research on auto-immune conditions (including asthma and chronic fatigue), immune studies (including HIV and breast cancer), and studies on the reduction of stress on the job, the stress of aging, and pregnancy stress. In studies in which cortisol was assayed either in saliva or in urine, significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%). In studies in which the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) were assayed in urine, an average increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% was noted for dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.PubMed

Swedish Massage Could Lower Stress Hormone Cortisol: Study

Regular massages don’t just seem to melt away stress — they may actually lower levels of the stress hormone in your body, a small new study suggests.

The research, first reported by the New York Times and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, shows that indulging in a massage is linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol and amped-up levels of a vital player in the body’s immune system, white blood cells.

The findings are “very, very intriguing and very, very exciting — and I’m a skeptic,” study researcher Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, the chairman of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, told the Times.

The study included 53 adults, 29 of whom had a 45-minute Swedish massage either once a week or twice a week for a five-week period. The other 24 adults underwent a similar massage schedule, but with a light-touch massage instead.

Researchers found that compared to the light-touch massage, study participants who underwent the Swedish massage twice a week experienced decreases in cortisol levels, increased oxytocin levels (also known as the “trust hormone”), and slight evidence of increased white blood cell counts. They also experienced decreased levels of the hormone arginine vasopressin, which the Times pointed out is linked with cortisol rises.

Previously, researchers studied the effects of Swedish massage versus light-touch massage as published in a 2010 study in the same journal. But that study did not examine differences in hormone levels with different frequencies of massage.

The Mayo Clinic points out that other potential health benefits of massage include helping maintain a stable blood pressure, relieving stiffness and pain and even helping with anxiety and depression.


Massage for Cancer Patients


Intro. On-Line Only In-Call Special 1 1/4 hr $50.00 (1st time client’s) Mon – Fri

plus  offering senior and  veteran  in-call discounts with id.   Policies

Please call for an Appointment: 805-637-7482   Please no texts


Save Time and Download 1st Visit Intake Form HERE

❶Nicola offers  Deep Tissue Massage,  Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage, Ashiatsu, ShiatsuCompression Massage, Sports and Injury Massage, Therapeutic Massage, Orthopedic Massage  (OM)  Myofascial Release, Trigger Point MassageNeuromuscular ReleaseSwedish Massage, Relaxing Massage, Reflexology Massage, Chair Massage, Lymphatic Drainage and some Asian bodywork. He also offers Healing Massage for Depression and Anxiety.

Nicola is a practicing licensed and insured professional Licensed Massage Therapist ( State Certification # 7239 ) and artist based in Santa Barbara, CA. Nicola has a wide range of female and male clients from athletes, artists, business people, educators, construction workers, house wives and tourists. He is very flexible in scheduling appointments either at his studio which is located in the San Roque area in Santa Barbara.  He can also make professional appointments at Holistic Centers in Santa Barbara, Buellton, Key2Fitness or can make home or out call visits in the Tri – Counties area. He also works with other local area professional massage therapists and can schedule male and female therapists to come to your home for a couple’s massage. Maybe you own a business with a large group of people or have a large party of people.  Nicola can organize as many therapists as you need to accommodate your specific needs.


Massage for Cancer Patients

Thank you to:


Massage involves manipulation, rubbing, and kneading of the muscles and soft tissue to enhance function of those tissues and promote relaxation.


Studies of massage for cancer patients suggest massage can decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and fatigue. Many health care professionals recognize massage as a useful, noninvasive addition to standard medical treatment. Therapeutic massage is most often given by trained massage therapists. Caregivers can also be trained in safe massage techniques.

How is it promoted for use?

Massage is recommended by some health care professionals as a complementary therapy. Supporters believe massage can help reduce stress, anxiety, and pain in people who have serious illnesses such as cancer. It is also known to help relax muscles. Many people find that massage brings a temporary feeling of well-being and relaxation. Massage is also used to relieve pain and stiffness, increase mobility, rehabilitate injured muscles, and reduce the pain of headaches and backaches.

Some practitioners claim massage raises the body’s production of endorphins (chemicals believed to improve overall mood) and flushes the waste product lactic acid out of muscles. Proponents also claim massage promotes recovery from fatigue produced by excessive exercise, breaks up scar tissue, loosens mucus in the lungs, promotes sinus drainage, and helps arthritis, colds, and constipation.

Proponents claim a type of massage called myotherapy (see the “What does it involve?” section) can reduce 95% of all muscle-related pain and, in some cases, can take the place of pain-relieving drugs. They say the techniques used in myotherapy relax muscles and improve muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination; relieve pain; reduce the need for pain medicines; increase blood circulation; improve stamina and sleep patterns; and correct posture imbalances.

What does it involve?

There are many types of massage, including Swedish massage, sports massage, neuromuscular therapy, myotherapy, and others. Swedish massage is one of the most common types of massage used in the United States today, although most massage therapists combine a number of different styles and techniques.

In all forms of massage, therapists use their hands (and sometimes forearms, elbows, and massage tools) to manipulate the body’s soft tissue. Massage strokes can vary from light and shallow to firm and deep and from slow steady pressure to quick tapping. The type of massage stroke will depend on the health and needs of the individual and the training and style of the massage therapist. During active treatment for cancer, special considerations may apply.

Swedish massage uses several techniques to apply pressure to muscles in order to relax them and encourage circulation. Deep tissue massage focuses on deep layers of muscle tissue and connective tissue with the goal of releasing chronic tension or tightness. Sports massage is used in different ways depending on the sport, but the overall goals are to reduce fatigue and improve mobility.

Myotherapy and neuromuscular therapy focus on finding trigger points and use techniques such as deep pressure to reduce them. Trigger points are abnormally sensitive, highly irritable knots of tight muscle tissue that may cause pain or limit range of motion. These types of massage are also called trigger point therapies.

Massage usually takes place on a massage table. The client may wear minimal clothing and is covered by a sheet, light blanket, or towel. Oils or lotions are often used to keep friction from irritating the skin. Typical massage therapy sessions last from 30 minutes to an hour. Massage therapists often use soothing music and dim lighting to increase relaxation.

Some massages take place with the client fully clothed and seated on a massage chair. Chair massage focuses on the head, neck, shoulders, back, arms, and hands. These massages tend to last fifteen to thirty minutes.

Many hospitals and cancer centers now offer massage to cancer patients. When provided to patients undergoing inpatient procedures, these massages generally last a shorter time.

What is the history behind it?

Massage has been used in many ancient cultures, including those of China, India, Persia, Arabia, Greece, and Egypt. Chinese texts dating back to 2700 BC recommended massage and other types of body movements as treatments for paralysis, chills, and fever. Hippocrates, known as the father of western medicine, recommended massage for sports and war injuries.

Swedish massage, one of the most common forms of massage used today in the United States, is usually attributed to the nineteenth century Swedish physician Per Henrik Ling. A number of writings from the late 1800s discuss techniques that have been incorporated into what we call Swedish massage. In other parts of the world, these techniques are more often called classic massage.

Trigger point therapy was developed as a result of the work of Janet Travell, MD, and colleagues in the 1940s. Travell developed a technique called trigger point injections, in which pain-relieving drugs are injected directly into the tender area of painful muscles. Later therapists noted that external pressure could help relieve trigger point pain without injections. Neuromuscular techniques emerged during the last half-century in Europe and North America.

Massage therapists are licensed (or in some cases, not offered licensing) by each individual state. In 1992, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) was set up to standardize qualifications and offer certification. While certification isn’t the same as licensure it can be useful in states that don’t require licensing, and the NCBTMB offered national certification. Starting in 2013, the group replaced the national certification with Board Certification, which requires more education and experience as well as an exam and background check. After completing the requirements and passing the NCBTMB exam, a person is Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage. This replaces their old national certification. These credentials must be renewed every 4 years through continuing education and practice. The NCBTMB certifying board is accredited by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (formerly NCCA, National Commission for Certified Agencies).

In 2005, massage therapists set up the Federal-State Massage Therapy Board to work with individual states to set up a standard licensing exam. This helps to protect clients by assuring a basic knowledge level, and lets massage therapists pass one exam and be able to get a license in another state. According to their website, 40 states (plus Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) have signed up to use their standard exam as of mid-2013.

In addition, massage therapists have kept asking state legislatures to require licensing in those states that don’t currently require it, so that untrained people can’t call themselves massage therapists. According to the American Massage Therapy Association’s website in 2013, 44 states and the District of Columbia regulated massage therapists. Licensure and certification make it easier to find a professional massage therapist.

What is the evidence?

While massage appears promising for symptom management and improving quality of life, available scientific evidence does not support claims that massage slows or reverses the growth or spread of cancer. A growing number of health care professionals recognize massage as a useful addition to conventional medical treatment. In a 1999 publication, the National Cancer Institute found that about half of their cancer centers offered massage as an adjunctive therapy to cancer treatment. Some studies of massage for cancer patients suggest that it can decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and fatigue. These potential benefits hold great promise for people who have cancer, who often must deal with the stresses of a serious illness in addition to unpleasant side effects of conventional medical treatment. While some evidence from research studies with cancer patients supports the use of massage for short-term symptom relief, additional research is needed to find out if there are measurable, long-term physical or psychological benefits.

Meanwhile, most patients do indeed seem to feel better after massage, which may result in substantial relief. A 2005 review of research reported that massage therapy has been shown to reduce pain and anxiety in randomized controlled trials. Large, well-controlled studies are still needed to determine the long-term health benefits of massage.

A special type of massage called manual lymph drainage (MLD) is done as part of Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which is used to treat lymphedema after certain cancer surgeries. CDT also includes external compression garments, special exercises, and skin care. This treatment is usually done by lymphedema specialists rather than general-practice massage therapists. Studies suggest that outcomes of this 4-part treatment can be very good if started early enough.

Are there any possible problems or complications?

People with rheumatoid arthritis, cancer that has spread to the bone, spine injuries, osteoporosis, or other bone diseases that could be worsened by physical manipulation should avoid physical manipulation or deep pressure. Manipulation of a bone that is already weakened by cancer metastasis could result in a bone fracture. People who have had radiation therapy may find even light touch on the treatment area to be uncomfortable. A few people have allergic reactions to lotions or oils used during massage, and this may be more common among patients receiving radiation treatment.

Patients with low blood platelet counts (a common side effect of chemotherapy) or who are taking blood-thinning medication such as warfarin (Coumadin) may be susceptible to easy bruising and should ask their doctor whether massage is safe for them.

Another concern for people who have cancer is that, in theory, tissue manipulation in the area of a tumor might increase the risk that cancer cells will travel to other parts of the body. It might be prudent for cancer patients to avoid massage near tumors and lumps that could be cancerous until this question is clearly answered.

People with cancer and chronic conditions such as arthritis and heart disease should consult their physicians before undergoing any type of therapy that involves manipulation of joints and muscles. Massage should be provided by a trained professional with expertise in working safely with people with cancer and with cancer survivors. It is important that the massage therapist know about your cancer and its treatment. Generally, gentle massage and bodywork can be adapted to meet the needs of cancer patients.

It is also important for people who have cancer to let their medical care provider know they are receiving massage. Family members and other caregivers can be instructed in certain massage techniques as well.

Relying on this treatment alone and delaying or avoiding conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.

To learn more

More information from your American Cancer Society

The following information on complementary and alternative therapies may also be helpful to you. These materials may be found on our Web site (www.cancer.org)


Ahles TA, Tope DM, Pinkson B, et al. Massage therapy for patients undergoing autologous bone marrow transplantation. J Pain Symptom Manage. 1999;18:157-163.

American Massage Therapy Association. States with Massage Practice Laws. Accessed at http://www.amtamassage.org/about/lawstate.html on May 23, 2013.

Bass SS, Cox CE, Salud CJ, et al. The effects of postinjection massage on the sensitivity of lymphatic mapping in breast cancer. J Am Coll Surg. 2001;192:9-16.

Calvert RN. Pages from history: Swedish Massage. Massage Magazine Web site. Accessed at www.massagemag.com/Magazine/2002/issue100/history100.php on January 2, 2013.

Cassileth B, Vickers AJ. Massage therapy for symptom control: outcome study at a major cancer center. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2004; 28:244-249.

Corley MC, Ferriter J, Zeh J, Gifford C. Physiological and psychological effects of back rubs. Appl Nurs Res. 1995;8:39-42.

Deng G, Cassileth BR. Integrative oncology: complementary therapies for pain, anxiety, and mood disturbance. CA Cancer J Clin. 2005;55:109-116.

Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. Accessed at https://fsmtb.org/content/?&id=101 on May 23, 2013.

Fellowes D, Barnes K, Wilkinson S. Aromatherapy and massage for symptom relief in patients with cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD002287.

Hernandez-Reif M, Ironson G, et al. Breast cancer patients have improved immune and neuroedocrine functions following massage therapy. J Psychoso Res. 2004;57:45-52.

Kaba H, Bakar Y, Ozdemir OÇ, Sertel S. Complex Decongestive Physiotherapy Treats Skin Changes like Hyperkeratosis Caused by Lymphedema. Case Rep Dermatol Med. 2012;2012:416421. doi: 10.1155/2012/416421.

Massage & related bodywork. Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Web site. Accessed at http://www.mdanderson.org/education-and-research/resources-for-professionals/clinical-tools-and-resources/cimer/therapies/manipulative-and-body-based-methods/massage.html on January 2, 2013.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Web site. Massage Therapy: An Introduction. Accessed at http://nccam.nih.gov/health/massage/massageintroduction.htm on December 28, 2012.

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006–07 Edition. Massage therapists. US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site. Accessed at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Massage-therapists.htm on January 2, 2013.

Post-White J, Kinney ME, Savik KS, Gau JB, Wilcox C, Lerner I. Therapeutic massage and healing touch improve symptoms in cancer. Integr Cancer Ther. 2003;2:332-344.

Rosser RJ. Sentinel lymph nodes and postinjection massage: It is premature to reject caution. J Am Coll Surg. 2001;193:338-339.

Smith MC, Kemp J, Hemphill, Vojir CP. Outcomes of therapeutic massage for hospitalized cancer patients. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2002;34:257-262.

Weinrich SP, Weinrich MC. The effect of massage on pain in cancer patients. Appl Nurs Res. 1990;3:140-145.

Note: This information may not cover all possible claims, uses, actions, precautions, side effects or interactions. It is not intended as medical advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultation with your doctor, who is familiar with your medical situation.


Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

What is Agnotology ?


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data. The neologism was coined by Robert N. Proctor,[1][2] a Stanford University professor specializing in the history of science and technology.[3] Its name derives from the Neoclassical Greek word ἄγνωσις, agnōsis, “not knowing” (confer Attic Greek ἄγνωτος “unknown”[4]), and -λογία, -logia.[5] More generally, the term also highlights the increasingly common condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before.

A prime example of the deliberate production of ignorance cited by Proctor is the tobacco industry‘s conspiracy to manufacture doubt about the cancer risks of tobacco use. Under the banner of science, the industry produced research about everything except tobacco hazards to exploit public uncertainty.[5][6] Some causes of culturally induced ignorance are media neglect, corporate or governmental secrecy and suppression, document destruction, and myriad forms of inherent or avoidable culturopolitical selectivity, inattention, and forgetfulness.[7]

Agnotology also focuses on how and why diverse forms of knowledge do not “come to be,” or are ignored or delayed. For example, knowledge about plate tectonics was censored and delayed for at least a decade because some evidence was classified military information related to undersea warfare.[5]


The term “agnotology” was first coined in a footnote in Proctor’s 1995 book, “The Cancer Wars: How Politics Shapes What We Know and Don’t Know About Cancer”: “Historians and philosophers of science have tended to treat ignorance as an ever-expanding vacuum into which knowledge is sucked – or even, as Johannes Kepler once put it, as the mother who must die for science to be born. Ignorance, though, is more complex than this. It has a distinct and changing political geography that is often an excellent indicator of the politics of knowledge. We need a political agnotology to complement our political epistemologies.” [8]

Proctor was quoted using the term to describe his research “only half jokingly,” as “agnotology” in a 2001 interview about his lapidary work with the colorful rock agate. He connected the two seemingly unrelated topics by noting the lack of geologic knowledge and study of agate since its first known description by Theophrastus in 300 BC, relative to the extensive research on other rocks and minerals such as diamonds, asbestos, granite, and coal, all of which have much higher commercial value. He said agate was a “victim of scientific disinterest,” the same “structured apathy” he called “the social construction of ignorance.”[9]

He was later quoted as calling it “agnotology, the study of ignorance,” in a 2003 New York Times story on medical historians testifying as expert witnesses.[10]

Proctor co-organized a pair of events with Londa Schiebinger, his wife, who is also a science history professor: the first was a workshop at the Pennsylvania State University in 2003 titled “Agnatology: The Cultural Production of Ignorance”,[11] and later a conference at Stanford University in 2005 titled “Agnotology: The Cultural Production of Ignorance”.[7]

For more information go to this link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnotology

Best article on Handball ever written: Why my Handball Sport is Better Than Yours!


Nicola Chris-topher Bandak (aka – Nick, Chris or Banduechy…so named by his handball buddies) is a California State Licensed and Insured CMP (Certified Massage Practitioner) Professional BODY WORKER, by APPOINTMENT ONLY, Last Minute Appointments are OK. 805-637-7482

The perfect game!

“Best article on Handball ever written:  Pass it all of our handball friends.”


My Sport is Better Than Yours

Handball is a moribund sport.

It was popular during the first half of the American century, when there was still an appreciable difference between men and women in this country, when scars and bone bruises were trophies you displayed proudly in the locker room. But the Seventies snuck up on us, and suddenly men were getting perms and manicures and strapping themselves to trees. And inevitably, a handful of make-believe athletes with underdeveloped Y-chromosomes decided to carry racquets into handball courts.

Now racquetball is dying, too. Our latest generation has turned to copyrighted pyramid schemes masquerading as sports — Zumba and Cross Fit and P90X. Or, worse, to simulations of sports: to monitors equipped with motion-sensing cameras, and to plastic remote controls with built-in accelerometers.

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer my sports analog.

And there aren’t a lot of sports more analog than handball.  You pick up a ball and drill it against one or more walls in such a way that your opponent can’t return it. That’s it. No hoops, goals, racquets, nets, or girlish frills. It’s beautiful. It’s primitive. It’s perfect.

I could drone on forever about handball. About its barbarian physicality: how many miles you sprint in a single match, how often you slide and punch and swivel. Or about its calculus: the infinite permutations of angles, spins and trajectories that players compute in real-time as they bank shots across multiple walls or bounce balls off ceilings. Or about the devotion of its players, who, like some obscure cult, gather at a sleepy athletic club every so often to perform their savage rites and commiserate over their thinning ranks before returning to the real world, where no one knows what the hell they’re talking about.

But rather than fill countless pages enumerating the merits of my sport, I think I’ll just denigrate yours. It’s more fun for me, and I know you like the abuse.

Oh, and for a little extra fun, I’ve translated each of your second-rate sports into a sexual experience. Confused? Read on.

Handball vs. Running, Swimming, Biking

I’m lumping running, swimming and biking together into a single category because none of them are sports. They’re obsolete forms of transportation.

Don’t get me wrong. Running and biking are great options for people who fear things like hand-eye coordination. And I’m sure swimming is a therapeutic hobby for geriatrics with bum knees. But these activities aren’t sports.

Think about it. When you run a race, you’re not actually competing against other people. You’re competing against a clock. The other runners are just there for the benefit of the spectators. Put a hundred runners on a hundred separate (but identical) tracks in a hundred different countries and the results would be the same. They each run the race, you record their times, you announce a winner. Hell, it’s not even necessary that the runners all compete on the same day.

If sports were sex, then a marathon would be like thousands of people watching each other masturbate.

Now, hand out crowbars and tire irons and let the runners start breaking each other’s kneecaps… then we might just have a sport on our hands.

Handball vs. Soccer

I’ve got the utmost respect for soccer. It’s a simple, inexpensive game that, like handball, is accessible to people of all ages and from every class of society. It builds lower body coordination in ways that few other athletics do, and it’s far and away the most popular sport in the world.

For all of those reasons, American parents should encourage their children to start playing soccer at an early age, and to keep playing it until they’ve outgrown their stuffed animals and are ready to try a real sport.

Your own children playing soccer? Adorable. But watching strangers kick a ball back and forth for three hours? I’d rather copulate with a chainsaw. The whole sport amounts to an endless string of turnovers. There’s no deliberation, no premeditation; it’s just twenty-two men scampering around in complete chaos, kicking each other in the shins and feigning injuries until — and this part is by no means guaranteed — one of them manages to put the ball into a net. You don’t even care if it’s the other team’s net or his own, because by then you’re so catatonically bored that you’re on your third round of Russian roulette.

If sports were sex, then soccer would be like a twenty-two-way orgy in which no one gets to climax.

Another thing: soccer is all legs. It’s not a full-body sport, as evidenced by the build of its players. Stand a soccer star next to a rugby player and your first impulse is to feed him.

The easiest way to gauge the strenuousness of a sport is to measure the number of calories it burns in a given time period. Fortunately, the big brains over at Harvard published just such a comparison, selections of which I have included below. For your convenience, I’ve listed the sports in order of ascending physical demand, starting with a lawn game for middle-aged drunks and culminating in the most awe-inspiring display of human potential ever performed.


Calories Burned in 30 Minutes

125 pound person

155 pound person

185 pound person

Golf: while carrying clubs








Soccer: general




Tennis: general




Basketball: playing a game




Football: competitive




Martial Arts: judo, karate, kickbox




Racquetball: competitive




Handball: general




Handball vs. American Football

I love watching football. I don’t believe there’s any sport that’s more breathtakingly methodical, that requires every member of a carefully assembled team — including coaches and coordinators on sidelines and in sky boxes — to perform in flawless harmony in order to pull off plays that were blueprinted, practiced, adjusted, then practiced again for weeks prior to kick-off. It’s exhilarating entertainment.

You’d have to be a complete idiot to actually play it, though. And if you’re not box-of-hair stupid before you start playing football, you will be by the time you’re retired.

Dozens of former NFL players are being posthumously diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Public scrutiny of CTE has become so intense in recent years that football’s governing bodies have installed new helmet-to-helmet tackle bans and other safeguards to protect “defenseless” players, leading critics to opine about the “pussification” of American football.

But if you ask me, it’s preposterous that we’re just now acknowledging that requiring three-hundred pound men to smash their skulls together a few dozen times a week for their entire professional lives might just expose them to neurological damage. That should have been a no-brainer.


Handball vs. Basketball

I’m 5’6”, so you’ll have to take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt.

Basketball is a bullshit sport. The fact that it so unabashedly rewards a single hereditary trait makes it a farce, at best… And possibly something much worse. I mean, isn’t there something fundamentally perverse about a game that roots out society’s severest genetic outliers and puts them on display for all the world to ogle? Run this show in reverse and you’ve got midget tossing. And I’m pretty sure no one attending a midget toss is there to appreciate throwing form or admire landing techniques.

Don’t misunderstand: I’m not contending that tall people are, solely by virtue of their height, good at basketball. There are plenty of gangling, uncoordinated giants.

But that basketball rewards certain inborn qualities — and rewards them lavishly – is a fact, with staggering statistical evidence to back it up. For example, consider this disparity: 97.9% of American males are 6’3” or shorter, while 20% of NBA players are. Or this mind-boggling probability: Of all Americans between 20 and 40 years old who are at least 7′ tall, 17% are in the NBA. Go ahead, read that again. It means that if you stumble across a 7′ dude on the street, there’s a 1-in-6 chance he’s playing professional basketball.

Finally, and perhaps most convincingly, there’s the money.

Salary by Height

Naysayers can object all they want, but there’s really only two ways to read a chart like this: either taller people are inherently better basketball players, or they’re more lucrative spectacles. Pick your poison.

Maybe all these numbers aren’t really your cup of tea, though. Maybe you’re more of a visual learner. If that’s the case, pay a visit to one of the many Tumblr blogs featuring photos of NBA players standing next to normal people. That ought to put things in perspective.

If sports were sex, then in basketball one of the participants would be a monstrously tall, androgynous WNBA player. And like the WNBA itself, no one wants any part of that.

Brian G Dennard


Brian G Dennard

Managing Director

JK&D International, Ltd

What is the Stress Reduction Program For Teens & Pre-Teens? What Is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction?

How Is Your Child Coping With Stress?

In today’s world, teens and pre-teens are under more pressure and experiencing higher levels of stress than ever before. An increasing demand in technology, academic preparation and life transitions often result in physical and emotional stressors, such as:

MeditationThese stressors can affect your child’s well-being and happiness. A crucial skill in managing stress effectively is to be able to deal with change whenever it occurs. More than 30 years of scientific research has shown Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to be an effective model in developing appropriate coping strategies in managing stress and restoring health and balance.


What Is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction?

Beach Fun PhotoMBSR teaches the art of living in the present moment in a non-judgmental way. This is achieved through the art of simple meditation practices designed to reduce the challenge of everyday stressors. MBSR was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School and has evolved into a form of complementary medicine, which is now recognized by many medical institutions worldwide.

In This Course Students Will Learn To:

The Practice

Our program is offered weekly on Monday evenings. The Pre-Teen Group (for ages 8-13) runs from 4 to 5 pm and the Teen Group (for ages 13-18) runs from 6-7:30 pm. Participants may register for a 6-week block of classes that can start any time. Materials include CDs and handouts.

For more information about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for your teens please go to this link:


SBCC Massage, Massage for SBCC Students, Professors and SBCC Staff for athletic injuries, sore necks and low back problems, low back pain, Nicola, LMT, 805-637-7482

Intro. On-Line Only In-Call Special 1 1/4 hr $50.00 (1st time client’s) Mon – Fri

plus  offering senior and  veteran  in-call discounts with id.   Policies

Please call for an Appointment: 805-637-7482   Please no texts


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 ❶Nicola offers  Deep Tissue Massage,  Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage, Ashiatsu, ShiatsuCompression Massage, Sports and Injury Massage, Therapeutic Massage, Orthopedic Massage  (OM)  Myofascial Release, Trigger Point MassageNeuromuscular ReleaseSwedish Massage, Relaxing Massage, Reflexology Massage, Chair Massage, Lymphatic Drainage and some Asian bodywork. He also offers Healing Massage for Depression and Anxiety.


Nicola is a practicing licensed and insured professional Licensed Massage Therapist ( State Certification # 7239 ) and artist based in Santa Barbara, CA. Nicola has a wide range of female and male clients from athletes, artists, business people, educators, construction workers, house wives and tourists. He is very flexible in scheduling appointments either at his studio which is located in the San Roque area in Santa Barbara.  He can also make professional appointments at Holistic Centers in Santa Barbara, Buellton, Key2Fitness or can make home or out call visits in the Tri – Counties area. He also works with other local area professional massage therapists and can schedule male and female therapists to come to your home for a couple’s massage. Maybe you own a business with a large group of people or have a large party of people.  Nicola can organize as many therapists as you need to accommodate your specific needs.