Baha'i Library Online
Back to Healing through Unity newsletters


September, 2004

A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of
 physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings

Volume 8, Issue No.7




— Help Through Heavy Weights
— Faith is the Standard
— On Being Extraordinary
— Introducing New Production Assistant
— Health Note
     • Hope for Migraine Prevention
— Book Corner
     • "Stories Told By 'Abdu'l-Baha"
— Readers Request Assistance
— Whole Foods Recipe Swap
     • Chopped Zucchini, Mexican Style
— Mental Health Conference
— Question of the Month
— Letters
— Purpose of the Newsletter/Subscriptions





One Monday morning at the end of January of this year, I awoke with a pain in the heart area. This was something I had never experienced, and having just celebrated my 60th birthday, and having a very stressful job, and having heard Monday mornings were the time for most heart attacks, I immediately telephoned my chiropractor to see about an adjustment.

He said: "No, my dear. You are to go straight to the emergency room. I don't care if you are in your pajamas or if you have to call 911. You go straight to the ER and get checked out!"

Not the answer I wanted. I pulled myself together and drove, through Atlanta, Georgia (USA) traffic to Emory University Hospital, because I knew how to get there, more than any other reason. I was admitted to the ER, and they began the cardiac screening.

All kinds of tests, oxygen, digitalis, a million questions, at least 30 doctors probing and prodding and asking questions. Finally, they decided to admit me, even though the pain was gone. Since there were no rooms available, they sent me to an available bed in ICU. I noticed that instead of "Cardiology" on the shirts of the doctors, they had begun to read:


I knew what that meant. One young doctor came in, and was very nervous as he asked me a few questions. Being straight to the point, I said: "OK Doc. I see the label on your coat. Tell me what you suspect."

He wanted to talk a bit, until he could "get to know me a little better," he said.

I assured him I was not going to freak out. "Just give me the facts." I said.

As it turned out, they had ruled out any cardiac problem. But oh my, look what they found! Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. I was to make an appointment with the hematology department for more tests, since I insisted that I be released and sent home.

"I can do tests as an outpatient, and even the best insurance is bad insurance when you are in a hospital bed," I said. They sent me home.

As requested, I went to the clinic for more blood work. The doctor who got me, or was it the other way around, is the head of Hematology/Oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. I call him

(affectionately) Dr. Blood.

My white cell count was 12,000, enough above the high of 11,000, which caused the diagnosis. He very carefully explained what this meant, even drawing me a picture. In a nutshell, the white cells were cloning themselves, would eventually clump up and dump into the lymph system, liver and spleen, clogging up the works.

"What can I do, Doc?" I asked.

"Nothing. There is no cure, but of course we are making strides daily," he said. My reaction has been discussed repeatedly at the hospital:

"Gee Doc, I have a really lousy retirement plan. This may just be my answer."

He was quite taken aback, not accustomed to that type of reaction from a newly diagnosed cancer patient.

Well. The first thing I did, of course, was to put out a call for prayers, and having had the bounty of serving at the Baha'i World Center in Haifa, Israel, that meant my call went out internationally.

The next thing I did was consult with two different chiropractors, one here in Atlanta, who is my regular doctor of chiropractic (DC), and one in Monroe, Louisiana (USA), a much-loved Baha'i sister who is also a DC. Off I started on a program of colon hydrotherapy, juicing and general detoxification. They put me on digestive enzymes, probiotics, natural vitamins for women, selenium, MSM (methylsulphonylmethane) and vitamin C.

And did I mention Juice Plus?

I went back for more tests on March 18. The blood count was up to 15,000.

"A blip on the radar screen," Dr. Blood said.

Then I heard of another system, through a former cancer patient, one of my boss's clients. Turns out he had been struggling with Hodgkin’s Disease since he was in his 20s, had lost a lung and spleen to radiation therapy and finally found the Anatoly Gravitational System. This is a system whereby you stress your bones through heavy-duty weights at various points of the body, a method believed to regenerate stem cells and thereby enhance the immune function.

I subsequently talked to another man who had gone through this system, who had literally been sent home to die. His cancer had metastasized throughout his body, and there was nothing that could be done. He went through the Anatoly Gravitational System and has been declared cancer FREE for over three years now.

I decided I had to try it. The colonics were expensive at $70 a week, but this was going to be $100 a week, and did I mention I am a secretary? Let me say I have very loving and kind friends.

I began the treatments, feeling like an idiot, because a gymnast I am not.

What I found out through the actual experience, is that I was under the direct supervision of one Russian man, who made sure I was in proper gear, in proper position. He manages the weights that you lift with the use of a belt or strap, all with special boots, braces and techniques that were developed in Russia.

There is one place in the United States where you can do this treatment, and it is in Atlanta, Ga. I never could figure out how I ended up in Atlanta after Haifa, but now I know.

My blood work on April 29 showed a white count of 12,500. Beginning stages.

Not only had I not increased, I had gone backwards by a number of points. A mere blip on the radar screen.

In June 2004, I went for more blood work. The count is down again, to 12,300. Another blip. I am a mere 1,300 points from them having to readjust the diagnosis.

In the meantime, the prayers are flowing from all around the world. (Thank you very much to those who know about all this and are praying for me.) And, I am continuing with my detox program, drinking loads of pure water, eating lots of fresh vegetables, including cultured veggies. (Read: "The Body Ecology Diet" by Donna Gates, a system that nourishes the growth of microorganisms in the digestive tract.)

I have dropped 20 pounds, look better, feel better and am stronger than I have been for years, mentally and physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The Anatoly Gravitational System is not as yet researched. There is information about it on-line, at:

I highly encourage people to check it out, especially if you are dealing with any kind of health issues. Read the testimonials. Arthritis, fybromyalgia, (immune dysfunctions, by the way). Also, you can download William D. Kelly's book called, "One Answer to Cancer," chock full of interesting information. Do a Googol Internet search for William D. Kelly, DDS.

I met a young woman who is going through the gravitational system for panic attacks and has been virtually cured. I met a man who was shot in the day- trading incident here in Buckhead several years ago. He had a gunshot wound to the head and was told he would never walk or talk again. Well, he walked in, did the treatments, walked out and said thank you.

This method would certainly be considered an alternative treatment, but when a bona fide, certified MD tells you that there is "nothing" you can do, sometimes we have to be proactive and search for "something" that just might work. I believe Baha'u'llah gives us that latitude.

Nancy Markovich lives in Atlanta, Ga., USA




."As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the standard — this is the standard — this is the standard." — "Compilations, Baha'i Scriptures," pages 504 - 505



The Art and Practice of Living From Possibility


When you are extraordinary, not only does life take on a new level of excitement and possibility, the people around you are called to be everything they can be, as well.

Each of us would like to be extraordinary, to have our lives matter, to make a difference in the world. Access to that, however, often seems accidental or out of our reach, as if it were a matter of being born with the qualities or characteristics that would make us extraordinary.

Take the opportunity to examine, to create, and to get hands-on access to what it means to design and live an extraordinary life, a life that invites the unexpected and that which is possible beyond the ordinary.

Integrity— Being your word. Giving up reasons and justifications for not being your word. Being responsible for where integrity has been absent or missing in your life.

Racket-free — Creating an early warning system for being present to "rackets." Giving up being right. Being responsible. Cleaning up damage.

Powerful — Being straight in communication and taking what you get.

Giving up force and manipulation as a way of producing results.

Courageous — Being in action in the face of your fear. Giving up not acting because you are afraid.

Peaceful — Being accepting. Giving up "there is something wrong here."

Charismatic — Being fulfilled now. Giving up "in order to."

Enrolling — Sharing possibilities with the intention of communicating and sharing so that others are present to being moved, touched and inspired by your having gotten that possibility. Giving up cynicism and resignation.

Breakdowns — This side of Breakthrough. When breakdowns are seen as the path, as stepping stones to a breakthrough, something that was not predictable can happen, something new becomes possible. Breakdowns only occur against a background of commitment to make something happen. They are an integral and critical part of any breakthrough, an occasion for extraordinary action for making something happen that would not have happened otherwise. Discover the technology of breakdowns, a technology that gives you direct access to generating breakthroughs, where creating and resolving breakdowns keeps taking you to new levels of ability and performance.

Commitment — "Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions which speak louder than words. It is making the time when there is none." (Shearson Lehman, American Express)

Relationship — Love, genuinely and authentically expressed, is enormously powerful. It can connect us profoundly and intimately.

Integrity: The Bottom Line — "The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the full light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny. . . it is the light that guides your way." (Heraclitus, Greek poet and philosopher)

Attitude — "We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our Attitude.

I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it." (Charles Swindoll)

(Source: The Landmark Forum: )




I am happy to introduce our new production assistant, Kathy Yonash. She lives with her husband, Leo, in a little town of 420 people, in southwest Wisconsin.

"It is quiet and fits our lifestyle, but can be a bit isolated," she said.

It can be very difficult for me to participate in Baha'i activities, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to help out with the newsletter."

She and her husband own an auto repair business and have also started a natural-healing business "to take us into the next stage of our lives," she said. It was the natural healing business that ultimately brought her to Healing Through Unity Newsletter.

"I have always liked the idea that the Internet can connect people living so far away. I feel that this is the major avenue for the common people to create a global society. One of my greatest pleasures is helping people.

What is so nice, is the universal appeal of these articles. While they are written from the Baha'i point of view, anyone can utilize their message.

But, this doesn't surprise me, since the Baha'i message is inherently universal," she said.

Subscription information and her e-mail address can be found at the end of this newsletter.





If you are looking for a safe alternative to migraine medication, you may find it in relatively inexpensive, over-the-counter dietary supplements which have few if any side effects.

One promising supplement is coenzyme Q10. Joan Rozen, of Binghamton, N.Y.

(USA), a migraine sufferer who lived on over-the-counter pain medications, began taking 150 milligrams of CoQ10 daily, at the advice of her neurologist son, Dr. Todd Rozen. She was told the medication would take a few months to work.

Then, one day, "I realized I wasn't getting these daily headaches," Rozen said. "I cannot tell you what a tremendous difference it has made in my life."

Coenzyme Q10 is among a number of dietary supplements showing promise in preventing or reducing the severity of migraines suffered by an estimated 28 million Americans. Powerful drugs called triptans have proven effective at aborting migraines, but patients want a way to avert the attacks.

Daily doses of some prescription blood pressure drugs, antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs can be taken as preventives, but have significant side effects and don't help everyone.

"The bottom line is that there are safe alternatives with a firm scientific basis for preventing migraine for people who don't want to take prescription drugs, that also can be used to complement prescription drugs," said Dr.

Richard B. Lipton, a neurology professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y. They include:

Coenzyme Q10 — Swiss researchers reported at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in April 2004 that 300 milligrams daily, halved the incidence of migraines compared with dummy pills.

Magnesium — Several studies have shown that magnesium prevents migraines in about half of cases. Dr. Alexander Mauskop, director of the New York Headache Center, who has long studied magnesium, believes about 50 percent of migraine patients have an underlying magnesium deficiency. Recommended doses range from 360 milligrams to 1 gram. Magnesium can cause diarrhea if taken on an empty stomach and should be taken with nondairy meals, because it interferes with calcium absorption. It shouldn't be used by people with serious kidney problems.

Riboflavin — Also called vitamin B-2, it has been shown in several studies to work better than a placebo in the prevention of migraines. The usual dose is 400 milligrams. Riboflavin acts on energy production within mitochondria.

Feverfew — This herbal relative of the daisy may prevent some of the blood vessel dilation associated with migraine pain. One major caution: Feverfew can interact with Coumadin and other blood thinners.

Magnesium-riboflavin-feverfew combinations — Sold under the brand names MigreLief and MigraHealth, two pills pack 300 milligrams of magnesium, 400 milligrams of riboflavin and 100 milligrams of feverfew.

Butterburr root extract — Sold under the brand name Petadolex, the soft gel tablets have been shown in several studies, including one published in the February issue of the journal European Neurology, to halve migraine frequency.

(Source: Los Angeles Times)






All summer, I have been slowly reading a gem of a book compiled by Dr. Amir Badiei, "Stories Told By 'Abdu'l-Baha' (George Ronald, Oxford, 2003).

Ordinarily, it would not take me a summer to read a paperback only 183 pages long. These simple stories, however, are spiritually informative, words to be slowly savored. They teach volumes about the heart and give precious glimpses into the remarkable, endearing personality of the Master.

In the afternoon after work, or during the weekends, I would take a moment to sit in a wicker chair out on the porch, catch the warmth of the sun and read a few stories. Any moment to learn more from 'Abdu'l-Baha is a blessed one, but these profound glimpses into his life and teachings cause one to pause and reflect. I never wanted the book to end.

Now, I realize that these anecdotes are ageless. Their meanings will never be exhausted. I could read them all over again tomorrow and learn more, the hallmark of a classic compilation. Thank you Dr. Badiei for bringing together under one cover stories gleaned from written records told over a period of many years.

We know that 'Abdu'l-Baha (1844-1921), the eldest son of Baha'u'llah, was always serving humanity. Among many other selfless deeds, he gave alms to and fed the poor, nursed the sick, revealed prayers, welcomed and interviewed guests who came to see his father, endured prison and persecution, answered difficult questions posed by learned Sufi leaders, doctors and religious teachers, wrote copiously on spiritual subjects, assumed full responsibility to erect the shrine of the Bab on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, had great love for children, flowers and the beauties of nature, and by his life and example demonstrated how one should "live the life."

Lucky for us, for more than a century, many people have written down stories about 'Abdu'l-Baha.

"It is indeed a blessing to have access to these accounts about the Christ-like life of one who is the Perfect Exemplar of the teachings of Baha'u'llah and whose way of life provides a noble example for all to follow," Badiei writes.

Badiei's compilation, however, is unique in that the stories presented in his book "are not about 'Abdu'l-Baha — they are written or told by Him," he says.

Because the stories are now separated from the context of the spontaneous moment in which they were told, at the end of some stories, Badiei adds a brief description of the topic of discussion at the time they were shared.

Each story has a title and is followed by a relevant quote from the Baha'i writings. Extensive footnotes and references are listed in the back of the book.

In parables and stories, hidden meanings are preserved for centuries. These pithy tales reveal 'Abdu'l-Baha's erudition, his humor, his earthiness, his spiritual nobility. I was particularly fascinated by the stories that showed his great curiosity and powers of observation and how he related everything he saw to a spiritual principle. Here is an example:

"Cooperation is Practiced Even Among the Insects

"There is brotherhood natal in mankind because all are elements of one human society subject to the necessity of agreement and cooperation. There is brotherhood intended in humanity because all are waves of one sea, leaves and fruit of one tree." ('Abdu'l-Baha, "Promulgation of World Peace," page 129)

"One day, I was standing by a creek and observed that a swarm of small locusts whose wings had not yet developed wanted to go to the other side of the creek to find food. To make this possible for them, some of the adult locusts rushed forward, each one trying to get ahead of the others. They threw themselves into the water to establish a bridge from one side of the creek to the other. Then the small ones crossed the creek by walking on this bridge.

"All the locusts that formed this bridge lost their own lives in the process." (Translated and adapted from "Khatirat-i Mirza 'Isa Isfahani, pp. 18-21.)

" 'Abdu'l-Baha was talking about the necessity of cooperation among all the peoples of the world. He told this story to show that cooperation is practiced even among animals."

NOTE: "Book Corner" will be a regular feature in this newsletter. Here is a chance for you to tell the world about books that have inspired your life.

We welcome your book stories, long or short. Please send them to the editor of this newsletter at:





(NOTE: Last issue's question was: "How Do You Wean Kids From Watching Too Much TV and Videos?")


The most immediate effective way to cut down TV consumption is to stop having cable, if you have it. If you still have problems after that, it is very simple. Unplug it and remove it from your house. — Victoria O'Neill


The best way to control TV watching by toddlers is to remove the TV from the house. We have not had a TV in the house since our children were born. I read to them, give them plenty of age-appropriate activities that they can do themselves or do activities with them. They do watch TV when we are on vacation or visiting family and friends, so they are not completely isolated from it.

They are now ages 10 and 8 and are avid readers. My 8 year old is reading "Lord of the Rings." When the subject of getting a TV came up, the 10 year old pleaded to NOT get one. She said she wouldn't read as much and wouldn't be as smart if we got a TV.

As a teacher, I strongly feel that many of the attention difficulties some of my students have are associated with watching television. Honestly, there is so much more to life than watching TV. Get rid of it! You will be thankful. Peace — Vania






Calabacitas is an extremely easy recipe to make. If the cooking time seems unduly long, this is because the acid in the tomatoes slows down the cooking of the zucchini.

2 tablespoons corn oil

1 pound young zucchini, sliced

1 onion finely chopped

1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 drained canned jalapeno chilies, rinsed, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


fresh cilantro sprigs to garnish

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and add all the remaining ingredients, except the salt and cilantro sprigs.

Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Check occasionally to make sure that the dish is not drying out; if it is, add a little tomato juice, stock or water.

Season with salt and serve the Mexican way — as a separate course.

Alternatively, serve accompanied by any simply cooked meat or poultry dish.

Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.

(Source: "Classic Mexican: Hot and Spicy Recipes from All Over Mexico" by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz Arness Publishing, 1997.)



SET FOR NOV. 4 — 7, 2004


On Nov. 4-7, the Baha'i Association of Mental Health Professionals

( will be holding its Sixth Annual Conference: "The Brain and the Spirit: In Search of the Whole Self," at the Bosch Baha'i School, Santa Cruz, California (

The event is open to all. Program highlights include:

• Patricia Romano-McGraw, author of "It's Not Your Fault: How Healing Relationships Change Your Brain and Can Help You Overcome a Painful Past"

( will present a full-day workshop on Saturday, Nov. 5.

• Hal Williamson, founder and CEO of Hope Unlimited, will present "These Amazing Brains."

• Bruce Lipton, a cellular biologist, acclaimed researcher, author and speaker will explore "The Biology of Belief."

• James Bartee will speak on "Spirituality and Psychology: An Emerging Partnership." Dr. Bartee served as consulting psychologist at the Baha'i World Centre for the past 13 years.

• Jane Faily will offer "A Baha'i Perspective on the Spirit-Brain Connection."

Musical presentations will also be part of the conference. Space is limited; register early. Contact: Bosch Baha'i School at or (831) 423-3387. To offer a brief paper presentation, contact Michael Penn at:




I have been plagued by lower back pain for about five months. It is a dull, sometimes burning ache that by the end of the day becomes a "prickly heat" sensation in my buttocks and upper thighs. Sitting gets very uncomfortable.

Sometimes, the ache jumps briefly to my shoulders and neck. By nighttime, bending or standing in one place is vexing. Moist heat gives it relief. Some days are better than others, and I have had a number of pain-free days.

At age 59, I do have osteopenia, a preliminary form of osteoporosis. I take calcium supplements but have read that the wrong kinds of calcium can actually induce arthritis. So far, I have had manipulations and other treatments from two medical doctors. I suspect that it may be a form of osteoarthritis. Any suggestions, please, for relief, treatment or remedy? — A Friend




How does one comfort people who have been devastated by the shocking tragedy of a loved one who has committed suicide? What can you say to survivors? Are there any books one can read or suggest? Support groups?





Thank you for all the time and energy you obviously devote to carrying on Healing Through Unity. Your articles are well written. Do you have a background in a healing science/practice?

It would be helpful for authors or citations if just a bit of credentials are cited. When articles name a "doctor," the title often carries a certain authority — despite the disclaimer at the end of the newsletter about "authority." Since doctors are of many different disciplines (Ph.D. in numerous fields not connected with health care, Chiropractor, ND., Homeopathic Physician, MD, etc.), it helps to state the title or discipline.

I am an MD and am aware of the training and perspective instilled and usually practiced by MDs. Out of interest in "unifying the paths to healing" over the past 14 years, I've become familiar with the training and practice of various other doctors who practice health care. Since 'Abdu'l-Baha enjoined us to get care from "highly qualified physicians" who practice a "scientific" method of healing, I'm always looking for scientifically supported approaches and health findings.

Anyway, it would help me, as well as other readers, for titles or disciplines to be stated when people write or are cited as health practitioners. Again, thank you for your work. With warmest Baha'i greetings — Hannah Rishel, pediatrician

(EDITOR'S NOTE): I do not have a background in health or science, but as an editor and feature writer for 23 years, I have researched and written many stories on health and science. Thank you for your good advice about giving titles for health-care practitioners.)


The repetition of Allαh-u-Abhα ("God is Most Glorious") 95 times each day is obligatory for Baha'is, and how to do it correctly is prescribed in the Kitαb-I-Aqdas ( Baha'u'llah, K18). Although it differs from the obligatory recitation of 95 times a day, the suggestion of also reciting Allαh-u-Abhα every 10 minutes of my waking time is a splendid idea. I will try to adopt this habit. Warm regards — Barbara Stephan.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The above letter was a response to a comment made in the June 2004 issue about the power of prayer and developing the practice of reciting the Greatest Name (Allαh-u-Abhα) 95 times daily.)




All of us have had healing experiences — physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. Please share your stories and other ideas about staying healthy in a stressful world. Your articles do not have to be long — just a few paragraphs will suffice. Encouragement is a big part of a healthy lifestyle, and sharing stories and ideas that work for you brings encouragement to others.




Many thanks to all of you who share helpful ideas for "Healing Through Unity" Newsletter. We welcome submissions from everyone. The decision to select and edit material submitted for publication is determined by the editor.

Please e-mail your stories, comments, suggestions or "Question for the Month" ideas to newsletter editor Lynn Ascrizzi, at:




You can visit our Web site, obtain back issues and the Healing Through Unity Course at:




"Healing Through Unity" is published for the purpose of sharing thoughts, comments and experiences on how the teachings of the Baha'i Faith are being applied to physical and spiritual health. Other than the quoted Holy Writings, the material in this newsletter represents the thoughts and opinions of the writers and has no authority. None of the material published in this newsletter is intended to be a substitute for the advice of your physician. You are free to copy articles, provided you indicate the source of the article. There are 10 issues per year; it is not published during July and August. The newsletter is produced in Freedom, Maine, USA.

Back to Healing through Unity newsletters