Understanding Karma through Astrology

Planet_Saturn&EarthWhat is karma? It is not a familiar concept in western culture.

Can our past influence our present life and how we experience it? How can we learn about our own personal karma and work proactively with it?

In my latest blog article Understanding Karma through Astrology I discuss how your astrological chart can help you understand your personality, reveal your karmic themes, and illuminate ways you can live life more fully. Read about it here!


“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.


  homeless women in sacramento

Dear MAx,

Maybe because it was just Mother’s Day that I noticed that there are a LOT of homeless women. I can’t even imagine my mother in a homeless situation. How does this happen?


Dear Mark,

Your observation is correct, the number of homeless women has significally risen in the past two years. The increase is contradictive to the 2012 “State of Homelessness in America” report that “shows that despite the bad economy (2209-2011) homelessness decreased by 1 percent…”.

Women, particularly unmarried mothers and the elderly, represent one out of four chronically homeless adults. Many of these women are homeless 365 days or more, have mental health and/or substance abuse problems, and homeless alone.

Who are these women? My own awareness of homeless women has me stopping to talk with them to find out how/why they ended up on the streets. Let me introduce you to some of the women I met: (fictitious names)

Ella: 69 year old living in the park with her friend Frances. Ella was brutally abused for over two decades by her husband. She said that being homeless has a sense of relief that she is “free”. She felt a responsibility to stay out in the open with Frances, particularly through the nights—raining or not.HOMELESS WOMAN

A principal cause of women’s homelessness is violence against women. It is estimate that 100% of homeless women have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence in their lives; 22-56% of homeless women actually reported that this violence was a direct cause of their homelessness.

Frances: Ella’s friend, Frances, is a 74 year old woman on the streets because of the lack of affordable housing and her past. Even though Frances receives a monthly social security check, she had been turned down for low cost housing because she was a convicted felon over 30 years ago. She prefers to stay out in the open at night because she had been attacked in a covered shelter. She is grateful for Ella’s friendship.homeless-women-in-durban

As the Boomers are becoming eligible for retirement, poor planning has already led to a shortage of affordable housing. Certain subsidized housing can exclude convicted felons without limits to the time of conviction, people with bad credit, and, anyone that has been evicted or receives a negative previous landlord report. These three criteria help decrease the “waiting lists”.

Greta: 61 years old, Greta had been a registered nurse since her twenties; an on-the-job injury limited her ability to adequately perform her duties when she was 51 years old. She exhausted all her insurance and unemployment benefits and was still in “Social Security limbo”; she has been waiting for over two years for her SSD benefits. Meanwhile, she had “lost everything” and is presently sleeping on a back porch picnic table of an abandoned house.Ireland Struggles Under The Weight Of An Economic Crisis After EU Bailout

Approximately 17 million women lived in poverty in 2010; 7.5 million in extreme poverty. The 1.4 million jobs added since 2009 were primarily male oriented leaving the female unemployment rate higher than it was prior to when the recovery began.HOMELESS WOMAN 2

I hope this answered your question, Mark. Don’t be afraid to stop and ask. Ignoring that these people exist is part of the problem. Any of us can end up on this journey.


Have a question about addiction, recovery, or life transitions such as retirement, career change, grief and loss issues, empty nesting, etc, ‘Ask MAx’. Send your questions to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR  97440; or, e-mail your questions to:  maxfabry@HealerToday.com. Learn more about MAx Fabry at www.lifestylechangescounseling.com.







Online Healing Course Begins Soon!


Journey Method Available Online

I am excited to announce a brand new online Journey program called Radical Healing Journey! The Journey is the deepest emotional and physical healing work I have experienced. It has helped thousands of people around the world on their true path of healing.

This program will allow you to undergo your own healing journey in the convenience and comfort of your own home, or wherever you want.

Radical Healing Journey gives you the full Journey process work, including the scripts, and access to online coaches and constant attention from a supportive community to help you go through your Radical Healing process. You are joined online by our top practitioners and several hundred like-minded people from around the globe. It’s fully explained on this website.

This is How it Works

Radical Healing Journey begins June 8th and runs for 10 weeks, ending on August 8th.

  • Every two weeks you will receive an email with a link for the new teaching segment from Brandon, and an invitation to a live group coaching session the following week using audio and video.
  • You will be assigned an accountability partner with whom you can swap your personal Journey processes.
  • Downloadable scripts and tips are provided.
  • You will have the opportunity to have one-on-one process work with a top Journey practitioner, if you choose.

Participants will have all the support they need for their transformational change, and a platform that makes it very easy to learn the teachings and follow your own progress.

You must register by May 28 to be part of this program. The time limited registration process is due to the high number of people interested.  No more than a few hundred will be accepted to ensure the quality of the program and to offer the highest personal support to all the participants.

How to Sign Up

For more information about the Radical Healing Journey program and to sign up click here.

Over the past 20 years The Journey has reached millions of people in 44 countries. We look forward to sharing these precious tools with you!

Dealing with Body Pain

It can be surprising for clients to learn that pain in their body can be significantly improved or even eliminated by using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), or tapping as some call it.

EFT is a process of working with the body’s own energy systems to help correct “stuck” energy, i.e. like when we have been in a car accident, then are totally afraid to drive again.  EFT can clear that out.  It can also deal with specific body issues and the pains that show up.

I worked again with a client today that has had long term, on and off, pain in her upper body.  After the major emotional and physical challenges were addressed via EFT for the right side of her body, which was why she was coming to me, then the pain shifted and was manifesting differently (and with less intensity) on the left side.

Her insight was that this was “left over” issues from the past that keep showing up.  Obviously why there was now a challenge in the left side of her body.

After many rounds of tapping on both the physical and emotional aspects of the problem, she looked right at me and said “its gone!”.  She then proceeded to move her arms and shoulders, and feel her upper back, and assured me that the pain was gone.

Its always interesting to see the connection between our mind and body, and how they interact over an entire lifetime of experiences, traumas, situations, and relationships.

Since I am not in the medical profession, (and don’t even play one on TV), I always leave the analysis of what has happened to the client.  They know their bodies better than anyone else.

The founder of EFT, Gary Craig, said to “try it on everything!  Many people that use energy psychology, EFT being one form of it, are expanding the horizons of healing in all areas of our lives, be it emotional, physical, or performance.

Just try it on everything!

Coffee Drinkers and Health Seekers—One in the Same?

Coffee – A Cultural Icon:    coffee_love__by_adrienn_photography

I am convinced after living in the Pacific Northwest for over 12 years that Oregonians love their coffee at least as much as the Viennese or natives of New Orleans. Although I am not a coffee drinker myself, I do love the smell of freshly ground coffee and enjoy the social, lively atmosphere of cafes and coffee houses. I understand for some people that the ritual of the coffee making and brewing is almost as important as the coffee itself.

As a nutritional therapist, I am concerned about helping people get sugar, chemicals, and all manner of processed foods out of their diet. So where do I stand on coffee? Before I take a stance on this beloved beverage, let’s look at the effects of coffee on the body.

Coffee – The Bad and the Ugly

Coffee is a narcotic beverage in the same alkaloid group as morphine, cocaine, and strychnine.The caffeine can combine with your stomach acid to form a more potent toxin called caffeine hydrochloride. As this toxin absorbs into your portal circulation and hits your liver, bile is released in an attempt to flush it from your system. This is what creates “bowel regularity” among coffee drinkers. coffee addiction

Heavy coffee use depletes the body of Thiamin or B1. This can result in fatigue, nervousness, aches and pains and headaches.

Regular use of coffee inhibits vitamins and minerals from being properly absorbed in the small intestine. Coffee causes excretion of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and trace minerals into the urine, causing a diuretic effect that also contributes to dehydration. These minerals are all essential to good health and specifically bone health.

Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant and causes the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline, a hormone needed for a rapid fight or flight response. When coffee is over used, the adrenal glands can become exhausted. Exhausted adrenal glands create endocrine distress, blood sugar imbalances, and the inability to handle life’s day to day stress.  

coffee withdrawals

Over 208 acids in coffee contribute to indigestion and a wide variety of health issues including arthritis, allergies, skin irritation and general pain and inflammation throughout the body. Coffee breaks down into a by product called uric acid, and this acid is known to burden the kidneys, contributing to kidney stones and gout. Coffee contains naturally occurring carcinogens such as trichloroethylene (a solvent and degreasing agent) and nitrosamine, and many other compounds that are hard on the liver.

We must acknowledge that coffee is specifically contraindicated for those with high blood pressure, chronic headaches, insomnia, gout, heart disease, tinnitus, irritable bowel problems, acid indigestion, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis, liver disease, and autoimmune disease just to name a few.

Some Tips for Healthier Coffee Drinking:

Okay, you have probably figured out that it would be virtually impossible for me to endorse coffee as a healthful beverage. On the other hand, if I told my clients that they had to give up coffee entirely, some may never come back. So, here are 8 tips for the middle road:

#1 Choose Organic

Conventional coffee is heavily sprayed with pesticides.

#2 Get the Sugar Out

Use stevia or xylitol or just enjoy the sweet taste of some cream or coconut milk in your coffee as it will provide natural sweetener and some healthy fats.

#3 Avoid Coffee Concoctions

Ditch the flavored creamer concoctions as they are made with hydrogenated vegetable oils and corn syrup.

#4 Try Coffee Alternatives

Roobios tea (rich red tea from South Africa), teeccino (teeccino.com), Inka (inkacoffee.com/index2.htm), as well as green and black tea and yerba mate are great substitutes that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Trying these alternatives is a great way to cut down coffee usage to one cup per day or eliminate entirely over time.Sei Mee Tea is another alternative that exists made from brown rice(1-866-844-9448). Try Choffy-roasted cacao beans at http://www.drinkchoffy.com/ .

#5 Take Coffee Holidays

Everyone should know how they feel without coffee! You will only know the true state of your health when you are not propped up with caffeine. A coffee holiday would also be a good time to eliminate sugar and processed foods for a week to a month depending on your wellness goals.

#6 Reduce to One Cup of Naked Coffee Per Day

coffee no sugar

Naked coffee – this got your attention right? One cup a day does not mean a mega-grande French vanilla frappuccino with caramel and chocolate syrup. Keep it simple and enjoy the real taste of the unadulterated coffee. Drink your cup before noon to avoid sleep issues.


#7 Only Use Freshly Ground

Coffee beans will become rancid when exposed to light and oxygen. Grind your coffee fresh daily and store beans in the refrigerator or freezer.

#8 Eat Before or With Coffee

Coffee spikes blood sugar and decreases appetite. Your body needs fuel to run the day, so drink your cup of coffee with a protein rich, nutrient dense breakfast.

The ideal is that we can all function well and have abundant energy without caffeine or sugar to prop us up, however, if you must have your one cup of coffee per day ENJOY IT WITHOUT GUILT (assuming you are in decent health) and incorporate some of  theabove tips.









coffee ending

©Ellen Syversen, Pathways for Health, LLC, pathwaysforhealth.net. (541) 912-8624. 2011.


Helping Veterans deal with Stress & PTSD

An ever higher and higher number of our military veterans are having to deal with high levels of stress and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  The Veterans Administration is in a state of overwhelm trying to help our veterans.  The VA uses many different modalities to help, including counseling, talk therapy, group therapy, and prescription medications.  I was interested to learn that the VA has spent over One Billion dollars on prescription medications for service members.  A Billion is a LOT.

Might there be a better way, a faster way to help our veterans?  Yes, I believe there is.

As a Certified EFT Practitioner, I am also doing session work with veterans to help them with the many challenges they face after their service to our country.  A prime way of doing this is via a research project called the Veterans’ Stress Project (VSP), www.stressproject.org  We offer six free sessions of help for veterans using a form of energy psychology called EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).

The VSP helps Veterans learn an evidence-based, drug-free, self-help technique proven effective in relieving a wide range of stress-related symptoms.  All sessions are confidential and at no charge.

The Veterans’ Stress Project is nation-wide, and open to all veterans.

Who do you know that is open to help with gaining a better qualify of life?

I also work with Firemen, Police, EMTs, First Responders and the families of Veterans.


images-2May 2013 marks the month that the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) comes out.  Among many changes, one of the biggest was the removal of the diagnoses of Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder in favor of a spectrum that encompasses all autism related disorders. Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, will now be the diagnosis given to all of those people who have an autism-related disorder including AS.  In addition to the diagnosis of ASD, a person will be given one of three levels of severity of symptoms: Level 1- Requiring Support, Level 2- Requiring Substantial Support or Level 3-Requiring Very Substantial Support.

Obviously removing a diagnosis that has been given to many people will cause problems.  There is a large number of people who already carry the diagnosis of AS.  Erasing a diagnosis does not mean that it no longer exists.  Those of us in the mental health field who work specifically with AS clients find ourselves wondering whether or not to change our business cards.  How can one specialize in Asperger’s Syndrome when there is no Asperger’s Syndrome?  What about all of the countless hours and energy we have spent the public about Asperger’s, a public that continues to believe that people who have AS are like Dustin Hoffman’s character in “Rain Man?”  With the new Autism Spectrum, once again we will have to find a way to educate others on the distinct differences between classic autism and the disorder formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome.

Many people with Asperger’s Syndrome or “Aspies” as they refer to themselves have embraced their diagnosis and have built their own Aspie communities and support networks.  Eliminating the diagnosis will not change this nor should it.  People who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s will continue to think of themselves as such.  Asperger’s still exists therefore we will treat it as Apserger’s.

Rebecca Alexander, M.A., Asperger’s Specialist, rlxnder@gmail.com