US Girl Eats Five Soaps a Week

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LONDON – A 19-year-old girl in the US is getting treatment for her addiction of eating soaps and detergent powders.

Tempestt Henderson, from Florida, eats up to five bars of soap a week and washing powder as well, the Daily Mail reported here.

According to doctors, the toxic compulsion is a rare medical condition, PICA, which causes an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive.

People suffering from PICA have been known to compulsively eat metal, coins, chalk, batteries and toothbrushes. It can often be caused by a mineral deficiency, which explains why pregnant women often crave eating coal when needing iron.

“In the shower, I like to lather up a green bar of soap, and lick the bubbles. And as the soap disintegrates, I pop a tiny amount of the soap into my mouth and suck it. It’s heavenly,” she was quoted as saying.

“I love the clean feeling it gives me. Eating soap feels so much cleaner than just washing with it.”

The doctor gave Tempestt intensive Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to give her replacement thoughts that will prevent her from compulsively reaching for soap.

“I’m learning to think about positive things when I feel I need to eat soap,” she said.

She has also been encouraged to go for long walks, avoiding places where soap is present, like bathrooms and launderettes.

According to psychologists, Tempestt most likely turned to soap eating as a comforting coping mechanism when she found herself away from her family.

Discover Shamanic Smudging

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Shamanic smudging or just smudging is an age-old tribal tradition which has been used for centuries to create harmony and peace. There are many different shamanic smudging ceremonies, and different tribes use a variety of herbs for smudging.

To define it more clearly, shamanic smudging is the burning of herbs or incense for cleansing, purification, protection of physical and spiritual bodies, banishment of negative energies and creation of sacred space. You can use smudge sticks (herbs that are tied into a bundle for easier handling), braided herbs and botanicals (like sweetgrass) or loose herbs (burned on charcoal or mugwort, or in a firepit). Shamanic smudging releases the energy and fragrance of the herbs and botanicals so they can heal, cleanse and purify.

Smudging Four Directions

In many traditions, shamanic smudging involves a four directions ceremony or prayer, which sends specific kinds of smoke or prayers into the four directions. Different tribes have different smudging prayers that program the smoke to do a specific action, such as cleansing or aiding in divination.

In general, shamanic smudging can be used in daily life for practical purposes: to restore physical, mental and emotional balance; to shield against negative energies; to cleanse yourself, your magickal tools and your space; and to restore you sacred space.

You can burn these common smudging herbs singly or in combination with each other. One good combination that covers all four magical elements of air, fire, water and earth is pine resin and sage (either desert sage or white broadleaf sage). This combination is appropriate for general use, cleansing, ceremony and ritual.

When to Smudge Yourself

Smudging yourself on a daily basis can be very helpful in keeping yourself balanced and maintaining a peaceful state of being. However, you should definitely use shamanic smudging techniques when youíve been around people who are ill, depressed, fearful, angry or generally emotionally unbalanced; before meditating to create a calm state of being; when youíre feeling blue or depressed; or when youíve been under a lot of stress.

Smudging yourself is easy. If you’re using a smudge stick, light the smudge stick on a candle flame. Hold the stick in the flame until there is a lot of smoke and the stick is burning well (that ís why a candle is better than a matchóit can take a while to get the stick really smoking). Using a feather (or feather fan) or your hand, gently fan the smoke onto your body, starting at the top of the body and moving downward. Get the back of your body as best you can (it is often easier to use a smudge pot and loose herbs for this). When you’re done, inhale a little of the smoke (just a little!) to purify your insides.

If you’re using a smudge pot or firebowl and loose herbs, light the herbs (using self-lighting charcoal, not the barbeque kind!) until it is smoking well. Then, put the firebowl on the ground and stand over it with your legs spread and feet on either side. Weave back and forth in the smoke until you have been thoroughly cleansed. Clothing is optional for this approach, and smudging in the nude is recommended for a more thorough cleansing. Again, when you’re done, inhale a little of the smoke to purify your insides. People often feel more relaxed, lighter and brighter after smudging.

If you’re going to use the smudge smoke during meditation, use a charcoal burner or firebowl, light the herbs and enjoy the scent and smoke as you meditate. Meditating with these herbs often produces a deeper and longer-lasting state of relaxation and contemplation.