Trigger Point Pain, Acupuncture, Mindfulness, and the Anti-inflammatory Diet

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013

A patient came in recently for acupuncture with terrible upper and mid back trigger point pain that began one day recently after taking a nap. In fact, he had woken from this nap with such bad chest and back pain that he rushed to the ER, fearful of a heart attack. His cardiovascular system checked out fine, and the doctor, who examined him, actually did a physical exam and noted that his back was extremely tight. He also discussed the issue of anxiety, and this patient left the ER with a prescription for Valium. Upon this he came to...

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Antibiotic Abuse in Livestock and On Your Table: Major Public Health Issue

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013

Along with hyper-sanitized home countertops,  along with use of toxic cleansers for cleaning hands,  along with the over prescription of antibiotics for infectious diseases that are viral, and not bacterial,  one of the major factors, in the critical public health issue of development of super bacteria, is the issue of feeding low levels of antibiotics to farm animals grown under severe and unnatural conditions. Antibiotic abuse in livestock is an obscene abuse of a very valuable super drug that should be saved for people and animals that need it, not given out like candy for every viral infection or...

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Instant Relaxation Stress Busters

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012

Stress busters you can reach for any time. Dial down stress before an important meeting,calm yourself while driving, keep cool when faced with situations or people you find irritating or scary. These proven breathing, body-scanning exercises work. One Minute Relaxer Place your hand on your belly beneath your navel so you can feel it rise and fall as you breathe. Take a long slow deep in-breath through you nose. Notice the sound of the air in your throat. Hold you breath for a count of three. Exhale forcefully through your mouth with pursed lips. Repeat 5 times. Two Minute...

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Winter Wisdom: Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Nov 1, 2012

Winter Wisdom of Chinese Medicine The Nei Jing/Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which presents the cutting edge medical wisdom of its time, is full of brilliant advice for both prevention and cure.  Chapter 2 describe how to adjust our lifestyles to match the natural rhythm of the  seasons.   Winter is the season for “storage” in Chinese Medicine.  It is the storage of winter that allows for the “bursting forth” of Spring. As in nature so in humankind. Storage of what?  Storage of Qi, Blood, Yin, and Yang.  How? To store means to hold on to what you...

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Healthy Living for Vata in Autumn: Tips/Template

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012

Health Tips for Vatta   The core of health in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine are Lifestyle and Diet. You cannot cure with a drug or herb what you have created with a lifestyle. You must correct what is wrong and use the herbs. Here is a template for a health lifestyle for Vatta. In real life, we are all bi-doshic, (some few are tridoshic) so this must be adjusted by your Ayurvedic consultant to accomodate your primary and secondary doshas….   *establish a regular routine of food, exercise, rest, and sleep *do an Ayurvedic self-massage with warm sesame oil...

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Vata Dosha, Fear, Anxiety, and ADDH

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012

Vata Dosha, Fear,  Anxiety, and ADDH Vata dosha is the dosha whose nervous system responds to stressors with fear. Anxiety is the cascade of physical and mental responses, or symptoms, that occur when our sympathetic nervous system has been activated by the flight response associated with fear. Symptoms can range from frequent urination and diarrhea, to palpitations, flushing, and sweating, to a nervous inability to be still, whether it is restless mind, or tapping the feet or always having to be doing something, to tossing and turning with insomnia. What all of these symptoms have in common is movement...

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Vacation Time in Ayurvedic Medicine

Posted by on Oct 10, 2012

In the Vedas, the oldest known Indian religious texts, it says, “Go find a quiet place.” This admonition  occurs in the context of what you must do to know God.  It is noteworthy that what it does not say is to go to a temple, the places in which the Gods were worshiped in ancient India.   Ayurveda, which is from the youngest of the four “Vedas” (these religious texts, somewhat like the Talmud of rabbinic Judaism, address topics from religion to  agriculture to marriage to music to medicine) defines itself as the science of life; it describes, among...

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The Positive Power of Negative Thinking

Posted by on Sep 5, 2012

My new age friends sometimes find me annoying. Perhaps because I have always refused to play pretend with pain and suffering; I have always felt the best way to deal with imperfections in our lives, with stressful situations, with physical and emotional pain,  is to call a spade a spade, and then deal with it. How do you change, how do you deal with  flaws in your character, for instance,  if you are afraid to admit they are there in the first place? How do you differentiate between good and bad if  “its all good?” In fact, its not...

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My Favorite Buddhist Monk Meditation Teacher

Posted by on Jul 16, 2012

Wanted to post a link for the website of my favorite monk-teacher, ThanisseroBhikku. He is at the Metta Forest Monastery, north of San Diego. http://www.watmetta.org/contact.htm For free downloads of talks:  http://www.dhammatalks.org/   As we know from science, stress, which is actually our response to stressors, another words something we do have some measure of control over, is, through its effects on our nervous systems and hormones, a major disease causing mechanism. One of the best remedies, more than a remedy actually, a retraining of how we move through through this world, how we deal with stressors both external and...

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GERD: Chinese Medicine vs. Bio-Medicine.

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012

From today’s New York Times, more short sightedness about the unwise use and overuse of drugs in primary care. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/combating-acid-reflux-may-bring-host-of-ills/ As many as four in 10 Americans have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and many depend on P.P.I.’s like Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium to reduce stomach acid. These are the third highest-selling class of drugs in the United States, after antipsychotics and statins, with more than 100 million prescriptions and $13.9 billion in sales in 2010, in addition to over-the-counter sales. But in recent years, the Food and Drug Administration has issued numerous warnings about P.P.I.’s, saying...

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Anchor the Yang: Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and Moxabustion Therapies for Summer Solstice

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012

The Chinese and Indian View: Life is a Passage Through Cycles   In Chinese Medicine (as also Ayurveda)  a fundamental concept is to prepare for what is ahead. This is not just generalized prevention as in eating a healthy diet or sleeping well, but is specific to how we relate to the passage of time.   Chinese Medicine sees life as cyclical: a  series of transitions, changes, phases,  and cycles; as a continuous movement between the forces of yang and yin, rather than as a linear progression of fixed events. The hard thing about living is dealing  with change. Cycles...

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The Seven Essential Attitudes in Mindfulness Practice- Lesson1

Posted by on Jun 12, 2012

Mindfulness Practice Lesson 1: Non Judging My favorite book that I recommend to my Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine patients for learning Mindfulness Meditation, which I think is invaluable as a tool for stress management and to address the underlying nervous system issues that lurk beneath a lot of diseases from pain to digestive complaints,  and beyond that, for personal growth, is Calming Your Anxious Mind, , 2nd edition, by Jeffrey Brantley, M.D.  Pick up a used copy on Amazon. In this book Brantley outlines the 7 attitudes that one cultivates in a mindfulness practice. Notice I say practice, because...

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Mind-Body Links

Posted by on Nov 23, 2011

For anyone who thinks the Mind and Body are not part of a single system. And, its a two way street. just as your Thyroid can influence your Mental State, so, too, do your Mental States influence your internal organ function, endocrine system, blood pressure, muscle tension levels, etc. For example, you are terrified of doing poorly on your LSAT, and you get diarrhea. You are constantly in fear, and you end up with chronic constipation. One example of gazillions, it really should be obvious that pills are not any kind of long term answer. Meditation is, though, at...

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The Lonely Polar Bear

Posted by on Jul 3, 2011

There is an excellent analysis of grief in bears and the relationship between humans and other beasts today. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/opinion/sunday/03gus.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1 One of the key points to me this author makes is Many animals have singular personalities, preferences and idiosyncrasies. When they play together, they reveal different aspects of their temperaments, just as we do with friends and loved ones. So when Ida died, Gus not only lost his old mate, he lost those parts of himself that related to irretrievable parts of her. I often find, in my practice, in this United States cultural environment of “just doing it” and...

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The Red Light, or Wherever You Go Your Breath Is Always There

Posted by on Jun 11, 2010

The foundation of all Buddhist meditation is mindfulness of the in and out breath. This is one of the meditations Gauthama Buddha himself taught. This means locating where you feel you breath sensations, and then quietly paying attention to their ins and outs, their various qualities and textures. One effect of this practice is a slowing down, a return to the present moment. This enables us to begin paying attention to things as they are, to how mind (which includes in this context all cognition, all emotion, all nervous system activity) creates individual reality and experience, and to how...

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