Eye Health

I confused the hell out of my ophthalmologist a while back.   “Hmmm…this is unusual.”  He was checking and rechecking some things.  “Huh.  Normally at your age people’s eyesight gets worse, but yours is going in a more ‘favorable direction.’  Whatever you’re doing, keep it up!”   The prescription for my near-sightedness on both eyes was 1/4 a point better (from -3.25 to -3 on the right eye and -2.5 to -2.25 on the left eye), and my astigmatism in both eyes improved.  No sign of any far-sightedness yet.   So, here’s what I’ve been doing 🙂 RELAXING MY EYES We’re so unaware of how much tension we hold in our faces through the day.  The main reason I even started caring about this was to prevent wrinkles, but I think the benefits have extended beyond the superficial.   There is a theory on natural eyesight healing that near-sightedness and far-sightedness is due to tension around the eyeball.  The current medical model says that your cornea is either too strong (near-sighted) or too weak (far-sighted), but this theory goes a step further to say that the cornea changes in strength due to straining to see. So I consciously decided not to strain to see things.  If something is blurry far away, I just go closer.  I look away from the computer several times an hour when I’m working on it to relax my eyes.  If I’m reading or watching a movie and it’s hard to keep my eyes focused, I stop trying to focus and do something else (like go to sleep!).  I even try, when I’m at home and not doing much,...

Qi Gong Workshop

Master Jeff Hughes has been training martial arts since 1974.  He has been teaching Chinese Kung Fu in Austin since 1995 to thousands of students.  His own health journey led him to practicing the Asian art of Qi Gong. There are different types of Qi Gong exercises.  At this workshop, you will learn the “8 Brocade Qi Gong.”  There are 8 movements, each of which strengthens and conditions a different organ or body part. This Qi Gong is a gentle exercise used to heal your internal organs and improve your health.  It’s considered “medical Qi Gong” that almost everyone can practice it regardless of your current health condition. Conditions benefitted from Qi Gong exercises: Anxiety / Stress / PTSD / Insomnia / Depression Joint Pain (back, hips, knees, ankles, fingers, elbows, shoulders, neck, wrist, etc.) Weight Gain Immune Disorders Fatigue SATURDAY, MAY 13 10 am – 12...

Acupuncture and Science

I love the skeptics:  “I’m a scientist, so I have a hard time believing in acupuncture.” My response:  “People used to not believe in bacteria, but they would still get sick.”   What I remember from 4th grade science class is that the scientific process consists of these steps: make an observation (I had a headache, then I had acupuncture and now my headache is gone.) form a question (Does acupuncture get rid of headaches?) form a hypothesis (Acupuncture gets rid of pain in the body, including, but not limited to headaches.) conduct an experiment analyze the data and draw a conclusion We’ve had tons of steps 1 through 3, but not too many steps 4 and 5.  Why?   Because it’s very time-consuming and expensive AND because there’s very little money in natural healing.  Not like the pharmaceutical industry anyway. One single clinical trial for a new medication can run $100 million (Forbes, 2/10/12, The Truly Staggering Cost of Inventing New Drugs).  I’m not sure if we added up the money made by every single acupuncturist in the US for one year if we could come up with $100 million. Some studies have been done on acupuncture, and have shown favorable results, but the studies are limited.  The population tested was limited and the acupuncture techniques tested were limited.  The health conditions tested were limited.  Limited not by imagination or desire but….money. I know plenty of under-employed acupuncturists who would love to run a clinical trial.  The problem comes down to funding.  Most acupuncturists, if they’re not busy treating patients or hustling up new patients, have no money!...

Superfoods

While I think we all know which foods we need to eat less of to stay healthy (hello, Cheetos!), what about the foods we need to be eating MORE of? These 5 superfoods are items I could recommend for everyone to add into their diet.  Your need for dietary supplementation (herbs and vitamins) will be reduced according to how much of these superfoods you regularly consume.  Shoot for 3 – 4 times a week per item. If there’s a superfood that just really grosses you out, no worries.  You can always take these in pill / supplement form.  “Take it or eat it!” 1.  Fermented foods.   Fermented foods like saurkraut, kombucha, pickled vegetables are full of naturally occurring probiotics.  So, do you need a probiotic for your gut health?  Not if you’re regularly eating these.  Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in your intestines.  If they get out of balance you end up with problems like poor immunity, skin issues, and even cancer.  I wrote this article years ago on how to make your own fermented vegetables. 2.  Organ meats. To be honest, this is one that I just take in pill form.  They’re so good for you, but I just can’t stomach the taste.  If you want to eat it,  you can find good quality organ meats, even in ground meat or sausage form at  www.uswellnessmeats.com.  Organ meats have a lot of the vitamins and trace minerals that we become deficient in on a regular basis.   Adrenal Gland:  great source of Vitamin C.  Your adrenal glands are your stress glands.   That’s why when you...

Beauty and Aging

When the 10s unit of your age goes up one digit, you stop and pay attention.  10s…almost an adult!  20s…party time!  30s…oh, so mature.  40s…wise and not-too-old yet.  50s…distinguished.  60s…been there, done that, and going to do some more.  70s…this could be a good thing / could be a bad thing.  80s…look at me, I’m 80!  90s…I need an award or something.  100s…would you like to know my secrets? I love to read Vogue magazine and I subscribe to it even, but I absolutely can’t stand their articles on “beauty,” because they’re always about how to mask your age with lasers, chemical-based potions, and other invasive – albeit high-tech –  procedures.  Can’t a woman (or man) age naturally anymore? I never in my life worried about my skin (except in the 80s when “everyone” was tan and I was – at the most – slightly less white in the summer) until recently when I had to face the fact that I had wrinkles.  My face was looking my age.  So I did what any other sane person would do and go to my hippy-cosmetics store (everything there is so natural you could eat it, I think), and buy a $400 face cream. The good news is that I think it’s working.  But in the meantime I have some other (mostly free / affordable) snippets of wisdom for maintaining fresh-ish skin as you age. These I hope you already know:  drink more water and less alcohol / caffeine / junk beverages.  Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and those god-awful sugary drinks dehydrate you.  Dehydrated skin is dry, wrinkled skin. Same goes for...