The Value of Mindfulness in Healing

A health condition not getting better – not to be confused with getting better slowly – is the primary reason people try acupuncture in the first place.   When a health condition doesn’t get better with acupuncture and herbs, there’s something that is continually aggravating the condition either in the body or in the environment of the patient.  We need to ask ourselves, “Why is this happening?”   The problem with that, and probably the reason we seek healthcare providers in the first place, is that it’s hard to figure out what we’re doing or what’s going on that’s causing something.  We get used to living a certain way, and it’s hard to recognize that it’s causing harm.   Is there some kind of continual emotional stress I’m under (like a bad relationship or a stressful work environment)? Continual, even low-grade stress is the primary reason for all hormone imbalances, including thyroid dis-ease and adrenal fatigue.   We are accustomed to thinking that relationship tension is inevitable and normal, but it’s not.  These types of negative interactions do have an adverse impact on your health.  It can start to shut down natural body processes.  Sometimes quite literally, we get a “pain in the neck” or “pain in the a**.”  If we’re “walking on eggshells” around someone, our feet may hurt.  If we’re biting back our words, our throat chakras close off, which can lead to thyroid dis-ease.  If we’re doing all the work, we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders.  You’re constantly trying to please someone, and end up with knee pain (through your unconscious genuflecting)....

Nutrition for Fertility

In the 1930s, Francis Pottenger, MD conducted a ten-year-long study in which nearly a thousand cats were fed the same basic diet of milk, meat and a small dose of cod liver oil. “The healthiest cats were the ones who received raw meat and raw milk. This was the only group to produce generation after generation of healthy kittens with broad faces, adequate nasal cavities, broad dental arches, strong and correctly shaped teeth and bones, excellent tissue tone, good-quality fur with a minimum of shedding and an absence of gum disease. These cats were resistant to infections, fleas, and internal parasites. They showed no sign of allergies and were gregarious, friendly and predictable in their behavior patterns. Miscarriages were rare and litters averaged five kittens, which the mothers nursed without difficulty. Another group received raw milk and cooked meat. The cats in this group developed skeletal and dental deformities, heart problems, vision problems, thyroid imbalances, infections of the kidney, liver, testes, ovaries, and bladder, arthritis and inflammation of the joints, and inflammation of the nervous system with paralysis and meningitis. Their second and third generations had abnormal respiratory tissues. Cooked-meat cats were so irritable that some of the females were named Tiger, Cobra, and Rattlesnake, while the males were docile and passive, a sexual role reversal not seen in the raw-food cats. Vermin and intestinal parasites abounded and skin lesions and allergies appeared frequently. Adult cats died of pneumonia or infections of the bone while kittens died of pneumonia and diarrhea. The cooked-meat cats had serious reproductive problems including sterility, miscarriage, a lack of maternal instinct and difficult labors...

Kitchen Essentials for Eating Healthier

If a goal of yours is to eat healthier, eating at home is the way to do it.  Most restaurant food is of unknown origin (to you, anyway) and probably has many unsavory, not to mention unhealthy qualities (GMOs, MSG, hydrogenated oils, added and unnecessary sugars, etc.). Cooking healthy food at home is really the only way to ensure you’re getting the best quality food. Some myths about cooking at home are that it has to be expensive time-consuming difficult taste bad Quite the contrary!  Once you learn some go-to recipes and have the right tools for the job, you’ll be doing fine in no time. I’m going to assume you already have a kitchen equipped with a stovetop, oven, and a refrigerator.  If not, those should be a priority!  Or at least a nice campfire cooking kit and cooler. First, you need a set of nice knives.  This is a must.  I’ve bought cheap knives in the past, and similar to buying cheap shoes, you may as well save up your money to get the good ones.  You know what they say, “Buy cheap – buy twice (or 3 or 4 times…).”   Cheap knives dull fast, and trying to cut a tomato with a dull knife is not only frustrating but dangerous as well.  I use Cutco knives because they are a great quality, plus they have a lifetime guarantee.  They’ll even sharpen your knives for life for free!  Yes, they’re a little pricey, but just like a nice pair of shoes, well worth the extra effort. Next, you need a couple of nice pots and pans....

The Acid / Alkaline Myth

  You may have heard that your ph (pronounced “P. H.” not “fff”), is a balance between acid (1 on a scale of 14) and alkaline (14 on the same scale).  Your blood is almost perfectly neutral at 7.2.  For years, the thought on ph in natural-health circles was that you want your body to be as alkaline as possible.  “Cancer only exists in an alkaline body,” which I embarrassingly admit I once said.   What most people (myself included) don’t realize is that your ph is different in different parts of your body; your saliva is closest to blood ph, but your digestive system ph is extremely acid (between 1 – 3) to be able to digest your food and kill bacteria and other immune system invaders.     your body’s ph doesn’t change much from food or drinks.  Changes in ph mostly occur in your digestive and endocrine (hormone) systems’ health.  You can check your saliva ph with test strips that are available at most drug stores.  If you do this, don’t eat or drink anything, including water, for at least 1 hour before testing.     What we find is that some people need to alkalize and some people need to acidify.   Sign of acidity, or acidosis (lower than 6 on the saliva ph scale)  insomnia and unable to relax lump in the throat (feeling, not an actual bump) cold sweats dry skin dry stool irritability Signs of alkalinity, or alkalosis (over 7.2 on the ph scale)  calcium deposits, but with paradoxically low blood calcium levels (calcium deficiency) allergies arthritic pains stiffness especially in the morning...

When to Use Ice or Heat

For years, the go-to medical treatment for bumps, bruises, sprains, strains, and pains was ice.  And for all these years, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine do our best to convince people otherwise. One of the 1800-year-old books we study in Chinese medicine school is called the “Shang Han Lun,” which is roughly translated as “On Cold Damage.”  The theory is that from our environment or from organ weaknesses, coldness is the root cause of several chronic illnesses:  arthritis being chief among them, but also including chronic allergy problems, digestive weakness, and skin problems.   A body that succumbs to cold damage is fatigued, retains water, and becomes ill easily.  There is usually pain, and the pain increases with cold weather. Most arthritis pain is diagnosed as “wind-cold-damp Qi” by acupuncturists.  Most arthritic joints are areas that have old injuries:  repetitive movements or sprains, stitches or surgical sites can be weakened areas that are more susceptible to chronic pain.  By introducing unnaturally cold temperatures to these weakened areas, you invite “Evil Qi” into your joints. Don’t laugh:  “Evil Qi” is not something I made up!  It’s a long-standing theory in Chinese medicine. Cold is one of the elements that you don’t want to introduce on a regular basis into your joints. You can think about it like this:  cold causes things to contract, right?  Contraction of your blood vessels causes pain, right?  So…cold causes pain. The argument in Western medicine has been the opposite.  A hurt joint has inflammation (heat injury) and the ice counteracts inflammation. As with most Western medical solutions, the problems are this: Short-term thinking, not long-term...
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