The Magic Cure

I’ve read a few articles about the push back against the “magic cure.” You know, the magical one thing you have to do to keep from ever getting sick and, so this implication goes, dying. Eat paleo or vegan or vegetarian or whatever. Put an ice cube on GV 14 (which gets a big old WTF from me and most other acupuncturists). Take tumeric. Drink 7 smoothies an hour after waking up.

I made the last one up. How many got it? How many thought it was real?

Let’s talk about this. I was reading the Cult of Perfect Motherhood, the blog of a woman who is battling metastatic breast cancer. She has people telling her to do these things all the time. And there is the implication, you aren’t getting better because you didn’t do this one thing, whatever that one thing is.

Here’s the truth. No one knows her body better than her. Her doctor comes closest, having medical knowledge and well as a thorough medical knowledge of her body. Yes, he has biases because he went to school. It’s possible he did a lot of study to challenge those biases and may have found reasons to either dismiss the conflicting evidence or decided to incorporate it into his practice. Or maybe not. The thing is, how many of those people rushing up to her on the internet telling her what she needs to do to heal have any real medical knowledge at all?

Here’s the thing. Tumeric, for instance, is a minor herb in the pharmacopia I learned about in acupuncture school. It has certain energetic properties that mean that for some people it might be protective against cancer. There are many people, however, for whom it won’t be protective. And once you have cancer, particularly metastatic cancer, it’s efficacy is lowered. It’s not likely that the only reason someone got cancer was due to a deficiency of tumeric.

We do not live in a vacuum where we can magically keep all illness and death at bay. Illness happens. It happens to vegetarians, alternative care providers, paleo afficianados, and to fitness enthusiasts. It happens to fat people and to skinny people, tall people and short people. It happens to people who live on smoothies and those who live on bone broth. It happens to people who eschew anything but locally grown organic foods. It happens to people who live on fast food.

Health is a balance. I get sick and then I get well is the optimum balance. My immune system fights something off. But sometimes things overwhelm our immune system and we need to go with what works. What works for my body might not work for yours. There are any number of tiny factors that make a decision on what steps to take when fighting for one’s life that the idea that just doing one miracle thing is ridiculous. Someone fighting a life threatening illness has to make a dozen decisions that they may feel ill equipped to handle. But they have to balance out many medical options, traditional and alternative, against their own values, hopes and dreams for quality and quantity of life. There are risks in any decision. The question becomes, which decision can I live with most easily if it’s the wrong decision and I don’t make it?

We hate looking at death and illness. There’s judgment in many of those posts.  It makes those people who are sick, “other”. But illness and death could come to any of us. Fukishima carried radiation across the world, hitting the west coast hard. No one living there escaped that completely. No matter how they ate. They had to breathe and the poison was in the air. We do live in a polluted world. Here’s the good news. Our bodies are adaptable. If we trust them, maybe we’ll be fine. Maybe we won’t, but our knowledge and understanding is far less adaptable than our bodies because our bodies are working even before we can see and measure the problem. They’re amazing that way.

Adapting won’t be surviving for everyone. Success doesn’t always mean life at any cost. That’s a hard one, isn’t it? It’s our fear that we won’t survive that keeps us reading and sharing the stories about the miracle cure, whatever it is.

Preparatory Medicine

I was reading this article called 11 Things I wish Every Parent Knew. While some of the things in the list are applicable only for parents, when it comes to the healthcare tips, many of them are true for adults without children as well as parents.

Let’s look at some of these great comments, “Good medicine asks what is the symptom trying to accomplish? rather than simply suppressing it. ” As acupuncturists we ought to know this. But often, we get caught up with our patients in believing that any uncomfortable symptom should be made to go away.

The most important quote is this, ” These days I practice what I call “preparatory medicine” rather than preventive medicine, so that getting sick is not seen as a failure. Being healthy does not mean never getting sick. Life is a journey of ups and downs and the growing child lives in a constant state of flux. A resilient immune system is one that learns how to get sick and get better. Living too clean a life robs us of the information necessary to be fully prepared to recover. ”

How many of us are running around trying to avoid anything that might not optimize our health? This is a wonderful reminder that we can’t do it, nor should we. After all we have this beautiful immune system that when nurtured works very hard to take care of us. Being sick is not a failure.

My Food and My Body

I’m going to share this secret. Although for the last fifteen or so years, since going to acupuncture school, I’ve been reading about how good for me vegetables are, I still don’t get all enraptured by them. I eat them. They are, after all, good for me. I just don’t love them. I don’t get excited about them. In fact, I eat them first so that I can get to the good stuff after they’re gone.

Now, don’t go tell me that I should just give them a chance. I’m 50 for heaven’s sake and I’ve been working on the vegie thing for the last 15 years. I still don’t love them. I eat them. That’s as good as it gets. And I do my best to eat healthy, not that that’s always easy considering the conflicting evidence.

Sorry vegetarian friends, I eat meat. I do so because the year or so I was vegetarian and the six months of that time I was vegan were the worst months of my life. I felt worse than I had in ages and I pretty much disliked everything I ate, except of course for the fact that I allowed myself Skippy peanut butter. Yeah. I ate the bad stuff. I had to have something I actually liked. And my blood work reflected this. It was about as bad as it’s ever been.

Now I don’t just eat any meat. I work to source my meat. My husband and I eat a quarter of a cow from a local farmer who raises them sustainably and pretty happily on his land. I also look for pastured chickens. I get my eggs from said chickens as well, in the summer. However, I continue to buy eggs in the winter, because I like eggs.  I still eat out and I’ve often felt guilt about that.

I avoid chemicals as much as I can. I read labels. I don’t eat a lot of things I might like because they are “bad.” And then, of course, it’s not just health. It’s political. I mean my favorite organic yogurt maker was giving money to defeat GMO labeling in California.

And I sat there and cried because it’s getting so hard to purchase food that’s good for me and is also good for the world. Even Chipotle was off limits for awhile because they weren’t supporting farm workers. Fortunately, they changed their stance so I could feel good about a salad (no wheat so no burritos) when I went there. Some days I feel like the woman who started eating only kale.

Except instead of going that route, and living on kale, I found Health At Any Size. No more would I count carbs or chose lower calorie foods. I was helped in this when I was thinking I ate plenty and normally and my naturopath looked at me and said, “You need to eat more. You aren’t even eating 1500 calories most days.” And my jaw dropped. But I was gaining weight and I felt like I was eating like a pig. No longer. I actually did have to eat.

So I ate more. I paid less attention to the bad foods. I read good blogs about internal food choices rather than external food choices. This means that I don’t avoid ice cream because the manufacturers are bad. I don’t avoid it because it’s not organic. I don’t avoid it because it’s cold, greasy and fatty and thus damp producing and creating even further spleen xi deficiency. I eat it anyway. The kind my husband likes because no matter what I tell him, he likes ice cream. And he doesn’t care about organic. Especially with ice cream because to him, what’s the point. And yes, it ups my caloric intake. And yes, if I want to eat it every night for a week, I can. Except I learned that I don’t feel as well the next morning.

After a dish of ice cream in the evening, I find that getting up in the morning is more difficult. I want to sleep. I’m not hungry for breakfast. My head isn’t as clear and my daily tasks seem harder to get to. So now, when I want ice cream, I consider how I want to feel in the morning. Some days it’s worth it. Some days it’s not. I no longer feel deprived.

Gluten too. I never tested positive for celiac so I have that choice. However, most gluten containing products (not all) give me a headache. I continue to avoid gluten whenever I can because having a headache isn’t fun. I eat the gluten containing things that I can eat. Breaded fish doesn’t bother me. Some pastas don’t bother me. Fast food inevitably gives me a headache.

You know what else I found? I don’t really like soda. Now that I don’t care, I realized I don’t like soda. When it was “bad”, it was always a treat. Now I prefer certain types of iced tea that aren’t as over flavored  to soda. Or Kombucha. Those taste better to me. Even the sodas that just have sugar and no HFCS. I really don’t want soda at all. I used to love Dr. Pepper. I’m not so keen on it any more. I’m not even so keen on the good Root Beers. They’re too sweet and too fake. Just where my body is right now. I don’t drink them.

I still don’t much like vegetables, but now I have foods that I actually like. I find that I eat less and think less about the foods that might not be great for my body. I have better reasons for avoiding them than “they aren’t good for me”. I know exactly what they will do in the short term and I avoid them.

Will I die earlier because I’m eating ice cream? Who knows? My genetic history shows that all my immediate relatives on my father’s side (who I tend to take after) died suddenly and unexpectedly without any particular illness. I probably don’t have to worry too much about long suffering. So if I have some ice cream and die earlier of a heart attack, I probably won’t have time to regret it. Because when I had ice cream? I REALLY wanted it. Now I don’t have to deprive myself simply because someone else says it’s bad.

What is Fat?

I was going to start on what I saw as the potential imbalances that might cause someone to be fat but being thorough, I wanted to define fat before doing so.

I started with Giovanni Maciocia’s Foundations of Chinese Medicine (yeah, really the older one).  In the index, there is no reference to the words,”fat”, “overweight”, or “obesity”. So I read through the organ systems, paying particular attention to the spleen and stomach areas. No reference to fat. I recall reading somewhere that fat was dampness so I also paid particular attention to any damp related pathology as well as triple warmer. Nothing on “fat”.

Next, I looked through the pathologies of each organ, once again paying particular attention to spleen and stomach. Not one pathology references “fatness” or “obesity” as a symptom.

Finally I got to his chapter on the five constitutional types.  Earth types were drawn as being rather heavy and in fact, it talks about earth types as having a large stomach (looks “fat” in the drawing) as well as large muscles. Water too appears to carry some extra weight all over and is considered a constitutional type. There is no mention of defining this person as fat or treating a water type for being fat.  This is considered a constitutional type that is built this way, unlike the wood type that does look naturally slender.

I also looked in Maciocia’s Practice of Chinese Medicine. Again there is no listing for “fat” or “obesity” in  any of the syndromes or in the index. He does talk about the excess dampness under the skin being oedema but that is different from “fat”.

Of course, overeating is mentioned and the distention of the stomach and fullness that can cause illness when one overeats. Again, this is different from being fat given that the vast majority of fat people did not get there because they ate too much.

This leads me to wonder what people are reading when they talk about Chinese Medicine and obesity. I talked to a friend who is very well versed in Classical Chinese Medicine. His response was that he doesn’t recall reading anything about fat. The ancient Chinese were much more likely to have starvation and famine and underweight was probably a bigger problem. As to treating fat, well you’d go by the imbalances and once in balance the body would find it’s own normal weight (whatever that is).

There is discussion of dampness residing in the muscles, but I’m not sure that it manifests as fat so much as it manifests as that early morning muscle stiffness.  After all, colds often start out that way as well.  It could also be referring, as Maciocia did, to oedema under the skin.

That means that any acupuncture  practitioner who is determining if someone is fat is doing so by modern standards.  So that leads us to BMI, which of course really doesn’t mean anything. BMI is as arbitrary and inaccurate as height/weight charts.  In fact, in 1998, the BMI charts changed so that people in the normal range suddenly became overweight because the classification changed, not because they gained any weight.  Additionally there are a variety of recommendations for different BMI classifications as to what is normal versus overweight.

The other option is the waist/hip ratio. This is great for those of us who gain weight on our hips and thighs. However, if like most earth and water types, one puts on weight around the belly, one will still be considered fat even if it is normal for the person’s constitutional type. I’m not sure what I am. I have a BMI of 33 and a normal hip/waist ratio so do I split the difference and come out “overweight”? Slightly fat?

Even using modern standards, there are no set standards for the point at which a normal person becomes fat. Like beauty, fat, for the most part appears to be a cultural manifestation.  Now I haven’t had the time to look through everything in terms of defining fat to see if there is some objective standard. However, I’ve done as more or more research into this than the vast majority of people who claim to treat “fat”.  For me, this offers a level of concern over why any acupuncture practitioner, who is treating the whole person, would want to treat someone for being fat, when no one has asked what is too much. After all, everyone has some fat, that’s normal.  The question becomes when it is it abnormal from a health perspective versus abnormal from a cultural sense of what is beautiful? That’s not something we can tell by looking at someone and I’m not sure there is anything in the classics that offers me a place to start.


My Big Fat Rant

Recently there was a discussion on Facebook about acupuncturists treating people for obesity. I’d like to point out that treating someone for obesity is not treating someone for a health condition. People argue about this point but it’s true. Fat people can be healthy. Imagine.  They can also be fit. So the idea of bringing in people who are otherwise healthy for health care seems rather unethical to me.

Now, I and a few others who were pro-size-acceptance were asked to stay off the thread so that those who wanted to could learn what other practitioners found to be  effective for working with weight loss. Apparently pointing out that obesity was not a health problem and that we needed to treat the person rather than the “weight” was not considered a useful tip.

The fact is, fat people do go to acupuncturists. Some of my patients were fat. Some of them were not. Many of the fat and thin people had the same health issues. Many of them had the same overlapping constellation of disease patterns, that may have manifested in slightly varied symptoms. If I didn’t need to weigh my thin patient, why should I weigh my fat one?

Several practitioners talked about obesity as if it in and of itself was the problem.

They talked about gathering BMI measurements and taking weight measurements to help them assist the client in promoting better health. However, obesity is not in and of itself a problem. It is often correlated with other problems. Helping those other issues that may go in tandem with obesity is great if the patient comes to you for those issues. If you are actually treating the root cause, rather than focusing on the symptom, you might end up having a person who loses weight on your watch and maybe they even keep some of it off. To say that a fat person is unhealthy just because they have a large BMI is not true.

Practitioners were often quick to point out to the size acceptance people that we were wrong.

There was no scientific evidence used to back up the claims that we were wrong. It was only “common wisdom” that was used and everybody knows “that”. That’s  not an effective argument. Please point out the science behind what you think is wrong. Until then, I’m going to say they’re right. My links have science behind them and they quote it.

I am particularly disappointed that such arguments came from acupuncturists, because “everybody knows” acupuncture has no science behind it.

There were many suggestions on the thread about lifestyle changes, mainly diet and exercise.

Diets don’t work. Neither does adding exercise. Do I really need another link to Shapely Prose?  It’s healthier to maintain a stable weight than it is to lose a lot of weight only to regain it a few years later. That should be obvious to practitioners who are about balance. However, let’s remember balance is not static, it is something that fluctuates from time to time. The most stable systems can adjust and re-adjust on a regular basis. These systems, however, make small adjustments. That means that small weight fluctuations, like one or two or five pounds that get gained and lost are far healthier than fifteen or fifty pounds that get lost and then gained.

There were a few suggestions about measuring BMI.

Apparently, the BMI is “objective” and because of that, taking it and reporting it isn’t a judgement but merely a fact and therefore patients will hear the news that they are fat and will do something about it.

First, BMI measurements are an arbitrary measurement. They’ve been changed overnight so that many normal weight people became overweight, just because someone decided to change the categories.

Second of all, fat people know they’re fat. You don’t have to give them an objective reading. This will not be motivating. Trust me, all fat people are motivated to lose weight and if you actually have an unmotivated fat person sitting in your office, that person isn’t motivated because they’ve failed so many times they don’t want to get their hopes up again.

Or you may have a fat activist in your office, in which case you might actually learn something if you listen to them.

There is an insistence that there is a general consensus that being overweight or obese leads to health issues.

This is not true. At all. Except among people who sell diet products. As to the other side of that argument, please refer back to Kate Harding’s site.

One person suggested that obese people don’t want to change.

Well, maybe. Not everyone does. They may already be aware that those changes you want them to make don’t work. They may have tried things you’ve never considered and they are still fat. So why should they change? Additionally, if they are there for health reasons, maybe dealing with the illness is not the best time for major lifestyle change. It may be that they’re expending all their energy just to exist and get to their various doctor’s appointments.

Now, let’s consider that during the thread a number of people talked about how diets don’t work (see above) and that weight loss may not be as easy as you’ve tried to make it sound, and yet you refuse to comment on any of the great links offered. Can I suggest that perhaps you don’t want to change either?

In order to help a sick person, acupuncturists need to address diet and lifestyle.

I don’t disagree with that in general. I do disagree with suggesting people need to eat less or eat lower calorie foods. In fact, I suspect many of my fat patients actually need to eat more. As to how much change needs to be made, perhaps you need to start working on the acupuncture side of that and making small suggestions after finding out about the current lifestyle first rather than looking at someone and deciding what their lifestyle must be.

According to one person, acupuncture can help people get to a mental and spiritual place to make the “needed changes” in lifestyle.

I have no words. For this I consulted Ragan Chastain at Dances with Fat and  who said, “This is problematic on a number of levels, first of all, if you think that you can tell from someone’s body size that they need to make spiritual changes, in fact if you are under the impression that body size gives you any information other than the size of the body and your personal attitudes about bodies that size, then I urge you to refer your fat patients to another practitioner until you are able to properly address your prejudices and stereotypes around fat bodies.

“People are many different sizes for many different reasons, there are healthy and unhealthy people of every shape and size, and healthy habits and spiritual balance are not different for different body sizes.  If you run an evidence-based practice you already know that there is no weight loss technique shown to work for more than a tiny fraction of participants. ”

I am troubled by the lack of size acceptance among many practitioners because as acupuncturists we are uniquely suited to help all people get healthy.  It’s  a medicine that insists we treat the root cause. The root cause of  a fat person’s health problems is not being fat. Fat is a symptom. Consider that most women, and even some men (and the percentage of those men is growing) have been dieting off and on for years. In addition to pure caloric starvation, the body is also getting a lot of low calorie fake foods that have minimal nutrition and lots of chemicals that may actually exacerbate the problem. The diabetes and heart disease and hypertension may have less to do with the excess weight and more to do with the excess dieting.

I have information about my own health that I’m willing to share, but that may need to come in another post, because to see me, a fat-ish woman and tell me to eat less would be exactly the opposite of what my doctor told me. And yeah, we did blood work and plenty of tests. Oh and did I mention my doctor is a naturopath? I will talk more about that in a related post. I would also like to address the energetics of being fat in our world, which is a lot more complex than addressing just the spleen. But that’s yet another post. In fact, the combination of all of my commentary might end up being a book.

I’ll leave you with more words from Ragan. “If you want to work appropriately and effectively with fat patients, then I encourage you to think of them exactly like your thin patients, only bigger.  Explain that you can help them have their best possible health, and that health and body size are not the same thing.  Encourage them to pursue healthy habits and allow their body size to settle where it will, rather than attempting to manipulate their body size through food, exercise and acupuncture.

“The only changes you need to make are to your practice – make sure that you have chairs without arms, oversized tables and/or wings to make them wider to accommodate broad-shouldered and fat patients, and work on identifying and eradicating any prejudice that you might have against people of a certain size.  Finally, help your patients see that the social stigma to which they are currently subjected, which is of course horrible for their health, is not deserved and that the solution to social stigma is not weight loss, but ending social stigma and the problem lies not with their bodies, but with a society that has developed prejudice against it.”

And if you want to know more, in addition to her blog, which is a great read, Ragan does speaking engagements. This could be a great learning experience for a group of local healthcare providers who want to better serve their clients of size.

You Learn Something New All the Time

I’ve been reading the conversation about the anchor woman in LaCrosse, WI who spoke about a bullying email she received.  I’m amazed at some of the negative responses to this woman’s situation.

There are those who say the letter writer was polite and only stating facts and she overreacted.  Sadly, this is how many of us would respond to this letter. However, the writer wasn’t her doctor or healthcare provider. He wasn’t taking her aside and discussing the specific ways in which her weight might be impacting her health.  He was saying he didn’t like the way she looked.  He claimed she was a poor role model for girls who would then become fat.  In fact, I think she’s an amazing role model for girls precisely because she isn’t Barbie.

Other responses include people who seem to think that obesity is the underlying cause of the high costs of healthcare.  She has an obligation to lose weight so that all of us collectively will have lower rates.  Really?  So all those women suffering the real physical deprivations of years of anorexia and bulemia in order to avoid being fat aren’t costing us anything?  I’d love to see statistics on healthy overweight people versus girls trying to be thin.  Bet we spend way more on girls trying to be thin. I’m not just talking the psychological damage.  I’m talking the real physical impacts that eating disorders predispose one to.

Arguably fat people do have health problems.  My husband is fat.  He has high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Common wisdom suggests he needs to lose weight.  I’d love it if he’d stop eating junk (and I mean REAL junk, like diet sodas and fake margarine).  His panels are remarkably similar to those of his father, who not in the least bit overweight in his life.  Genetics or weight?  I suspect no matter how thin my husband becomes he will always be predisposed to those blood values.  I have my own opinions on what would change them, but until he’s willing to adopt a lifestyle that makes those changes, we’ll never know if it works.

Finally, what’s the new thing I learned? I learned about a nutrition basis called Healthy at Any Weight.  I learned that there are people out there, nutritionistswho work with women to overcome their body shame and create healthy eating patterns, not necessarily for weight loss but to have healthy eating “competence”.  Instead of constant dieting, we start learning to listen to our body.  Maybe we’ll get a little fatter but in listening to our body we’ll probably maintain a set weight for awhile because we’ll offset eating more with times when we eat less.  I wish when I saw patients regularly I knew about this.

In my practice the most common thing women didn’t like about themselves was their body.  And I’m amazed at the number of things people did to try and lose weight. I’m guilty of many if not all of them.  I’ve been noticing too, how we judge the concepts of weight. I have one cat who’s fat and others who are a normal cat weight.  You know what? The fat cat actually eats less than the other.  I have no idea why she’s fat.  I’m lucky to have a vet who doesn’t worry too much about that.  We know she’s getting good food.  All three cats are getting enough to maintain their weight, even if she is putting a little on.  How many people are equally lucky?  And doesn’t that just make us think again about our judgements?

Warming Foods: The Good and The Ugly

Winter Sugar CravingsYang deficient patients need to eat warming foods.  We think of foods like chicken or ginger or perhaps garlic to help warm their spleen yang.  These foods help digestion.  It will warm the body and increase the energy.

I mostly eat okay.  This winter, after having a little too much extra food over the holidays I was starting back on a decent diet and limiting my intake of simple carbohydrates when we were hit by a winter storm.  At first, as it snowed outside I enjoyed watching.  I had some lunch.  I decided to treat myself to a kombucha.  As the snow continued for the next two days I found myself with the increasing urge to bake.

I grew up in a home where my mother offered baked goods on a daily basis.  They were always homemade and she used the best ingredients possible.  By best, I do not mean the most healthful, but the best ingredients that would make the best food.  At some point in my childhood she discovered that Crisco was easier than lard.  By the time I was a teenager a chocolate cake might come out of a box. I remember sitting in the kitchen watching her or at times helping with things that needed extra hands.

The snow brought that back.  After fighting the urge for most of a morning and into the late afternoon I baked some simple cookies.  And I ate.  And ate. I found that I couldn’t get enough of them.  I’m yang deficient. I was cold.  After feeling badly and wondering what was off on my hormones and how could I correct this, it occurred to me to wonder, as I shivered under covers when the power out later that I was surprised at my chill given the sugar I had eaten earlier. It then occurred to me to wonder, was the sugar craving my body’s way of trying to warm itself when there was cold outside?

This didn’t make the sugar binge okay with me, but it gave me an aha moment.  Perhaps our cultural love affair with all things sugar is really our body’s attempt to balance an imbalance. The cold, quick foods so often eaten and the heavy carbohydrates that further inhibit the spleen means that most people in my office were, to a great or lesser extent, spleen qi deficient and often spleen yang deficient.  While there are far better foods that would warm my body, sugar is a food my body has found earlier than it has found many of the other warming foods. Perhaps therein lies the craving.  Maybe my body is taking its limited knowledge of balancing and attempting to make a balance, despite the fact that sugar will cause so many other problems.

Certainly I know to avoid sugar.  Certainly I mostly do.  But sometimes something comes up with a strong craving and I give in.  This gives me another question to ask myself before giving in.  I can consider why now?  Maybe it’s the weather.  Fats are often helpful to manage sugar cravings.  Fats are also very warming.  I wonder if that’s one of the reasons they work to limit sugar cravings.  Although sometimes, fats just aren’t as good as sugar!  Oddly, my choice was peanut butter cookies, so I guess I had some of both!

As Within So Without

As Within So WithoutI’ve always found astrology fascinating.  It is based on the premise that as above so below.  Humans and businesses and their time of birth are said to be reflection of the energies of the universe.  The body can also be a reflection of our world.  Consider all the folks who are fatigued beyond endurance.  These people are not just tired.  They have chronic fatigue or adrenal fatigue.  Life is an effort for them.  Does our planet feel that way? There are too many people making too many demands. How can it stay balanced under that weight? Does it too need to sit down and rest?

The human race just hit 7 billion.  Are we like a cancer? Or are we just obesity?  Is the real cancer those who want to grab resources at any cost, forgetting that we are all connected and want to share?  Is our inability to agree on anything any more a sign of the complex hormonal disruptions so many people face?

No one is talking to anyone any more. If you aren’t like me, you are wrong. Illegal immigrants, homosexuality and people who have political beliefs I don’t agree with all need to be gotten rid of.  Is this an auto immune problem where the body attacks it’s own?

If we learn to heal these conditions rather than “get rid of them” will our society change? If we change society will these illnesses become less frequent?  I don’t know the answers but it occurs to me that what is happening to our health can’t help be a reflection of our society.

Latency in Acupuncture

I just read a fascinating piece in Acupuncture Today entitled The Curious Concept of Latency: The Luo Vessels.   I found myself inspired by the thought and explanation into a deep and complicated part of the medicine.   I think it’s one of the most intriguing theory pieces I have seen from Acupuncture Today in a long time.   It’s a recommended read for any acupuncturist (but allow some time, it’s long and you’ll want to pause to digest the ideas).