Mahatma Gandhi Kitcharee: Rice & Grain Dish Works Well for Poor Appetite

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) we often prescribe a rice porridge called congee for those with poor appetite or difficult digestion, esp. for chronic illness, cancer or chemotherapy. Congees are traditionally made with rice, although any grain can be uses. They are cooked with lots of water (8:1 water: rice) and cooked for a long time (4-8hr: a crock pot is often used). Herbs, meats, dried fruits, sweeteners and nuts are added for flavor and medicinal effect. A respected teacher of mine gave accounts of bedridden patients with cancer brought back from the precipice through the use of congee.In India, they make a traditional dish called kitcharee, which is similar to the medicinal effect of congee, but less water and cooking time is involved. Kitcharee works well…

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Dangers of Using Cellphone While Driving, NY Times Article

The New York Times is running a series on the dangers of using cellphones while driving. This article tells the heart wrenching story of a young man who caused a deadly auto accident because he never saw the red light while engaged in a cell phone conversation.According to the NY Times research, studies show cell phone drivers have an equal crash risks as a drunk driver. The article cites a 2003 Harvard study asserting that "cellphone distractions caused 2,600 traffic deaths every year, and 330,000 accidents that results in moderate or severe injuries." "Five states and the District of Columbia require drivers who talk on cellphones to use hands-free devices, but research shows that using headsets can be as dangerous as holding a phone because the conversation…

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Studies Show Childhood Stress & Trauma Increase Risk For Auto Immune Diseases & Asthma

There have been some interesting studies published recently showing a positive correlation between childhood stress & trauma and auto immune diseases and asthma. Deepak Chopra has been discussing the findings of one of these studies on auto immune diseases on various news channels lately. I have pasted abstracts from a few of these studies published in Psychosomatic Medicine below for your perusal. As an acupuncturist, this information has peaked my interest.There are a couple of reasons I wanted to learn more about these findings. First, as a holistic medicine (meaning one that treats the whole: mind/body/spirit, and considers the organism to be inseparable or part of its surrounding environment) Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) theory has long recognized the relationship between emotions and diseases. In fact, TCM considers…

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Chinese Medicine Explained in Video

A couple of lovely young ladies who are recent grads from my acupuncture college, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) and now fellow North Carolinians have put together this thoughtfully written & produced video, called School Me, to explain about Chinese Medicine's history & theory, including herbal medicine, and the educational level of a Licensed Acupuncturist. It's a 30min video, but I'm sure those interested in learning more about the topic will find it complete and interesting. KBhttp://www.vimeo.com/5403390

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Michael Jackson 1958-2009, RIP

MJ's death has affected me on a deep level. This grief caught me by surprise. In reflection, I've remembered that MJ was my first pre-teen heart-throb, and I didn't realize that I had kept a place for him tucked away in my heart all these years. Throughout his magnificent 40 year career I have maintained tremendous respect & admiration of him as one of the great entertainers of out time. More than his music, I think my continued connection to him was in his dancing and his showmanship.Last nite I went back on YouTube and watched a number of live performances not included in the weekend video marathon on all of the music channels (there were times this weekend when 5 channels were simultaneously running a marathon…

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The Importance of Being Rested

I am researching lymphoma, a type of cancer. One of the books I am reading discusses the importance of getting enough rest. This issue cannot be overstated, not only for cancer treatment, but for any type of disease or injury prevention.Getting adequate rest includes resting during an illness, rather than trying to work through it. Overwork impairs detoxification, so that the chemical toxins we are exposed to in our environment accumulate in the body. The build up of toxins can lead not only to cancer formation, but atopic (allergic) and autoimmune conditions.Sleep is essential for detoxification and for the release of growth hormone needed to repair & rebuild damaged tissues.Poor or lack of sleep leads to yin deficiency. Yin deficiency is a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) concept.…

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Maintaining Inner Peace to Provide Certainty During Uncertain Times

I noticed this piece, What You Don't Know Makes You Nervous, on the cause of anxiety in the Op/Ed of the NY Times this morning. In it, Daniel Gilbert shows that people are happier with certainty, and that uncertainty is the cause unhappiness. To make his point, Gilbert cites studies showing that faced with the certainty verses the uncertainty of an unfortunate circumstance, such as a chronic disease condition, those with certainty of the unfortunate event were less nervous than those for whom the predictability of the event is uncertain. In other words, it is the the 'not knowing' that causes mental unrest, not the actual event.Gilbert relates this information to the uncertain economic times we live in. People have a lot of fear about their economic…

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Natural Gatorade (Electrolyte Replacement Drink)

I found this recipe a while back on the WHO website & have recently run across it again in my files. The recipe is for an electrolyte replacement beverage that could be used instead of Gatorade. This one is not neon & obviously is safer.Electrolyte replacement is necessary after extreme fluid loss, such as after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting. Athletes drink Gatorade due to the electrolyte loss through perspiration.3/4 t sea salt1/2 t backing soda4 t cream of tarter (or eat 2 bananas for potassium)1T sugar1 liter of wateroptional: 1T orange juice or 2t lemon juice

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Castor Oil Packs

I've recently been researching Castor oil packs. Many holistic practitioners recommend them, and they have some intriguing uses. Castor oil comes from the Castor bean. It's use was popularized by early new-ager, psychic and medical intuitive, Edgar Cayce. You might find wikipedia's entry on him of interest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Cayce . From the point of view of Chinese Medicine, Castor oil seems to have the ability to move Qi, Blood and Phelgm (congealed fluids). This is seen by the claims to dissolve tumors and nodules and to improve Liver function, including treating cirrhosis.Uses include bursitis/arthritis/joint pain, improving digestion/constipation, treating the liver/gallbladder, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, reducing menstrual cramping and dissolving tumours and nodules. I've seen claims of improving sleep/insomnia and relaxing facial wrinkles. You can find Castor oil in…

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Obama on Acupuncture

Here's the reply from Obama to a question by an acupuncturist inquiring about whether alternative medicine is on the table to be included in the new health care plan:http://www.enewspf.com/index.php?option=com_content&view;=article&id;=7209:remarks-by-president-obama-in-arnold-missouri-town-hall-april-29-2009&catid;=88888983:latest-national-news&Itemid;=88889930Q I'm a licensed acupuncturist and licensed massage therapist in Florissant. And so --THE PRESIDENT: I could use one right now. (Laughter.) My back is stiff. I've been working hard.Q I'll be happy to help you. (Laughter.) And this kind of fits into what you were just talking about as far as health care. I'm wondering, as a practitioner of Oriental medicine, knowing that the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization has discovered through their studies that alternative medicine often is more cost-effective and very effective, how will alternative medicine fit in your new health care…

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