Stress & Anxiety is Caused by the Drive to Avoid Suffering

The first of the Four Noble Truths given by Sakyamuni Buddha is that life involves suffering. it is our wish, our strong desire, our struggle to avoid suffering that is the root cause of stress and anxiety. Buddhism fundamentally teaches to accept suffering as part of the condition of living. if we can accept the truth of suffering as part of living, then the struggle to prevent suffering diminishes.of course we have goals in life and we do what we can to achieve them. the struggle against obstructions in our path to achieve our goals causes stress and anxiety due to fear of the suffering involved in not achieving our goals. if we can accept that suffering is part of life, then the stress and anxiety involved…

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The Traditional Chinese Medicine Solution to Flu Prevention

The NY Times reported saturday on the difficulties in developing antibiotics to treat the antibiotic resistant super-viruses which have become common in recent years, causing a serious public health issue. The US is considering subsidies to the pharmaceutical companies to encourage future development. Antibiotics are not typically profitable for the pharmaceutical companies in comparison to drugs for chronic diseases like diabetes, allergies, or HIV. the reason for the lower profit is that antibiotics are only taken for a couple of weeks at which time the disease is cured. Chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, blood sugar disorders, thyroid problems or MS, require lifelong drug therapy as the drugs do not provide a cure. Therefore it is profitable for the pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs to treat these…

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NY Times Reports: Only 23% of US Meals Contain Vegetables

Alarmingly, the NY Times reported Saturday that only 23% of American meals include a vegetable. In that statistic, fries don't count as a vegetable, but paradoxically a piece of lettuce on a hamburger does. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reported that merely 26% of Americans are eating vegetables 2-3x/day.Many reasons play apart: chiefly households with both adults working full time and the onslaught on convenience foods. Family dinner might be pizza or fried chicken picked up on the drive home at the end of the work day. Children complain and tired parents give in rather that fight for eating healthy meals. Junk food is so dominate in American diets, that a consortium of farmers put together an ad campaign using junk food packaging to…

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Poached Pears for Autumn Health

Poached Pears are a autumn/winter favorite of mine. Chinese dietary therapy says pears nourish the Lung system. So those with allergies, sinusitis and frequent colds & flu's, and skin problems should eat them. Each of the organ systems relate to a time of year, when that system is most venerable to disease/disorder. Autumn is time of the Lung, so eating pears now will help protect the Lung against the dryness of the autumn season.In medieval times, pears were a delicacy (A Partridge in a Pear Tree - lots of pear trees depicted in medieval art). Enjoy Poached Pears for breakfast or a healthy dessert. You could serve them with a chocolate sauce for guests, but i don't think it's necessary: they stand up well on their own…

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Eat Your Veggies: Roasted Cauliflower, Yum

It's a well-known fact that Americans do not eat enough fruits & vegetables. In fact many often go through the day without eating any. Here's an easy & delicious recipe for Roasted Cauliflower. Cauliflower is probably not one of most peoples favorite veggies, but cooked well it is surprisingly tasty. My mother used to bake it in a cheese sauce, which I loved. I find baking it will a little oil is much more satisfying than the usual steamed. Look for purple and yellow cauliflower in a natural food store with an adventurous produce section. It's colorful and more flavorful that the plain standby, white. KBRoasted Cauliflower1 head cauliflowerolive oilsalt & pepperRinse and cut the cauliflower into 1 1/2" fleurettes. place in a 9x9 Pyrex dish. Sprinkle…

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Inspiration for Overcoming Depression & Adversity

Depression is not an easy emotion to manage, as the millions of Prozac, Wellbutrin and other household-word drugs attest. It is as individual a disease as the person experiencing the painful mind-state, hence a myriad of treatments, some effective, some not so.Chinese medicine is effective in treating depression. I have helped many patients find there way to happy thoughts and feelings using acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas which calm the mind and treat the TCM patterns (Traditional Chinese Medicine) causing the imbalance in the body & mind.Today I'd like to discuss how to shape your frame of mind to see the upside of your life rather than focusing on the negatives. And i do not mean to over-simplify or diminish true problems that may be arising. the…

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Excercise Moderates Anger

There was an interesting article in the NY Times Magazine Sunday about a study demonstrating that exercise diminishes anger. The columnist, Gretchen Reynolds, points out that exercise is long known to improve clinical depression. In this study, University of Georgia men were better able to control their anger after exercising than when they didn't exercise. The researchers didn't test stress hormone or brain chemical levels, though they suspect serotonin is a player here, as low serotonin levels are thought to contribute to mood disorders.Chinese medicine has known about the relationship of exercise on anger and depression for several millenniums. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, the Liver is responsible. The Liver system in Chinese Medicine has the function of moving our Qi (pronounced 'chee', or energy) throughout…

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Anxiety, Depression & Fear Allow Us to Avoid Dealing With Life

Everyone experiences anger, depression, anxiety/fear, some more so than others. Some get overwhelmed and blocked by these emotions.Did you ever consider how these emotions are coping devices, allowing you to avoid dealing with life's difficulties? When one is caught up in any of these negative emotions we are so consumed by feelings that we avoid dealing with the circumstances causing them. Buddhist's refer to kleshas, mental states which temporarily cloud the mind and manifest in unskillful actions.Anger allows us to feel self-righteous in our view. This burning hot emotion keeps us stuck in seeking vengeance and retribution so that we don't move forward or feel compassion. No progress is made. This emotion allows our wounded pride to dominate so that we stay where we are and avoid…

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Duke Univ Study Says Acupuncture Beats Pills for Headache

At last! When acupuncture first publicly arrived on the scene in the US in the 70's, the medical establishment's first concern was to be certain that the 'new' therapy was safe and wouldn't harm the public. After the millennium the safety concerns began to be put aside following a landmark NIH study in 1997 that confirmed acupuncture is safe & effective and encouraged researchers to turn to efficacy.Most of the researchers seem reluctant to verify that acupuncture is highly efficacious, consequently the studies' highest accolades seem to be acknowledging that acupuncture can match western medicine in terms of effectiveness.Duke University has a integrative medical department that is in the forefront of the field. It has recently released a study showing acupuncture is more effective than drugs for…

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Study Shows 2.5+ oz of Sugar/Day Doubles Risk of Hypertension over 160

In the Science Times Tuesday, the NYTimes reported about a study correlating those consuming over 2 1/2 oz of sugar or corn syrup per day with a 2x risk of developing systolic blood pressure (the higher number) over 160. 120/80 is normal blood pressure. A systolic number of 140 triggers a prescription for anti-hypertension drugs in the doctors' office.I would extrapolate that those on a high sugar diet are also overweight or clinically obese, a condition positively associated with hypertension.Acupuncture & Chinese herbal therapy are effective in treating hypertension. This is a condition that takes some time to treat. Usually lifestyle factors, such as stress or over eating play a role in the development of the condition, and these things take time to reverse. But I have…

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