Studies Show Acupuncture Improves Athletic Performance

Studies are beginning to confirm acupuncture's ability to improve athletic performance. One example is a study of basketball players published in 2009 in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine. The study of 30 male elite university basketball players were randomly assigned to 3 groups: acupuncture group, sham group, and a control group. The acupuncture group got real acupuncture on 2 commonly used acupuncture points (P6 and ST36). The sham group had needles placed 1 cm away from the actual point location. The control group had no acupuncture. The subjects rode an exercise bike until exhaustion, and were tested at various intervals before, during and after exercise for heart rate (HT), oxygen consumption (VO2max) and blood lactic acid.The acupuncture group had significantly lower heart rate, VO2max and blood…

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Inspiration for Career Success: It's Not About the Money

I have a couple of inspirational clippings which live on my desk that i thought i might share. The first comes from Daniel Myrick, director of the Blair Witch Project, amongst others. the quotation comes from a 4/24/08 interview in the NY Times:'Blair Witch' gave me some financial security at a time which I was having trouble coming up the money to pay the phone bill . . . being able to say no, to only make the work that you really love and have a good time doing it, is another way to be successful.The second comes from Sherry Lansing's Success Rules for Graduates in the UCLA Alumni Magazine, fall/winter 2004 issue. At the time, Ms. Lansing was the chairperson of the Motion Picture Group of Paramount…

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Pearls from the Pema Chodrum Retreat: Living Beautifully with Uncertainty & Change

I attended a Pema Chodrum retreat this weekend entitled "Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change". Ane Pema, if you don't know, is a celebrity Buddhist nun and inspirational speaker who has written many popular books about adapting to and handling the troubles life brings. During the weekend retreat she offered many pearls to help one adapt to the curve balls life throws at us.Ane Pema began the weekend Friday night with a metaphor about the river of life. She explained that our tendency is to seek the safety of the shoreline. However our mistake is in our grasping to hang on to the perceived security there. Life, she continued, takes place in the flow of the river, and we can't be afraid to jump in. She could…

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Developing a Loving Kindness Practice

A few months ago I finished a book I had been reading by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: How to Expand Love.  Since reading the book a year ago, I have been working on developing a personal or loving-kindness practice. My goal is to being to feel loving-kindness towards all living beings. A lofty goal to achieve, I have taken the first step at the beginning.A loving-kindness meditation I was recently taught begins with thinking of a loved one and feeling the loving-kindness one feels towards that being: wishing this being love, peace, happiness, security and freedom from suffering, pain, and harm. The idea is to experience the depth and feeling of loving-kindness. Next one moves to a teacher or master, someone one respects, and again feeling…

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Your Body is Your Garden: We Must Cultivate Our Health

I spent this holiday weekend planting my vegetable garden. Yes its a late start, but I'm actually right on time for a crop of fall vegetables: spinach, chard, peas, beans, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, parsley and cilantro. I'm a novice gardener so it's a bit of Plant and Pray. I picked up a couple of vegetable gardening books, one of which, Dick Raymond's Joy of Gardening has become my new vegetable growing bible. I'm realizing why I haven't had auspicious success in my past efforts. Gardening is work. You don't just put seeds in the ground and wait to pick. There are a many techniques and cultivation methods one must employ to achieve a bountiful harvest.While remarking about this to a patient today, and it occurred…

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Acupuncture Reduces MS Symptoms and Improves Quality of Life

I'm going to be speaking to members of the Asheville MS Support Group on Thursday June 9th, 1:30-2:30 at West End Bakery on Haywood Road. In preparation I spent afternoon yesterday googling to see what is on the Internet showing acupuncture's effectiveness in treating MS. I posted many links on my facebook page and thought I would also include them on my blog so that they could be easily referenced in the future.The MS Trust, a charity in the UK includes this thoughtful discussion about acupuncture for treating MS. Acupuncturist and author Jill Brooks includes a list of MS symptoms that respond well and those that have a mixed efficacy for acupuncture treatment.Alien Sheng sums up acupuncture benefits for MS patients for the American Chronicle:Acupuncture treatments for…

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Impermanance. Or Change You Can Believe In

I woke up this morning with a moment of clarity about impermanence. Impermanence is a Buddhist concept that many westerner's have difficulty grasping. But this morning I saw clearly how our refusal to accept impermanence maintains the bondage of our suffering.We try to achieve materialist goals we set for ourselves: home ownership, a new car, steady, rewarding employment and so on. I'm not saying its wrong to strive for these achievements, but our mistaken belief that once achieved these things will last leads to our suffering when we lose them.I suppose the recent tsunami in Japan, tornado's in Alabama and other southeastern states, and flooding along the Mississippi has made me realize how quickly we can lose everything we've worked for.Home ownership is an American dream, and…

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The Formula For Longevity

(Translated from a Chinese scroll) For a person to live 100 years should not be uncommon,Less meat, more vegetables, and warm tea makes a healthy spleen [digestion],To live a healthy long life has a secret,Picky eating and over drinking over time becomes disease,Go to bed early, wake early, over-sleeping has no benefit,Use medicinal herbs [medicines] carefully,When you are ill, seek medical care,There should be balance between work and rest,Work and rest should have regularity,Keep a positive outlook and an open mind,When encountering things, don’t rush,Be sure to breathe plenty of fresh air,Less stillness and more activity will increase your vitality,Your environment should be neat and clean,Get plenty of sunlight,Martial arts and qi gong will bring out your exuberance,Music, chess, calligraphy, and painting strengthen the mind and make…

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Study Finds Meditation as Effective as Drugs in Preventing Depression

Looking to avoid depression or the holiday blues? A recent study published in The Archives of General Psychiatry shows that once the depression had been treated, meditation could be used in place of drug therapy. The medications can be discontinued rather than staying on Prozac or Paxil ad nauseaum. I know this is terrific news as I often have patients telling me they do not like taking drugs, esp. staying on them long term. I have many blog posts about meditation and depression you can look at for alternatives to drugs in order to stay happy.I recently read an interview with a well known Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh about integrating one's mindfulness practice into daily life to be happy. His ideas illustrate how the study participants…

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An Eloquent TDay Message Reaches From the Past

This eloquent Thanksgiving Day Proclamation was issued by Gov. Wilbur L Cross of CT in 1936. The Governor's words reach across time to speak to our modern hearts. it begins:Time out of mind at this turn of the seasons when the hardy oak leaves rustle in the wind and the frost gives a tang to the air and the dusk falls early and the friendly evenings lengthen under the heel of Orion, it has seemed good to our people to join together in praising the Creator and Preserver, who has brought us by a way that we did not know to the end of another year.

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