Sunday, January 23, 2011

Here's why I don't drink tap water (our water in NYC is fluoridated and has a LOT of chlorine in it)

Another new study shows that exposure to fluoride may lower children's intelligence.  In addition to toothpaste, fluoride is added to 70 percent of U.S. public drinking water supplies. PR Newswire reports:
"About 28 percent of the children in the low-fluoride area scored as bright, normal or higher intelligence compared to only 8 percent in the 'high' fluoride area ... in the high-fluoride city, 15 percent had scores indicating mental retardation and only 6 percent in the low-fluoride city."

In addition to this study, and the 23 other IQ studies, there have been over 100 animal studies linking fluoride to brain damage (all the IQ and animal brain studies are listed in Appendix 1 in The Case Against Fluoride available online at

Citation:  This was quoted in Dr. Mercola's online newsletter.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Enormous helpings of "healthcare"

An email I received this morning asked me to sign a petition asking the new Congress to make healthcare reform a priority.  The group is non-partisan and focuses on issues relating to women and families, and has been around for 30 years.  I had never heard of them, so I began reading their website before signing on to their platform.  Here are some interesting statistics they cited:

*     The average 75-year-old has three chronic conditions and takes five prescription drugs. 
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Merck Institute of Aging & Health (2004). The State of Aging and Health in America 2004. Retrieved October 2, 2009 from,

*     Chronic conditions limit what an individual can do in everyday life. Approximately one out of four people living with a chronic illness experiences significant limitations in their daily activities.  
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009). Chronic Diseases: The Power to Prevent, The Call to ControlAt a Glance 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from

*     People with serious chronic conditions use a variety of methods to finance their health care including savings (38 percent), government aid (36 percent), borrowing or receiving money from another family member or friend (27 percent), and/or taking money from a retirement fund (16 percent).  
(The Gallup Organization (2002). Serious Chronic Illness Survey. Washington, DC.)

If you want to read their website yourself, here's the link:

Now, their conclusions are that care should be coordinated to achieve better outcomes.  While that is true enough, that is not what I see in these statistics.  What I see is a medicine that causes more harm than good.  The Associated Press did a survey of medical research which showed that the more medicine people received in the United States, the worse their health was.  (  

That bears repeating:  The more healthcare people received in the United States, the worse their health was.  Wow.  That pretty much says it all.  Western medicine is not healing people, it is harming people.  What would Galen think?  What happened to "First do no harm"?  With Big Pharma driving the world of Western medicine, healing is not the goal, making enormous amounts of money for themselves and their shareholders is the goal.  Big Pharma does not have patients' best interests at heart and anyone who is naive enough to believe that deserves the kind of medicine they are getting.

The one person in the world who has your best interests at heart is yourself, and perhaps your loved ones, if you are lucky enough to be loved properly.  I am proud to be in a medical profession that cares first about the patient, and last about how much money they are going to make.  Yes, we have to make a living, but we did not go into this profession to make a lot of money.  We spend $100,000 on getting a four-year professional degree, and yet we cannot participate in the federal government's programs to provide medical care to underserviced areas.  Physicians can, nurses can, physical therapists can, but we acupuncturists cannot, despite our ability to effectively treat the chronic diseases that Western medicine has little to no success with.  And all because the Western medical system has no ability to see anything but their own paradigm.  More people around the world use our system of medicine and use it well.  They are healthier than we are, for heaven's sake!  Why does that not say something loud and clear to any sensitive medical practitioner?

Sigh.  So we simply do our work, and remain quiet about it, letting those who understand their relationship to the natural world and its order find us and regain their health their natural means.  I can only hope and pray that more and more people will be driven into our arms by the horrible nature of the pharmaceutical school of medicine, disenchanted by the increasing numbers of health problems they have as they take more and more pharmaceutical medications. 

Sadly, I have a very personal experience of this.  My mother was in terrific health only a few years ago.  I did a thorough workup of her and was shocked to find she had the pulses and tongue of a 40 or 50 year old person!  I was very impressed.  I have great genes on both sides of my family, who live healthfully into their 90s before finally losing latency and showing signs of the degenerative diseases that ultimately overcome them.  So I was surprised when my mother began taking a turn for the worse only two years later but when I was caring for her after a fall that dislocated her hip and laid her up for three weeks, I discovered that she had been put on no less than 9 (nine!!!) pharmaceutical medications.  Most of those were PREVENTIVE, to prevent her developing heart disease or some other possible problem.  I could not believe the medical reasoning that was used to dope her up on these powerful medications.  But she believes wholeheartedly in popping pills, so there is absolutely nothing I can do.  While caring for her, I worked with my brother, a physician, to wean her off of half her medications.  We had her down to four from nine.  Many of her medications were duplicates, that is, she was being given two different medications for the same thing!  I was so depressed to see the way medicine is being practiced these days.  At first I was angry, but then I realized that she bought into that system (my father was a physician who also believed in popping pills).  She is the victim of her own faith in a system that is not built around keeping her well, but in getting her to consume as much medicine and surgery as possible. 

Now, that is not to say individual doctors don't care about their patients, they do.  But they, too, are blind to the implications of the modern way of Western medicine.  What other sort of prescription has a doctor ever given you?  Do they ever prescribe any natural means of getting better?  Do they ever heal the source of the problem, or merely tamp down the symptoms?  Please, write me to let me know if your doctor has ever given you anything other than a prescription for a pharmaceutical medication or surgery.  Those are the only two things they learn in medical school, and how sad is that?  What happened to all the old time hands-on doctoring?  I know, it isn't cost effective.  They can't make any money spending time with their patients.

Well, guess what.  The vast majority of those who practice oriental medicine spend an hour with each patient at each visit.  We spend two hours on the first interview and examination.  We never give a patient anything harmful to take or to do, and we spend time instructing them in numerous ways to help themselves regain their health.  WE SPEND TIME.  No, we don't make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, true enough.  But we know that the medicine we are practicing will never do harm, that it always makes the patient's health better, and most of the time makes them feel much better as well.  We alleviate suffering while building up their emotional resilience and spiritual strength so that they can make better choices and live a happier, healthier life.

I am so very proud to be a practitioner of this beautiful, thoughtful, restorative medicine.  I thank my lucky stars that I bumped into it in my own search for a way to regain my health.  I am well and truly blessed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Write your life."

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you feel as upbeat as I do.  I know the world is facing enormous political problems, due to a long-standing childish denial of the realities of living on a planet that is not infinite, yet I feel excited by the new year.  I've been spending time reading notes from various courses I have taken with the Daoist master Jeffrey C. Yuen, with whom I studied in graduate school, and invariably that fills me with a sense of awe at the deep beauty that is ancient Chinese medicine.

I'm working on two books at the moment, both of them involving Daoist medicine, and despite knowing how long it may take to complete them, I am very happy about both of them.  Twenty some years ago I took a course in "Core Shamanism" with Michael Harner, Ph.D. at The Open Center in lower Manhattan.  It was an eye opening experience, and I found that I felt completely at home performing shamanic journeys.  In one journey, I asked what I should do to make money in a way that was completely in line with who I am and what I have to offer to the world, and my spiritual guide at that time picked me up like a paintbrush, and with my hair as the brush, wrote across the sky "Write your life" in paint that was all the colors of the rainbow.  Quite a psychedelic vision, but a very direct answer.

You would think that might be an easy instruction to follow.  Not so.  What could I possibly write about my life that would be at all interesting?  Yes, I've lived a rather unusual life and worked in quite a wide variety of professions, beginning at a young age.  I sat down to write the actual story of my life beginning in childhood.  There are some fascinating stories there, but I couldn't seem to find a thread on which it all would hang.  Who am I that anyone would care to read my story??

Also, writing about my actual life stories was simply not interesting to me, and I felt certain that I should enjoy the writing of my life, not just grind something out to fulfill the requirement.  And so, 20 some odd years later, I still had not written my life.  Until now.  Finally, at along last, I have begun the real story I was meant to write.  In a dream a couple of weeks ago, I finally found a form for telling my story, in a way that I would enjoy the telling.  While it will be the story of my life, of who I am and who I have been and can be, it is also a fictional story.  And in this form, it is finally a story I think others will enjoy reading.  I have never read a story anything like this one, and so I am happy to be telling a story no one has heard before.  How fun to work on it and see where it goes!

The new year looks very promising.