Wisdom for Being Illness Free

Not getting sick is everyone’s wish and dream. It’s the basic requirement for living a free, successful and meaningful life.
Two Attitudes
In trying to achieve health, people have two opposing attitudes: one is “Begging For Health,” the other is “Preserving Health.” Begging occurs after the illness has occurred, and the people relinquish the control of their health to others presented to them. They have no choice but to take drugs or undergo surgery.
Facing various serious illnesses, people often are powerless, helpless, ignorant and they let the outside forces to determine their fate, then blindly obey other’s decision about their body and health.
With the Preservation attitude, people treat their health like a loving mother takes care of her own child. No effort is spared and constant attention is paid.
Now you can see the begging attitude is passive, preservation is active.
Begging is confused, Preservation is clear-minded. Begging is unpredictable, Preservation is reliable and stable.
Keeping a preservation attitude for health is so important for you. If you can learn and renew its knowledge and skill, you can reach the ultimate goal – healthy, active longevity.
Knowledge and Skill of Preservation
Here, I’d like introducing to you the knowledge and techniques of Preservation, so you can effortlessly by-pass the suffering of illness. I would translate the complex and obscure principles and mystery of human body and let them become simplified. I summarized my insights and conclusions into four principles.
1. Understand the signals of your body.
Some illness has a long hidden developmental period. Still, the body on the road to actual illness will send out many different signals to alert you. But unfortunately, most people simply pay no heed to them. They think, oh come on I can eat and sleep, why bother?

Let me use a metaphor to explain this to you. Let’s imagine your body as a house, brightly lit by many different lights. You stay in the house living your life, do all kinds of activities. Under the light, you eat, work and play. One day the first light goes out, dimming the house a bit. Since you can still function in a dimmer house, you could choose to ignore the dimmed light and carry on with your life. More and more lights go out, and life becomes more troublesome. All too soon, one day the house is plunged into near darkness. It’s often at this point people become alarmed about health and go about begging to get their health back. Unfortunately, at that point, the damage is often extensive, and even with the most expensive repairs, the house may not ever be as bright. The wiser way, is to pay attention to that first broken light and fix it before the problem develop into something greater. This is essence of Preservation.

One thing is worth mentioning in this scenario. When the first light dims, perhaps you don’t have to seek experts to fix it. Perhaps it’s only some loose screws that you can tighten up yourself. Let me use a real-life scenario to explain. When you start to experience mild heartburn, you should re-examine your life-style, especially your diet.

Cut out the junk food, spicy food and eat more green leafy vegetable. Develop more healthy life styles and eating habits. The problem may go away. If you ignore your body’s signals, then the symptoms may get worse and you may turn to begging for health. You may have to consult experts, who will try to fix you with medicine. Even worse, the acids could do irreparable damage to your esophagus, which could lead to life threatening problems.
Do not over react
On the other hand, many people are suffering all kind of different discomfort symptoms everyday. Fatigue, weakness, malaise, foggy mind and unfocused, headache, dizziness, eye tiredness, vision loss, stuffed nose, fullness in the stomach, tightness in the neck and shoulders, poor sleep, cold hand and feet, clammy palms, constipation, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, numbness in the extremities, restlessness and irritability. Some people wake up with depression or anxiety or discomfort here or there. Sometimes they even can’t explain where is the discomfort, they just don’t feel right. Check-up of all kinds of necessary tests yields nothing wrong. The doctors say they have no illness. Even without a diagnosed “illness,” the lousy feeling goes on and on, like having a nagging fly roaming in the house, jangling their nerves. The worry about their
health and unexplained problems make them powerless. The mental stress is often out-weighs the physical symptoms, because they don’t know where the time bomb is hidden, or which day it would explode.

Actually, there really is no need for too much panic. It’s just your house lights system having some little trouble. Maybe dusts covered your bulbs, maybe moisture gets into the wire, maybe… It may only need a turn-up or minor repair.

The environment we are living in is not as it used to be. Everyday we have no choice but to breathe in polluted air and eat food contaminated with industrial additives. These poisons are just like those dust and moisture for our light system, and inevitably cause disharmonies of our body every minute. In the terms of Chinese medicine—your body lost the balance of Ying and Yang. You need a tone-up or minor repair. Acupuncture treatments can restore the balance and make them feel like themselves again. In my clinical experience, I have treated many such patients. Often even after one tone-up treatment, they felt so much better and refreshed.

Five Symptoms You Can’t Ignore
But if you ever encounter any of the following 5 symptoms, you should immediately go see a doctor.
1. Cough that last more than 2 weeks.
2. Blood in urine or stool. Blood in stool could be due to anything from hemorrhoids or irritation of anus to colon cancer. Blood in urine could be due to kidney stones, urinary tract infections to cancer.
3. Postmenopausal vaginal bleeding. This could a sign of cervical or uterine problems.
4. Chest pain that radiate to left arm. This is a common sign of a heart attack.
5. Wounds that don’t heal. It could point to a metabolic disorder such as diabetes or circulation problem.
I’ll temporary stop here. I have reserve the Three Principles for a later article.

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Reflexology – The Simplest Way to Quit Smoking

Our feet have a very important impact on our health. Various regions of them represent all parts of the human body. When any part of the body malfunctions, the problems are expressed in the corresponding part of the foot.

To put it into simpler terms, imagine that you are living in apartment 113 on the third floor of a five story building. When someone presses your doorbell on the ground floor, the sound is heard in your unit, but not on other units. Think of your feet as having the ground floor buttons with each of them connected to a specific internal organ above. When the foot regions are manipulated, the corresponding internal organs are affected.

For those who would like to quit smoking, I’d like to introduce massage of the Lung and bronchioles area in the foot. That area should be massaged for 20-30 minutes two times a day. The amount of massage depends on the amount of smoking that is taking place. For the average smoker, 1-3 weeks of massage are usually adequate. If you are a heavier smoker who draws the smoke in deeply, you must spend more time in massage. Following massage, it is sometimes possible to spit out black sputum that helps get rid of toxin.

Please refer to the graph below to find the specific lung/bronchioles area.

Reflexology PointReflexology Point

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Joyful Weight Loss

                                                                                                                                  

Everyone acknowledges that eating too much and not exercising enough is the cause of obesity.  It would seem obvious, therefore, that the key to losing weight is to eat less and exercise more, but strangely enough, I have encountered some people who have lost weight a different way. 

One was a woman who was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 178 pounds.  She suffered from severe constipation, and was so fatigued all day long that she always wanted to sit or lie down.  She was always drowsy during the daytime, yet suffered insomnia at night.

She tried many ways to lose weight including such extreme methods as fasting for ten days or eating only an apple each day and then doing a lot of frantic running.  Neither of those plans caused her to lose more than one or two pounds, and she always gradually added it back on. She can’t remember how many times she tried to lost weight, but she does remember that each time she failed.  She was actually getting heavier each time, and she hated the fact that she just couldn’t eat food that she knew was delicious.  The whole business of failing to lose weight made her very sad, and she gradually lost confidence in herself.  That caused a psychological wound that was worse then the obesity itself.  

She came to see me as she was bipolar and had had a panic attack.  She didn’t mention anything about her obesity because she had already given up on solving the problem.    After consultation with her, I found that obesity was the real problem and suggested that she should try again to control weight while I was treating her mental problem.

During her physical examination, I noticed that her pulse was very weak, and after discussion with her, it was apparent that her difficulty in losing weight was due to digestive deficits combined with a long term lack of good nutrition.  Her body, therefore, lacked the energy to perform its normal functions.  That was evident in the fact that her metabolism was low and her digestive functions were very weak.  Her body lacked the energy to properly pass toxins to the outside.  As an example of that, imagine an assembly line that has been shut down due to a lack of energy.  Mountains of components pile up at one end and everything gets blocked up.  The only way to clear the assembly line is to provide more power so that things can get moving again. 

To treat her kind of obesity, I suggested that she improve her nutrition by eating all kinds of meat – beef, chicken, lamb – and adding sufficient fruits and vegetables to help the hunger pains disappear.  In addition to the change in diet, she would have to get enough exercise. 

She was surprised to hear my diet plan, but agreed to try it at least and said, “If it works, I will be extremely happy.  It will be a joyful weight loss for me.”

I told her that it was also very important that she should massage her abdomen every day using a circular motion around her belly button – 200 times – clockwise. She should massage from under her sternum to her belly button 100 times too.

She returned to my office two months later and had lost 19 pounds without feeling hungry even once.  She had not experienced another panic attack.  She felt that she was no longer bipolar.

Now I’ll tell you a case of unhappy weight loss that a 29 year old woman experienced.  Her beauty was stunning – apple cheeks, a nice figure, and a healthy glow radiated from her.  She wanted me to help her lose at least 20 pounds.

I didn’t agree with her idea that she should be thinner and immediately told her that she was already at a healthy weight.  She didn’t like hearing that, and said that as I wouldn’t help her she was going to purchase weight loss medications and apply various weight loss methods that she’d heard of.  With that, she left the office.

When I saw her again, she had lost about 15 pounds.  The healthy glow she’d had was gone and her skin looked with a sickly color.  I felt that she had been imprudent.  The weight loss had disordered her body’s functions.  She should never have done it.

In my clinical practice, I have often encountered such women.  They tend to value beauty above everything else.  Though many of them are not overweight, they insist on losing poundage. 

Obesity can affect your health and may eventually take your life.  It is unfortunate that many women fail to realize that inappropriate weight loss can do exactly the same thing.

Before trying to lose pounds you think you don’t need, consider the French model, Isabella Caro who recently made international news by dying because of self-imposed anorexia.  She was an example of what can go wrong.

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Disasters for Women Caused by Tight Shapewear

When I was fifteen, I had a girl friend who was beautiful, with luscious black hair, big clear eyes and great figure.  However, she felt her legs were too short.  Actually her legs were longer than mine.  So she started to wear layers of very tight swim wear in hope of compressing her upper body and lengthening her legs.  When she grew up she became a fan of corset type shapewear, which pushed up her breasts and accentuated her behind, a very attractive figure.  When she walked on the street, many men gave her a second glance.  Like many young girls, I wanted to be attractive and was envious of her beauty.  At the time, neither of us were married and she advised me to wear shapewear to attract man to get a great husband.  However I only lasted two weeks with the new fashion style.  I thought it was better to be without a husband than to suffocate in that kind clothe.  From then on, I never wore shapewear. 

After I became a doctor, once she came to see me and complained of shortness of breath, fatigue, back and hip pain.  She was in her thirties.  A variety of diagnostic tests revealed no cause for her symptoms.  I told her that the tight clothing could be the cause.  The tght corset made her not able to have deep breath all ady along. And also the muscles were weakend.  Day by day and year by year. She had been  deprived oxygen by herself.  Her body couldn’t have enough oxygen supply, than developed shortness of breath and fatigue. Plus tightness block the curculation of blood and lymph system . That’s why she got  so much pain on her back and hips. But she dismissed my concerns and continued to wear the shapewear.  At age forty-nine, lung cancer was diagnosed in her.  I feel that the tight clothing may have contributed to it. 

Early this year, I was treating a patient, an successful woman banker. Before I even walked into the door, I smelt the heavy Chanel perfume wafting from the room. She was a fashionable lady who wore name-brand clothes, with red blouse and elegant white Saks Fifth Avenue coat, and her make-up disguised the fact she was in her forties.  She is also somewhat overweight and the tight shapewear caused folds of fat to spill over the edge of clothing.  She came to me for shortness of breath, fatigue and back aches.  When she was taking her clothe off for my exam, I saw she was wearing an extremely tight corset shapewear.  I advised her that the shapewear is likely the culprit for her symptoms but she didn’t believe me.  The second time she came to see me and said that treatments was not effective. I asked her whether she had continued wearing the shapewear.  The answe was yes.  So I encouraged her again to try not wearing that tight clothing.  This time she consented.  A week later, she called and said she felt much better, with no more shortness of breath, or back pains!  This is a very typical example of woman coming to see me with back pain that’s relieved after they gave up tight clothing. 

From patients like them, I learned that there is a price to be paid in the some ways of pursuing beauty and we should be cautious on how things could affect our health.  Shapewear may enhance your beauty, and can be enjoyed on occasions, such as parties and other social outings, but shouldn’t be worn constantly in daily life.  Is being pretty worth permanent damage to your health?

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Treating Stroke: Immediate Results Come From Confidence!

You must know that stroke is a medical emergency.  People who experience a stroke should definitely go the western doctors for immediate, often life-saving treatment.  But once their condition stabilized, combined treatment with Chinese medicine has better results compared to western medicine alone. 

There are numerous examples of stroke patients, who western medicine declared incapacitated, were able to acheive amazing recovery even after one session of acupuncture. 

I must emphasize that stroke patients and their family in face of sudden medical crisis suffer great emotional shock, as if a mountain has collapsed.  They are scared and lack confidence.  Particularly for patients, their sense of dependence increases.  They become dependent on family, doctors, nurses, care-givers, the bed, the wheel chair.  They become dependent on everything that can be dependent upon.  

 Once I went to treat a 80 year old woman who suffered a stroke.  Three month post-stroke, she has underwent many western and alternative treatments.  When I saw her, she was lying completely flaccid in the bed, with her head lolled to the side, seemingly without any strength to move herself.  I spend an hour in meticulous treatment to stimulate her self-healing energy of her body.  Assessing her condition and response to treatment, I determined that she was capable of sitting up.  However, I encountered opposition from both the family and the patient when I asked her to practice sitting up.  They didn’t believe it was possible and were fearful for trying.  After patient encouragement, I finally persuaded them to sit her on a stool and surround her on all sides with people to prevent a fall.  After a instant of wavering, she suddenly found the strength to right herself with her back straight.  Then, her neck straightened and she was able to look left and right without trouble.    

I’ve also treated younger stroke patients who weren’t able to stand or walk.  After treatment I told them to try to stand or walk but got fierce opposition from both the patients and the family.  After more urging, those patients who couldn’t stand, stood, those who couldn’t walk, walked.  The family of patients were besides themselves with surprise and joy, hailing a miracle.  However, this is not magic.  It is caused by the stimulation of self-healing energy that momentarily reconnected the neural pathways.  In other words, it is something that patient was capable of . If the patient seize the moment and bravely take the step forward, his recovery would acheive new heights.  

Isn’t it true that in any situation, such as work, school or home life, success require self-confidence?

 Stroke patients often suffer from crisis of self-confidence and tend to rely more on other people.  As an example, I once treated an woman who, three months after a stroke, still couldn’t sit up by herself.  After a treatment session, I urged her to try sitting.  But she declined and said it’s impossible. Her family who were there also said it’s impossible.  But I was persistent and told her I believe she could and she needed to try.  Eventually she did and what do you know?  She could sit up by herself.  The important lesson here is that beliefs about what you can achieve play a big role in self-healing.

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Treating Stroke — Different Endings of Poor and rich

Everybody thinks that wealthier patients will get better outcomes than poor patients because they can afford more and better care and treatments.  But this is not always true.  From my many years mediacl experince the post-stroke recovery are sometimes worse and slower in patients who are more wealthy.  Paradoxically, the poorer patients can have better results.  There was a 65 year old woman patient who is independently wealthy.  Her family are also wealthy.  After her stroke, her children were very concerned about her and employed two caretakers to help them care for her around the clock.  Everyday her every need is met.  Someone is always there to spoon feed her, help her with the bedpans.  After a year of this, she wasn’t able to stand or walk, and soon died of complicated syndrome of pneumonia.  There was another sixty years old woman stroke patient who was poor.  She didn’t have many people to cater to her needs.  Whenever she regained any abilities, she needed to use them to help herself.  Before the end of a year she could use cane to go shopping herself.  She lived to her eighties.  

Why is this? Le’ts first understand what’s happening in a stroke.  Stroke occurs when blood vessels gets blocked by blood clots.  Without the blood flowing to deliver nutrients, the brain cells networks necessary for regulating major functions such as movements die off.  The reason some people recover from stroke is that activity can stimulate other brain cells to sprout new connections and replace the old network.  It’s because the poor patient had to be more active.  With more activities, more collateral circulation develop her breain and more new neural pathways grow to help her regain her function.  At the same time, her body got more exercise from the activity.  Let’s think about this: if you tie up a healthy person on a bed for a month, would he have trouble walking afterward?  Wouldn’t he require a period of exercise to regain his abilities?  Therefore, one day of early activity would result in one day of early benefit. 

I also encountered some stroke patients who were too afraid of pain, fatigue of the recovery effort.  Sometimes they cry and yell.  Their loved ones feel distressed by their suffering and gave up supporting the patient’s efforts to regain function.  This is a huge mistake.  The belief that in sickness the doctor is the ultimate authority on treating the condition is a bigger mistake.  No matter how highly renowned, how sincere they are, the doctors can’t replace your legs, your arms to initiate activity and to stimulate self-healing system.

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Conquer Depression — Become a Person Who Light Up Others

Chinese medicine often categorize patients into “hot” and “cold” excess or deficiency.  Those who have excess of “cold” need treatment that increase the “hot,” and vice versa.  I’ve seen many cases of depression.  Most of the cases belong to a “cold” type.  They are typically withdrawan, sad and take no pleasure in life.  So I usually use “hot” acupuncture and herb methods to warm them up.     

I had a middle-aged male patient. When I first saw him, I knew already he is in deep trouble.  His face was ashen and his brows were knotted into a permanent frown.  He did not speak up at all unless spoken to.  Even when he spoke, it was with great hesitancy. He used to have a data-entry job.  He was a divorcee with no children and was diagnosed with depression for many years.  Suicidal thoughts came to him even on western psychiatric medications.  The depression consumed him so throughly that he was on disability.  After every treatment he experienced upswing in his mood, but some lingering depressive symptoms always remained.   When I realized that he always stayed and did nothing at home and not even interested in watching movies, I felt he needed to fill his empty time with more fulfilling activity.  So I encouraged him to either go out with friends or volunteer his time to help people who needed.  Finally he took a volunteer position at an senior center, where he spent time reading and setting up activities for the residents there.  The elderlies loved his being there very much.  In his subsequent visits to me he found much more to talk about.  There was a new sparkle in his eyes and his cheeks were flushed with healthy ruddiness. From this experience, he found new self-worth and gradually emerged from his depression.  It’s the warmth within his heart that lighted up others’s life and also lighted up his own life.  This is the power of self-healing.

Let us all together appreciate those who have illuminated our lives!  Let us all together become the people who light up others!

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Self-Healing Has Unimaginable Power

All natural life has self-healing powers, such as plant after grafting, or earthworm cut in half.  Human body also has unbelievable power of self-healing.  This is something Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, had emphasized a long time ago.  Medical research from Germany showed that the body can heal 60-70% of all disease.  Every region of the world has heartening stories of cancer patients foregoing conventional medical treatment and make miraculous recoveries from self-healing.  The power of self-healing came from regulation of inner abilities of human body and evolved through long process derived from nature.  Mostly, the treatments from physicians merely support and augment the our bodies’ natural abilities of healing. 

We need to have faith in self-healing.  It is a highly responsible and extremely skillful doctor.  It can sensitively detect all the abnormal signals from the body.  At the slightest imbalance or illness, it would use its most powerful weapons, which include immune system, healing, revival, compensation, endocrine system, sympathetic system, to regulate all the body’s function and prepare for battle.  An simple exampple of this would be when humans ate something unclean, their natural instinct would be to start vomiting or diarrhea to get rid the poision. 

It can be said that our boy contain all the medicine in the world.  Many people don’t know this or don’t believe it.  Too often even a little bit of illness would prompt taking pills.  Imagine the body as a city.  To protect the city, an elite army, with wide array of sophisticate weapons, stands ever at ready.  There are soldiers responsible for communications, transportation, artillery, assault and cleaning.  The army is capable of waging the most cruel wars.  Once actual war erupts — once you are sick — for an illness as small and light as a mosquito you can despatch one soldier to squash it.  However, the whold world and society are telling you that you are sick, you are sick, you must go take medicine.  What so often happens is that you let your soldiers sleep and instead rent heavy artillery from the outisde to kill of the mosquito.  The mosquito is killed but the city itself is heavily damaged and requires a long time for repair.  Worth it?

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Let me Guide You to Better Health

During my various medical practices, I’ve tirelessly advised my patients that if they want to be healthy they must have healthy life habits.  However, I confess I had rarely followed my own advice; I exercised very little, ate fatty food, devoured candies, and stayed up all night to watch movies. In addition, I was ignorant of the heavy toll caused by the daily stress from work.  When I reached my fifties, I had an episode of fainting.  At the emergency department, I was astonished at the poor state of my health.  After an extensive self examination, I was worse off than many of the 80 year old elderly women and men who came to seek my care. I had frequent colds, fevers, and attacks of weakness.  Walking briskly for twenty minutes would bring on short of breath.  A flight of stairs would leave me covered in sweat.  My shoulders, neck, hips all ached terribly.  My illness came one after another.  Eventually I suffered from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, acid reflux, anxiety, hypertension and abnormally low blood counts.  Then I realized my health had declined so much only because for years I had ignored taking care of myself. I regretted how I treated myself.  I fervently wished time was reverse and correct my poor life habits in the past. 

But I told myself it wasn’t too late.  From then on, I set up strict rules about my life and held myself accountable for them.  It took time, but gradually my health improved.  I used the natural methods and successfully treated my health conditions.  Now I am 63 and the state of my health has never been better and I feel energetic and full of life.  The doctor said my laboratory values looked like that of a 20 year old! 

The reason I am starting a blog now is because my experience of the terror and uncertainty at my nightmarish decline in health and the final recovery has filled me with empathy and understanding for people who are undergoing the same thing.  Everyday, when I faced patients who are tormented by their illness, I thought that while a minority, who like me, had developed diseases because they continued the bad habits of life that gradually eroded their health despite knowing what’s right, for the majority of patients their diseases were borne of ignorance of how their lifestyle was contributing to their suffering.  On many occasions, my discovered the roots of their problems and solved them in just a few sentences.

Normally, people tend to be afraid of unfamiliar things.  One day, when they are confronted with the unfamiliar and are threatened with life and death, they feel powerless and fearful.  So they blindly obey what others determine about their life and fate. Whatever pills offered is swallowed without protest, whatever surgery offered is accepted without question.

Actually, many times people over-estimated the immediate threat of the disease, and under-estimated the self-healing abilities of the human body.  If our bodies are the soil, and our organs –brain, heart, lung, kidney, liver, etc – are the flowers growing out of the soil, then disease is the parasites that live in the soil and feed upon the flowers.  The general approach of western medicine is akin to pouring chemical pesticides into the soil to kill off the parasites.  But at the same time the pesticides could hurt the flowers and degrade the quality of the soil.  Also, if used too many times, the pesticides could breed resistance in the parasites.  The approach of self-healing and natural medicine is different; they use various methods to improve soil’s natural resistance and ensure long-lasting and through protection.

In many religions there is the inspirational idea that extraordinary strength added to people weakened by disasters can give them courage and will power and let them shoulder the heavy burdens to walk through their valley of misery.  The reason I am starting this blog is to help those who lack the knowledge, and teach them how to prevent illness and continue healthy living.  It is also to help those who is already sick to use their own strength to battle their illness.  I aim to use the most simple and clear language to illuminate the complex Chinese and Western medical concepts and turn them into something familiar and easy to understand. 

Come on, friends, come on this journey with me!  Let us explore a life full vigor and joy!

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