Excerpt from Chojun—A Novel
January 10, 2022
Set in Okinawa during World War II, it’s a story of reverence, the coming of age, love, tragedy, war, and honor. A retired Okinawa karate instructor, Ota Kenichi Ota, writes memoirs of training with world-famous master, Chojun Miyagi.
Autumn: Seasonal Nourishment to Strengthen Our Immune System
September 13, 2021
As summer passes into autumn, the energy of Earth transforms into Metal, as related to fall. During the Metal phase, energy begins to condense, contract, and draw inward for accumulation and storage, just as the crops of summer are harvested and stored in autumn for use in winter.”
Qigong for Healing the Heart and Blood Vessels
June 21, 2021
By practicing qigong we can strengthen the Three Treasures. Because the jing, qi, and shen are inseparable, they support and fortify each other leading to better physical and emotional health and well-being.
Undivided We Become Strong
November 16, 2020
The most frustrating thing is that I have never seen the division in this country between people, between government, between races, and between families. Is this what we want? I don’t think so. As a holistic doctor and teacher for so many years, one thing I am continually teaching is that negative emotions greatly affect our health and life. This division can only create more negative emotions.
How Chronic Inflammation Affects Digestion and Metabolism
November 9, 2020
Inflammation in and of itself is not a bad thing. In fact, inflammation is a critical process in healing. It is the body's normal response to acute injury or infection. If you scrape your knee or catch pneumonia, white cells within your blood release certain chemicals. These are called inflammatory markers. These markers tell your body to increase blood circulation to the affected area. Your knee, for instance, will start to look redder and feel warmer following the injury.
Understanding Our Digestive System - October 5, 2020
In 2012, an estimated seventy million Americans suffered from gastrointestinal disorders. Illness that arises from these conditions can cause a wide variety of symptoms and can lead to decreased quality of life. The resulting ambulatory care visits, hospitalizations, procedures, and indirect costs such as missed work tallied $142 billion.
Recommendations for Your Gut - September 21, 2020
If long rounds of testing and different dietary modifications fail to improve gastrointestinal and metabolic conditions, healthcare providers are finally advocating examining underlying physical and emotional stress as a possible cause of these problems. We feel strongly that stress management should be addressed concurrently with dietary and life-style strategies.
Revisit Nature and Balance Your Life - September 14, 2020
We are beginning to truly understand the value of ceremony and celebration. We are here to celebrate with friends, being healthy, being balanced, being in harmony with nature. Dr. Kuhn was the one to point out that people have to celebrate – still, even in these times. It is not indulgent. It is what we need, especially now. And we think we found it, in a picnic in nature.
The Heart-Mind Connection - July 27, 2020
A positive mind makes positive physical changes: relaxed muscles, reduced heart rate and blood pressure, balanced metabolism and blood sugar, and improved production of digestive enzymes. A negative mind produces negative physical results: tight muscles, irregular or fast heart rate, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, low energy, poor metabolism, decreased enzyme production, and difficulty sleeping.
Preparing Some Herbs - July 6, 2020
Your best bet is to have pots dedicated just to working with herbs. In fact, if you are going to work with herbs that are toxic, it’s a good idea to dedicate some of your pots and utensils exclusively to topical and/or toxic preparations. Sure, you’ll clean them well after each use, but there’s always the chance of a bit of herb impregnated wax sticking to the inside. The last thing you want when you’re making a nice stew is bits of arnica or menthol getting into it.
Opportunity in Times of Crisis - June 29, 2020
There is only one thing that you can control during this crisis and that is how you will react. You can take action and improve your health now. How will you use this opportunity? It only takes a few minutes to begin building new, healthier habits. It is important to make these changes in small increments. Small actions are easier to perform and repeat.
Qigong for Spring—Support the Liver and Expand Your Vision - June 1, 2020
Physically, spring qigong practices focus on the organs of the wood element: the liver and the gall bladder. The liver is the chief organ responsible for processing toxins in the body. One of the liver's main jobs is to store the blood and filter toxic wastes from the bloodstream. Another task is to produce many of the alkaline enzymes upon which immune response and other vital functions depend.
Western Thoughts on Heart Attacks - April 27, 2020
First and foremost, if you are having symptoms of a heart attack, seek medical attention immediately. Earlier treatment is associated with better long-term outcomes. No medical provider would scoff at you for seeking treatment for acute symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Even if it turned out that you had heartburn rather than a heart attack, it is better to be safe rather than sorry.
Mind Body Exercise for Relaxation, Health & Strengthening Your Immune System - April 20, 2020
Physical tension usually turns into mental tension. Mentally you think you are “relaxing” on the sofa but actually, physically, you are collapsing. Over time you find yourself sore and stiff and not relaxed at all. Tight muscles pull on the bones which restrict the movement of your skeleton and over time cause physical discomfort and pain.
Social Distancing - April 13, 2020
At this time, I encourage you to avoid social gatherings, parties, big events. I saw that a neighbor had a big party two-days ago, and it made me think, “Do you have trouble understanding the situation, or are you just being selfish, or do you assume it is safe?” You may not be sick from the virus, but anything you touch can spread to hundreds of people.
The Science Behind Eastern Healing Modalities - March 23, 2020
When a person meditates, the electrical activity in the brain changes. This is true of any change of state such as intense concentration or emotion, drowsiness, sleep, and dreaming. These patterns of electrical activity are called brain waves and are measured by electroencephalography (EEG). Brain waves, also known as neural oscillations, have different frequencies.
Boost Your Immune System with Qigong - March 23, 2020
We need to be mindful of developing healthy habits such as washing out hands after touching things outside of the house, drinking more water, keeping distance from people, and wearing a proper mask when necessary. These are all very important actions and should be done routinely during these difficult times.
Eastern Treatment Approach to Insomnia - December 9, 2019
Having a good night sleep is so important. Most healing processes happen at night when the body/mind is completely at ease and relaxed.
Emotional Health Care - October 28, 2019
Homeostasis is the balance or equilibrium of having enough sleep, nutritious food and a safe and supportive living environment. Homeostasis or balance set points change over time and circumstances. Everyone has been through periods when life seems off kilter. Maybe you had to sleep less or work harder to accomplish a goal. Perhaps you lost your job or got a promotion. You may have married, divorced, or lost a loved one.
Western Health-Care Providers and Eastern Medicine - September 2, 2019
Conventionally trained physicians all over the world are seeking ways to help their patients move toward optimal health. There is a strong sense among Western health-care providers that pharmaceutical and surgical interventions may not be enough to correct the course of modern diseases, the majority of which are caused by poor lifestyle choices.
Xingyi, Bagua, Taiji and Liuhebafa - August 26, 2019
The approach to teaching and studying martial arts in China was based upon a monastic tradition that is characterized as door, hall, and chamber teaching. In times past the monastery, both Daoist and Buddhist, served as schools for medicine, the classics, and martial arts.
Qigong for Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia - August 19, 2019
The term qigong is composed of two words. The first, “qi” has been translated as the “life energy” or “vital force” within the body. “Gong” has been translated as “work” or “mastery.” Together, the word qigong can be interpreted as “energy work” or the act of mastering one’s vital force.
Work, Love, and Acupuncture - August 5, 2019
A wise man once told me, “Do something you love for a living and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I have certainly loved my career in medicine and, though some days have been more physically demanding than others, I do not think of my livelihood as “work”; it seems more like my “life’s work”. These days, that sentiment is truer than ever.
Emotional Health, Sleep, and Disease - July 22, 2019
For many centuries, humans have appreciated the connection between our emotional and physical health. Sleep lies at the interface between these realms, influencing and being influenced by our minds and bodies. When we find our mind troubled, our sleep disrupted, and our body out of balance, it is sometimes difficult to determine the initial cause.
Bagua for Beginners - June 17, 2019
Bagua Zhang, Taiji Quan, and Xingyi Quan are known as three major internal martial arts styles in China. Bagua literally means "Eight Trigram" and Zhang means "Palm." The original name of Baguazhang was Zhuan Zhang, which means “Turning Palms.” This refers to the way the art is practiced—moving around a circle, turning the palms in various ways.