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May
21

The Two Traditions of Medicine

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When we think of health, it is might be worthwhile to point out that historically there are essentially two dominant conceptions of the body.   While they are not mutually exclusive, in some respects complementing each other, yet they are fundamentally opposite in nature.   (The most complete understanding of this subject has been unfurled in a series of remarkable volumes titled Divided Legacy, by the late Harris Coulter.) One is termed the Rationalist school and is embodied today by modern medicine.  The Rationalist tradition sees the body as a living machine composed of various parts and processes.  Disease is regarded as a disorder of structure or function.  As science grows in understanding of the body, its anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, etc., medicine develops elaborate methods and technologies to fix, replace, alter, control, activate or suppress a particular structure or function, or some factor that is designated to be the cause,...
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7788 Hits
Mar
05

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

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Tonight Jen and I watched this film on Netflix. It can also be seen free at the website fatsickandnearlydead.com.  It spirals up to a point and then unexpectedly takes a mortal leap into the truly moving and inspirational. The film follows Joe, a successful but overweight Aussie with a chronic skin condition, as he embarks across American, film crew in hand, while on a thirty day fruit and vegetable juice fast (wisely under the guidance of a nutritionally-oriented physician).  Things take a drastic turn after Joe returns home and gets a call from Phil, a 420+ pound trucker with the same skin problem, that he had met along the way.  Phil reaches out to Joe for help and the ensuing process is the real heart and soul of the movie. Who would benefit by a program like this, and what changes might be recommended?  There are many people who could be...
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  4160 Hits
4160 Hits
Mar
04

The Metabolic Makeover: It's All About Energy

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The Metabolic Makeover: It's All About Energy (Paperback)  by Stephen Cherniske,Dr. Natalie Kather M.D. Among modern nutritional thinkers, Stephen Cherniske is one of the most balanced and level-headed yet insightful.  He is also a terrific communicator of complex ideas and has been very influential in my own understanding of the field of supplementation and healthy aging.   The latest work from Stephen in partnership with his wife, Dr. Kather, board certified in both family medicine and anti-aging medicine, is a very thought provoking and practical overview of the current state of the art in best health practices from diet, to supplements to exercise. It has been designed for a comfortable reading experience. As always, Cherniske's view is practical and solidly founded.    Though I've personally enjoyed a vegetarian diet for over 40 years, and one could call his approach "paleolithic light”,  it is practical and well-founded and will appeal to the great...
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4241 Hits
Mar
04

Laugh Not Lest Ye Laugh Alone

Laugh Not Lest Ye Laugh Alone
Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience Recently this article, a sarcastic and dismissive discussion on the presence of homeopathy and natural medicine products at Whole Foods, has been making the social media rounds.  The author compares the "pseudoscience" of natural medicine, to creationism.  Normally I ignore this sort of anti-scientific scientism, but when a friend posted it on Facebook I had to say something.   The central falsehoods in the writer's argument are veiled by the few points of merit, and everything gets pasted with the same stripe.  Comparing natural medicine and homeopathy to creationism is preposterously out of proportion.  Natural food purism is an easy target, of course, and everything else is made to look silly along with it.  It all makes for exciting copy and no doubt the author feels very clever, but does it have anything of value to offer? Among those devoted to scientism, the dogmatic rejection of...
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  5561 Hits
5561 Hits
Mar
04

Two helpful Concepts from Yoga Philosophy

Two helpful Concepts from Yoga Philosophy
There are two sanskrit terms that I think are very valuable in that they connect with principles that are relevant to every aspect of our life, including how we make our health choices. Most people have heard the Sanskrit term Dharma.   I define dharma as intention and action taken in alignment with one’s deepest, innermost sense of what is true.   This is the energy centre of an innate morality and dharma is about living according to that natural morality of the heart and conscience. Of course, it is a very high ideal of human behavior, i.e., to live as if love is the law of life.  Rare are those people who live according to the innermost principles that we may be fortunate to comprehend but find so hard to apply. Does a belief or action create unity or separation?  Does it raise awareness or distort it?  Does it nourish our self-development...
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  3596 Hits
3596 Hits

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