Sunday, June 28, 2009

stress and overeating

How does one control overeating due to stress? Specifically, is there something in Chinese medicine that can help with this problem. The answer is yes! Understand, Chinese medicine looks at the source of the problem rather than just the symptom. Thus, don't try to control the overeating but rather control the stress. So, how does Chinese medicine control stress? Find a skilled acupuncturist. Many times this is all you need. If you are on a cruise, Princess Cruises often have an Acupuncture Physician on staff. Also, find out, if you can, what the source of stress is. You need to be a detective. Is it getting up at a certain time? Hey- you're on a cruise! Don't worry about getting up at 5 AM. Allow yourself to get up a little later and so on. Sometimes, however, the source of the stress can be deeper. Western medicine talks of Anxiety Disorders which can flare up without a particular external trigger, even when everything else seems to be going well. Many people take strong medicines for this kind of thing, medicines like Xanax. Unfortunately, Xanax is addictive and people can build a tolerance to it, necessitating higher doses and stronger medicines. One Chinese formula I sometimes prescribe, a mild one, is called An Shen Bu Xin Wan. Chinese herbal formulas are based on each patient's unique pattern of stress, so unfortunately there is no one -size- that- fits- all formula. Instead, speak with your Holistic doctor/Acupuncture Physician about safer herbal alternatives.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Staying Healthy While Traveling

I just received some inquiries re. my last posting," Eat Fat for Low Cholesterol." Specifically, how do I stay healthy on a cruise; how do I deal with so much food on a cruise; how do I stay healthy while traveling. For one thing, when you're out at sea for a 24 hour stretch or more there are two main attractions on the ship-food (24/7) and activities. The one activity that's available pretty much all the time is the spa and gym. I really could not make an excuse for not going to the latter at least a few times during my vacation. I found that not having to schedule gym time between work and my normal routines when at home was quite a luxury. I made a deal with myself- there was no way off the ship and therefore no easy out of exercise; so when I got bored and finished my second book and had eaten more food than any one should, I went to work out. Second secret: I was not my usual bang out the routine as fast as possible self. Instead, I was able to look out onto the ocean and kind of drift easily and, yes, very comfortably through weights, machines, sit ups, etc. After a few sessions and a massage, I was back! Third secret: I'm very lucky because my wife is a nutritionist and so although food quantities were large, selection was carefully done. For example, we're supposed to eat indigeneously. That is, in Hawaii eat pineapple, in California oranges and so forth. Well, our boat was loaded with fresh Alaska salmon at pretty much every port. Not only was this delicious and well prepared but it is super healthy for you containing the omega nutrients, fish oil etc. Lastly, when I got off the boat at the various ports I tried to get some more exercise by going on a glacier tour where you get to walk around and going out into nature to see the whales and eagles. There are lots of other "tricks" too numerous to go into right now. I often counsel people on these things as well as proper supplements in my practice. You can view some of these services on my website,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Eat Fat for Low Cholesterol!

Hi everyone. Just got back from a fabulous vacation in Alaska. Funny thing happened. I hired a native guide to show me around Ketchikan, a beautiful seacoast town. I saw whales and eagles and all kinds of amazing things. However, most interestingly, I got into a discussion with my guide, Bernadette Raven Killer Whale. Up in the cold North country, the indigenous people eat large quantities of animal products containing very high percentages of fat. Additionally, many of these people are overweight or even obese. Notwithstanding all these purportedly negative health factors, their cholesterol levels are generally in the normal range! How come? Genetics, climate, and a very active and sometimes very rugged outdoor lifestyle are all factors. Sometimes our genetic inheritance trumps all else. Certainly an active lifestyle can help keep us healthy as well. Each person has their own unique set of both inherited and environmental factors. Also, certain diets contain heart protective foods and spices that can significantly lower cholesterol levels. One example is Red Yeast Rice, common in eastern cultures. Peking duck, a food certainly high in animal fat is traditionally seasoned with Red Yeast Rice. Now that's a pretty smart combination. It's almost like taking natural Lipitor with your meal. If you are interested in approaching health using diet and alternative techniques, speak with a holistic doctor or nutritionist who can guide you safely on this path.

Monday, June 1, 2009


I have been trained as a doctor in both the United States and China. I have seen firsthand how different kinds of healthcare systems can work together for the ultimate betterment of the patient. As early as 1,000 BC, in ancient China, there were actually five different medical systems that comprised Traditional Chinese Medicine: diet, herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage and exercise/Qi Gong. There was no conflict as to which way was the only way! Patients were (and still are) encouraged by their doctors to use one, several, or all of these systems. The oldest method, and the most fundamental method, was diet. In traditional Chinese food preparation, herbs were utilized and food was considered medicine. As a doctor I believe it is essential to not only help people be well but to teach them a way to stay well. In my practice I combine Chinese medicine, Western medicine, nutrition, lifestyle counseling, massage and many other modalities to help my patients find their pathway to health. I believe that only by combining all healthcare modalities in a proper and judicious way, using both the old and the new, can we hope to achieve the best outcomes for our patients, families and ourselves. In upcoming blogs, I will address specific examples and cases that demonstrate just how this works. Look for my next blog on how to lower cholesterol using safe, non prescription techniques. An actual case will be described.


TMJ can be treated with comprehensive techniques that include acupuncture, CST, and massage.