Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Many of Us Have Read It?

I just read a fascinating article about how our Christianity in America has little to do with the Bible.  In the past I have questioned exactly how many people have taken to heart some of the new testament teachings of giving all they have to the poor.  When asked, my conservative father (one set of vows from being a monk) slid around the issue by discussing works vs. faith.  

So how many of us have read the bible through?  I admit to always skipping over the begats and moving again and again to the new testament, which is blessedly shorter than what comes before.  But estimates that the majority of Christians have not read the bible are very troubling.  Especially for the group that sees the Bible as the literal word of God (my too clever response is always "which translation?").  If I truly hung on every word as God's, I think I would have committed whole sections to memory and read through the whole every year.  As it is, at one time I knew the variations of the four gospels. 

When I look at Amazon for the holy bible, I get seventeen thousand books.  Somehow that does not lend itself to a single text, but rather a multitude of translations.  Many of these are not true to the original Greek.  I remember an extensive argument with a Baptist pastor over the meaning of second Timothy.  The Greek text differentiated between an overbearing person and someone who acted in a teaching capacity.  The English translation we were using did not.  At stake was whether women could teach Sunday school. 
I love the King James version, but I know full well that the translators went for the poetry of the work, not the literal translation.  It's still my favorite.  Second would be those texts that give Jesus' actual words in red. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homeopathic genus epidemicus: Colocynthis for the current stomach cramping "flu."

Rarely do I get a single remedy right.  But I've just treated myself, a ninety plus person, and an eight year old for similar symptoms so I think I have a ringer for this current stomach cramping flu/cold we've got going around.  Sinus congestion with burping and gas.  I used colocynthis, which matched the broader picture of specific symptoms as if the patients were reading the remedy. 

In one case we also had antibiotics available, but they didn't seem necessary for relieving the pain and gas.  I recommended following up with probiotics and avoiding the white carbs and sugar (both rapid fermenters). 

Multiple conventional medical personnel had been unable to help in one case, so I felt wonderful that something as non-toxic as a homeopathic was able to provide relief. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What is Naturopathy?

We got a lovely write up ages ago in a Portland based online news outlet and I missed it.  So here it is if you've got loads of time on your hands and/or care deeply about how Naturopathic Medicine is presented in the press. 

I love it when we get any sort of news mention, although I would say that our history is simplified to the point of being wrong.  It as if we were generated by a single individual rather than being a conglomeration of various influences including the U.S. eclectic movement. 

My own struggle continues to be how we can all be theoretically doing the same thing when clearly I'm not engaging in a number of the major fads sweeping through the profession right now.  I suppose it will all come back to diet and lifestyle as a basis eventually. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Prophet: Eye Opening If You Actually Read It.

I truly love the passages about children and how to think of our responsibility to them.  But in continuing reading, I found myself in strong disagreement with a range of Gibran's other assessments of how we should live our lives. 

How often do we hear quotations about Gibran's take on the law?  Forgiveness and looking inward toward our own guilt concerning the crime do not seem to answer many of the needs I see around us. 

So I find myself wanting to explore the book with a group.  Can we truly ask any society to live the way he describes?  Can we live in any society that does not aspire to the ideals, knowing that they are out of reach? 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catchy Title, Lots of Wisdom from a Saint, a Surfer, and a CEO.

I found this book moving, insightful, pat, a little repetitive, confusing, etc.  There are insights that I really like and other insights that I question.  Some have proven true in my own life, and others feel like too much positive and not enough:  "Some things just suck." 

I'll give you an example.  The surfer lives alone on the beach.  He loves everything, but you have the distinct impression that his ongoing joy is in part because he really limits his exposure to other people.  Most of us live in a world of people, and it would be nice to have him discuss a bit more how to deal with difficult people while in complete joy. 

Our saint is a member of the church.  He himself is saintly, but his employer...well, let's just say there are issues. 

The CEO is a Wall Street banker, and one wonders if she would have been featured now that we've gone thorugh the "Great Recession." 

But that does not detract from the many, many insights in the book about how we should all be living our lives.  If we spend all our time judging the messengers we'll never get the message. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Desiderata: Correcting the Errata.

I first came across the Desiderata as a poster that gave the date of production as sometime in the 17th century.  But the wording was always far too modern.  It was nicked from Max Ehrmann, a poet who lived at the beginning of the 20th century.  The story I like is that Max wrote the Desiderata as a personal set of notes for himself, and then decided to publish it.  It is different from much of his other work.  I'm reposting the poem here, for personal reference.  You can read more about Max on Wikipedia.  Or maybe even buy his book (the Multnomah county library copy had the Desiderata torn out when I went looking for it years ago).

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain and bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals;

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment

it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Positive Spirituality: A Handbook of Practical Guidance.

I listened to a CME (continuing ed.) on "soul sickness" yesterday.  Dr. Craigie's book came up.  I've always had the greatest respect for Dr. Craigie as a deeply committed doctor and human being.  Just looking through the sample chapter of his book, I learned new contexts for some of the things I've already been doing.  He gives such detail that a relatively new clinician could use this book to effectively increase competence in the critical area of patient compliance.  But it also gives experienced clinicians new thoughts and frameworks for how to deal with ongoing issues. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Does My Child Need This Textbook?

I’ve only looked at one or two videos, but I love that Salmon Khan is getting out to the world.  Gates is behind him, so you know he’ll be going places.  Everything is broken down into twelve minute lectures.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cough, Cough, Go Away, and Come Again...Never!

The cough I’ve seen lately can get completely out of hand. People get a sinus drip, which leads to a productive cough. Then they cough too hard and tear up their throats, leading to what I call “tickle throat,” where a patch of your esophagus gets too tender and you just can’t stop.

I’ve had patients tell me what the ER staff is handing out, and it appears to be primarily strong cough suppressants and occasionally antibiotics. Neither one appears to be doing the trick. (But do check in with your regular doc. Everything below is for you to discuss with them. Never rely on any medical advice you receive via the internet because we’re all individuals. And some of us take really strong medications that can seriously react to even the mildest compounds.)

Here are some things that patients have passed on to me: Spongia Tosta (Boiron blue tube 30c). I saw it stop the cough in the office. The patient was taking five at a time.

I didn’t get the same result from Rumex Crispus (boiron 30c) although it sounded like a tickle cough.

Personally, I’ve already been exposed to this five different times. Hot tea with honey helps with the initial cough, menthol and menthol cough drops seem to slow things, and I use “toxic sludge” (only had to resort to it once) if I can’t beat it otherwise. “Toxic sludge” is my name for Wise Woman Herbals’ H.E.M.P. + Throatease compound, which is not available for direct order by consumers. They do have a Respiguard glycerite which isn’t as powerful but does seem to available directly (RESP9 at Emerson Ecologics’ website).

The cough loves sugar, late nights, and holiday food. So take care of yourself long before you start ordering things.

If things aren’t improving, give me a call. Usually I’ve learned new things the hard way. Why should you?  You could also sit in bed and read the CDC's flu preparation handbook.  A little late, but maybe it's got some tidbits in there about exactly where on the inside of your elbow you should sneeze.  I'm an above the crease man myself, but I have no serious differences with the "forearm blowers."