Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Wonders of Miso

The Japanese have been using miso as a medicinal food for the past 2500 years. It is said that a Japanese homemaker has an average of 365 different recipes for miso soup. In the West, miso is becoming more and more popular and many of its health benefits are emerging.

Miso is a fermented soybean paste. Through the fermentation process miso creates enzymes that help in the digestive process of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Miso contains powerful microflora called Lactic Acid Bacteria which are vital in the digestive process. As many of you have heard, broad spectrum antibiotics kill off all bacteria including the friendly microflora which has many health benefits. Miso helps restore the friendly bacteria which is lost from antibiotic treatment.

Miso is also a way to help maintain the blood more alkaline. American diets tend to be very acidic in nature and keeping the blood more alkaline is important for efficient calcium absorption. Acidic diets, containing meats, sugar and soft drinks, encourages the body to leech calcium and other minerals from the bones. Miso is thus a positive dietary tool in the prevention of osteoporosis.

There are other healthy benefits of miso, including research showing that miso may help to combat estrogen sensitive cancers: “Miso produces a compound called Genistein, which blocks the growth of new capillaries that supply tumors and deters the proliferation of cancer cells.”(Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science)

Dr. Duckworth and I frequently drink miso ourselves and often recommend it to our patients. Miso can be consumed in many ways and one of the easiest is making a miso broth; just take a large teaspoon of miso paste and dissolve it in 6-8 ounces of hot water. Drink it any time of day.

You can also make a simple miso soup; see below for the recipe. Remember, miso is said to be a “live food”, so don’t boil it because that destroys the beneficial enzymes.

Simple Miso Soup (serving for 2)

2-4 inch piece of Wakame sea vegetable

2 oz tofu (cut in cubes)

1 small or 2 stalks green onion (cut up)

2 cups water

2 large teaspoons of miso

1 small teaspoon of fresh grated ginger

Soak Wakame for 5 minutes in a small amount of water. Drain and cut off harder edges. Bring everything to a boil except the miso and tofu. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes with pot covered. Turn heat to low, add tofu and miso, stirring miso until dissolved. Then simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Miso is good anytime of year, even Summer. Preparing the body for the next season, especially a cooler season, is especially wise.

Have a Healthy Summer!

Jason R. Hackler, L.Ac., Associate NLTC

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Conversations with Practitioners

Notes concerning treatment, with answers from Dr. Thomas Duckworth.

Do womens' pulses commonly change with the onset of their menses?
The pulses reflect the activity of Life Energy flowing (through the body). This is happening in an environment that includes the moon/sun; circadian cycle, hormonal chemistry, yesterday's dinner, what was eaten three months ago, age, reproductive history/activity and karma. The master of pulses should be able to tell a woman when her next period will start - even if she has had a hysterectomy - even if it happened many years ago. The energy needed to manifest a organ is still existing even if the organ is gone. For example, as you know, a patient could have a jitsu (excessive) gall bladder meridian pulse but not have a gall bladder organ. Female energy arises out of Sho Yin and manifests through Tai Yin. Jingie could be 1x, 2x or 3x. Must read the individual pulses to see how/where this individual woman is utilizing her chu myaku (Life Energy). Yes, they change. Often, you'll find left wrist Kan Yin and Shaku Yin pulse deficient and left Kan Yang Jitsu, as well as, right side Kan Yin Kyo. (Sugar may be an issue.) Another configuration might be left Sun Yin and Kan Yin Kyo and left Sun Yang and right Sun Yang Jitsu.(fatty diet or emotional component may be in picture). Once menses has begun, the pulses often 'smooth out' and are less obvious in activity. U dimension energy is very much at play in the female reproductive realm.

Other question is: if a noisy pulse quiets down and consolidates but the beats per minute do not change, what can one do?
Breathe deeply, relax, turn off your mind and, did I mention, Breathe deeply? A noisy pulse is a noisy pulse, whether it is beating at 100 beats a minute or 70 beats a minute. Noisy is a quality unto itself. It is incredibly important to differentiate between a Do pulse and a So pulse and the most likely space for grasping a noisy pulse is when you are in a quite space yourself. If your thoughts and ideas and concepts are busy running around your head, there is no place to hear noisy ('cause your head is too noisy.) So, if you have treated based on a noisy pulse and it is no longer noisy, stop. You have done enough. Next treatment time, you can checck and see if the condition held or is it noisy again? If the pulse is not noisy but is rapid, it should, through treatment, calm down. If not, why not? Maybe hot weather is causing it, maybe food allergy, maybe a thyroid condition, maybe patient just has a rapid heat rate. Years ago, I had a patient who had an extraordinary slow pulse. I was treating him for asthma induced by animals and yes, treatments were successful and he was able to get a dog for his children. However, after he was balanced, symptom-free and feeling strong, he still had a very slow heart rate and I recommended that he consult with a cardiologist which he did and was told that he just had a very slow heart beat. So, some folk have a slow heart beat, some have a fast one but noisy... that's always interesting.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Inochi Studies Program: This Fall

From Jason R. Hackler:

In the late Fall of 2010 I will be beginning an Inochi studies program, Foundations of Inochi (Life) Medicine. It will be a 500 hour program lasting 15 months. The studies will include: Inochi Tai Kyoku (Study of the Human Vital Force; Tanden, Hand-Ki and Reflections through the mirror of the Kototama), Pulse and Abdominal Diagnosis, Te a Te (Inochi Handwork), Moxibustion Therapy (direct and indirect), and Diet Therapy.

I was first shown "The Way of the Hands" by Dr. Duckworth in the early part of 1994 in Santa Fe, NM. It has been a journey ever since... I am very excited and pleased to be offering a program in Life Medicine.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Clinic News

Jill Crowley-Dwyer, NCCAOM certified Oriental Bodywork Therapist, has been spenting the month of July here at Natural Life Therapy Clinic studying advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques and assisting Dr. Duckworth in developing a Continuing Education Seminar for acupuncturists on the subtle art of Jingei Pulse diagnosis. It is currently under review for approval by the NCCAOM (National Certifcation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine).

This autumn and winter, Dr. Duckworth will be conducting this workshop in Portland, Maine; Boulder, Colo; Santa Fe, NM; Seattle, Wash; and, of course, St. Louis. More info on this as dates become firm.

Jingei Pulse Diagnosis is an ancient art that got lost in history for several centuries and resurfaced about 40years ago. Dr. Duckworth has utilized Jingei diagnosisi longer than any other practitioner in this country because he was taught this system in the late 1970's by his Sensei and has used this method for over thirty years. In recent times, more and more people have heard about this technique but no one seems to understands all of its ramifications and that is why requests from all corners of the U.S. are coming in for Dr. Duckworth to teach. Dr. Duckworth's workshops on Pediatric healthcare and treatments have been presented here, in New Mexico, California and Oklahoma. Seems he'll be taking more of his diagnosistic and treatment skills 'on the road.'

He is currently developing online study courses in the Oriental esoteric art of meridian therapy; further developing Tama-Touch (c), a system of meridian handwork he has developed; and writing articles for the North American Journal of Oriental Medicine. Stay blogged-in for further developments.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Stress Arrest: July 10

Please also know that this Saturday July 10, 2010 Natural Life Therapy is holding a "Stress Arrest" session from 9 am - 9:45 am.

"Stress Arrest" teaches techniques for using your breath to over come stressful situations. No need to sign up, just show up. We hope to see you this Saturday. Have a wonderful day!