Wednesday, November 6, 2013

1999 Study Showing Placebo Pacemaker Improved Life for Heart Patients and Actually Improved Heart Function.

This is a classic study on placebo effect.  Pacemakers were implanted in 80 people, but only 40 of them were turned on.  Perceptions of improvements by both groups were similar.  While the actual improvements in heart function were much greater in the people with functioning pacemakers, those with pacemakers turned off also experienced significant improvement in heart function.

It appears that perceiving and emotionally feeling that your heart is working better can actually lead to actual improvements in functioning.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bill Moyers Interviews Pema Chodron about Buddhism and Efforts to Eliminate Suffering

Bill Moyers Interviews Pema Chodron.
This is part I of a six part PBS series available on youtube about Buddhism and its path to learn about suffering in ways that help us limit suffering in the world, although not to eliminate all pain.  Suffering, we have significant control over, but pain, tragedy and death are not under our control.  However, if we eliminate causes of suffering, we can also reduce the tendency towards the pain caused by violence and injustice.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What Does it Mean to be Vulnerable?

Inspiring TedX talk by a scientist who realized that vulnerability was not something to be fixed, but to be experienced in order to access the gifts of being human.  This is a remarkable presentation, given the humanism and compassion that emerged from wise, qualitative scientific inquiry, about what it means to be human.

Stress: Portrait of a Killer - with Robert Sapolsky

This documentary on "Stress: Portrait of a Killer," is from National Geographic and available on its website and through Netflix. 

This is a thoroughly remarkable video featuring famed Stanford researcher and MacArthur Fellow, Robert Sapolsky.  He sets out the case for stress being a killer and shows how healthy behaviors and cultures can moderate its effects.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dr. Peter Attia's Ted Talk About How Medical Science May Be All WRONG about Diabetes and Obesity

I think that you should watch this even if you don't care about diabetes. Peter Attia is a doctor who has developed a deep, empathic humility. It is motivating him to question how we currently view diabetes and obesity. The story is personal, but also clinical, and it may change the way you see doctors.

Back to diabetes, Attia has found that insulin resistance causes obesity, rather than obesity causing diabetes. This is a huge difference and it turns our conventional wisdom about obesity upside down. Fat people are becoming obese and diabetic because of another process that is going on - NOT because of overeating and lack of exercise.

This other process, the cause of insulin resistance, may be the consumption of processed sugars and grains. It may be due to consuming too much corn syrup and our over-glutenized wheat. These are both relatively new foods for us, popularized by convenience foods that emerged in the 1950's and have now come to dominate our food supply. Fortunately for us, Dr. Attia has stepped up and is working on a research team that is looking into different aspects of this problem.

Dr. Peter Attia

Pharmaceutical Science: It's Not Science When You Cherry-Pick Results

Dr. Ben Goldacre explains how Pharmaceutical Company "Science" Is Actually Not Peer-Reviewed, and Isn't Real Science.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Tree of Contemplative Practices

One of the students in my Integral Health class used a version of this
Tree of Contemplative Practices, in a presentation and I wanted
to share it with everyone.  This was developed by
and is used with its permission.

The point of this graphic, I think, is that there are many different contemplative practices that help us to feel more human and to be able to cultivate compassion, perspective, connection and patience.

Many people view prayer or meditation as a single practice to meet all contemplative needs.  However, some practices focus on stillness while others focus on altruism, creativity, activity, relationships, movement and/or ritual.  All are important ingredients to be blended "to taste" by each of us in the feast of life.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Swami Rama on the Mind-Body Connection

For my classes and others, this video covers Swami Rama's experiments at the Menninger Foundation (in Topeka, Kansas) in the early 1970's.  He proved that our mainstream Western scientists and physicians were wrong about the "involuntary" and "autonomic" nervous system's inability to be influenced by our will power.  Swami Rama was a great teacher and a great man, by any mortal standards.  His work has enriched countless lives and continues to enrich humankind through his teachings and books, his many students and through the Himalayan Institute that he founded.

Thich Nhat Hanh talking about mindfulness at Google

To me, this is an amazing event, and to hear Thich Nhat Hanh talk about mindfulness is a gift that I want you to experience.

The Dalai Lama on "Why We Should Meditate"

The Origins of Laughter Yoga - Discovery Channel

Laughter Yoga is growing in the U.S., as well as Laughter Clubs with an organization called the World Laughter Tour.  This is not about jokes, as it has been found that laughter releases the same chemicals whether we are laughing at somethings we think is funny - or just laughing until it becomes contagious.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hilarious Dutch Commercial - an Acupuncture Nightmare

Comedy Sketch on Homeopathic Medicine

This is just a very funny comedy sketch.  I have a lot of respect for homeopathic practitioners, so I'm not making fun of homeopathy, although this sketch does . . .

Ah, if only this were the average doctor . . .

I would love to provide a citation for the source of the above cartoon, but have not been able to find one online.  If anyone has the original artist and source, please let me know.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Power of a Doctor's Empathy

Here is a recent study that shows empathy as an important factor in the ability of a doctor to help their patients.

"A final study led by Department of Family Medicine (DFM) Associate Professors David Rakel, MD, and Bruce Barrett, MD, PhD, has shown that physician empathy really does help patients fight the common cold."