Peaceful Mountain Acupuncture

A weekly blog about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States

This blog is going to be, primarily a venue for me to express my thoughts about Life and the complexities of the physical plane. My story is simple, I am an easy going individual and a moderate recluse. I am comfortable walking or sitting, talking or being silent. I am always seeking new friends and acquaintenances. I tend to look deeply and question myself about the lesson behind the experience. If you like what you read, please leave me a note, if you have a blog please leave me a link so I can read your writing as well. Thanks

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Amazing results

A few weeks ago, back when I was supervising in the student clinic at the Asian Institute of Medical Studies we had a patient that has a serious, life-threatening condition. Her blood does not clot, she has a genetic condition that will always be with her.

Can you imagine, for a paper cut she will HAVE to go to the hospital, it is not a choice; her blood will continue to seep and or spurt out until she gets Western medicine to stop it. She said she has to put a towel over her hand, hold it over her head with tight compression and go immediately to the emergency room. That would be for a very minor cut, for a serious cut it would be much more serious. For this reason she is on continual birth-control, which I actually support and agree with.

When she was leaving I talked to her about an idea I had for her. There is a herbal powder available in most Chinese herbal stores called Yunan Bai Yao that we use to stop bleeding. In fact in the war in Vietnam many times our soldiers would find a bottle of it, with it's 'red emergency pill' in the pockets of dead Vietnamese soldiers. But they did not know why. I told this woman to go buy some and keep it with her, in her purse or somewhere where it will ALWAYS be accessible. The next time she gets cut, sprinkle some on to the cut. AND go to the hosiptal.

I got a report back last week from her intern.

She cut herself about a week ago. She was freaking out, as you can imagine. Then she remembered theYunan Bai Yao, she sprinkled in on the cut. She told her intern that she could literally see the blood stop flowing. She was able to just put a bandaid over the cut and was fine.

Now of course I am gonna tell you "Don't try this at home!!!" But in all honesty, I think it could be of great value, and especially if you live in a remote area. It is amazing stuff, and it works.

Friday, August 10, 2007


A few posts ago I said I had some big news to write. So here goes.
I have decided, after much Soul searching, to close my practice and move back to Albuquerque New Mexico. There have been many deciding factors in this decision, but it is, in the words of R. L. Wing, a conflict in the environment. As per usual with my thoughts I will back up a few paces to lay in some groundwork then finish with my current thoughts.
There is a very ancient text from Sun Tzu called "The Art of War" which has been described as one of the most widely translated books on strategy, negotiation and warfare. I have several copies from various translators. By far my favorite is R. L. Wing's translation "The Art of Strategy." Mr. Wing makes the significant point that every Chinese ideogram can be translated in at least six separate ways depending on the context in which it is being used.
For his book he separates out four significant areas in which one can become involved in a conflict. Conflict within the Self, Conflict with another, Conflict with the environment, and Conflict between leaders. When I read his translations and think about which type of conflict is most significantly impacting my life I then find the ancient words of Sun Tzu to have significant insight and power.
About a conflict with the environment he writes "In an environmental conflict your surroundings - at home or at work, logistically or politically are limiting your personal growth (Emphasis is mine) or compromising your principles. Many of your decisions, actions and associations have kept you in your environment - were that not so you would be somewhere else. Through your participation, you are supporting the very structure you wish to alter or transcend. ... Environmental conflicts are overcome only be re-forming your relationship to the environment and assuming more control, or by detaching yourself from the environment and leaving it behind."
Later he writes "Often you will not recognize environmental conflicts because you are in the midst of them, busily trying to adapt. Generally, what you experience of your conflict are side effects; poor health, depression, feelings frustration or hopelessness, severe stress, anxiety, or a strong attraction to mindless activities. Only with careful analysis can you trace these symptoms to their cause. If you are caught in an environmental conflict it must be transcended before your personal growth can continue.
I have been experiencing many of the symptoms he describes in varying degree during my time here in Tucson. I know part of this is the stress of running my own business, and part is the stress of teaching; but I have also looked at my experience out in nature here in the Sonoran desert. I have found my experience of the desert to be very harsh. I have NOT been able to enjoy getting outside, and during the summer I cannot enjoy the outside at all.
Working as an acupuncturist one of the things that 'recharges' me is getting outside to walk in nature. When I find nature to be too harsh to enjoy I am in a conflict with my needs. In this particular conflict I would either have to find a way to learn to live in and enjoy 105+ degree temperatures, or leave the area. You can guess which I am choosing.
I have noticed something about myself since I have made this decision: I am very happy and looking forward to what will come. That is new.
I will miss many of the people I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with. There have been some great people and I am very appreciative of each one and the lessons I have learned while I have been here.
What will I be doing in Albuquerque you wonder? Well, Check back in a few weeks and I will let you know. I have a potentially awesome job lined up, but there are still a few minor hurdles to pass before I write about it. Besides that I want you to want to come back to check in.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Well I am going to do something that I have not allowed myself to do on this blog. I am going to express some thoughts I have about society and ways of addressing some of the issues facing our times. I could try to wrap this around TCM and describe it as a "Pattern of disharmony", which it is, but I have yet to determine an adequate label for this particular pattern. If you don't like my thoughts and or thinking process, come back next week; I will be back to writing about my usual stuff... LOL.

In my last blog about Sicko I mentioned that I was going to share some of my thoughts. Well here goes.

There are many issues facing our society at this time. In fact the list becomes so daunting that it is easy to just give up and say "To heck with it, I will just take care of my own." But I do not feel that is a useful, productive or adequate response. I understand it, but do not agree with it.
One of the issues I see is our "dis-connectedness." It is so common these days to live in an area of town and not know anyone that lives next to you. The media talks about connectivity, how for example I can write this from Tucson and anyone with access to the 'web' can read it anywhere on the planet. But we do not speak as much about not being connected to our neighborhood, not knowing your neighbors. This disconnectedness is also prevalent in our youth, it can and does in my opinion, lead to not feeling involved in our country.

I enlisted in the Navy when I was 21, a bit older than most, but it was the beginning of many, many great choices that have led me to being here, in this chair writing this blog. It was a great choice, time and experience. I have also seen the military destroy peoples spirit, to the extent that I do not know if they ever fully recovered. But, overall I did develop a deep appreciation for our country and it was a very 'developmental' time for me. I became a part of something bigger than myself, with rewards for good actions/choices and consequences for ill-thought-out actions and choices. That experience still guides me to this day.

I truly feel that every CITIZEN has a responsibility to help develop our country. But that being said I DO NOT feel that the military is always the best choice. So here are some thoughts I have been chewing on for a few years.

I have a few friends from Israel, each one of them has served the mandatory 2 years in their military, and it was good for them overall. It did develop a sense of community and inclusion. Even though they live in America they identify as being Israeli. I would love to see a version of that in our country. But as I said the military is not for everyone. So I have a list of four separate functions one could perform 'in service' to the country. And as you can imagine from tying this to a discussion about the movie Sicko I think we should have Free, Universal Health care for everyone.

1] Military service. This is necessary, even Sun Tzu would say "In times of Peace a Warrior keeps his sword at his side." It is honorable and needed to have a strong military, look at Sweden. They do not engage in war, but can have a force of nearly 2,000,000 armed soldier on the streets in less than 4 hours. One hell of a defensive force to contend with. Sun Tzu also said "There has yet to be a prolonged conflict that is of benefit to either side." [R.L. Wing has a fantastic translation "The Art of Strategy", it is excellent.]

2] Rebuild the "Civilian Construction Corps." As this weeks tragedy of a bridge collapse has shown our infrastructure has been neglected for so long it is collapsing. The Steam-pipe that exploded in New York City is only one example. I heard yesterday that on average one bridge a week collapses in our country, the highways are in serious need of repair, the dams, the railways. The list goes on. In the 30's the Civilian Construction Corp served many purposes, but they built and rebuilt many, many fine components of our society.

3] Reducing our carbon imprint, or what I call "Green T" as in Technology. I will not go in to the redundancy of "An Inconvenient Truth" but will say that most anyone that watches weather would have to admit something is causing the weather patterns to change. This generation has to face the incontrovertible truth that if we do not address this problem we are sealing the fates of our unborn grandchildren.

4] Health care. When I watched the workers actually go "down to the pile" in the aftermath of 9/11 I said this is bad. We KNEW that the World Trade Center buildings were built in an era when asbestos was used. It was only logical to presume that the dust floating around the pile had to contain asbestos. When the EPA stated it was safe to be there, in my personal and professional opinion, they were telling a flat-out lie. Fast-forward 6 years, these workers are dying from various lung diseases and our government is not doing anything of value for them. But how about our elders? They too are in a terrible position. When one has to decide if you want food or medicine you are "between a rock and a hard place."

So, those are four areas that our country needs work in, and it would reduce unemployment, it could attract some great minds. The area I called Green T could be one of the most exiting areas to explore. But all four areas need great minds and willing bodies.

How do I propose paying for this you ask? Very simple, a18% flat tax, reduce our overgrown military, employ our prisoners and cut out all the BS "earmarks" the politicians sign off on.

Will this ever happen? I doubt it, but I needed to voice this. Thanks for reading it, please write to your friends and family, and to anyone that might have some input into the equation, send them the link I am thinking of our politicians that are supposedly running for presidency. See if any of them have the cojone's to touch this hot potato...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Are you Sickened by Sicko?

I went to see Michael Moore's Movie Sicko this week. I was very impressed by it. Setting aside any political commentary about Mr. Moore I thought his approach to this subject was illuminating.

I am treating two physicians and a nurse. Before I saw the movie I asked them if they had. They all said no, BUT the two females said "I don't need to see it, I live it everyday." The male said he did not want to see it because "All he does is point out problems and does not offer any solutions." I respectfully commented that it is not his job to offer solutions (which he does) but he is trying to generate a discussion about this issue.

I also noticed that their responses tended to break along a gender line in that (as much as I dislike generalities I will use them to point something out. Just remember these are generalities, not specific to individuals) women tend to communicate to develop rapport, establish connections and share experiences. Men tend to communicate to solve problems. "Here is the problem, what do we do to fix it?" Of course that is only a generality, but if does fit this example. (I first learned about this from the book "You just don't understand!" by Debra Tanner Ph.D. a great book about gender communication issues. Maybe Mom will review it for us...)

I was very impressed by other nations health care approaches, and very saddened by ours. When the workers from NYC 9/11 cannot get adequate health care and are dying while our government does next to nothing to support them is appalling. But it fits nicely with the pharmaceutical industries record level profits.

So if you can I would strongly recommend that you watch this movie, but more importantly I would encourage us to start a discussion about this issue. It is not going away.

For my next blog I will jump off the deep end and actually write some of my thinking about ways to address several issues at once that are deeply affecting our society.

Then I have some really big news after that.