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Butter versus Margarine and other confusing "medical" data

It seems that the debate of the benefits of butter over margarine, or visa versa, is still raging.  For the last 60 years I have heard arguments from both sides as saturated competes with unsaturated fats.   Of course, the latest study is rarely the final answer.  So I take the latest information with a good pinch of (non-sodium, of course) salt.

The Future Job of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners

The Future Job of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioners

by Paul Marchinko R.TCMP, R.AC.
Acupuncturist at Healing on the Danforth

Now that the New Year is well underway and society is rapidly moving forward, the job of a TCM practitioner is to find the balance between the promise of the future and the benefits of the past. Practitioners must remember the ancient ways and principles of the past theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) but negotiate them through the scientific method.

Taking care of the back

The discs of the spine are the cushioning between each of the vertebrae.  To some extent they are like the shock absorbers in a car and protect the body when we cross rough terrain.  The disc is mainly water and, as we age, the disc loses bulk.  With reduced padding, nerves are exposed resulting in pain.  In our early teen years, and maybe into our 20’s and early 30’s, we can abuse our bodies with all sorts of physical activity, contact sports, jumping out of planes, performing with the Cirque de Soleil and other activities more befitting a Navy Seal.     As we age we can get away with less

Me and high blood pressure

I recently discovered that my blood pressure was elevated to 150 (systolic) over 85 (diastolic).  This is given the ominous definition of Stage 1 Hypertension.  My previous readings for all of my adult life were a classic 120 over 80.  What was happening with me?  I felt that I was doing the right things in life, was feeling fit and full of energy, was exercising regularly and had a good diet with not much animal fat.  I didn’t feel that I was stressed.  This should not be happening, especially since I had just come back from 16 days in Mexico.  For the first couple of day I went into a fun

Pain is a combo of the physical and emotional

We tend to take our good health for granted until we are reminded that truly we are all human, with all the advantages and drawbacks that accompany that.  It is remarkable that we can be affected by emotion.  Pain can be the result of a combination of both the physical and the emotional.  It does not always take great physical trauma to experience an injury or physical discomfort.  We will quite often know immediately if we have overexerted at the gym or lifted something that is beyond our natural strength or ability to handle comfortably.  In these cases we kind of expect to feel sore.

Developing a spirit of curiosity through yoga

As part of my program of personal wellness I have been taking a yoga class here at the clinic for the past year.  It fits with my schedule and because it is a morning class helps positively to determine my mood for the rest of the day.

I have always bemoaned my lack of flexibility, especially in my hamstrings and hips.  It has seemed that even if I were to hold a stretch for a whole day, nothing substantial would change.  This is perhaps one reason why I had never taken to yoga previously and had dismissed myself as a hopeless case.

How to get in shape and stay that way in 2014

How to get in shape and stay that way in 2014.  This was the title of a story in a major Toronto newspaper. Quite rightly the approach was to stagger results over the first six months of the year rather than attempt instantaneous results. The recipe for success included the right exercise, a mind body connection including yoga and meditation and, of course, the right diet.

Changing my diet for the New Year

Following the Christmas holiday season and all its accompanying excesses, I start to think of what I might do to put myself back on a path of moderation towards better health.  Besides proper exercise, the right diet is always important.  The trouble is that there is so much conflicting information out in the marketplace.  Who should one believe?  I personally don’t want to be taken in by “information” that might be the latest fad supporting the production, marketing and sale of the next bestseller.

Treatment of Sprains - explained and treated

When learning massage, I could never remember the difference between a “Strain” and a “Sprain.”  The words sounded so similar.  An easy way to remember is that the word Strain has the letter “t” in it.  So, a strain is a damage to the tendon.  By process of elimination, a sprain is a damage of the ligament.  The common denominator is that both Strains and Sprains cause pain and reduce mobility.


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