Barefoot Doctor's Journal

Take control of your health with this guide to natural health and healing. Get expert advice to help you alleviate pain and live healthy naturally. Access to tools, information and opportunities.

Take control of your health

For 5000 years Traditional Chinese Medicine has help people to relieve pain and achieve a healthy longevity naturally.

A comprehensive guide to natural health and healing, the Barefoot Doctor’s Journal seeks to empower it's readers to take control of their own health, find their own inspiration, help create healthier communities and share the adventure with whoever is interested. Internationally recognized experts in the fields of healthy aging and Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Living Younger Longer Institute has helped hundreds of people each year to live healthy naturally.

News You Can Use!

Providing members with the latest scientific research on the ancient healing secrets of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Get information, access to tools, and enjoyable opportunities for a lifetime of active adventure!

October 25, 2021
Joe Brady

Social Technologies for Improving Healthy Behavior

New research methods in social technologies can be harnessed to quickly address urgent public health problems.

According to Dr. Sean Young the executive director of the University of California Institute for Prediction Technology (UCIPT), during the current pandemic, we have seen a tremendous increase in the use of technologies across many life and work settings. From reading books, watching movies, and playing games online to working remotely and obtaining health information through online communities and telemedicine, these technologies are augmenting and replacing many activities. Researchers and public health departments can use them to learn about and promote positive changes in people’s health-related attitudes/behaviors. For example, our group’s Harnessing Online Peer Education (HOPE) opioid intervention teaches peer role models how to use online communities to provide social support to people with opioid use disorder and connect them to treatment. “Hackathons” can bring together key stakeholders across fields to use crowdsourced participation in addressing public health issues. Data from technologies can also inform our understanding of health-related attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes.

Join us for November Lecture on Social Technologies for Predicting/Changing Health Behavior

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) invites you to the virtual lecture for fall 2021 in our Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series.

On Tuesday, November 2 from 1–2 p.m. ET,

October 18, 2021
Joe Brady

October is Health Literacy Month

Health Literacy Month is a time to promote the importance of understandable health information. Why is it important to know the science of health? Simply put, because there is a lot of misinformation out there and people are dying because of it. From anecdotes disguised as evidence to excessive claims made by supplement manufacturers to TV preachers and doctors touting the latest “miracle cure.” In this edition of the Barefoot Doctor’s Journal, you’ll find tools to help you better understand complex scientific topics that relate to health research so that you can be discerning about what you hear and read and make well-informed decisions about your health. Read about advice from the National Institutes of Health designed to help people understand how scientific research works, how to find accurate, reliable information online, and enjoy the interactive learning exercises in the Know The Science Toolkit.

How Research Works

Have you ever wondered what it means to “follow the science?” Sometimes it may seem like what’s true one day changes the next. But when what we know changes, it often means science is working.

Research helps us understand the world through careful testing. Each advance builds on past discoveries. This process can take a long time. But the end result is a better understanding of the world around us.

In general, the scientific process follows many steps. First, scientists start with a question. They look at past research to see what others have learned. Different scientists have diverse skills and training. They each bring their own approaches and ideas. And they design new experiments to test their ideas.

Next, scientists perform their experiments and collect data. Then, they evaluate what their findings might mean. This often leads them to new questions and ideas to test.

The next step is to share their data and ideas with other scientists. Other experts can give new perspectives or point out problems.

It’s natural to want answers. But it’s important not to draw conclusions based on a single study. Scientists start to form conclusions only after looking at many studies over time. Sometimes, even these conclusions change with more evidence. Science is an evolving process. But it’s the best way we have to seek out answers.

October 11, 2021
Joe Brady

Integrative Medicine and Cancer Treatment

Integrative Oncology: Evidence-based Medicine meets Patient-Centered Care

Increasingly integrative medicine approaches are being used to support patient health during the ordeal of cancer treatment. Practices like acupuncture, Tai Chi, Yoga, meditation have been found to be extremely useful in managing the symptoms and side effects of many cancer treatments. The September Grand Rounds at the Osher Center for Integrative medicine at Harvard Medical school featured Dr. Jun Mao, Chief of Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center his lecture helps to define integrative oncology and highlight key therapeutic approaches. He will discuss the use of rigorous research that has informed the evidence base for integrative oncology. Additionally, Dr. Mao will detail the application of integration oncology practices in patient-centered care.

October 5, 2021
Joe Brady

Tai Chi and Your Health

A Modern Take on an Ancient Practice from the National Institutes of Health

You may have seen the flowing postures and gentle movements of tai chi and wondered what it’s all about. Tai chi is an ancient mind and body practice. While more research is needed, studies suggest that it may have many health benefits.

Tai chi is sometimes referred to as “moving meditation.” There are many types of tai chi. They typically combine slow movements with breathing patterns and mental focus and relaxation. Movements may be done while walking, standing, or sitting.

“At its root, tai chi is about treating the whole person and enhancing the balance and crosstalk between the body’s systems,” says Dr. Peter Wayne, a longtime tai chi researcher at Harvard Medical School. “It’s a promising intervention for preserving and improving many areas of health, especially in older adults.”

Several studies have found evidence that tai chi can increase balance and stability in older people and reduce the risk and fear of falls. Each year, more than 1 in 4 older adults falls, and 1 out of 5 of these falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.

“Trying to be careful can make you more prone to falls,” Wayne says. “Tai chi may help you move more confidently and safely again.” Some NIH-funded research suggests that tai chi may also improve balance and prevent falls in people with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s disease.

Research suggests that practicing tai chi might help improve posture and confidence, how you think and manage emotions and your quality of life. Studies have found that it may help people with fibromyalgia sleep better and cope with pain, fatigue, and depression. Regular practice may also improve the quality of life and mood in people with chronic heart failure or cancer. Older adults may find that tai chi can help improve sleep quality and protect learning, memory, and other mental functions.

Read more and watch the video from Shin Lin of the University of California at Irvine

September 27, 2021
Joe Brady

Better Nutrition Every Day

How to Choose Healthier Foods and Drinks

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We make countless decisions every day, both big and small. When it comes to deciding what to eat and feed our families, it can be a lot easier than you might think to make smart, healthy choices. It takes just a little planning.

The foods and drinks we put into our bodies are our fuel. They provide us with energy and nutrients—like vitamins, minerals, and proteins—that our bodies need to function and thrive. Research shows that healthy food and drink choices are especially important for children’s growing bodies and minds. Healthy choices have both immediate and long-lasting benefits for you and your family.

“My best advice is for parents to be good role models by eating healthy and being physically active with their children,” says Dr. Holly Nicastro, a nutritionist at NIH. “Keep healthy foods around the house for meals and snacks. Involve children in the meal planning and cooking, and they will be more likely to eat the meals.”

“Parents can begin teaching their children about healthy eating from the day they are born,” says Dr. Donna Spruijt–Metz, whose research at the University of Southern California focuses on preventing and treating obesity in minority youth. “Setting a good example is very important.”

Healthier Choices and Nutrient Density

All foods and drinks can fit into a healthy diet. But when making choices for you or your family, try to choose ones that have lots of nutrients and aren’t too high in sugar, fats, and calories. These include fruits; vegetables; whole-grain cereals, bread, and pasta; milk, yogurt, and other dairy products; fat-trimmed and lean meats; fish; beans; and water.

Some foods and drinks should be consumed less often. These include white bread, rice, and pasta; granola; pretzels; and fruit juices. Others are best to have only once in a while—like french fries, doughnuts and other sweet baked goods, hot dogs, fried fish and chicken, candy, and soda.

“Healthier diets don’t have to cost more, provided that you have the right attitude, make the right food choices, and try to cook at home,” says Dr. Adam Drewnowski, a nutrition expert at the University of Washington in Seattle. With some planning, he says, you can prepare meals that are tasty, affordable, and nutrient-rich.