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!

July 26, 2021
Joe Brady

Tai Chi Has Similar or Greater Benefits Than Aerobic Exercise for Fibromyalgia

Tai chi results in similar or greater improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms when compared to aerobic exercise, according to a new study from Tufts University and Brown University. Aerobic exercise, a core part of standard fibromyalgia treatment, is the most commonly prescribed non-drug treatment for the disorder, which can involve widespread pain, tenderness, fatigue, and other symptoms. Findings from the new study, however, suggest that tai chi is another therapeutic option. The study, partially funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), was published in the BMJ.

Tai chi is a traditional Chinese mind and body practice that combines meditation with deep breathing, relaxation, and gentle movements. Past research found that tai chi lessened pain and improved physical and mental health in patients with fibromyalgia. However, larger and more rigorous studies were needed to confirm the benefits. The new study’s purpose was to help fill that knowledge gap by comparing the effectiveness of tai chi with that of aerobic exercise and determining whether Tai chi’s effects were related to its frequency and duration.

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July 18, 2021
Joe Brady

Learn About the Science of Health

Misinformation about health is widespread. It’s hard to know whether something you saw online—or heard from a friend—is trustworthy. Learning about the science of health can help. The more you understand, the better prepared you will be to distinguish health facts from myths.

Our Know the Science toolkit has a variety of materials to help you learn about scientific topics related to health research. Check out its quizzes, videos, and interactive educational modules to find out about drug-supplement interactions, complementary health vocabulary, the placebo effect, the different types of risk, and other health science topics.

Why is it important to know the science of health? Simply put, because there is a lot of misinformation out there—from anecdotes disguised as evidence to excessive claims made by supplement manufacturers to TV doctors touting the latest “miracle cure.”

On this page 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. Know the Science features a variety of materials including interactive modules, quizzes, and videos to provide engaging, straightforward content. Learn more about how the Know the Science initiative got started.

So, what are you waiting for? Dive in, and get to know the science.

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July 6, 2021
Joe Brady

Mindfulness for Your Health

The Benefits of Living Moment by Moment from the National Institutes of Health

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Paying attention to what’s going on right this second can be hard. We often spend more time thinking about what’s coming up in the future. Or dwelling on things in the past we can’t change. We can miss out on experiencing the present. Scientists are finding a host of benefits in spending a small portion of our days not thinking about our troubles and just being present.

It’s possible to train yourself to focus on the present moment. You become aware of what’s going on inside and around you—your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and environment. You observe these moments without judgment. This is called mindfulness. Mindful meditation is simply a practice that aims to increase awareness of the mind and concentration. “We’re looking at our thoughts and feelings with curiosity, gentleness, and kindness,” explains Dr. Eric Loucks, director of the Mindfulness Center at Brown University.

In recent years, mindfulness has become a household term. Mindfulness programs are now commonly found in schools, workplaces, and hospitals. Mindfulness can involve a sitting meditation that’s practiced in a quiet space. In this practice, you focus on your breathing or sensations in your body. If your mind wanders—like thoughts popping in about things you need to do—you try to return your mind to the present moment.

But mindfulness doesn’t have to be done sitting still or in silence. You can integrate the practice into things you do every day, like walking, practicing yoga, tai chi, or even eating. You can also be mindful while interacting with others.

Learn more about the health benefits

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June 28, 2021
Joe Brady

Building Healthier Communities

We all have an interest in living in a healthier world. When it comes to living a long and healthy life medical science is important but healthy communities are crucial. We take our cues from the people around us, from the businesses we frequent to the activities that we enjoy to our families and friends all play a role in influencing our behavior, for better or for worse. Promoting healthy living in the community helps prevent chronic diseases and brings the greatest health benefits to the greatest number of people in need. It also helps to reduce health gaps caused by differences in race and ethnicity, location, social status, income, and other factors that can affect health.

Chronic Diseases: like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—are leading causes of death and disability in the United States.

  • Half of all adults in the United States have a chronic disease.
  • 1 in 3 Americans has high blood pressure.
  • 2 million heart attacks and strokes occur each year.
  • 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans are caused by chronic disease.
  • For every $1 spent on health care, 75 cents is spent on chronic disease and factors that increase their risk.
  • Chronic diseases and their risk factors affect some racial and ethnic groups more than others. For example, non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of obesity and are more likely than whites to have heart disease.

The scientific evidence is strong for the effectiveness of community-wide health promotion campaigns. Communities and health promotion partnerships can create an environment that supports the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of everyone in the community. However community-wide campaigns cannot be short-term interventions if they are to change the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of the intended audiences.  Long-term interventions also require ongoing social marketing knowledge and greater resources to achieve sustainable changes in major health risk factors. Individuals and organizations that promote healthy lifestyles need to realize that it takes time to affect ingrained social trends.

As health care costs continue to skyrocket, the need for new approaches to preventive medicine increases. One possible strategy is to make greater use of community-based health promotion programs and resource guides that link patients, providers, and community-based opportunities for healthy lifestyle participation.  Finding ways to create more effective community-based physical activity and health promotion programs has the potential to create enormous savings in health care costs.

For more information and to watch some cool CDC and Ted talk videos on this subject

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June 22, 2021
Joe Brady

Refresh Your Mind with Nature

After any kind of long-term stress, we all suffer from a type of PTSD called brain fog. Everyone can experience this for example after pulling an all-nighter, or severe jet lag, recovering from an illness, or indeed after any stress especially after one-and-one-half years of dealing with COVID, economic upheaval, racial, cultural, and not to mention political upheaval. Everybody seems to be walking around in a fog.

In Classical Chinese Medicine, there is a category of therapeutic techniques referred to as “Natures Therapy”. Many people and medical traditions in the past felt that there was something inherently therapeutic about being around trees and grass and getting away from the things of man. Modern research is confirming that indeed being out and about in nature has a remarkable capacity to refresh our minds and raise the spirit of vitality to use the Chinese expression.

Modern scientific research supports an association between common types of nature experience and increased psychological well-being.

See https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/advances/5/7/eaax0903.full.pdf

In this issue of the Barefoot Doctor’s Journal, we present a series of TED talks and research on the Benefits of Nature’s Therapy in refreshing your brain after this long and stressful couple of years. As our economy reboots we all need to reboot our brains and reinvigorate our lives with new purpose and inspiration and there is no better way to do it than to go outside and play.

Read more for a wonderful series of videos to inspire

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