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!
Pain is the most common reason for seeking medical care. It is also a common reason why people turn to complementary and integrative health approaches. If you are considering such an approach for pain, this information can help you talk with your healthcare provider.
NCCIH supports and conducts pain research at the NIH labs in Bethesda, Maryland, and by funding research and grants around the country. We also provide information for both consumers and health professionals.
A growing body of evidence suggests that some complementary approaches, such as acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, mindfulness meditation, music-based interventions, spinal manipulation, tai chi, qigong, and yoga, may help to manage some painful conditions.
Psychological and Physical Approaches
- Acupuncture may help relieve osteoarthritis pain.
- A small amount of evidence suggests that massage therapy may be helpful.
- Participating in tai chi may improve pain, stiffness, and joint function in people with knee osteoarthritis. Qi gong may have similar benefits, but less research has been done on it.
A 2012 combined analysis of data from several studies indicated that acupuncture can be helpful and a reasonable option to consider for OA pain. A 2013 analysis using different statistical methods also concluded that acupuncture may help relieve knee OA pain. After these analyses were completed, a 2014 Australian study showed that both needle and laser acupuncture were modestly better at relieving knee pain from OA than no treatment but not better than simulated (sham) laser acupuncture. These results are generally consistent with previous studies, which showed that acupuncture is consistently better than no treatment but not necessarily better than simulated acupuncture at relieving OA pain. A 2016 review of U.S. studies found evidence that acupuncture, as practiced in the United States, may help some patients with knee OA manage their pain.
How acupuncture works to relieve pain is unclear. Current evidence suggests that many factors—like expectation and belief—that are unrelated to acupuncture needling may play important roles in the beneficial effects of acupuncture on pain.(more…)
Advancing the Integration of Mind/Body Practices in Contemporary Healthcare
Here is an overview of the latest research presented at Harvard Medical School’s Osher Center for Integrative Health. The two-day conference served as a profound intersection where Eastern traditions met Western science, showcasing the transformative power of Tai Chi and Qigong in promoting successful aging and whole-person health. Distinguished professionals, including esteemed researchers, medical experts, and master practitioners, converged to unravel the dynamic tapestry of ancient practices, scientific innovation, and their synergistic effects.
On Day 1, pivotal discussions and interactive sessions highlighted the multidimensional benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong, emphasizing their pivotal role in enhancing physical, psychological, and social well-being. Attendees dived into the nuanced realms of these practices, exploring their impacts on cognitive function, mental health, and community wellness. The day unveiled the blossoming alliance of traditional wisdom and contemporary research, opening vistas of integrative health.
Day 2 accentuated this narrative, unveiling robust conversations around the scientific exploration of traditional East Asian concepts like Qi. The day was earmarked by enlightening sessions illuminating the role of these practices in chronic disease management, mental health enhancement, and community engagement, particularly among diverse populations. The discussions underscored the pivotal role of standardizing training and credentialing of instructors, ensuring the integrity and efficacy of practice.
Together, these dialogues underscored a “Tao” or pathway to successful aging and whole-person health, portraying Tai Chi and Qigong not just as physical exercises, but as holistic experiences that weave through the intricate layers of human existence — body, mind, and spirit. They highlighted an emergent paradigm where age is not a barrier, but a journey of wisdom, and health is a harmonious dance of well-being.
Holistic Health: Tai Chi and Qigong are gaining recognition for their role in promoting holistic health, and bridging gaps between physiological, psychological, and emotional wellness.
Virtual Adaptation: The adaptability of Tai Chi to virtual formats has been validated, with positive feedback and increased attendance.
Specialized Applications: The practices are customized for specific health concerns and populations, showcasing their versatility.
Scientific Backing: Continued research and evolving scientific literature are cementing the role of Tai Chi and Qigong in health and wellness.
Integration of Eastern and Western Concepts: A significant focus on blending traditional Eastern practices like Tai Chi and Qigong with Western medical and psychological insights.
Diversity and Inclusion: Efforts to make Tai Chi and Qigong accessible and beneficial to diverse communities, with a focus on people of color and women.
Research and Development: Ongoing research on the health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong, including mental health, chronic pain management, and cognitive functions.
Credentialing and Training: Discussions around the need for standardized training and credentialing for instructors to ensure safe and effective practice.
The conference was filled with rich discussions, practical demonstrations, and in-depth examinations of the role and potential of Tai Chi and Qigong in contemporary health and wellness. The conference opened with a focus on whole-person health and the integrative benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong, emphasizing their multifaceted impact on physiological, psychological, and emotional well-being. Many sessions revolved around the intersection of traditional concepts like Qi and modern principles of biophysics and developmental biology, particularly in presentations by Michael Levin of Tufts University and hosted by Helene Langevin.
In the article, we will attempt to provide an overview of all the sessions to give readers a cross-section of the very latest research on Tai Chi and Qigong.(more…)
We are off to Harvard!
After working in this field for the last thirty years Jacqui and I are tickled to receive some recognition for all of our efforts, and yours. Here is a great big shout-out and thank you to all of our students, colleagues, and participants in our research. We really have all of you to thank for our invitation to present at Harvard. (No classes Tuesday and Wednesday of next week (Sept 19th& 20th). We will hopefully then come back to regular classes and clinics filled with the latest research into Tai Chi and Whole Person Health to share with you all. See below for a description of our paper.
Tai Chi and Whole-Person Health: Real-World Evidence in Older Adults
Successful aging involves nurturing the health of the whole person, encompassing physical, functional, social, and psychological well-being. Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial art and mind-body practice, has gained recognition as a potential pathway to achieving holistic health. A recent study was conducted by Joseph Brady, an adjunct professor at the University of Denver, and chair of the research department at the Colorado Chinese Medicine University, and Jacqueline Shumway, of the Osher Institute at DU, and a former faculty member at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, sheds light on the real-world impact of Tai Chi on older adults. Their groundbreaking research has attracted attention and led to an invitation to present their findings at Harvard Medical School’s, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in September. (see conference invite below)
The work of Joseph Brady and Jacqueline Shumway demonstrates the potential of Tai Chi to foster whole-person health in older adults. Their research serves as a stepping stone towards a deeper appreciation and integration of this ancient practice into modern society, promoting a comprehensive approach to aging well.
NIH HEAL Initiative Workshop on Whole Joint Health
When people have pain in their joints, it’s often assumed that the cartilage in the joint is to blame, and that damage to cartilage is a progressive and irreversible process that can only be managed until the joint needs to be replaced. But the situation is both more complex and more hopeful. Joints are integrated organs that consist of a variety of different tissues—not just cartilage, but also bone, tendons, ligaments, muscle, synovium, myofascial tissues, the joint capsule, and others. Each can play a role in joint pain. Understanding the interactions between these tissues is key to knowing how joint pain can be resolved, joint function restored, and further deterioration prevented.
NCCIH Director’s Page, Helene M. Langevin, M.D.
When people have pain in their joints, it’s often assumed that the cartilage in the joint is to blame, and that damage to the cartilage is a progressive and irreversible process that can only be managed until the joint needs to be replaced. But the situation is both more complex and more hopeful. Joints are integrated organs that consist of a variety of different tissues—not just cartilage, but also bone, tendons, ligaments, muscle, synovium, myofascial tissues, the joint capsule, and others. Each can play a role in joint pain. Understanding the interactions between these tissues is key to knowing how joint pain can be resolved, joint function restored, and further deterioration prevented.
NIH HEAL Initiative®, will hold a virtual workshop on understanding and restoring whole joint health in pain management on July 25 and 26, 2023.
NCCIH is leading the planning for this workshop. Our co-sponsors are the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).(more…)
Physical inactivity is a pervasive problem in the United States, with serious consequences for health and well-being. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of a sedentary lifestyle. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this problem has only gotten worse, with many seniors experiencing isolation and a lack of opportunities for physical activity.
Shakespeare once said, “The weak must fall”. It seems he may have been right. After the confinement we all suffered during the pandemic most of us are in need of getting in better shape again. This is especially true for older adults and is creating the potential for a new pandemic of falls and broken hips in older adults in the US over the next few years.
Here at the University of Denver, we seek to address this critical issue by proposing a community engagement program entitled “Sunrise Tai Chi and Fitness Walks”. Our program aims to increase physical activity, improve balance, prevent falls, and increase health literacy among older adults in the Denver metropolitan area. Monday’s beginning Monday, June 12th at 9:00 am, participants will have the opportunity to engage in Tai Chi and Walk with a Doc, all while enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings of the University of Denver’s Chamberlain Observatory in Observatory Park.