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.
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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!
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.
For more details about the program see below(more…)
May is Arthritis Awareness Month. Did you know researchers have studied several mind and body practices for osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis?
- Research studies have evaluated the effects of tai chi on osteoarthritis, with most studies focusing on osteoarthritis of the knee. In general, the results have been favorable. Guidelines issued by the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation in 2019 strongly recommend tai chi for knee or hip osteoarthritis.
- Acupuncture may help to relieve osteoarthritis pain. In some studies on knee osteoarthritis, the pain-relieving effect of acupuncture was comparable to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen.
- Not much research has been done on massage therapy for osteoarthritis. However, the small amount of available evidence suggests that massage therapy may provide short-term relief from pain associated with knee osteoarthritis.
What do we know about the effectiveness of complementary health approaches for osteoarthritis?
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.
- Despite extensive research, it’s still uncertain whether glucosamine and chondroitin have a meaningful impact on symptoms or joint structure in osteoarthritis.
- The evidence on other dietary supplements is too limited for any conclusions to be reached.
For more information about the effectiveness and safety of mind/body approaches to Arthritis self-care read more.(more…)
A Whole Person Approach to Lifting the Burden of Chronic Pain Among Service Members and Veterans
Posted on March 28th, 2023 by Helene M. Langevin, M.D., National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
Chronic pain and its companion crisis of opioid misuse have taken a terrible toll on Americans. But the impact has been even greater on U.S. service members and veterans, who often deal with the compounded factors of service-related injuries and traumatic stress.
For example, among soldiers in a leading U.S. Army unit, 44 percent had chronic pain and 15 percent used opioids after a combat deployment. That compares to 26 percent and 4 percent, respectively, in the general population [1,2].
This disproportionate burden of chronic pain among veterans  and service members led NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) to act. We forged a collaboration in 2017 across NIH, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) to establish the Pain Management Collaboratory (PMC ).
The PMC’s research focusing on the implementation and evaluation of nondrug approaches for the management of pain is urgently needed in the military and across our entire country. Nondrug approaches require a shift in thinking. Rather than focusing solely on blocking pain temporarily using analgesics, nondrug approaches work with the mind and body to promote the resolution of chronic pain and the long-term restoration of health through techniques and practices such as manual therapy, yoga, and mindfulness-based interventions.
Addressing chronic pain in ways that don’t only rely on drugs means addressing underlying issues, such as joints and connective tissue that lack adequate movement or training our brains to “turn down the volume” on pain signals. Using mind and body practices to reduce pain can help promote health in other ways. Possible “fringe benefits” include better sleep, more energy for physical activity, a better mindset for making good nutritional choices, and/or improved mood.
Indeed, there is a growing body of research on the benefits of non-drug approaches to address chronic pain. What is so powerful about PMC is it puts this knowledge to work by embedding research within military healthcare settings.(more…)