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!

September 30, 2022
Joe Brady

The Doctor Will Meditate with You Now


Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

October 4th, 2022: “The Doctor Will Meditate with You Now – Implementing Mindful Medical Group Visits into Clinical Practice”

Dr. Paula Gardiner, Director of Primary Care Implementation Research at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Cambridge Health Alliance

Description: We have Walk with a Doc, and now there is Meditate with a Doc, This online virtual Grand Rounds from the Osher Center at Harvard Medical School will be a discussion of the facilitators and barriers to implementing integrative medicine and mindfulness into the medical group visit model. We will discuss how group visits are being used as a model for increasing health equity.  

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 4 | 8:00am – 9:00am US EDT

For more upcoming lectures from Harvard Medical School Read More

September 25, 2022
Joe Brady

Biology of aging: why curbing calories counts

For decades, researchers have studied eating patterns—what, when, and how much we eat—to see how they might help us avoid age-related diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. They are also interested in learning more about how different eating patterns might affect the health of our musculoskeletal system, which comprises the body’s muscles, bones, and connective tissue.

Of particular interest to researchers is calorie restriction, or more properly termed a nutrient-dense diet which involves reducing average daily caloric intake below what is typical or habitual while increasing nutrition to avoid malnutrition or deprivation of essential nutrients. Calorie restriction can be also accomplished by not eating at all for a period of hours or days (known as “intermittent fasting”) or by eating less at some or all meals. Some studies in animals and humans have shown that calorie restriction can lead to improvements in a variety of health conditions. It also extends lifespan for many animal species, though there’s no evidence to confirm lifespan itself increases in people, eating a nutrient-dense diet has been shown to help us avoid many age-related diseases.

What’s the Evidence from Animal Studies?

More animal research has been done on calorie restriction than on fasting. In some experiments, calorie restriction is also a form of fasting because the lab animals consume all their daily allotted food within hours and go many more hours without any food.

In these studies, when rodents and other animals were given 10 percent to 40 percent fewer calories than usual but provided with all necessary nutrients, many showed extension of lifespan and reduced rates of several diseases, especially cancers. But, some studies did not show this benefit, and in some mouse strains, calorie restriction shortened lifespan rather than extending it.

September 18, 2022
Joe Brady

Exercise Really is Medicine

Research has shown that physical activity can prevent and even reverse many aspects of the decline we experience with age. The old adage that you must “use it or lose it” is being validated in many scientific studies as a basic dictum of biology. Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. No matter your health and physical abilities, you can gain a lot by staying active. In fact, studies show that “taking it easy” is risky. Often, inactivity is more to blame than age when older people lose the ability to do things on their own. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses.

It is estimated that fully one-half of the aging-related decline in functional ability in older adults is related to a phenomenon known as sarcopenia. Derived from the Greek root words sarx (flesh) and penia (loss), sarcopenia is defined as a decline in muscle mass, strength, and function. It is often associated with older adults, but some forms of sarcopenia can also affect middle-aged people. Sarcopenia has been connected to weakness; fatigue; lower energy levels; and difficulty standing, walking, and climbing stairs. Sarcopenia is more likely to occur in people with chronic diseases and may contribute to a risk of falls, fractures, other serious injuries, and premature mortality. Poor nutrition and lack of exercise can increase the odds of developing sarcopenia. If you or a family member is feeling general weakness, talk with a doctor. It could be related to sarcopenia or another medical condition. To reverse this age-related loss of muscle mass and function four types of physical activity are highly recommended for all of us and especially as we get older. Most people tend to focus on one type of exercise or activity and think they’re doing enough. Research has shown that it’s important to get all four types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Each one has different benefits. Doing one kind also can improve your ability to do the others, and variety helps reduce boredom and risk of injury. No matter your age, you can find activities that meet your fitness level and needs!

Balance, Falls, and Tai Chi: What You Need To Know

What is tai chi?

Tai chi is a practice that involves a series of slow gentle movements and physical postures, a meditative state of mind, and controlled breathing. Tai chi originated as an ancient martial art in China. Over the years, it has become more focused on health promotion and rehabilitation.

Does tai chi help prevent falls?

Tai chi may be beneficial in improving balance and preventing falls in older adults and people with Parkinson’s disease. It is unknown whether tai chi can help reduce falls in people who have had a stroke or people with osteoarthritis or heart failure.

A 2019 review looked at different types of exercise for preventing falls in community-dwelling older people. The duration and frequency of tai chi sessions varied among the studies. Compared to control interventions that were not thought to reduce falls, there was low-certainty evidence that tai chi may reduce the rate of falls by 19 percent (based on 7 studies with 2,655 participants) and high-certainty evidence that tai chi may reduce the number of people who experience falls by 20 percent (based on 8 studies with 2,677 participants). Other forms of exercise were also helpful. The authors found high-certainty evidence that balance and functional exercises—exercises that are similar to everyday actions like rising from a chair, stepping up, or rotating while standing—could reduce the rate of falls by 24 percent (based on 39 studies with 7,920 participants) and lower the number of people experiencing one or more falls by 13 percent (based on 37 studies with 8,288 participants).

Sherrington C, Fairhall NJ, Wallbank GK, et al. Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2019;1(1):CD012424. Accessed at on January 20, 2022.

Read more about Endurance exercises, strength training, flexibility exercises, and what they can do for you

August 26, 2022
Joe Brady

Mindfulness Training Improves Immune Markers in Older Adults

Mindfulness training may improve immune function in lonely older adults, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. The study, which was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, was published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Loneliness is a significant problem among older adults and a powerful psychosocial stressor that elevates the risks to health and for premature death in this population. As one effect, loneliness can speed up the decline in immune system functioning that happens as people age. This latest research suggests that mindfulness interventions can increase immune function in older adults with chronic loneliness, a potent stressor.

Meditation has a history that goes back thousands of years, and many meditative techniques began in Eastern traditions like formal meditation as well as active meditations in motion like tai chi and yoga. Some types of meditation involve keeping the mental focus on a particular sensation or a repeated word or phrase. Others include the practice of mindfulness, which involves keeping attention or awareness of the present moment and the activity at hand without making judgments.

Here are 8 things to know about what the science says about meditation and mindfulness for health:

  1. Mindfulness-based practices may be helpful for anxiety and depression. They are better than no treatment at all, and they may work as well as established evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
  2. Studies that looked at the effects of meditation or mindfulness on pain have had mixed results. The evidence for a beneficial effect on chronic pain is better than the evidence for an effect on acute pain.
  3. Mindfulness meditation practices may reduce insomnia and improve sleep quality. Their effects are comparable to those of cognitive behavioral therapy or exercise.
  4. Meditation and mindfulness may reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In one study in veterans, meditation was as helpful as prolonged exposure therapy, a widely accepted treatment for PTSD.
  5. Mindfulness-based practices may help people recover from substance use disorders. These practices have been used to help people increase their awareness of the thoughts and feelings that trigger cravings and learn ways to reduce their automatic reactions to cravings.
  6. Mindfulness-based approaches may improve mental health in people with cancer. Most of the people studied have been women with breast cancer; effects might be different in other groups of people.
  7. Studies have suggested possible benefits of meditation and mindfulness programs for losing weight and managing eating behaviors. Programs that combine formal meditation and mindfulness practices with informal mindfulness exercises seem especially promising.
  8. Meditation and mindfulness practices are usually considered to have few risks, but some people do have negative experiences with these practices. In an analysis of studies on more than 6,000 people, about 8 percent of participants reported negative effects—most commonly, anxiety or depression—which is similar to the percentage reported for psychological therapies.

Read more about the latest research on mindfulness meditation and immune function in older adults

August 14, 2022
Joe Brady

The Relaxation Response

Relaxation techniques are practices to help bring about the body’s “relaxation response,” which is characterized by slower breathing, lower blood pressure, and a reduced heart rate. The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response.

Benefits of the relaxation response

With all the stress we face in the modern world, deliberately setting aside a little time each day to unplug from the computer and phone, to set aside the troubles of the day (politics especially), and just simply relax and enjoy life is a crucial skill and has many benefits. Some of the benefits include:

  • Relaxation techniques can lower blood pressure
  • Relaxation techniques can relieve pain from arthritis
  • Relaxation techniques can relieve low back pain
  • Relaxation techniques can relieve pain