A Dream of Creating a New Health Care Paradigm

Among my activities, I organize a Meetup group: San Francisco Integrative Health Networking. On September 30th, I held a meetup in which I described a bit about my dreams for the group. I recorded the meeting so that those who were interested, but unable to attend would still be able to see what was discussed. I am also looking for feedback to help refine these thoughts.

One person participated in the discussion with me, but did not wish to be on camera, so the video portion is just me.

I’ve embedded videos of the presentation & discussion below the fold.

Here’s the link to view this playlist on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=BEFB57FDA82BD3CD

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Embracing the Year of the White Tiger

Has life gotten a little more… interesting than usual lately? Perhaps a circumstance or two moving with a wee bit more alacrity than usual. Or perhaps feeling like it’s careening wildly out of control? (Health reform, anyone?)

Beyond their entertainment value, I’m not  usually that into astrology. On the other hand, life clearly goes through many cycles: seasonal,  annual, biological, economic, political, etc.  Events in my life, in the lives of several people and groups around me, and even national and world events make me think this is a time of change marking a new cycle. As these changes are coming at the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year, I’m  persuaded to make note of this Year of the Metal Tiger.

Before getting into the significance according to Chinese astrology, I want to note that President Obama has now been in office for a little over one year, giving time for the beginning of change from the previous administration to take effect. Some changes in the culture of Washington are starting to show like new growth in spring following a long, dark winter. While there is a new flow of information and more openness than has ever existed before, at least to my knowledge, there are complaints about back room deals and that things are not as open as we were told they would be. Things do not change overnight.

Even amid the start of culture change in Washington,  there are those who went to halt progress and keep things essentially as they have been. These efforts to conduct arguments on old premises and theories which had been ascendant for over thirty years have brought out stark contrast in different elements of Washington culture as well as anti-Washington culture. Obstructionism and anti-government sentiment have been brought to new heights. At the same time, our financial system, though still in trouble, has been brought back from the edge of collapse. We are closer to  historic health care reforms than we have been in about 100 years of reform efforts.

I could go on and offer greater detail, but the point I want to make is not about politics or our political culture. I merely wish to establish the context that this is a time of significant change. Within that context, I’d like to suggest that looking at this time through the lens of the lunar new year can offer a foundation to supply some meaning to these changes. With that, let’s have some fun and look at 2010, the Year of the White Tiger, also referred to as the Year of the Metal Tiger.

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A friend in the news

Acupuncture clinic helps night owls mellow out

By Trey Bundy, San Francisco Chronicle, May 18, 2009

It’s called a wince point. When Deb Follingstad runs a little metal rod along someone’s outer ear, she often finds a spot that makes the person grimace, which tells her whether the lungs or liver could use some TLC.

As an acupuncturist and doctor of Chinese medicine, Follingstad has great faith in wince points – tongues and pulses, too.

“They’re kind of our eyeballs on the body,” she says, “our X-rays.”

A longtime denizen of San Francisco’s music scene, Follingstad has started a Monday afternoon acupuncture clinic in her Bernal Heights flat to help bartenders, cocktail waitresses and others who spend their weekends working late hours in nightclubs detox from what can be a booze-fueled grind. Pitting 5,000-year-old techniques against 21st century toxins works well, she says, and the group setting feels more like a day off than a trip to the doctor.

“It’s me giving back to my music people who work really hard and party really hard,” she says. “I don’t want to see them hurt.”

Congrats on the great article, Deb! Best of luck in your practice!

Acupuncture Proven to Prevent Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting

Acupuncture Proven to Prevent Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting

Natural News.com Thursday, May 07, 2009 by: Dave Gabriele, citizen journalist

According to a 2009 review from The Cochrane Collaboration, an international not-for-profit and independent medical organization, stimulation of the acupuncture point P-6 (Pericardium-6) significantly reduces the symptoms of nausea and vomiting after surgery. The review was published in the second 2009 issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration. The review, led by Dr. Anna Lee of the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, is an update of a previous 2004 Cochrane review, which fostered similar results.

This is a nice and brief article by a student of Chinese medicine. It includes source links as well as links to other research on the P-6 acupoint.

A nice intro to Chinese medicine

From the Los Angeles Times Travel section

Chinese medicine classes teach ancient remedies

In Hong Kong, foreigners can learn what herbs and other unusual ingredients may cure an illness.

By Judith Fein
10:51 AM PDT, April 09, 2009

The world is divided into two categories: those who get the flu, and those who don’t. Not only did I fall into the former, but it happened a week before my scheduled departure for Taiwan and Hong Kong. “Nobody goes to Hong Kong with the flu,” my husband, Paul, said.

Achy and exhausted, I had feverish nightmares of the “C” word (cancel); I had never backed out of a trip in my life. It was touch-and-go until the last minute . . . and then it became go.


I decided to see a Chinese doctor. I am no stranger to Chinese medicine, but I was a stranger to how they prescribe and take Asian medicine in Taiwan.

Judith Fein discusses both an experience that sent her to Chinese medicine for treatment as well as a class about Chinese Medicine that she took while traveling in Hong Kong. One thing of note is one example of the way Chinese herbs are used. In my training, I have experience with hundreds of decoctions which I fondly refer to as essence of forest floor. Whether ingesting Malibu sand or essence of forest floor, Chinese herbal medicine is fantastic when properly employed.