Archive for February, 2009

Medicare study

Okay.  Medicare did a study trying to decrease cost and hospitalizations of elderly patients with chronic health care problems.  They specifically studied programs where patients, “got more intensive, coordinated care. That often involved nurses who acted as go-betweens, helping doctors give patients clear, appropriate advice; counseling patients on changing bad habits and recognizing worrisome symptoms. The nurses were available on a regular basis by phone or in person to answer patients’ questions.”

Apparently  a few patients benefited who took the advice to exercise and eat better, but otherwise patients and doctors were too stubborn to change.  This is a perfect example of insanity.  They are doing the same thing and expecting a different result, the only difference is that the care was more intensive.  They are not addressing the underlying issues preventing patients from changing and doctors, well, some doctors are hopelessly stubborn.

My study would include group meetings where we would not only discuss healthy eating and effective strategies to start exercising, but we would also discuss what it means to live, patient’s religious or spiritual beliefs, and I would include non-secular Buddhist teachings.  These discussions would also include the topic of death: patient’s personal experiences with death, how they feel about dying, what level of intervention they would want, etc.  I would also provide specific exercise opportunities- walking groups, Tai Chi or yoga classes and swing dance lessons!  And ideally I would facilitate shopping/cooking classes that make eating healthy easy, fun and tasty.  And THEN I would make sure all patients received OMT either as outpatients or after being admitted to the hospital.  🙂  I’m such an idealist…

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Residency, sights and authors, Oh my!!

It is confirmed.  I matched to do my residency in Neuromuscular Medicine (a euphemism for Osteopathic manipulation) in Southampton!!  I think I might take up surfing…

It has been raining for 4 days here in southern California and this afternoon the sun came out and I saw snow on the distant mountains.  As corny as this sounds, it was one of the most spectacular scenes I’ve ever seen!

I saw 2 authors in person this weekend.  One was Noah Levine, the founder of Dharma Punx, an American Buddhist Society that arose out of the punk rock era.  It is also the name of his first book.  I bought the book and hope to have it autographed before I leave LA, preferably after I read it!  Secondly, I saw Eric Pearl, DC who wrote “The Reconnection”.  I read this book about 2 years ago.  He was a good, grounded and funny speaker, even if I’m still a little skeptical…He presents some bizarre concepts.  I’m neither completely turned off by him nor am I jumping on his band wagon with both feet.  I need to do some experimenting.

Self-love

I believe honesty is at the heart of love – love to self and others.  I don’t want to be one of those people who outwardly professes to have complete self-love and contentedness.  Inevitably there are going to be times when I get frustrated with myself or find myself slipping back into feelings of self-loathing.   However, I am in the process of going through a honest shift or perspective.  Thanks to the many hours of driving and listening “The Art of Happiness” with the Dalai Lama and “The New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, the wisdom of these books have embedded themselves into my daily consciousness.  I’ll be talking about different aspects of my life and relaying the teachings as I incorporate them into my life.  This entry is about self-love.

The Dalai Lama was shocked to discover there is such a concept as self-loathing when he talked with psychiatrists and psychologists from western culture.  It amazed him so much because the discipline found in Buddhism is there to keep buddhist desires in check because they love themselves too much.  He goes on to conclude that even people who have self-loathing, in fact, love themselves by following the argument: we want people we love to be happy (i.e. not to suffer) and we want ourselves to be happy, therefore we must love ourselves.  I’ve also heard from another source years ago that depression is actually selfish.  In fact, it is down right ridiculous.  If we want ourselves to be happy, why do we become depressed?  A very good friend says it is part of the corporate monsters that control our lives and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the primary cause.  HOWEVER, we can still be happy if we:

1. Realize depression is selfish- it is helping no one and makes other people suffer because they see how sad you are and want to help, but don’t know how.

2. Find a goal outside of ourselves to pursue and achieve.  It is best if the goal is to help others rather pursuit of other selfish gains like money.  Although money is of importance, it should not be the primary goal.  If you live to help, the world will help you.

3.  Be comfortable with who you are.  Body image can  play a huge role in diminishing self-confidence.  I have been playing this game for 20 years (1st ten years don’t count).  I realize I’m never going to have a perfect body, but I can take care of the one I have.

4.  Have gentle discipline with yourself.  Having no discipline (couch potato) is almost as bad as having too much (burn-out). Excessive goals (running a marathon after never exercising) are unrealistic.  Small goals have the power to transform you (jogging 1 mile almost every day).   Relaxing with friends or family or meditating is just as important as studying.  It is amazing that sometimes I feel like I do not have enough time, but when I relax, I realize time is a bizarre concept.  Like Eckhart Tolle likes to say, “All we have is right now”.  No fretting over the past, no worries about the future.  NOW.  Live completely in the now, doing quality work and preparations for the future will take care of themselves.  Once you’ve fixed the problems that occurred in the past when you were not living in the now, you no longer have to worry about the past because living fully in the present makes the past obsolete.

Sigh.  Life is good.  I hope for the same enlightenment to dawn on all suffering people.

The Zen of Surgery

Focused.  Workers sacrifice their bodies for a greater cause.  My favorite surgeons are cool, calm and collected.  They try to create the best possible environment in which to work and then accept and work with whatever circumstances present themselves.  It is really quite impressive, almost (gasp!) spiritual!!