Predictions 2015: Into the Looking Glass

Consider my predicament. Since inception, Heartland Healing’s been reminding readers of alternatives to Western techno-pharmaceutical medicine. But when the first of each year comes around, staff at The Reader is asked to present predictions for the upcoming year. Therein lies the rub.

If my bailiwick is traditional healing arts and sensibilities that have persisted for millennia, what possible change could these ancient practices see in the next 12 months? I mean, after 6000 years, is there going to be some startling discovery in the field of acupuncture, say? Practiced for thousands of years as is, will something radically change about yoga, herbology, ayurvedic medicine, feng shui? Or even more recent modalities like homeopathy or iridology or (genuine) chiropractic? Those,…

entered on 12/22/14 at 10:43 AM | read more »

Resolutions? Put your mind to it.

The calendar again creeps toward that time of year. Renewal, resolutions and change always seem to surround the New Year’s holiday. New beginnings, self-improvement, casting aside old habits keeping us from happiness are on our “to do” list. Well, it’s time to move them to the “done” list.

You’ve tried to change before, tried to break old habits or establish new, healthier ones. What went wrong? Why was improvement short-lived or never realized in the first place? The answer is simpler than you might think and requires little.

To succeed at beneficial change, we have to admit a few things that we already know. First, acknowledge that there are two basic parts of the mind: the conscious, analytical, data-driven part…

entered on 12/16/14 at 10:10 AM | read more »

2014 in Review: High-lights, dude!

Several stories about health and healing dominated news in 2014. The two biggest were the Ebola virus outbreak and the ongoing move to modernize American marijuana laws. The highlights:

Medical marijuana Whether most Americans realize it or not, expanded legalization of marijuana has been and will turn out to be the biggest story of 2014. We’ll mark the ongoing benefits and consequences of this return to sanity for years to come. Like the subtle burp of the open ocean portending an incipient tsunami, the marijuana sea change began in 1996, in the likeliest of locations: California. That’s when the Golden State freed Acapulco Gold and any other cannabis through a program allowing approved people to use the herb for medicinal…

entered on 12/16/14 at 10:07 AM | read more »

High Cholesterol? Think It Through

Vince Gironda’s point of view wasn’t mainstream when he told me about eggs in 1985. In that era, eggs were vilified as a nutritional no-no. Vince preached differently, that eating eggs had nothing to do with serum cholesterol. That was in direct contradiction to what doctors were touting at the time. With heavy influence from the drug industry, the medical establishment had published serum cholesterol thresholds, declaring that high cholesterol caused heart disease and that Americans should start taking statin drugs, the new kids on the block, to lower cholesterol. Vince said nearly everything about that was wrong and turns out he was right.

In a nutshell, the numbers set as “high” cholesterol levels were arbitrary. There is still no…

entered on 12/08/14 at 09:33 AM | read more »

Grab Your Nuts this Christmas

Holiday season swells with junk food treats. Sugar cookies, fudge, candy canes, fruitcakes and more. But amid the high-fructose corn syrup, chemical colorings and trans fats, there is a healthy option. It’s nuts.

Botanically speaking, true nuts are the fruit of the plant order known as Fagales, which includes most common trees. Most the nuts from that group of plants are correctly called tree nuts, including walnuts, chestnuts, pecans and hazelnuts.

When it comes to eating and cooking, though, the term nut describes seeds and kernels also. While technically not nuts, seeds like almonds, cashews, macadamias, Brazil nuts, pistachios and pine nuts go by that misnomer. In fact, a peanut isn’t a nut but a legume and seed, closely related…

entered on 12/01/14 at 01:00 PM | read more »

News You Can Use, November 2014

“We aggregate so you’ll cogitate.”

The Good

Europe Says No to GMO A couple high profile GMO labeling initiatives narrowly failed at the polls this month. There was, however, a sparkle of good news about the anti-GMO movement. The European Union’s Environmental Committee determined that member countries of the EU have the legal right to ban GMOs in basically any way, shape or form. The approved text would entitle member states to pass legally binding acts restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of GMO crops even if they have been authorized at EU level. They could also ask, when a new GMO crop is being assessed at EU level, to adjust the geographical scope of the authorization.

European countries generally ban…

entered on 11/24/14 at 10:20 AM | read more »

Trouble Sleeping? Meditation vs. The Drunken Monkey

A friend visits from Los Angeles two or three times a year. Often when he’s here, the topic of sleeplessness creeps into conversation. Last time, I invited him to tell me about it.

“I have no problem falling asleep,” he said. That’s understandable. He’s one of the hardest working people I know. At day’s end, he’s exhausted. “But after a couple hours, I wake up and can’t go back to sleep. My thoughts are racing with things I have to do or problems or creative ideas. I can’t stop thinking. My mind is spinning like a, like a…”

“Drunken monkey?” I offer.

“Yes, exactly, like a drunken monkey.”

Monkey Time My pal isn’t alone. Half of all Americans report sleep…

entered on 11/17/14 at 02:07 PM | read more »

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News You Can Use — Good, Bad, Ugly

Recent news items to keep the brain cells percolating.

The Good

Eggs aren’t bad anymore. Eggs never were bad in my estimation. Decades ago when the...

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