Monthly Archives: November 2009

Meditation for Pain

The Stanford SCOPE blog recently had a few articles on chronic pain. Read them here and here.  The post on meditation for chronic pain links back to an LA Times article. One of the most frustrating and challenging conditions for patients and physicians alike is chronic pain. [picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=meditation&iid=267892″ src=”0264/e6bfd465-fe46-4931-a2e4-387e2364d57e.jpg?adImageId=7703338&imageId=267892″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]I do speak with patients about mindfulness, meditation and yoga (which incorporates the first two) and often refer them to behavioral medicine chronic pain programs which teach these skills. Meditation is not a drug, supplement or procedure, it’s inexpensive and requires only an open mind. Resources for meditation include your public library, where there are often books on tape/CD and now many libraries have electronic downloads. My only advice is that when choosing guided audio meditation you may have to try a few styles. Nothing is worse than an irritating voice leading your meditation! Good luck and I hope to hear your mindfulness tips.

Talking RA

The New York Times Well Blog recently had a story on “voices of RA.” Perhaps the #1 arthritis question I get about RA is how to differentiate it from OA. I’m going to give you a very simplified answer. OA, or osteoarthritis, is “wear and tear” of the joints. Some people get it earlier in life than others, in some people it will progress faster than in others, but we all use our joints so we will all develop some wear and tear in them. RA, or rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune disease with inflammation occurring in the lining of the joints. Many people are surprised to hear children can get RA. I have been a speaker for the Arthritis Foundation and recommend further reading on their site, www.arthritis.org.

Make Me Laugh

A recent post on  humor on KevinMD’s blog got me thinking about a day in the office last week. At the end of the day, walking out the door, I thought, “Wow, that was a good day.” Reflecting on what put that smile on my face, I recalled multiple times that day patients had me laughing. And not just a grin and a “ha,” but borderline tears in your eyes belly laughs. I wish I could tell you what the jokes or funny statements were, but I can’t remember! I’ll have to start writing them down. I think it was really more of a general mood and things striking us as funny. The patients laughed a lot too. Obviously we weren’t dealing with serious or critical medical situations. Usually the most fun happens when folks I know regularly from routine cortisone injections come in and we get to know each other and understand each other’s senses of humor. So thanks to my patients for the laughs and keep the jokes and stories coming!

Foodie Friday: Beets

Beets are a pretty typical finding in restaurants these days. The old-fashioned canned pickled beets have given way to many colors and flavors of fresh beets to be enjoyed. However, some may still carry around a “yuck” impression of beets if all they know is canned and soggy. Here are some photos of beautiful fresh golden beets I roasted and used in salads with greens, gorgonzola and pistachios. I also found this appetizer recipe for beet “carpaccio” I can’t wait to try.

 

Jump for Joy (and health)

[picapp src=”0269/0aa41e4b-f96a-43bc-86a0-113df7b04f25.jpg?adImageId=7529354&imageId=273433″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]Have you ever jumped rope for exercise? It is HARD to maintain it for more than a few minutes. After reading this, it might tempt you to channel your inner “Rocky.” Here are a couple of interesting articles regarding physical activity:

The best exercises for healthy bones

Jumping may be best exercise for building healthy bones

Detox and Cleanse

My google reader brought me this blog post last week. I hope you’ll read it and also see the original entry. (The whole retweeting and trackbacking thing is funny – reminds me of that image in a mirror in a mirror in a mirror in a mirror, etc). Anyway . . . cleanse and detox diets. Sigh. I have had plenty of friends, family and patients convinced of their merits, but the science just isn’t there. Want to do something healthy? Eat healthy – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant or animal lean protein sources; local, sustainable, organic. I’ll leave you with this quote I particularly liked:

It’s not merely the lure of plummeting pounds that draws people to detox diets. There’s powerful appeal in the promise that these diets will cleanse our body of toxins, observes Reardon. “We are bombarded by our food supply, what’s in it, what’s not. We hear about additives, preservatives, dioxins, carcinogens; we see horrific pictures on the Internet of something that supposedly came out of a colon; and we’re just overwhelmed. The fear factor is pretty convincing. People are grasping to do what makes sense, and the notion of detoxifying the body sounds right. But there just isn’t good science behind detox diets.

Foodie Friday: pumpkin pizza

Around Thanksgiving I sometimes feel like I have to keep a secret to myself. Well, I’ll tell you – I don’t like pumpkin pie. I don’t really like pumpkin-flavored things, like lattes and pumpkin pie yogurt and pumpkin spice everything you see in stores and restaurants this time of year. I do like a cherished family recipe for pumpkin roll, which is basically a sponge cake with some canned pumpkin in it, filled with super sweet cream cheese filling.  But SAVORY pumpkin dishes? That I can fully support! I can’t wait to try to re-create a local restaurant’s pizza offering that contains the following: roasted pumpkin “sauce,” spicy sausage, some caramelized onions and chevre.

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