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Purpose First – Please Hide The Cookies

This post was originally written for the 2017 Journey Home series overcoming addictions and hence having more energy to focus on life purpose. I’ve updated to the links to point to the Purpose First 2018 series.

The audio recording is below for those who like to listen:

I have a life-long tendency towards craving carbohydrates. That includes bread, pastries, and beer. But I’m not really an addict – at least not a bad one, right?

Here’s the issue: I eat pretty healthy food most of the time, but I do eat some things that are bad for my blood sugar. I’m not totally out of control, but the mistakes do cost me something – more on that below. I also enjoy a glass of wine or a beer at night – not enough to consider myself a candidate for rehab, but enough to mess up my waistline and my blood sugar levels.

So what about people like me – people who are a little bit addicted to things that limit my health, my qi, and my longevity. And that limit how much energy I have for the things that I’m passionate about, the things that give my life purpose. If you’re seriously addicted to some substance there’s rehab centers. But what if your addiction is at a socially acceptable level that nonetheless limits how much health and energy you have to follow your purpose? Don’t we need a support group too?

Purpose First

So that’s the title for this series: Purpose First. It’s an emphasis that fits my philosophy of health and life. Accunect is about encouraging health not fixing disease or problems. I think that’s part of what makes it an awesome healing system is that we focus on reinforcing and supporting potential, not controlling symptoms. Sometimes you need emergency medicine and then you need a diagnosis. Sometimes an addiction is so out of control that someone needs to accept the label and go to rehab. But most of life should be about trying to live better, more fully and reach our potential. In the philosophy of Chinese Medicine, humans bridge heaven and earth. Which to me means that we stand on the earth in an earthly body with earthly problems and weaknesses, but we should always reach for heaven or for our highest potential.

Purpose First 2018: A Journey Home Healing Webinar Series

This is a long blog post, here’s the dates and signup link if you don’t want to scroll to the end

Sundays at 10pm London time

  • December 2nd
  • December 9th
  • December 16th

Sign Up Here

I’m not narrowing it to one kind of addiction, as I think there are energetic and biochemical factors that affect many addictive patterns. I believe there are some common imbalances that lead to food addictions, substance addictions, alcohol addictions, and internet addictions to name a few.

And an internet addiction can be as simple as spending too much time surfing the web. After the Adrenal series ended, Richard from New York wrote to tell me that he started going to bed earlier after the calls, but still didn’t wake feeling rested. But when he started limiting screen time before bed he saw a real difference in how deeply he slept and how rested he felt. For myself, I do better if I charge my smartphone across the room – if it’s too close it’s too easy to have a thought and then think “I’ll Google that!” and then let my addiction to information stir my mind when I should be sleeping.

We need food to survive, the internet makes our lives easy in many ways, and a (small) glass of wine with dinner can actually aid the digestion. What tips it over into addiction is whether we can manage our impulses.

If we can’t manage our impulsive desires then anything can turn into an addiction.  This happens because our brains reward mechanisms have become out of balance. Dopamine regulation plays a huge role in our ability to focus on a goal to achieve a reward – when we don’t have enough dopamine we start to crave the quickest fix to get some. Energetically, this goes along with a Spleen and or Lung meridian imbalance as those meridian affect our ability to want, and to want what is good for us in the long run and not just to crave short term satisfaction.

This is personal

So here’s the personal story of why I think this is a good topic for me, and why I want to do this series next:

I’ve fought the battle of the bulge much of my life. I figured out that I was a carbohydrate addict years ago in the same instant that I saw a book called the Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet – my immediate reaction was “that’s me!”  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, I’ve also got a strong family background of diabetes. Which means that excess carbohydrate consumption is not good for my waistline or my pancreas or my chances of avoiding the genetic tendency towards diabetes.

In mindfulness of the family history, I try to limit carbs and alcohol, and for much of my adult life I’ve made massaging my Spleen/Pancreas meridian a daily habit.  I know it’s important because my brother died of diabetes complications when he was two years younger than I am now.

When I eliminate things like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and focus on protein and vegetables and healthy fats I feel great. And if I can stick to it, weight just falls off me. I should do this all the time. I know this.

And yet I cheat. I eat a healthy low-carb breakfast, but then at some point during the day I’m tempted by a cookie, or a muffin, or some wine or beer with dinner. And once I have one, there’s a tendency to have another because I’ve already “blown it” for that day, might as well just go for it and start over tomorrow.

Excuses, excuses

I’ve got a thousand excuses, and I add new ones everyday:

  • “I’m in Spain – I really should have paella because it’s traditional.”
  • “As long as I’m having paella, I really should have it with a Spanish beer to have the whole experience.”
  • “Life’s uncertain, eat dessert first.”
  • “The wine is free on transatlantic flights – I might as well have an extra glass or two.”
  • “I’ll be extra good tomorrow.”
  • “I can lose the weight anytime I really want to.”

But I’ve studied this, I should know better

I went to university and to medical school. And there’s the strong family history, so I’ve been aware of this issue my whole life. But the biochemical reward mechanisms in our brain are more powerful than our intellect.

These are the instinctive mechanisms that make us seek food when we are hungry – without having to study nutrition and physiology to intellectually know that we require food to survive. We wouldn’t last as a species if we hard to invent microscopes so that we could see the sperm and eggs before we came to the conclusion that we need to combine the two to have children – our brains are just programmed to want the reward sensation that comes with sex so that we focus on an activity that has the side benefit of making children for survival of the species.

I had a second major in dance in university, and I was very fit and trim. I rode my bike over 100 miles a week, I took at least a dozen dance classes a week, took swimming class, took water polo class with the water polo team. Which allowed me to cheat a little – a donut or a cookie was part of my daily routine. I thought I was getting away with it because I was so active.  But I was continuing to set up an imbalanced blood chemistry that would perpetuate the carbohydrate addiction.

I wasn’t getting away with it. Over the years I’ve become less active, and my sporadic fasting blood sugar tests slowly crept into the pre-diabetic range. Not enough for me take it seriously, because is still wasn’t in the diabetic range. I’ve slowly been depleting my Spleen Qi and building up fat stores and insulin resistance.  In western medicine, all of my indulgences have contributed to fatty liver syndrome – all the excess sugar gets stored as fat in the liver as well as other tissues. In Chinese Medicine it’s dampness. And once dampness settles in it takes diligence to clear it from the body – your tolerance for “just one cookie won’t hurt” kind of thinking goes away.

And my diet has been more starchy since moving to England – the food choices are different here: there are no low-glycemic sprouted grain breads available here like there is in America, and there’s lot of foods that have hidden flour in them that wouldn’t have added flour in America. It’s like figuring out what’s safe to eat in the supermarket all over again.

Reality Check

This summer I found myself very thirsty – a nearly insatiable thirst – and having to urinate very frequently. That’s a strong indicator of diabetes, so I ordered a home blood glucose monitor kit from Amazon. It came, I opened it and within a minute I was facing the reality that I had tripped over the line separating pre-diabetic to diabetic.

Whoa! How did that happen? This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. It’s been a wake-up call, and I’m monitoring my blood sugar everyday. I’m eating better, drinking less, exercising more. And on many days, I’m getting my blood sugar down into the low end of the prediabetes range.

But I’m still cheating even though I know this is serious. I’m cheating less, but I’m still cheating. I’ve received Accunect sessions for the carb addiction, and it’s helping. But I’m battling a life time of bad habits, I need all the help I can get.

It’s not good to have high blood sugar – it puts a lot of stress on your organs, it can lead to all sorts of complications like neuropathy and eye problems. I really need to get my blood sugar down below the diabetic range all the time, and down to normal range soon. If I can’t manage the discipline to get my blood sugar regulation under control consistently I will need to take medication at some point.

I’m not alone

In my reading about ways to lower blood sugar, I came across the fact that over one third of all Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic.

That’s a lot of people with a genetic tendency towards blood sugar imbalances. Which usually implies a carbohydrate sensitivity/addiction.

And it turns out Americans are no where near the top of the list of countries in terms of diabetes incidence – this a world-wide issue.

So I’m thinking there are more people like me who could use some help making better choices by having an Accunect balancing.

My biggest personal challenge is getting my diet and waistline under control so that I don’t have to take medication for my blood sugar. But I also waste time on information addiction as well. I’m looking to stabilize my energy state and blood chemistry so that I can put my purpose first more of the time.

It’s not so much the sugar that’s the key, it’s the idea that our blood sugar regulation affects our dopamine levels (the major reward chemical), and when dopamine is low, we want some kind of “quick fix” to restore it back to balance, instead of looking for a long term balance to our system.  Energetically, this behavior, no matter what the addiction, coincides with several meridians that affect our ability to want what is good for us in the long run.  If we can bring balance to these meridians, we can help our dopamine regulation, and bring balance to these underlying causes for cravings.

Shifting the pattern, together

It’s a big issue. I want to heal this deeply in myself, and I’m guessing that some other people might benefit as well. I’ve found that the group energy of these Journey Home calls always have a profound effect on me and my healing journey.

And I want to emphasize the moving towards the positive because you only keep up moving away from the negative when the negative is nipping at your heels, so to speak.

Will you join me?

Purpose First 2018: A Journey Home Healing Webinar Series

Sundays at 10pm London time

  • December 2nd
  • December 9th
  • December 16th

Sign Up Here

Categories
General

Superman Has Left the Building

Audio recording is longer than the written post – explanation below or just click play above.

I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Okay, maybe more than a bit. But I am trying to work on it and I am getting better.

There’s several problems with being a perfectionist:

  • You put off finishing jobs because you want to wait until it’s perfect.
  • You procrastinate taking on new projects because you don’t have the time to do it perfect.
  • You can’t delegate to other people and you actually believe the old saying “if you want it done right, do it yourself.”
  • You’re annoying to other people.
  • Worst of all you are always TIRED

And the worst thing about being tired is that your perfectionism often won’t let you admit that you are tired, so you keep pressing on through force of will – until you are in adrenal exhaustion.

I’m launching a new Journey Home series on adrenal exhaustion, which is super common in modern times. The idea that maybe we should be human and not superhuman is part of the healing process for many, hence the title of the blog.

The rest of the post is in the audio – because I can talk faster than I can write and I’m trying to get this done, not make it perfect. Click play above to listen.

Read more information about this healing webinar series here.

Signup for the Adrenal Healing Series

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General

I Don’t “Have Obesity”, I Just Eat Too Much – So Why Use a Label?

Alternate Title: I don’t have a mental illness; I’m just having trouble coping with stress right now.

This blog post was actually inspired by a conversation about mental illness that I had with someone who is a psychotherapist. But I couldn’t think of a catchy title for that topic that didn’t sound offensive and I thought the same idea applied to weight control and why some people struggle more than others with it. And I thought the weight control topic would be easier to understand. So I’m going to try to talk a little about both and hope it makes sense in the end.

We were talking about the idea that some people seem predisposed to certain kinds of anxiety related conditions, including bipolar syndrome. And my colleague mentioned that in her view some people are just born with an inability to cope with too much stress. If they have too much going on, or work too hard without resting enough, they seem to tip over into over-anxiety and depending on the person that might look like being super stressed, incessant worrying, having panic attacks, insomnia or even manic episodes.

That made perfect sense to me, because in Chinese Medicine the ability to keep the mind calm is related to the amount of Yin energy in the body. We don’t have a word in English for Yin, but it relates the reserve capacity in the body to cool the body, moisten the body, and calm the mind. Sleep and good nutrition rebuilds the Yin, and overwork or stress deplete the Yin. When the Yin is depleted, the person has trouble sleeping and has anxiety. If they don’t sleep well, they don’t rebuild their Yin and the anxiety gets worse. If the Yin deficiency is severe enough the person the anxiety builds to a point where the person has manic episodes or becomes paranoid and hears voices in their head. And some people tend towards Yin deficiency as part of their constitutional makeup. So for them, it takes less stress to tip over into Yin weakness, so they are more prone to having anxiety symptoms when stressed.

Being manic and hearing voices is obviously a major problem for the person experiencing those symptoms – and for those people around that person. If we give this problem a label, like bipolar or schizophrenia for instance we are saying that the person HAS a disease and that makes it sound permanent. And since western medicine doesn’t have a cure for these conditions, only medications that suppress the symptoms without addressing the underlying imbalance, it does sound like a permanent situation.

If we look at anxiety as a function of Yin deficiency there are things that can be done to rebuild the Yin – and then the symptoms calm down.  Balancing Yin and Yang energy is the fundamental principle of acupuncture theory, and since Accunect is based on acupuncture theory it also balances Yin and Yang energy. In fact, my one sentence elevator speech about Accunect for taxi drivers, hotel reception staff, and other casual contacts who ask me what I do or why I am visiting their city is “It’s like acupuncture, except without the needles so I can teach anyone to do it.”

Okay, now I’m worried that this is still too abstract, so I’m going to switch to the obesity topic.

Those of you who have met me in person know that I tend towards Buddha like proportions in my outward appearance: an ample belly combined with a deep optimism that things generally work themselves out that comes from having Jupiter in the first house. Jupiter is that inner voice that says “enjoy yourself, if the Universe wants you to lose weight tomorrow, you can diet tomorrow.” Not to mention that Jupiter is large and round, so by nature I am large and round…

From a medical perspective, I have the obesity disease. To strengthen that diagnosis I have a fair amount of diabetes in the family history, and I have an insulin resistant metabolism. This sounds like a scary diagnosis. It also makes it sound permanent. I also think calling it a disease comes from the modern trend of political correctness – I’m not fat, I’m metabolically challenged. As with so many politically correct terms, this one disempowers the affected person by labeling their life challenge as permanent.

In reality, because of my family history I have a genetic tendency to put on weight more easily than most people. I am more sensitive to carbohydrates than the average person. And what typically goes along with that is a greater craving for carbs than most people. But it’s only a tendency. I sometimes say that I only have to look at bread to gain weight. But that’s nonsense of course. In reality, when I look at bread it’s harder for me not to eat the bread than other people and it’s also harder to eat only a little. So the truth is that if I look at bread I eat the bread and then I gain the weight.

I can’t blame my too tight jeans on having bad genes

But it doesn’t have to be that way. If I avoid carbs, and exercise when I feel stressed instead of eating bread or pasta or drinking alchohol (fermented carbs!) then I lose weight. I can lose it fast when I follow a lifestyle that recognizes my genetic tendencies. My real challenge is making healthier decisions that fit my lifestyle an actual habit, NOT my inheritance.

When I was in university, I was too poor to buy gasoline for daily driving so I rode my bike everywhere and only used the car to visit my girlfriend on the weekend. And I danced ballet five days a week and swam five days a week. And I couldn’t afford beer so I didn’t drink it. As a result, even though I had been heavy during high school, my austerity induced healthy habits helped me maintain a weight of about 168 pounds (or 12 stone or 76kg). I was strong and lean in spite of my genetics.

The point is, labels don’t point a way towards healing. We all have tendencies towards certain imbalances and stress causes those weaknesses to show up. Once the symptoms show up, it doesn’t mean we’ve caught a disease, it means we’ve gotten out of balance. Why stick a label on the imbalance and accept it as permanent in our minds? Why not try to restore balance?

All of this is not to say that sometimes people might need some support in the form of medication to address psychological symptoms. But if we become attached to the label, they may need the medication for the rest of their life. If we look at the symptoms as stemming from a temporary energy imbalance then energy balancing, like Accunect, can play a role in reducing or eliminating the need for the medication by helping to bring the person back to a state of balance similar to before they needed the medication. When I interview someone who is suffering from anxiety symptoms they invariably show other signs of Yin deficiency, including chronic insomnia. Of course, I always advise them not reduce their medication without their medical doctors consent, and I recommend that they wait to approach their physician to discuss medication changes until there are signs that their Yin is getting stronger.

Technically, the “Fat Buddha” statues aren’t of the Buddha. The Buddha practiced neither hedonism or ascetism and advocated moderation in all things. The “Fat Buddha” is really Budai, a fat, bald, laughing deity popular in China and Japan. The large belly represents luck, and rubbing his belly brings luck. Which explains why when I teach in Japan many students ask if they can rub my belly.
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Blogpost

Stacking the Odds for the New Year – For Free

It’s New Year’s, and that means it’s time for resolutions to do better. We promise ourself each year to eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, pay off debts, get better organized, make more time for friends and family, etc. These are all great ideas. Except we almost never stick with it. Most of the us abandon these lofty promises with the first month, and almost everyone gives up by March.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Why not do something different this year? Why not stack the odds in our favor for a change?  My first resolution for 2017 is to be smarter about my resolutions and to use what I know about bodymind energy connections to help me.

To begin 2017 right, I’m offering a free group healing webinar on New Year’s Day in order to help me and all of you to embrace a healthier new year by doing an Accunect group healing session with the intention of setting up our energy to be actually keep more of our New Year’s resolutions this year.

I’ll follow up the free introductory call with a short series on the same topic to help keep us focused on a healthier and more successful 2017 during the first quarter of the year to increase the chances of actually creating new habits that last.

Sign up information for both the free call and the whole Healthy Habits series is on the Journey Home tab of the website.

Or you can sign up using these links:

Sign Me Up For the Free Call

The first call is free, but changing habits takes Qi/Energy and support so there’s a whole series of four calls. The first introductory call is free, the rest of the series is a package of three calls for $90.

I’m In. Sign Me Up For the Whole Series

I’ve done it the wrong way too many times. I’ve really gained an appreciation for the idea that our energy/Qi is limited this year. Too many changes and moves really took it out of me. I’ve always had a strong constitution and have relied on stamina and cleverness to overcome lack of discipline and good habits. This year life caught up with me and I’ve had to admit my limits: I’ve been taking steps to be more mindful about conserving my energy.

2016 was supposed to be a completion year to end old cycles and to put to bed old patterns. 2017 is a new beginning year and time to expand by integrating what we have learned. Sounds good to me. So here’s some of my thoughts on why we so often fail in our resolutions:

Winter is hard time to generate willpower.

It takes willpower to create and maintain new habits. Willpower comes from Kidney Qi: Low Kidney Qi, low willpower. Winter is hard on our Kidney Qi – which makes it a hard time to make new resolutions.

The New Year is psychologically a natural time to make new resolutions. Energetically it is a hard time to make new resolutions, so energy balancing can make a real difference in generating the Will to successfully develop new habits.

Holiday treats ruin our ability to create better rhythms

New habits mean establishing new rhythms. The ability to maintain health rhythms in mind and body both depend on Spleen Qi.  Guess what? All the sugary treats that go along with the holidays trash our Spleen Qi and set us up for failure in our resolutions.

The dietary excesses of the holiday season inspire our resolutions to eat better and exercise more AND deplete our energy/Qi reserves making it harder than ever to stick to our new rhythms. Energy balancing can help to restore our Spleen Qi and our ability to create new habits.

Ever Wonder if You are Good Enough to Deserve Health? Or Success?

I’ll be honest: I do – as in I wonder. Some days I look at the gifts the Universe has given me and I wonder why I am not using them more fully. And other days I wallow in the self-doubt that tells me vibrant health and success are only for some mysterious club of special people that I am not a member of.  Inability to have faith in Divine Will is a Qi imbalance, and we can work on that with Accunect.

If any of the above speaks to you, and if you would like 2017 to be a year where you set achievable resolutions that you keep, then join me for a free call on New Year’s Day. If you like that call, sign up for the whole series beginning on January 15th.

For more information, read the Habits for Health and Wealth page.

To signup for the free call or to signup for the whole series:
Sign Me Up For the Free Call

The first call is free, but changing habits takes Qi/Energy and support so there’s a whole series of four calls. The first introductory call is free, the rest of the series is a package of three calls for $90.

I’m In. Sign Me Up For the Whole Series

 

 

 

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Blogpost

New Blog

Welcome to my new blog.

I’ve just recently put together DrKaimi.com so that I can have a voice that is more personal than the blog that I write for Accunect.com. Every time I read an article about anything to do with health, I find myself comparing the content of the article with my perspective on the issue based on my 27 years of studying and practicing Chinese Medicine. There’s just so many things where I find myself thinking that people should have access to a different or fuller perspective on the issue. Well that’s what I think when I’m relatively calm. There are some topics where I see so much pain and suffering arising out of ignorance that I get a little angry and find myself thinking “If you’re a doctor you’re supposed to keep up on your reading! This is so basic, how can anyone who is well read not know this?”

I’m entitled to my opinions, but some of them just aren’t really related to the theory and practice of Accunect, they’re just my opinions. So I hold back those topics from the Accunect.com blog. But on the off chance that anyone finds my opinions interesting, here is my new blog. I may experiment with turning on comments to see how well the spam filter in WordPress screens out robots posting ads. But until I decide to turn on comments, if you have a question or comment, or want me to post on a particular topic, just email me at team@drkaimi.com.