I have never met a paraplegic person who did not, at some point, mention how lucky they were not to be a quadriplegic. And I have often met quadriplegic people who are grateful to still be alive and able to enjoy their families and their work. We have all met injured people who, despite their disabilities, astound us with their optimism and good humor.
As a relationally-oriented therapist I know that relationship distress is the main reason that people seek psychotherapy. Our brains are hardwired with social circuitry that privilege emotions and our fundamental need for close attachments with others. They are imprinted in our survival code. We are innately interdependent…read more
Four years ago, I moved from the outer Mission district of San Francisco, to the lush, green wine country of Northern California. In short order, I acquired a 1952 Chrysler from a local surfer moving to Florida to “catch the waves man!” I purchased the “bomb” (as this type of car is commonly known amongst lowriders) dirt cheap. I just couldn’t pass it up…read more
Now, Halloween, 2017…
In a phone call from my primary physician, I received the diagnosis of lung cancer, diagnosed through a CT Scan a few days prior. A multi-year bout of fatigue and inexplicable symptoms with unknowable causes was at last a real thing. It could be seen, assessed, treated and healed. My wife was in the room with me when my doctor called. Speakerphone…
Bigger than ever, with a place for you to engage.
For over half a century, the concept of wellness has infiltrated communities, schools, workplaces and health care throughout the U.S. and abroad, inspiring people to embrace healthier lifestyles. Wellness has been a movement, profession, and industry, but most of all, wellness continues to evolve as a dynamic process that has now inspired four generations. While wellness as a concept is often criticized as a soft science with insufficient data or questionable ROI, the irony is…read more
Somewhere on the path of being a clinical psychologist who is also a Tai Chi instructor, these two seemingly disconnected roles intersected. I began to see the limitations of purely cognitive and mindfulness-based interventions that did not directly integrate the wisdom and resourcefulness of the body into treatment. And this was a two-way street; without an awareness of my body (e.g., posture, eye contact, vocal tone) in the consultation room…read more
Biological Considerations from a Philosopher of Science
The correlation could not be more clear. Recently the US Surgeon General reported that in the early 1960’s adult obesity was at 13% whereas the percentage of the adult population who smoked was at 42%. Flash forward to today and that correlation is almost perfectly inverted…read more
by Paul R. Perchonock, MD
It’s 1970, and I am training to become a doctor. I had just spent four years in North Philadelphia as a medical student and six weeks of 1969 in San Francisco at St Mary’s Hospital, across Stanyan from Golden Gate Park. I’d finish rolling plaster on a broken arm in my orthopedic clerkship, then I’d roll a joint, head for Hippie Hill, rage against Nixon and…read more
By Lydia Akhzar, LAc
In Buddhist philosophy, patience is considered one of the Ten Perfections; a virtue when practiced diligently, will lead to a perfect way of being. The key to understanding this achievement is the word practice. Allowing oneself the time to exercise the ability to be patient with ourselves and the world around us takes effort and time — not for the weak willed or complacent…read more
by Kevin R. Stone, MD
Physician education today focuses on the “human” side of medicine: kindness, generosity, and ethical behavior.
When patients are asked what they like most about their doctors, they often mention that “He or she listens to me,” “Answers my questions,” or “Is kind.” At a recent “white coat” ceremony, where new medical students receive their first white coats as a symbol of entry into the profession, each presenter spoke of infusing their training journey with humanism…
By Chanda Williams
Yesterday I was locked up in San Quentin.
It wasn’t permanent. I was there teaching yoga.
I heard the alarm sound about fifteen minutes into the start of our yoga practice. I asked the men if there was anything we needed to do and they told me that as long as we were in the room, we were ok. It’s not unusual for the alarm to go off. It has happened while I taught there before…
By Nicole Bianchi, N.C.
It would not be January if we all did not get the invitation to reinvent ourselves. According to popular media, the new year means a new you and a new me. I am tempted to grab a pencil and make a list of all the changes I want to make: I should start getting up earlier, doing yoga daily, giving my kids more variety in their lunches, saying “no” more often, and on and on…read more
By Benjamin R. Tong, PhD
Back in the late 1980s, I saw in psychotherapy a 39-year old Taiwan-born woman; a “very Americanized” high level business professional, who complained of an emotionally and verbally abusive husband, also a Taiwan-born professional in the world of high finance. She wanted to divorce him but was clearly conflicted. Both extended families back home in Taiwan were pressuring her to tough it out, lest a ‘failed’ marriage cause ‘loss of face’ to significant kin. This would invite great shame from others…read more
By Laura Fraser
My older sister, Jan, visited me in San Francisco last spring. “You look great,” I told her, noticing that her clothes were hanging loose; she’d been heavy most of her life. “I’ve lost 60 pounds,” she said, and I automatically congratulated her. “I wasn’t trying,” she replied. It hit me then that something was very wrong, first with her health, but also with the way I assumed that her weight loss was a sign of well-being…read more
by Daniel Linder, M.F.T.
I have been a practicing therapist (MFT) since 1981. When I am asked about my clinical orientation or my primary influences or leanings, I sum it all up in one statement, “I am a self and relationship based therapist; an Addiction Specialist and Relationship Trainer.” I attribute my 30 plus years of experience working with addiction, recovery and relationship related issues to who I am, what I’m most passionate about and to what I’ve always been most passionate about—the inner workings of relationships…read more
I came to chiropractic from yoga. As a practitioner of Hatha Yoga and a follower of the teachings of an enlightened master, I saw chiropractic health care as perfectly aligned with my spiritual path. I embraced the chiropractic “Big Idea” that the body was a perfectly created, self-healing mechanism that needed neither drugs nor surgery to manifest its perfection. My role as “doctor” was primarily to identify the obstacles to my patients’ expression of health, whether wrong lifestyle, wrong diet, etc. and offer possible solutions towards eliminating the obstacles and allowing the body to heal itself. Thirty five years later, this remains my mantra. I’ve long abandoned the concept of being a “healer”…read more
By Denise Cicuto, L. Ac.
In the past week in the United States we’ve been bombarded with news of a sexual assault offender in Palo Alto, California who was sentenced to only six months for his crime. (The victim’s impact statement was read aloud by members of Congress just last night.) On Sunday June 12th, we awoke to news about the worst hate crime in the history of the LGBTQIA+ community in the United States, that happened at a queer nightclub in Orlando, Florida. News stories affect people in different ways. Shock, anger, grief, fear, worry are some of the emotions we may experience. How do we take care of ourselves during times like this? How can Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine help?…read more
By Payal Bhandari, M.D.
Whether you suffer from seasonal allergies or year-round allergy symptoms, allergies can take a real toll on your body, and get in the way of everyday quality living. Allergies affect an estimated 50 million people in the United States. The rate has been increasing every year. In fact, allergies are the fifth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. for people of all ages. It is also the third most common chronic illness in children under 18 years old. Is it a cold or allergies? If you’ve been sneezing and suffering from a runny nose, coughing, or congestion, your first thought might be that you have a cold. However…read more
By Ricky Fishman, DC
Most people come to see me because they have pain: neck pain, lower back pain, head pain. And they want relief. I first take a history. How long have they had the complaint? What makes the pain worse? What relieves it? Have they had any car accidents or sports injuries? What kind of work do they do? Do they exercise? And so on. Then I do a physical exam. I look at their posture. How do they hold themselves in space? Are their heads tipped forward? Are their shoulders rounded? …read more
By Ricky Fishman, DC
With seemingly clear boundaries between our bodies and the world through which we move, it’s easy to feel separated from everything outside our skin. But as physical, chemical, emotional, and energetic beings, this perception belies our true nature. Our five senses–hearing, touch, smell, taste, and sight–are directed primarily outward. They help us to navigate the material world, to survive so we may pass our DNA on to future generations. This Darwinian narrative has framed many of our modern ideas about health and healing…read more