Monthly Archives: December 2013

‘Tis the Season To Give Back

Collage Real FinalAt Health Concerns, we love the idea of making a difference in people’s lives through our products and through you, our practitioners.  It’s an idea that drives us to strive for excellence at all times.  We enjoy finding other ways to make an impact, as well.  This year, we set about looking for the perfect opportunity to give back to the community in a way that would make a meaningful difference.  This is after all, the time of the year when we are particularly mindful of the needs of those surrounding us.

We set some time aside to volunteer at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, a fantastic local non-profit and force for good here in the bay area. The ACCFB handles an incredible amount of food and relies on 12,000 volunteers each year to ensure they reach as many people in need as possible.  Collecting and distributing enough food for 49,000, the organization serves one in six residents of Alameda County.  The largest demographic served by ACCFB is made up of children and teens under 18, making up 42% of their clients.  The second largest group is made up of people aged 50 years or older.

Each year, the Boy Scouts of America have a food drive, soliciting and collecting donations to benefit food banks nationwide.  Thanks to these efforts, ACCFB’s three acre warehouse is packed with 115,000 pounds of donated food that will be fully cycled back into the community within a few short weeks.  Health Concerns staff was there to help sort the many boxes of food that will eventually find their way to the homes of those who need it through various local outlets.  Seeing the volunteers and food bank staff gathered and cheerful, ready to work for a common good on a brisk winter morning was a truly inspiring way to spend the day.  If you are interested in making a donation to the ACCFB, you can find more information here.

During this holiday season, we hope you discover your own ways of finding the holiday spirit and spreading joy wherever possible.

Wishing you and yours all the best,
Happy Holidays from Health Concerns

Six Lessons Western Medical Practitioners Can Learn From Traditional Chinese Medicine

For BlogIn a culture dominated by Western medical philosophy, it’s sometimes nice to be reminded how much Traditional Chinese Medicine has to offer.  In an article published on Psychology Today’s website, Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and Director of Patient-Centered Care Research at Georgetown University, describes a recent trip to China where she became fascinated with TCM.

As one who grew up in China, Dr. Wen was culturally aware of TCM, but knew nothing beyond two facts: it involved herbs and many Chinese people embraced it.  Her medical education drew her to major academic centers in the U.S.—establishments that tend to devote little attention to alternative medicines.  When she returned to China primarily to study its medical system, she became preoccupied with TCM practitioners and spent much of her free time shadowing them.  Here are six simple, but profound things she learned from her time there:

  1. Listen—really listen.  To practice TCM is to listen with “your whole body.”  Pay attention and use every sense you have.
  1. Focus on the diagnosis.  Treatment should be diagnosis-based.  Moving forward with a treatment when a cause is not identified is fruitless.  Always begin with the diagnosis.
  1. Treat the whole person.  The difference between Eastern and Western medicine is that the latter treats the patient as an organ and the former treats the patient as a whole.
  1. Health is not just about disease, but also about wellness.  Many choose to see a TCM practitioner not when they’re sick, but to maintain and improve wellness.   This approach to health and prevention should be carefully considered by the west.
  1. Medicine is a life-long practice.  Eastern medical practices place value on age and experience, it is, after all, thousands of years old.  Practitioners are expected to commit to life-long learning.
  1. Evidence is in the eye of the beholder.   Evidence is important.  So is research.  But research is done on populations and medical treatment is done with individuals.  Sometimes the most important evidence is meeting those for whom TCM has made a difference.

Click here to access the entire article at Psychology Today where you can read more about Dr. Wen’s experience and observations.

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