Friday, February 29, 2008

Lao-Tzu, Time...

"Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time,' is like saying, 'I don't want to."

- Lao-Tzu

Almanor sunset, Feb. 27, 2008

Got the Flu? Try Oscillococcinum

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy marketed by the French company Boiron. While Wikipedia denounces it as mainly a placebo benefit, due to lack of scientific basis, I have used this myself and have known many others who have found it to bring significant relief to the flu, and to shorten the duration by days if taken early enough.

As far as the placebo effect is concerned, that is the mind-body connection at it's simplest. ALL DRUGS have a placebo effect, don't be fooled into thinking otherwise. What we believe in our minds has a direct effect to the immune system. Our cells are eavesdropping every thought and feeling!

This product is inexpensive, simple and safe to take, and I have personally been prescribed this over the counter product by my family physician in the past. It's in my cabinet, waiting for the next flu victim, like my neighbor last week. Though seriously ill with flu, he claims to have experienced 5 hours of relative comfort after taking a dose of oscillococcinum. That is one testimony of many I have heard over the years. This is not a substitute for medical care, of course! But if you are home feeling miserable, waiting out the virus, drink plenty of fluids, get your rest, and give this a try. It can be found at most drug stores and pharmacies, as well as natural food stores.

From the Boiron website: As soon as you start feeling run-down or have other flu-like symptoms, take Oscillococcinum. Oscillo® is regulated as a drug by the FDA and is supported by published clinical studies as well as more than 65 years of use throughout the world.

  • Clinical studies show that Oscillo reduces the severity and duration of flu symptoms
  • Great taste and convenient to take
  • No side effects or interactions with other medications
  • Good for everyone 2 years of age and older

Friday, February 8, 2008

Nutrition and Health with Elson Haas, MD

Bay area integrative MD Elson Haas will be speaking on talk radio tomorrow. Tune in if you get the chance, he is an inspiring nutritionist.

Saturday 2/9/08 at 9:00 AM on KGO AM out of San Francisco with long time radio health queen Joanie Greggains. We (Haas & Greggains) will talk about nutritional health and balance, and many other health topics. The show is aired at every Saturday, 8-10 AM Pacific, where it can be heard "live" or can be accessed under "Archives" for 7 days after the show. It can also be downloaded as an MP3 file after the broadcast (for 7 days thereafter).

Elson M. Haas, MD
is a medical practitioner with more than 35 years experience in patient care, always with in an interest in natural medicine. A
popular author of seven books in the areas of Health, Nutrition, and Detoxification, and these publications include Staying Healthy with the Seasons, The New Detox Diet, and Staying Healthy with Nutrition. His website includes an Article of the Month and Health Tips of the Month.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Can a massage cause a stroke?

Q: I have a deep muscle massage every month or so. After my sister had a stroke, I started worrying that my massages could loosen any plaque in my carotid arteries, which could make me have a stroke. Could this happen?

A: As you might have guessed, there aren’t any solid scientific data on this question. But there are a few things we do know that should put your mind at ease. Most atherosclerotic plaques are firmly bonded to the artery wall. It is rare for plaque to suddenly break free, travel through the circulation, and block an artery in the brain. It is far more common for small breaks in the surface of a plaque to cause fragile blood clots that can easily break free.

Can a massage break open a plaque, leading to a blood clot? That isn’t likely. The force of a vigorous massage doesn’t really compare with the constant pounding that plaque faces with each individual heartbeat, or with the increase in blood pressure that occurs when you get out of bed in the morning to brush your teeth. So when it comes to stroke, having a deep muscle massage should be fine.

One caution about massage. The carotid arteries, which run along either side of the neck, have nerve endings that respond to changes in blood pressure. Massaging these sensors can decrease the heart rate, sometimes enough to cause fainting. In some people, the sensors are so sensitive that merely tightening a necktie or turning the head can make them pass out. This is called carotid sinus hypersensitivity.

I know I’m not keen on the idea of someone wrapping his or her hands around my neck. You might want to ask your massage therapist to stay away from that part of your body. — Richard Lee, M.D.
Associate Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
This Question and Answer first appeared in the
January 2008 Harvard Heart Letter,
available at
Copyright 2008 by Harvard University