Dr. Darshan S. Khalsa's Blog

THOUGHTS ON WHOLEHEALTH WELLNESS…..VISIT US AT WWW.KHALSAMEDICINE.COM TO LEARN MORE

Recent Coronavirus Post #3 March 27, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Darshan S. Khalsa @ 10:13 am

Dear Patients and Community: I have written up the notes from the March 24th video and you will find them here:

This is a summary and update of the video conference I gave on Tuesday, March 24th. First of all, thank you to all who participated, your feedback is valuable to guide further efforts. Plus, we miss seeing all of our friends and patients! I apologize for the technical failure at the end of the video conference, apparently that is not uncommon these days. I still don’t know whether it was a Zoom failure or an internet failure, probably an overload either way. We’ll try again soon. This is a summary of the remarks:

THE MAIN QUESTION: HOW DO WE STRENGTHEN OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS?

At this time there are no vaccines or other pharmaceutical interventions that can prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Your best strategy is to strengthen your own immune system. If you strengthen your immune system, you may not get sick at all even if exposed or if you do get sick your discomfort may be very mild.

There are two interconnected aspects to strengthening your immune system, mental (includes emotional) and lifestyle.

MENTAL:
Since we are all still mostly OK physically (as of March 26, 2020), our fear is generated mostly by news reports. I did a post a few days ago on the preponderance of fear inducing words in the news reports. We should not ignore the news, but we need to balance the news with more positive thoughts.

Fear and panic suppress your immune system, while laughter and positive thoughts will strengthen it. Fear engages our “fight or flight” systems and during that time most of our energy goes to short term mental, to arms, and to legs: systems we would need for fight or flight. Since our energy is finite, energy goes away from our digestion, immune systems, and repair systems at that time. Likewise, feeling calm and happy engages our “repair and restore” systems and our bodies can heal or fight off diseases.

The yogic paradigm is to see the negative, see the positive, and then bring everything to neutral. The negative mind sees what can go wrong in any situation. This is very valuable; people who have weak negative minds do not see what can go wrong and often end up dead, severely injured or in bankruptcy. The positive mind sees what can go right in a situation and gives us our impetus to take action for our benefit. The neutral mind sees what can go right, what can go wrong and proceeds with an awareness of both. When we are in our neutral mind, our immune system is at its strongest.

What is happening is serious and we should be aware of it. Here is a recent news report on the track of the virus:

https://www.nytimes.com/…/coronavirus-deaths-by-country.html

First the negative: New virus, spreading rapidly, we do not have normal immunity. Our present track as I write this is accelerating and doubling every three days or less. You can get plenty of the negative on the news… let’s put things in some perspective: Assume we maintain social distancing and are following the track of Italy (so far, we are growing faster than Italy in some of our states -New York in particular, so we may end up doing much worse). Sicknesses and deaths increase exponentially until about 3 weeks after strong control measures are instituted and then begin to level off. Anyway, Italy’s deaths will probably peak in early April and be declining or minimal by early May…we are about two weeks behind them so we should start leveling off by mid or late May (assuming we strengthen and do not relax social distancing). On this best track our expected number of deaths will be around 200,000 (less than 1 person per thousand). Without strong social distancing, our deaths could exceed 2,000,000 or even be much higher. Of course, these are just predictions based on past data but even the worst predictions call for less than three deaths per hundred people.

So, the positive is not that many deaths (you have a high chance of survival) and the situation won’t last forever. (Eventually there will be good treatment methods and a vaccine for prevention). In the meantime, many of you have much more free time and a much easier commute. As for the money, if you are healthy you can always make more money.

The neutral mind sees both of these at once and acts from a place of calm judgment. Be aware of the negative, enjoy the good fortune you still have, do what you can do, change what you can change, and be at peace.

LIFESTYLE—HOW TO STAY CALM?

THESE ARE SOME PRACTICES THAT OFTEN HELP: DRINK WATER. DO LONG DEEP BREATHING. GO FOR WALKS OUT IN NATURE (WHILE KEEPING YOUR SOCIAL DISTANCE). SUNSHINE IN GENERAL. YOGA AND MEDITATION. BE CREATIVE. LISTEN TO CALMING MUSIC. LATER, IN A FUTURE CONFERENCE, WE WILL TALK ABOUT EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE.

IN OTHER WORDS, WATCH LESS NEWS, AND DO MORE OTHER THINGS!!! (30 to 90 minutes of news per day should be more than enough to give you useful information, beyond that just over-energizes your fears and negative mind.)

THE OTHER PART OF STRENGTHENING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS DIET MODIFICATIONS. I DID A POST LAST WEEK AND HERE IS AN EXCERPT:

From my March 14th post: “The best protection we have is strengthening our immune systems. COVID-19 is caused by a virus that seems to thrive with “damp” internal conditions. Damp is a term in Chinese Medicine that refers to excess fluids of various thicknesses. Diet therapy can help a lot with the internal dampness.”

“First of all, avoid damp producing foods such as milk products, sugar, sweets (except fruit), and most grains, especially wheat. Rice seems to be OK.”

“On the plus side, you should eat much more garlic, onion, and ginger (either raw or cooked—raw is stronger but may be harder for you to digest). Aromatic herbs such as cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom are good for dispersing dampness so herbal teas are also great as long as not too much milk.”

There were a few follow-up questions at the end that we did not get to:

1. Recipes for onion, garlic, and ginger: There are abundant onion/garlic/ginger recipes on the internet. Also I will send you some recipes from the ayurvedic traditions.

2. Calmness techniques: We will review Long Deep Breathing and other techniques next time.

3. What to do if you do get the COVID-19 virus: Western medical treatments are the best for acute conditions. Follow the directions of your Medical Doctor. Once you are past any crisis, more natural techniques can help restore your balance.

4. Please feel free to email DSK@KhalsaMedicine.com with any additional questions or comments.

I hope you found this helpful. Be Well!

Darshan Khalsa, L.Ac. ,Dipl. O.M.
Khalsa Integrative Medicine, LLC
11731 Bowman Green Drive
Reston, VA 20190

 

Recent Coronavirus Post #2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Darshan S. Khalsa @ 9:58 am

From March 22, 2020:

I circled a few key words from this mornings headlines. The media is valuable, but unbalanced in its emphasis on fear and anxiety. Best to see the negative, see the positive, and bring it to neutral within yourself. Long deep breathing will calm fears. We need to be aware of what can go wrong, but not to the exclusion of what can go right.

 

No photo description available.

 

Recent Coronavirus Posts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Darshan S. Khalsa @ 9:47 am

I am mostly posting on Facebook now, but this will be a series of recent posts for those not on Facebook.

Khalsa Integrative Medicine LLC
March 14 at 11:41 AM ·
Dear Patient Community—

I’ve been doing some research into COVID-19 and I want to share some recommendations with you. This is in addition to all the advice you are getting from CDC and the Health Departments on washing your hands, social distancing, etc… and is not to be taken as specific medical advice.

The best protection we have is strenghthening our immune systems. COVID-19 is caused by a virus that seems to thrive with “damp” internal conditions. Damp is a term in Chinese Medicine that refers to excess fluids of various thicknesses. Diet therapy can help a lot with the internal dampness.

First of all avoid damp producing foods such as milk products, sugar, sweets (except fruit), and most grains, especially wheat. Rice seems to be OK.

On the plus side, you should eat much more garlic, onion, and ginger (either raw or cooked—raw is stronger but may be harder for you to digest). Aromatic herbs such as cinnamon, cloves, and cardamon are good for dispersing dampness so herbal teas are also great as long as not too much milk.

More to follow as it becomes available.
Darshan Khalsa
Khalsa Integrative Medicine, LLC
703-326-0817


General Herbal Advice from 3HO Foundation:
Onions, garlic, and ginger are known as the Trinity Roots. They are essential for cleansing, sustaining, and producing energy in the body. The beneficial effect of each of them separately is amplified when they are cooked together.
Onion
Universal healing food.
Purifies and builds new blood.
Recommended for colds, fever, laryngitis, and diarrhea.
Increases mental clarity.
Eat raw (preferred), juiced, or cooked.
Garlic
Fights viruses and bacteria.
Increases sexual energy that, with the practice of Kundalini Yoga, can be channeled upward for greater spiritual awareness.
Eat raw, baked, steamed, or in capsule form.
Ginger Root
Soothes and strengthens nerves by nourishing spinal fluid.
Increases energy and vitality.
Useful for menstruating women.
Drink as a tea or juice or use it as a spice in main dishes.
Turmeric
Good for the skin and mucous membranes.
Good for female reproductive organs.
Increases bone and joint flexibility, anti-inflammatory.
Sauté for curries, casseroles, soups, gravies, and sauces.
Tumeric needs to be cooked before eating; you can cook it with a little water to make a paste that will keep in the fridge.


Yogi Tea
Black pepper purifies the blood.
Cinnamon strengthens the bones.
Cardamom supports the colon.
Cloves build the nervous system.
Ginger, with all its benefits, is an optional addition.
Black tea (tiny amount) holds it all together.
Milk protects the colon.

[Nothing in this text should be construed as medical advice. Always check with your personal physician or licensed health care practitioner before making any significant modification in your diet, and before using any of these recipes, to insure that the recipes and ingredients are appropriate for your personal health condition and consistent with any medication you may be taking.]

 

THE FOUR LEVELS OF HEALING April 8, 2019

Filed under: energy psychology,Uncategorized,wellness — Dr. Darshan S. Khalsa @ 12:30 pm

As I’ve treated patients over the years, I have come to realize that most people have problems that occur on multiple energetic levels, ranging from primarily Physical all the way to primarily Spiritual. These levels are often abbreviated as the PEMS levels or Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual.

It may be that all problems ultimately stem from the Spiritual level and work from there to the Mental, then the Emotional, and finally to the Physical in that order. I find it most clinically useful to just work with whatever imbalances present themselves with each individual patient and not try to work in any specific order. Most problems have components on all of these levels, and helping on any one level helps all the other levels. We do know that for deep healing to take place, we need to address all of the levels.

In Chinese Medicine, physical pain is viewed as being caused by a blockage in the flow of energy. Likewise, emotional pain is caused when the emotions are not able to flow but instead become stuck. We call this condition unresolved emotions and most patients need work in this area. On the Mental level, limiting beliefs seem to be the sources of imbalances. On the Spiritual level, excessive blame and judgment lead to feelings of pain, loneliness and separation. Again, these Mental and Spiritual problems are forms of energy blockages.

Fortunately, we have many ways to help patients deal with each level of blockage. I intend to share some of these in future posts.

 

Our blog is back to life!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Darshan S. Khalsa @ 11:53 am

Restarting my blog!

It’s been 7 years since my last post, but in the interim I have learned a lot. Looks like I’ll have to figure out how to clean up the blog, plus see if I can get the obnoxious advertisements to stop appearing…my apologies in the interim, but I suppose these ads are no worse than the ads we see on Facebook and on so many websites.

The posts about updating our Long Deep Breathing App are no longer relevant—we did some updates and then discontinued the App a few years ago as the pace of device and operating system changes increased. The app served its purpose, more than 10,000 downloads, and I still teach Long Deep Breathing to almost all of my patients.

Most of the other old posts are still very accurate and relevant!

This was a housekeeping post; my next post will be about the four levels of healing.

Darshan Khalsa

 

Did you know that acupuncture improves your chances of success with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)? October 1, 2010

Filed under: acupuncture,stress,Uncategorized — Dr. Darshan S. Khalsa @ 1:12 pm
Tags: ,

We have helped many women increase their fertility and have babies, both with and without IVF. Acupuncture helps both by decreasing stress and by redirecting blood and energy flow to the reproductive system.

Here’s a link to a summary of seven NIH studies on this issue of fertility and IVF:

http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/020808.htm

Other recent studies have shown that elevated stress markers were inversely correlated with fertility. This makes a lot of sense…when we are stressed, energy is going to arms, legs, elevated heart rate, short term mental activities and other functions that we would need for “fight or flight”. Therefore our body energy is going away from our reproductive system, our digestive system and all of our other “repair and restore” functions.

 

BATTLEFIELD ACUPUNCTURE AND THE ARC OF ACCEPTANCE September 5, 2010

My previous blog post was about a pain reduction technique  called Battlefield Acupuncture.  At Khalsa Integrative Medicine we utilize both the beginning and the advanced Battlefield Acupuncture techniques and the pain reduction results have been outstanding! I believe that this technique will move much closer to mainstream acceptance within the next few years.

New ideas or medical therapies typically go through a three-step process as they move into mainstream acceptance.

The first step is to be ignored; the second step is strong opposition from mainstream medicine, and the third step is acceptance.

In the first step, therapies are often ignored when they don’t fit into the mainstream ways of thinking (It couldn’t possibly work, so why bother investigating?)

In the second step, there is some acceptance or success with the new idea, so the entrenched way of thinking begins to strongly oppose the idea. (The idea couldn’t possibly work and here are all the reasons why it couldn’t possibly work, the results must be phony, etc…, etc…)

The third step begins when there is enough success with the new idea or therapy that people many people want to use it regardless of whether it fits into mainstream medical thought. (We know it works, even if we don’t yet understand all the reasons why it works.)

An article last week in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes about Battlefield Acupuncture illustrates this three-step process very well.

Here’s the link:  http://www.stripes.com/military-turns-to-acupuncture-as-alternative-to-prescription-painkillers-1.116167

Here’s some of the article:

“As the number of prescriptions for opiate painkillers skyrockets — and more troops admit abusing those drugs — the military has been forced to look beyond conventional ways to treat pain.

“This is a nationwide problem,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Thomas, assistant Army surgeon general. “We’ve got a culture of a pill for every ill.”

In June, the Army surgeon general released a report addressing the lack of a comprehensive pain-management strategy, suggesting alternative treatments including meditation and yoga.

Even though some in the medical field maintain that acupuncture has never been proved effective, the Air Force sees it as one of the more promising alternatives to combat pain.”

The article goes on to quote many patients and doctors saying what great results they are getting with alternative techniques in general and Battlefield Acupuncture in particular, and other doctors saying it can’t possibly work and therefore it doesn’t work.

It looks like we are somewhere between steps two and three in the arc of acceptance—the technique has had enough success that it is no longer ignored, and it is now accepted by some and strongly rejected by others.

Over the years, I have seen the same arc occur with acupuncture in general, organic foods, yoga, meditation, herbal medicine, energetic medicine, kinesiology, and many other modalities.  This gradual acceptance is part of the process we go through individually and collectively when we are exposed to new ideas.

I am very gratified to see such a conservative and traditional institution as the military begin to embrace alternative therapies.  In this the military is beginning to exemplify the highest form of conservatism:  a practical examination of what works and what doesn’t work.  Then, if it works let’s use it more, if it doesn’t work let’s try something else.

 

Sunlight, Vitamin D, and Heliotherapy May 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized,wellness — Dr. Darshan S. Khalsa @ 9:58 am
Tags: , , , , ,

It is well established science that our bodies manufacture Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight and that Vitamin D serves many important health functions with our cells and organs. It is becoming well established science that supplementing with Vitamin D has numerous benefits. It is not yet established science (but I believe that it someday will be) that receiving sunlight is far superior to taking Vitamin D supplements.

First some background: Vitamin D does not meet the technical definition of a vitamin as something that is essential to human health but that cannot be produced by the body. Vitamin D is essential to our health (used in calcium and phosphorous metabolism, a strong role in the immune system, anti-cancer properties, and much more); however it can be produced by our bodies when we are exposed to the UVB rays of the sun. This role of sunlight was not known when the substance was first discovered and named. Once something is named, the name usually sticks, so Vitamin D it is and will remain.

Cholecalciferol or Vitamin D3, is the natural form of vitamin D for humans. Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin with sunlight exposure. Vitamin D2, known as ergocalciferol, is a compound produced by irradiating yeast with ultraviolet light. As a supplement, Vitamin D3 is much easier to metabolize than the D2 form.

There is some controversy over the optimal amounts of Vitamin D. The 400 IU amounts of Vitamin D found in many multiple vitamins are usually sufficient to prevent severe deficiencies but are usually not enough to provide optimal amounts. 2000 IU is usually taken as a safe optimal daily dose when supplementing; the only way to know for sure is have your Vitamin D levels tested. Blood levels of Vitamin D less than 20 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter) is considered deficient while somewhere between 40 ng/ml and 70 ng/ml is considered optimal

Now for sunlight: 30 minutes of summer sunlight can produce up to 20,000 IU of Vitamin D for someone exposed to the mid-day sun while wearing a bathing suit without sunscreen. However, at our latitude, little or no Vitamin D will be produced by sunlight exposure from November through March. I had my Vitamin D levels tested in early April which should be somewhere near the annual low—mine was at 17 ng/ml which is just below the minimum recommended 20 ng/ml. Now it is May, and sunlight is abundant so I expect my levels by the fall will be quite high again. I think I’ll get retested then just to see…

The latest research shows that the dangers of too little sunshine exposure with subsequent low Vitamin D levels far exceed the dangers of too much sunlight exposure. (Don’t get sunburned though!) This leads to the following question: Why not simply supplement with vitamin D3 and not worry about getting sunshine? To me, this is similar to the question of why not just supplement with vitamins and ignore what we eat. I think that just as we are discovering that there are many previously unknown micro-nutrients that our bodies need in foods, we will discover that sunshine helps our bodies produce far more than simple Vitamin D.

Science is beginning to show this. Here’s a link about a study showing that the effects of sunlight were greater than the effects of Vitamin D in reducing the incidence of multiple sclerosis symptoms: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/uow-sel032210.php

Over time, I think that many other studies of this nature will be performed. In the meantime, heliotherapy (therapy with sunshine) has a long and successful history of promoting wellness and curing disease. Sunshine is cheap and abundant this time of year, so get out in the sun! Start with 15 or 20 minutes at a time with no sunscreen, but don’t let yourself get sunburned. For most of you, 90 to 150 minutes per week of direct mid-day sun should be sufficient. You will feel so much more relaxed!   In October, when the sun starts to get lower in the sky, I’ll recommend some vitamin D3 supplementation for many of you.

 

Updated IPhone App version coming soon February 26, 2010

Filed under: stress,Uncategorized,yogic breathing techniques — Dr. Darshan S. Khalsa @ 7:11 pm
Tags: , ,

An updated version of our Long Deep Breathing Application will be available soon…

In response to your requests, we will be including a way to do more advanced breathing exercises (called pranayams in the yogic tradition) by individually adjusting the inhale, hold-in, exhale, and hold-out times.  I’ll let you know when it is ready.

There are many wonderful ways to do breathing exercises and each has slightly different effects.  The simple and basic Long Deep Breathing exercise remains the best for beginners and those who want to reduce their stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improve their overall health.

Here are some instructions on how to do Long Deep Breathing:

Sit with your spine straight or lay on the floor with your spine straight. All inhaling and exhaling is through the nose.
Exhale all the air out of your lungs through your nose by contracting your navel point back toward the spine. Now inhale deep, pushing the navel point out and expanding the lower one-third of your lungs. Then consciously expand the middle portion of your lungs by expanding your chest. Finally expand the upper third of your lungs. Your collarbone will lift slightly and your shoulders may go back slightly. Once you have reached the full inhale, hold for a second or so, and then reverse the process. Exhale first the top, then the middle, finally the bottom. At the end of the exhale, immediately begin the next inhale.
This process will feel very natural after a little practice.
If the breath feels jerky, you are probably trying too hard. Just relax and continue practicing. Here is a simple fix: put a finger about four inches in front of your torso. As you breathe, move your finger smoothly up and down, from the level of your navel to your chin. Let this be a guide, raising the finger as you inhale and lowering as you exhale. You will soon be breathing smoothly. Think of a big pitcher slowly filling with water, starting at the bottom and slowly filling to the top, with the opposite on the exhale.

 

Another Long Deep Breathing Newpaper Article!

This article form the Fairfax Times actually came out in December, 2009.   In addition to talking about the Long Deep Breathing App, it talks  about our practice.

Here’s the link:

http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/cms/story.php?id=779

Here’s the article:

by Gregg MacDonald | Staff writer

Shamus Ian Fatzinger/Fairfax County Times
Darshan S. Khalsa, of Reston’s Khalsa Integrative Medicine, LLC, displays the iPhone application he helped design to lead users through a series of deep breathing exercises.
A Reston alternative healer has teamed up with a Herndon software developer to create an iPhone software application that helps people practice holistic deep breathing techniques — and it is selling all over the world.