November is Caregivers Month! 2 Gifts Caregivers Really Need

Wow, it’s November and it’s National Family Caregivers Month. I was watching CBS News this morning, and they were showing suicide statistics. During this pandemic, caregivers have the second-highest suicide rate.  

Caregiver Survival GuideI remember being here last year with my book “Caregivers Survival Guide, How to Eliminate Stress in 30 Minutes and Other Useful Tools.”

I don’t know how a whole year has passed. It hasn’t helped that this year has been a time warp of events that have pretty much made no sense. What has made this year incredibly challenging for caregivers is the pandemic. As the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 increases, the challenges increase. 

To caregivers, I want to acknowledge you for opening yourself up to one of the most potent experiences this life will offer. Every caregiver must navigate the diversity of emotions and energy caregiving takes. Here are two things you can do to help anyone who is a caregiver. 

Caregiving is filled with love, joy, exhilaration, beauty, pain, and sorrow. This creates a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s the emotional rollercoaster that caregivers need help processing. 

If you are a friend of a caregiver, one of the best gifts you can give them is time…time to listen and talk with them. Just like new mothers sometimes need a break from baby talk and cherish the ability to have a normal grown-up chat, caregivers need that break, too. If you can be a friend who allows a caregiver to unload some of the pain of caregiving, you would be genuine gold. Being that friend can mean the difference between surviving another day when the s**t got really real or having a breakdown. 

I have a great friend who is that true gold friend. I would be upset and she would listen to me and sympathize because even though you love people, it doesn’t mean it will always be sunflowers and roses. A normal relationship will have conflicts. Caregiving can be more surreal than other relationships. What I noticed happened for caregivers is that there will be one story of frustration playing out repeatedly. 

You’ll hear the same story not because they can’t get over it. You’ll hear it repeatedly because caregivers are in the middle of a crisis with other people who are also in the middle of a crisis. It’s not the best time to think they will go through an in-depth self-discovery. It would be best if you were amazed that they are not self-medicating, screaming at the top of their lungs, and checking out.

Caregivers need someone to tell their story. Talking is one of the critical ways people process and release stress. A 1988 study found talking about your problems and sharing negative emotions in a safe environment was profoundly healing. This type of interaction not only reduced stress, but it also strengthened the immune system and reduced physical and emotional suffering (Pennebaker, Kiecolt-Glaser, & Glaser, 1988).

To be a person with whom a caregiver can share their worst moments and most difficult emotions in a safe, non-judgmental way is one of the biggest blessings you can give a caregiver. Everyone living in a caregiving situation will have a story they need to share with others. Even though they have negative stories about people they love, realize they still love that person and are in a challenging situation. Maybe the whole point of service to another is to be vulnerable.

But there is even a bigger blessing you can give a caregiver. For caregivers who have their loved one at home and are experiencing 24×7 caregiving, the opportunity to have two to three hours for themselves is a golden gift. Caregiving has no time for yourself.  

There was a 2009 report which found caregivers commonly experience social isolation. Due to the unique time requirements of caregiving, caregivers often lacked social contact. Caregivers found they had to sacrifice their leisure pursuits and hobbies to take care of the person they loved. Caregivers may be in a situation where they have to sacrifice their future earning potential by reducing their employment. (Brodaty, Donkin, 2009) 

You remember raising the kids and how you felt you had no time for yourself. There was a difference with that. With each day, the kids gained more independence. One day they went to school, and you had the day to yourself. One day, they went to college. 

Each day, they became more and more their person. With caregiving, it goes in reverse. Each day they become more and more dependant, and each day you can lose more and more of the person you once knew. 

Before caregiving, you spent your time taking care of yourself. During caregiving, more and more of your time is taking care of someone else.  

So, the second-best gift you can give a caregiver is a bit of time for themselves. Offering to help watch their loved one even though the offer doesn’t always work out can be a windfall for the caregiver. Sometimes it doesn’t work out because the caregiver is in a situation where the age of their loved one makes it more challenging to have a third party watching them. Their loved one may find unfamiliar faces scarier and scarier, or their behavior may have become problematic due to social norms becoming more optional as you age. Offering to sit and visit with their loved one while the caregiver is in the house still gives a great break.

To be willing to give your time to a caregiver to listen to their stories or help out for a couple of hours is two of the most precious things you can provide a caregiver. It’s great to have a month that helps bring awareness to the growing responsibility and growing population of caregivers.  

Pennebaker, J. W., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Glaser, R. (1988). Disclosure of traumas and immune function: Health implications for psychotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56(2), 239–245.

 Brodaty, H., & Donkin, M. (2009). Family caregivers of people with dementia. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience11(2), 217–228.

7 Easy Eye Remedies You Can Use Right Now to Keep out Infection with Tips on Plants for Your Apothecary

Here are remedies you can find in the house and your backyard to keep your eyes healthy, irritation and infection-free. 

If you’re anywhere on the West Coast right now, you have been swallowed by smoke and ash. In the last couple of weeks, about 4.5 million acres have burned. The acreage burned in California is already 30% greater than the worse year, which was 2018 and almost 2 million acres. About 500,000 acres burned in 72 hours in Oregon. 

These fires are burning at the same time. The amount of smoke in the air is unprecedented and is beyond hazardous. Air quality warnings have been released. It is not safe to be outside even if you are wearing a mask!

The air is tinder box dry with ash gliding to the ground, wafting through the streets and surrounding homes. The smoke is blocking out so much of the sun, a day that was suppose to be 90 degrees and sunny was 66 degrees and dark. I wasn’t going outside and my eyes were getting irritated. The irritation got worse and I woke up with one of my eyes swollen and painful.  

Let’s look around the house and find home-based eyecare remedies you can use to help keep the ash out of your sensitive mucous membranes. If you are turning your garden into your own apothecary, I’m going to add some plants you can grow. With all the ash and no end in sight, you may need to use these remedies multiple times a day.

My first recommendation is to use distilled water and boil the water to kill anything that might be in it. There are so many bacteria and fungus today. City water piping can be ancient. The eye membranes are susceptible to any invaders. Besides, it’s 2020 and who knows? There is probably some weird, new, mutated spirochete waiting to slip into your eye and eat your retina. So, boil your water.

And if you make a wash, only use it one time. Don’t try to save it and use over the next few days because bacteria and other nasty things can start growing within hours of making your wash. One more thing, don’t use the same cotton ball or swab or tea bag on both eyes. It’s effortless to spread an infection from one eye to the other. 

Here are the different ways I use to keep my eye membranes clean and protect my eyes from all the ash falling down.

You can get sterile Q-tips at any drug store. These are great for applying a liquid to the eye membranes. The Q-tips are extra-long and each tip is wrapped in an individual protective package. Make sure the liquid is not too hot. You don’t want to burn your membranes. If you have styes, the Q-tips are especially effective with warm water. Just dip the Q-tip in water and rub across the stye.

You can also use Q-tips to apply other liquids like Colloidal Silver. Colloidal Silver has great antiseptic properties and can help eliminate bacteria in your eyes. Colloidal Silver at up to 20 ppm is easy to purchase online and many people keep Collodial Silver available at home. You can use a Q-tip or cotton ball to wipe your eyes. 

Boric Acid is an antiseptic powder that dissolves in boiling water and has been used for centuries as an eye treatment. This is the only eye remedy I’ve used that usually clears out eye irritation or infections in one treatment. A simple solution is 1/8 teaspoon of boric acid powder to 1 cup of water. For a stronger solution, 1 teaspoon to 1/2 cup of water. Dip a clean cotton ball into the water, close your eye, and wipe it.

What about chamomile? This is the same chamomile that you use to make teas and is found in your garden as German Chamomile. It can be found in the bulk section of some grocery stores. The easiest way to use chamomile flowers on your eyes is to buy chamomile tea in teabags and make them into a compress. Steep the tea in boiling water for a couple of minutes, pull the teabag out, squeeze out the excess water, make sure the bag is not too hot and rest it on your eyes. You can do this multiple times a day. 

I don’t know if you have ever used the Boiron homeopathic remedies? I love these products. These are the homeopathic sugar pills you can find in most natural food stores. They have a product made from eyebright, a key herb used for eye health. It is called Euphrasia Officinalis. You can take 5 pellets and let them dissolve under your tongue. Try that 3 times a day until your symptoms disappear. 

Calendula, or the marigold flower, is a favorite herb because of its action on the skin and with pain. The Latin name is Calendula Officinalis and these little annuals can grow in your backyard. To make an eyewash, use the petals of one flower steeped in 1 cup of boiling water and apply to the eye with an eyewash cup, a cotton ball as a wipe, or gauze as a compress.  

The last herb is echinacea! Who doesn’t like echinacea? Echinacea is part of the daisy family. You’ve seen them in the nursery as the coneflower plant. This little flower is a tough perennial being heat and drought resistant and indifferent to poor soil. If you don’t have a green thumb, this guy doesn’t care. You can use it the same way as calendula.

There you have it! Seven easy eye remedies you can use right now to keep out eye infections. If you are making your own garden apothecary, I’ve included three flowers you can grow to make your world more beautiful and healthy!

COVID-19! Finally Some Good News!!

Hear the Program on Your Device!

This has been a depressing year, but it looks like we might be turning the corner. 

Thank goodness for science because we have scientists worldwide who have been working night and day to learn about this virus and help us reduce and contain the virus. And thank you to all our medical professionals. They have reached hero status in my book.

What’s the good news?

Well, let me start. The research is conclusive, masks do prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here is the crazy part, the science suggests masking up could eliminate total transmission in a few weeks. Masks scientifically reduce 2/3rds of immediate transmission from infected individuals, and 40% of carriers don’t have any symptoms and are contagious. Yet, each day would be a smaller and smaller group of transmitters until we reached zero. 

That is really important part to let sink in. 

I have a lot of clients over 50. They are not going out. They are not going out because they don’t believe it is safe, and they are correct. The majority of wealth is held in this generation. It is not in the 18-29-year-olds. If we want our economy to pick up, we have to make a world where those who can significantly impact the economy can participate. 

What other neat things that the scientists found?

Humidity makes a difference. The virus is not sensitive to any of the other environment variables like temperature. COVID-19 doesn’t care about the heat or season. It cares about humidity. Science has found, humidity makes the aerosol particles too heavy, and the particles fall to the ground.

I had been watching Georgia and wondering why their rates had been low. Then things changed. By July 22nd, their ICU’s were overwhelmed, infection rates were spiking, and it was complete mayhem. 

What science thinks happened is when the weather warmed more people were using air-conditioned spaces. Air conditioning reduces the humidity in the air. There are significant increases in infections in the 40%-50% humidity zone, where we are most comfortable, versus a higher humidity level. Check out my video on the Aircare Miniconsole Humidifier. I was in Arizona, and the humidity level was 27%!!!

COVID-19 is transmitted through aerosol particles, but it has a LOW rate of reproduction. That explains the timing of COVID-19. It seems to take forever to show up, making us very weary of our vigilance. Like a slug, it slowly moves it’s ponderous body until it can crest the garden wall. 

This brings me to the next point. COVID-19 is dose dependant. This virus has a low replication rate, and you need a certain quantity before getting sick. If only one person is sick and shedding virus into the air, the amount of virus to air is pretty small, making it more difficult for the virus to infect people. But, as more and more people get sick or are in a confined area, the air dose increases until it is infectious and beyond. Space determines contagion, and outdoor ventilation reduces transmission through air dilution.

From the start of this virus, ACE2 receptors in the body are suggested as the means to infect people. These receptors are prevalent in the mouth, the bronchi, nose, and eye, which is why masks and shields work and show positive research outcomes. Most of the virus consumed by an individual will find its way to the nose.

What about immunity? There is some great news on this front. The science has brought up that cellular immunity is what protects the body from reinfection, not antibodies. The antibodies indicate you had an infection. People are concerned because antibodies to COVID-19 are gone by three months. Scientists do not think they have seen a definite reinfection case, which leads them to the hypothesis you may have gain cellular immunity. 

I’m going to put a link to the UCSF review of the latest science. They brought up masking is a behavioral change, and how do you gain behavioral change. I was around in the ’80s when HIV was creeping through our lives. It really was a discussion about how do you get people to use condoms. Even today, with all the STD’s, some people do not use condoms. Yet, it really comes down to role modeling.

I wrote an article, “When You Realize Your Part of the Toxic People and How to Walk to Healthier Ground.” Many difficulties and stresses are facing us today. It’s effortless to accidentally get sucked down in all the toxicity that is happening today and become someone else, especially when someone you love is in danger. It’s going to be up to you to role model the world you want to live in, and hopefully, that blog can give you some ideas.

The other thing I liked was that the research completely supported everything I’m doing in the office to keep the office safe. I’m in an older building and was looking at moving to a newer facility. I am so happy I didn’t. The facility I’m in allows me to open doors and get great ventilation going through the office, which significantly reduces the air dose.

That’s the latest! Great news, and we have better information to protect ourselves. Thanks guys and have a great day.

Covid-19: How the Virus Gets in and How to Block It: Aerosols, Droplets, Masks, Face Shields, & More

When a High LDL Count Doesn’t Mean You Have High Cholesterol

By all traditional counts, I have high cholesterol and have always had high cholesterol. My counts have consistently topped the border of moderately elevated to high. I think my first cholesterol test was around 20 years old. Back then, my cholesterol was 232 mg/dL.

If you don’t remember what the categories and measurements are for cholesterol, here they are.

  • Good, total count under 200 mg/dL.
  • Moderately elevated total count 200-239 mg/dL.
  • High total count of over 240 mg/dL.
  • Really high is over 500 mg/dL.

In Chinese Medicine, there are all sorts of reasons for high cholesterol. What frustrates me is I seem to be able to treat everyone else’s high cholesterol but my own. My thoughts were, “What am I missing?”

I reduced my fat intake and moved to more protein and carbs. My cholesterol didn’t budge. I started overeating protein and found that it impacted my kidneys. So, I moved to vegetables and carbs and found I was able to gain weight and feel tired. Carbs just were never my friend.

Then my cholesterol levels went up. What? I wasn’t eating fat.

I even broke down and tried statins. Within 3 days, I was able to get every side effect that was considered “serious” and warranted immediately stopping statins. 

So now what? I pretty much had given up.

I ran across “Sugar: the Bitter Truth” with Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology. When it comes to health, there is not a one size fits all. With especially complicated issues, it can take multiple different perspectives. Although this lecture is from 2009, his research is relevant and identifies non-traditional methods of getting high cholesterol.

Around 11 minutes, Dr. Lustig talks about the 1982 campaign to reduce heart disease by eliminating fat. This was part of the hypothesis that fats caused LDL cholesterol levels to increase. Over the next decades, the US reduced consumption of fats, and the rate of heart disease and heart attacks increased.  

Here is where the research starts to get interesting. We don’t just have one type of LDL. We have two. One is called LDLa and is identified as large buoyant cholesterol that floats through the bloodstream. The other is called LDLb and is defined as small dense cholesterol that can tunnel its way into the arterial walls. 

I bet that just gave you a clue that not all LDL’s are bad. The large, fluffy LDLa is actually a good LDL. The small dense LDLb is the bad stuff. The small dense LDLb is heavy and sinks to the arterial walls where it can start plaques.

If LDL is not broken out into LDLa and LDLb on your blood draw, how can you tell how much bad cholesterol you have? Dr. Lustig points to the triglyceride level. A low triglyceride level indicates your LDLa is mainly the good guys. Woot! Things are looking good. Whereas, a high triglyceride level says your LDLs are primarily the bad guys. Boo, hiss, hiss. 

Couple this with a triglyceride to HDL (high-density lipoproteins) of less than 3, and you’re doing really well.

Dietary fats raise your LDLa levels (the good guys). What surprised me was dietary carbohydrates raised your LDLb levels (the bad guys)! You saw what I said earlier. I had finally switched over to carbohydrate and vegetable diet to try and address my health and that was a complete fail. Not only was I able to gain weight, but my cholesterol levels also started spiking. 

I remember as a teenager trying macrobiotics. My mom was on a stringent macrobiotic diet for cancer. To learn more, check out my book “Caregivers Survival Guide, how to eliminate stress in 30 minutes with Chinese Medicine and other useful tools” available on Amazon. After two weeks, she said she felt great. My sister did the diet. Two weeks later, she was feeling great. I did the diet. Two weeks later, I was feeling like crap and starting to gain weight. Three weeks later, I was even more exhausted and depressed. I was bloated and weighed more. I also was not feeling an end to the “detox” portion of the eating regime. 

I finally broke my eating regime and pounded down a pizza and a milkshake and felt great. I also started losing weight. The macrobiotic diet my mother was on was a limited high carbohydrate diet. It really didn’t work for me. I wonder if part of the reason the diet worked for my mother and sister was that they were both Blood Type B and I wasn’t. To learn more about blood types, check out “Blood Types and Your Risk of Covid-19.”  Sure, it looks at how blood types affect Covid-19, but it also shows more on blood type research and how to get more information on blood types, food, and disease. 

I had an idea that carbs were my nemesis. When I started consuming high fructose corn syrup in foods, drinks, and just about anything that is food, my health worsened.

I had always thought glucose and fructose were processed the same in the body. I can tell you, my nutrition classes, my biology classes, my health classes, none of them suggested these two types of sugars were different and processed differently in the body. I took a nutrition class as recently as 2012 at Washington State University. The course talked about glucose and fructose, stating these molecules had 4 calories per gram. Not much of anything else.

The thing is, glucose and fructose are not processed anywhere near the same in the body. When you consume glucose, 80% of glucose disseminates throughout the body for immediate use. 20% is stored in the liver as glycogen. The liver can store any amount of glycogen because it is non-toxic.

Fructose is processed similarly to how the body processes ethanol in the body, except that fructose, is not metabolized in the brain. The lack of the ability of the brain to use fructose is fascinating because the most significant energy source for the brain is glucose or sugar. Also, unlike glucose, where only 20% of the sugar goes to the liver, 100% of fructose transfers into the liver. Only the liver can metabolize fructose. Watch this video to learn how to detox your liver.

As fructose is getting metabolized in the body, the molecule goes through phosphorylation. Here a phosphoryl molecule is attached to the fructose. I bring this up for only one reason. Because so much more material is being pushed through the liver when you consume fructose, it runs into a resource problem with the phosphoryl molecules. 

When I was growing up, Malt-o-milk was made with lecithin. Lecithin has a phosphate group, and I use to crave lecithin. I would put tablespoons of this in my malt. I could eat it off the spoon. Even today, I like lecithin. Today, Malt-o-milk is not made with lecithin. 

But fructose doesn’t stop there. Whereas almost no glucose is converted to fat, a whopping 30% of the fructose is converted to fat. So, when fructose is not going off increasing your blood pressure, consuming your resources, causing insulin resistance, it’s getting transformed into fat and cholesterol. 

Dr. Lustig’s information was especially relevant because my triglycerides had always been low, and HDL had always been high. If his research is correct, then my cholesterol levels are proper. Even though my cholesterol falls in the moderately high range, because my triglyceride to HDL ration and the total level of triglycerides and HDL are in the right ranges, my LDL should be the good LDL. And, Dr. Lustig’s research outlines a potential reason for my increasing cholesterol levels. Excessive consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup. 

In 2010 FDA approved statins for primary prevention of Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD). Since 2010 statins can be prescribed to every adult male over 50 years old and female over 60 years old as a preventative therapy whether the patient has high cholesterol or not. The profitability of statins increased, making it challenging to present research that takes a less than favorable light of statins. The efficacy of statins as treatment continues to depend on who you ask. 

9 Legendary Chinese Herbs to Treat Viral Infections Like the Flu

A significant concern in Western Medicine is treating viral infections. There are two treatments: vaccines and antiviral medications. Most viruses have no remedy. A few viruses like polio and measles have vaccines to help boost the immune system. Or, a few viral infections have antiviral medications. Antivirals are unique because they change the way our human cells function, not the virus.

Recently, people around the globe starting hearing about how China was using Chinese Medical herbs as critical support in their treatment of COVID-19. Chinese Medicine has a great pharmacy of herbs and herbal formulas that are antiviral, something Western medicine doesn’t have, which makes these medications rare and distinguished.

I’ve always had a hard time understanding the difference between viruses and bacterias and why antibiotics didn’t work on viruses. Long after I joined the medical profession, I understood the difference between viruses and bacterias.

When I was growing up, antibiotics were prescribed for everything. I was one of those babies who, around six months, had some sort of viral infection. The doctor prescribed rounds of penicillin that had no effect and, after a time, seemed to worsen the condition. Ultimately, I was driven 3 hours to a specialist and, since I’m writing this, I recovered.

What was interesting about that experience is it left a lasting change in my chemistry. My body no longer responded to penicillin. It was like the heavy doses of penicillin at such a young age had mutated every bacteria in my tiny frame, making them resistant to penicillin.

For years I tried to explain this resistance to my doctors. And for years, doctors worked to help me understand that I didn’t know what I was talking about. I stopped trying to tell them it was resistance and said I was allergic to penicillin.

About 20 years ago, things changed. The use of antibiotics had created “Super-bugs” like MRSA. These super-bugs were unique because they were bacterial and fungal infections that had evolved to be resistant to multiple antibiotics. I no longer had to say I’m allergic to penicillin. I could say I am resistant to penicillin, and everyone understood.

Bacteria cell structure

Viruses and bacterias are different in an extraordinary way. A bacteria is a unique, self-contained, one cell, living organism. It has everything it needs to survive and grow. The whole machinery of a bacteria cell is encased in a hard cell wall. And this cell looks nothing like a human cell.

The structure of the AIDS virus.

Viruses do not have all the equipment necessary for growth. If you look at the picture of the virus, it only has a small piece of the genetic material. In this instance, it only has the RNA replication instructions encased in the soft protein layer. To create more life, it has to hi-jack the rest of the equipment and does that by invading your human cells and taking over the cell.

Bacteria and viruses have different treatment in Western Medicine. Bacteria most often can be cured with antibiotics. Antibiotics work by addressing the unique structure of the bacteria. They find a foreign invader and change how the foreign cell works.

For viruses, viruses take over our cells. So, the treatment is different. Vaccines are geared towards igniting our immune response to the virus. A few viruses have antivirals that target our human cells after the invasion and change how our human cells function. The antivirals can’t separate the virus from us because the virus has already crawled its way into our cells and is indistinguishable from us. The antivirals can’t destroy the pathogen because that would kill us. Instead, it changes how our cells function to slow the spread and hopefully give our immune system time to catch up.

Education Chart of Biology for Classification of Animals Diagram. Vector illustration

Bottom line – when it comes to viruses in Western Medicine, your immune system is the treatment.

Yet, China has never limited itself to solely Western or non-Western medicine. It is common for hospitals in China to employ both Western-trained and Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners to treat patients with each practitioner treating the aspect most suited to medicine. The combined efforts have not changed with the treatment of COVID-19.

China mandated that Chinese Medicine be on the frontlines when treating this disease. Why is that?

The critical reason is the Chinese herbal pharmacy has antiviral herbs.

Due to these antiviral drugs, the Chinese herbal pharmacy has always been at the forefront of treating influenza. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to flu and the same herbs and herbal formulas used for the severe flu are being used in China as supportive therapy with COVID-19.

These exceptional herbs are compounded into formulas that address symptoms found in the seasonal flu, respiratory infections, and common cold. Here are nine of the herbs with researched efficacy against viruses: Lian Qiao, Da Qing Ye, Ban Lan Gen, Jin Yin Hua, Pu Gong Ying, Tu Fu Ling, Bai Tou Weng, Yu Xing Cao, and Bai Hua She She Cao.

Finally, coming to an understanding of viruses and bacteria, I was able to understand why I could be so effective in treating the seasonal flu. It also brought me a greater understanding of why the Chinese government required Chinese Medicine to be practiced alongside Western Medicine to ensure their patients the best outcomes.

I’ve been treating the flu for about a decade. A lot has happened in that time. From what I see in the clinic, the strains have been getting significantly more virulent. 2013 was the first time I saw what Chinese Medicine called a cold invasion. This year, the really tough influenza we have is a cold invasion, and China has indicated COVID-19 is a cold invasion.

To learn more about what has been happening with the flu over the last decade, check out my blog at and query “flu” or check out my Youtube channel @bestacupuncturellc for flu videos.

Here are some links to the Chinese herb discussion

U.S. experts say traditional Chinese medicine shows promise in treating COVID-19

TCM remedies cure and improve more COVID-19 patients with national promotion