Monday, July 15, 2013

 July 15, 2013

Alice Walker writes about many good things and always speaks from the heart. Here's what I read tonight, under a quarter moon setting into the Gulf of Mexico, with drops of an earlier rain still falling from pine needles overhead.

All of us on this Earth are exactly who we have been waiting for. It is for us to change the direction of the planet and we must not lose our belief that we can do so. 
From Human Sunrise: A Letter to the Graduating Class of Naropa University, June 2009

I can't help but wonder, on this beautiful night, so wet that I can hear the plants growing, that she was right. We are a new people, one growing into biosphere consciousness, a generation who treasure wisdom - of the ancients, of indigenous people, and of contemporary wise men and women like Alice Walker -  a new generation of joyful people who value peace, who recognize the need for equality. We reach back to the wisdom of our forefathers who gave us the concept that all are created equal, and we embrace the understanding of our indigenous elders that we are but a part of creation, and with deep respect we acknowledge that all living things and the earth itself are to be treasured. 

I have always aligned with Taoist philosophy. My mentor Share K. Lew was of a traditional temple in Canton, a place of kung fu monks, sacred warriors with gentle souls and farmers hands. He passed in 2012. I arranged for Chinese friends in Guangzhou to make the pilgrimage to his temple and on an auspicious day according to Chinese astrology, to hold ceremony with the remaining monks at his former temple. I have even been to the westernmost gate in the mountains of Szechuan Province where legend has it that the guard requested he not pass (in to Tibet) until he leave his teachings in writing. I mediated on the spot where he supposedly wrote the Tao Te Ching

Practicing Qi Gong in Southern China

The hills were as if alive, a wood of tangible peace and sacred silence. I didn't want to leave. The wooden gate was simple, worn, replaced so many times over so many thousand years - and yet, to me, it was the same as when he was on his way to leave his present for another presence. 

Share K. Lew repeatedly taught me that the Tao was to be lived, not talked about. The way to live it, he suggested, was to "follow nature." I've had no insights, but I've been learning. Perhaps unlearning is a better way to put it: as I let go, nature comes with such synchronicity, simple yet elegant: a Sandhill crane with ruby head cap, an Everglades kite pausing directly overhead so close I can see it's eye turn down to look at me, a redtail hawk gliding on to a branch in the tall pines in my garden. 

Sife Lew at his temple on Luo Fu Shan
Find those moments, as Alice Walker advises in her letter, those brief infinities, and rise and join together and plan ways to protect the earth and all creatures, and each other. Make peace with your life so you can free up all your creative energy to provide for the great challenges of this age. 

Thanks so much to inspiring writers like Alice Walker and to my enigmatic Taoist mentor, Sifu Share K Lew, and to all living beings.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cuba: Now, Then, and Never

I just returned from Havana. It was my third trip. In Spanish, it's La Habana, which sounds smoother, nicer, and rings right to the vibe of the street and the night. Pico Iyer's "Havana Nights" didn't get it right. But his later works resound with literary wisdom and cool intellectualism. Havana continues to defy every one. defines you in incomprehensible ways. Even Hemingway, after many decades, was ousted. The place does that to you. It holds you close and then lets you go.

Cubans drift northward, crossing the puddle, El Charco. Legally or illegally. On the other side of the country, Mexico has it's own way of talking about El Norte, the north. You risk your life crossing La Frontera. For Cubans, the pass through the water world of the Gulf of Mexico to arrive on the Florida Keys, Miami, or the shores northward by Fort Myers and Sarasota. There's no press. No CNN Atlanta team picks up on this migration. Cuba is adrift. No one seems to care. Forgotten.

My first trip there was in 1998 where I spoke on sustainable medicine at an international economic conference. Who then was discussing the need for sanity in healthcare. There is no sustainable economy without a sustainable medicine. Without a form of healthcare that serves the people, that tend to the sick, ailing, and dying, there is no humane society, no enlightened culture, and no long term sustainability of any nation.

The integrative medicine miracle that Cuba so strongly embraced in the 90s is largely forgotten. Not altogether gone, just dissipated, in disrepair before it even became useful. The organic agriculture movement turned the island into a 100% organic nation, but the choices are limited, seasonally strapped, and commercially lacking in appeal. So what if they have non-genetically modified organically grown, seasonally ripe, tomatoes if they can't get them to market because there is no gasoline.

Some thing has to change. Or, does it? We advance, they go backward. The gap widens. The people become more desperate. Apathy marks the pathos. Even Son, Cuban salsa is hard to fine. There is no more music in the streets. It's hard scrabble morning to night.

If you look at my photos, it's simple, surreal and different from the US, so real, raw, amazing...and so close. When you there, among the people, in the street, out of the tourist hotels, away from government organized tours, you see, and hear, and smell the decay of buildings, or souls.

Around you, the sky is filled with thunder. Lightening is sharp and transparent bright white staccato moments break through the darkness. Rain pours down. Sun breaks through, hot and glistening. The old cars: Ford Farlanes, Buicks, and Chevys every where ply the streets. The women dance when they walk. The older people vibrant with life until their last breath.

Don't wait on the Cuban government to do a thing. If there is such a thing a moral imperative, it is the obligation of the US to make a show of political compassion and begin a gradual lifting of the economic embargo. The Cuban people has suffered enough. Cuba is not a threat to the US. It is not an enemy, and never was. And if governments wont' do any thing, then we the American people must. Ah...Cuba...may you live forever, and change soon with or without our help.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Natural Iron Chef

Raw versus cooked foods. Which is best?

I'm continuously amazed at the contemporary trendiness of what was a revolution for some of us in the 1960s and 70s. Against the social, political, familial, and religious grain we whole heartedly tried raw food diets, fasting, vegetarianism, and macrobiotics (which came later). Now, it's as if it were all some thing completely new.

What's even more amazing to me is the most of the adherents to the latest trendy diet, raw foods included, are not professionally trained in any medical discipline. It's all about opinion and marketing hype. Not at all about knowledge, experience, or wisdom. The good news, however, is that some doctors are getting the message that there's money to be made in natural health and some, self-proclaimed specialists in integrative medicine, are becoming experts in medical detoxification and biological therapies that actually help patients. Two M.D.s in this category are Norman Cousins and Helen Ross who treat diabetes with a 30-day natural raw foods diet.

As you might expect at the end of the 30 days of no Coca Cola, no sugar, no white bread, no processed or junk food of any kind, people started to get better and their blood sugar began to normalize. So, does that mean that raw foods are good for every one all the time and that every body should forever adopt an organic raw foods diet for the rest of their lives? Absolutely not!

But, is a 30-day detox, avoidance of commercially processed foods, and the adherence to a rigid diet of raw vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, seeds and nuts, and juices good for you. Absolutely yes! Can it cure diabetes II? Yes, very likely as Drs. Cousins and Ross have shown in their work, and as we in the natural healing profession have demonstrated over decades, diabetes is a life style disease of modern living. It's not that raw foods are a miracle cure. It's that unhealthy, processed foods overloaded with sugars are bad for you.

My recommendations:
  1. Take the 30-Day Detox Challenge promoted in Raw for 30 Days:
  2. Follow the nutritional supplement guidelines I outline in my previous blog
  3. Monitor your blood sugar (glucose) levels before and after, and also your blood pressure and lipid levels
You can order medical grade nutritional supplements through my website:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Diabetes? II

The message to you from my last two blogs is that metabolic diseases are complex and require an integrative solution. A simple diagnosis of diabetes II and standard drug therapy with outdated dietary advice is an incomplete attempt that doesn't work. At best, it helps managing glucose levels, but never cures.

Effective therapeutic strategies include the following:
  • DIET - increased healthy fats and oils, increased (but not excess) protein, NO simple refined carbohydrates and sugars, complex whole grains and cereals, and smaller amounts at meals.
  • EXERCISE - resistance strength training and aerobic exercise is essential.
  • WEIGHT LOSS - many diagnosed with diabetes II are over weight....start a serious, gradual, healthy weight loss program. Aim at losing 4 pounds each month until you reach your ideal BMI (body mass index).
  • NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: many nutrients support metabolism....the most effective for metabolic disease are lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, vitamin C, chromium, and Omega-3 fish oils.
  • HERBAL MEDICINE: many herbs help lower glucose and support metabolism including ginseng, dandelion root, Gymnema sylvestre, and bitter melon. Traditional Chinese herbal formulas, combinations of synergistic herbs, are very helpful.
It is my clinical experience, that diabetes II and related metabolic diseases are caused by modern living, over eating, and lack of nutrients in our soils. With the right program, these conditions are nearly 100% curable. For more information, see my website:

Be strong and healthy!

Dr. Williams

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Confusing Diagnoses II

In my last blog, I described how complicated the diagnosis of diabetes is getting, but how some doctors insist that it's the same old disease of high glucose just different. However, this flawed thinking keeps people sick and dependent on pharmaceutical solutions that don't work. The reason is that these solutions focus on the lab test number and not on the patient. In other words, getting the fasting glucose below 126 is the goal. Sounds simple enough. But what if the patient is obese, has fatty liver disease, smokes, eats processed foods, and doesn't exercise? Because most disorders of metabolism are life style induced diseases, there is no permanent cure without the major clinical focus on diet, exercise, and nutritional supplementation to provide key nutrients to improve body chemistry.

But, is diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndromes that only confusing diagnoses? By no means! Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, thyroid conditions, autoimmune disorders of the connective tissue, fatigue syndromes, migraine, allergies, fibromyalgia, and many more illnesses are just as confusing to conventionally trained medical and osteopathic doctors.

The next question is does the search for a clearly defined medical diagnosis with the correct terminology and precise clinical reasoning mean any thing to the patient? Unfortunately, other than having a label for their condition, which is still often diagnosed incorrectly, the answer is NO. The reason for this is that the current medical model is based on a paradigm of pathology rather than biological function. These conditions, unlike infections, are caused by disruption of function (rather than infecting microorganisms) in body systems or combinations of systems. For example, a thyroid disorder could be largely in the gland itself or it could be linked (and usually is) to other endocrine glands like the pituitary, or could be even more complicated with age-related changes, stress, oxidative damage from environmental toxins, or damage from radiation. This condition, rather than classical hypothyroidism, becomes a neuroendocrine immune disorder.

Still complicated? Many internet marketing companies use this confusing medical situation to their advantage and offer simple natural solutions for a reasonable price that don't work. Let me tell you right now that after over 25 years of clinical experience with more than 135,000 patient visits, 3 health books, over 100 articles and papers, and thousands of hours of research that there is no simple easy quick answer. The solution lies in understanding the problem and appreciating the complexity.

In my next blog, I'll explain some of the entry level therapeutic strategies for the underlying causes of these conditions, and begin to outline some integrative solutions to help you regain your health.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Confusing Diagnoses - Diabetes?

Medical schools used to prepare graduates for most commonly occurring diseases. Diagnoses were based on presenting symptoms and signs, and proceeded to a treatment plan. Whether it was allopathic medicine or Chinese medicine, the situation was much the same: patient presentation lead to diagnosis. But some thing changed in the 1970s. Diagnosis became complicated. Cases of fatigue were not just anemia (allopathic) or qi and blood deficiency (Chinese). They were complex, convoluted, involved. Allopathic M.D.s blammed it on the patient and referred them to psychologists. The shrink business boomed. By the 1980s, it was clear that talk therapy wasn't working for these cases. Alternative medicine practitioners claimed to have the answer and their ranks swelled. In the 1990s, the internet took over with claims for rare and wild cures for the price of a bottle of herbal capsules. The truth is that none of these claimed solutions and cures worked for all people all of the time. In fact, they didn't work for most of the people most of the time. What was going on?

Let's take diabetes as an example. I was taught that there were two types of diabetes: a juvenile form and an adult form. The juvenile type needed insulin and the adult type only occurred in older people and usually didn't require insulin. These two types were also called insulin and non-insulin dependent diabetes. In fact, diabetes was not a common disease. Some thing changed, because gradually I was seeing more cases of adult diabetes and they were not getting younger.

Instead of considering why there were increasing numbers of diabetes in younger adults, the medical community simply relabeled the disease into type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin) diabetes. Then it got even more complicated. Another condition, similar to diabetes, labeled Syndrome X, appeared in doctors' offices. It formed a cluster of symptoms that crossed over into the cardiovascular system. Syndrome X was later relabeled as Metabolic Syndrome. But instead of stopping there, diabetes and metabolic disease continues to get more complicated and is more confusing to doctors than ever. What is going on?

In my practice, I started to see patients with low insulin levels in their blood, which should classify them as diabetic. However, they had none of the usual symptoms or any other signs. In fact, they usually presented as being hypoglycemic. What they were showing was a mixture of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Without elevated glucose over 126 mg/dL, these patients couldn't be classified as diabetic even if they had other symptoms such as difficulty managing weight that suggested diabetes. Patients were in a quandary and doctors were confused.

The Chinese medicine assessment was just as confusing. Rather than simple "spleen qi deficiency" they had a mixture of energy imbalances including with the qi of the liver and kidney, and often with the heart meridian. Strange indeed!

The easy answer was to blame all metabolic diseases, including diabetes, on the increasing incidence of obesity. However, thin people also get diabetes and have insulin resistance, an aspect of metabolic syndromes. Easy answer were obviously not working.

Now, we've found that some people have symptoms of type 1 diabetes but their lab test results suggest type 2. This mixed syndrome type has been called "type 1.5" or double diabetes. The mainstream view of allopathic physicians is that it is really the same disease or an over lay of two different but similar diseases of how the body regulates blood sugar. However, it's certainly more complicated than that as we know that at least 10 percent of people with typical type 2 diabetes have autoantibodies in their blood suggesting an autoimmune disease. Where do autoimmune diseases come from and why is the incidence of all types of autoimmune diseases increasing?

Conventional wisdom once again offers an elegant and simple answer: genetics. But the gene hypothesis of susceptibility is only part of the truth. Shoehorning people into clear cut diagnoses has proven inadequate for this disease over the last twenty-five years. It's time to look further at not only diet, but the quality of foods we eat...AND, to look at the influence of toxic chemicals in the environment that may trigger autoimmunity. Yes, there may be susceptible genes, but when immune imbalances occur the stakes go up and so do the costs of medical care for these individuals.

So what are some solutions? First, eliminate refined sugar and all refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta. Next, improve the function of your liver and pancreas. Eat less, attain normal weight, improve muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness. I provide more details in my free newsletter, which can be accessed through my website.

Friday, April 27, 2007