i’m still here

I’m still here. I just stopped writing. I see that new people are still reading what I’ve written, and that’s awesome. I hope something I’ve talked about was helped you or lead you to being helped in some way.  Not that I don’t have anything to say; if something comes up maybe I’l post something. And continue to keep doing la-jin and pai-da if you are!

If anyone has questions for me, just e-mail me or comment below. I’d be happy to talk.

The heart. (xin)

I wrote this a few months ago and didn’t post it. Writing another blog post probably tomorrow or the next day on yixingtianxia Days 5-7 and my thoughts on this break.

As hard as it was and is to admit it, much of the disease and problems I’ve had were mostly a result of  the problems with my 心 (xin).  This is the word for heart (which in Chinese refers to both the body part and the mind itself in different contexts). Too often we think that we do no wrong while everyone else does. Its way to often we blame other people, the environment, etc. We put ourselves in front of everyone else, in front of god. We believe we don’t deserve this fate (and only complain about it). In most situations we feel powerless and feel like the result was because of only external forces.

I never would of expected after going to the yixingtianxia health camp that what I would be learning there would literally change my life. I really thought the pai-da and la jin method/therapy was some dumb exercise (well of course at first I was as skeptical as anyone else). Of the course of that week and then the other two weeks, I realized how much all of this ‘medicine’ was about meditation and my heart.Somehow through all that pain, suffering, thinking, mediation you come out thinking that maybe you were wrong. I slowly realized and was finally looking at my own mistakes instead of others and finding that hey I made a bunch of decisions that were negative for my own health (whether it not it contributed specifically to the problems I have today they certainly affected me negatively).

It continues to be almost impossible to think, but somehow disease is a signal from your body to yourself that you are wrong. You have problems, and through lifestyle changes you can improve. Medicine sure can help but if you stay the same way as you are, everything will come back the way it was before. Not everything is just some virus eating at your system. Try to notice how your worst enemy might be yourself (you didn’t even know). Its a gift to you, an opportunity to change. Heed the warning…else you suffer.. else you die.

You might have seen a change in me through my writing even just looking back at my first post (written (not posted) about ~ 1 year from this week).

random: It’s interesting my Chinese name (朱心宇) translates to something like “big red heart” or something. Definitions: 朱 is vermilion (red-ish) and a surname. 心 is the heart/mind. 宇 is the universe. I guess 宇 tries to signify that my ‘red heart’ is as big as the universe. I think that’s pretty great goal to accomplish.

Can’t believe it’s basically been a year since… (yixingtianxia Day 1)

I can’t believe it’s basically been a year since… I really started to take care of my health. Like many of you know, I took a week off of school the week after spring break to go to a health workshop thing in Atlanta to learn about how to improve my health. There I met a lot of people like me, people with their own problems and diseases. Together we laughed, cried, learned, and exercised. I’m sure most of us came out of the week feeling good that we had accomplished so much in so little time. Most of us probably went back home to normal life with a new attitude and lifestyle, focused on health as the priority. Now that’s its been a year already, I can think back to myself that I’ve really come pretty far. I haven’t had anything serious happen to me, no reason to take any more medicine or go back to the doctor, and I feel in control of my thoughts and my life. Of course I must continue in this way, remembering what it was like before and knowing that I shouldn’t sacrifice something like fun, money, school, etc in favor of doing what is necessary for a healthy life. It’s been nice to change.

So its already Spring Break again. My mom, friend, and I are going to do mini-workshop thing at home, trying to do as close as possible to what we did at the actual class. Of course it won’t be as strenuous and serious as before, but it will help all of us get in the mindset of continuing to improve ourselves when we go back to school/work. I kind of didn’t want to do it that badly, but since my friend wanted to do so, why wouldn’t I? I’m excited that he is embracing this method and that it is working for him. This kind of thing is weird because you are always scared of whether it works. You hear stories of other people and even when it works well for you, it might be another step to keep continuing. I guess I’m saying that even though something is really effective and works, if you are willing to put in the effort, you won’t get anywhere. I guess its similar to knowing that eating healthy/sleeping at the right time and right amount/exercising is good to keep you healthy, but that knowing that doesn’t change most people’s mindset at all. In addition to that however, not many people are focused on changing their own attitude either. I personally don’t need any scientific evidence to know that having a negative attitude or sinning can have negative results on your actual body. The disease of the mind -> disease of the body and vice versa.

Today was the first day. Woke up at 5:40 and ran at 6 for an hour. Then we had date/ginger tea and just meditated (just telling yourself to relax) for 15 minutes. Then we did pai da for a while.For me, I finally tried hitting in a different place other than the elbow where I had ezcema and guess what I had sha (translation is literally ‘poisoned blood’) come out.

Explanation (if you’re interested): Basically its just bad stuff. Doing pai da (slapping) and having that come out is both a treatment and diagnosis. If it hurts patting there, it means that area has a problem, and if you continue to hit – the sha will appear (it can be red,blue,purple, w.e and can have different shapes/forms). Some people will get bumps/swelling which is also ‘good’.

Putting that in quotes to just say that most people will think hitting yourself is the stupidest thing ever and that getting sha to come out must be a bad thing. I think that reaction is similar to I guess the philosophy that the reactions/symptoms you get from diseases are bad. Some examples are: having high blood pressure, getting a fever, etc. They are symptoms not the cause. Treating the symptoms probably isn’t the best answer since you never take out the root. Its probably similar to how treating a skin disease with creams/steroids kind of mask the problem when its something that’s causing the skin to act in a certain way. I have personal experience with this since all the creams I used worked until a point where I had to get stronger and stronger types because they all stopped working. When I didn’t use the creams, the skin would get even worse and it felt like the skin was getting thinner.

The most common response is that hitting yourself will make your blood vessels like pop or something or cause internal bleeding that cannot be stopped. Well lets just say that if you keep doing pai-da (slapping) on that area – the sha ‘melts’ away. If you don’t want to do that, then you can just wait a few days and everything we look as normal as before.

Edit: removed the picture

What happened (really quickly): We ate some porridge for breakfast/lunch. We slept for an hour after lunch. Then we did la jin. After that we wrote down what we did and reflected upon the day, writing down how we were feeling after a day’s worth of work. Everyone seemed to have positive outcomes: My Imom said her allergies weren’t that bad, my back and left leg wasn’t hurting and I felt great and not tired, and my friend said he hadn’t felt as good as he did since before he started having problems/pain. Huge news right there.

I definitely can’t say I know everything, rather that I know nothing. I just know my own experience and am trying to learn from others. My experience and the experiences of others tells me that although the normal method of treatment (your role to get sick and the doctor’s role to treat you) worked well before, the current state of technology and knowledge is far too limited. So much has changed in the past years – transportation, communication, the availability of food, etc has caused our lifestyles to change. We are still learning and figuring out life. Only until pretty recently has the public known about how smoking is harmful. I guess in due time we will figure out a lot more. However, for the people who are currently sick and need help, they have the opportunity to try something else. I don’t know whether any of us has the responsibility and authority to tell anyone how they should live and how they should treat their disease. You can say that most of the people in the world are bad or that all alternative medicine (treatment that isn’t currently used) is bad, but I think the people suffering have a different perspective. The percentage of survivors isn’t the best indicator to someone whether they should try a treatment because it cannot apply directly to them. Yes it is hard or depending on the person, impossible to guarantee anything. However, I guess some of us can’t wait till the time when it’s finally established that we have figured something out. Probably going to add to this part later.

No excuses…

Well no excuse for me to not have posted anything in the past 2 months. Sure a lot has happened and I just didn’t write anything about it… I can say I’m still doing better and am continuing my journey to improve my health and lifestyle. One exciting thing that happened is that one of my friends is now also doing la-jin/pai-da as a way to improve health. Spring break seems like a good time to do something like that.

Yeah there aren’t any excuses to be had for not being healthy just as there aren’t any for not writing another blog post.

There’s an interesting blog post at http://crohnology.com/blog/12-believing-in-the-patient-revolution. Sean Ahrens, a patient of Crohn’s disease has talked about his experience and how he has turned that into a learning experience and ultimately a product/website that is trying to utilize the patients as the sources of new treatments. Very interesting stuff. P2P sharing of treatments seems interesting as well as the interaction of patients with the same ailments. Excited to see what happens there; I had some hopes of trying to contribute something like that as well, although not necessarily through a website. I guess right now I’m focusing on improving myself (although its true that it shouldn’t mean I can’t be working towards helping others as well).

How badly do we want to get better?

All from http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_5dc946a60102e1bu.html. I wish my Chinese was better; then I could translate all of it for myself and everyone…

Here is the before and after la-jin and pai-da.

Edit: Ok so the pictures don’t show up here (well they shouldn’t so I shouldn’t complain). Just go to the site at the top or click on the links to see the difference.

Another person with psoriasis. (here is the wikipedia page) It is similar to ezcema but like in this case can cover the whole body. Like all chronic diseases, there is no ‘cure’, only treatments. “There are many treatments available, but because of its chronic recurrent nature, psoriasis is a challenge to treat. Withdrawal of corticosteroids (topical steroid cream) can aggravate the condition due to the ‘rebound effect‘ of corticosteroids”.

That’s pretty awesome. Sure tells me I have a lot to work on.

Some Commentary on “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead”

From the movie “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead” at 2:30 (you can see it on Hulu for free here):

“I think in a funny way, I’m thankful that I got sick.

Because if I didn’t get sick, that was kind of like my body telling me to slow down and to get well.

Who knows, if i hadn’t of gotten sick, I might not have ever slowed down; I might of already had a heart attack and died.

So, you won’t ever know.

But I’m thankful for that.”

It really stood out to me. Just from the first few minutes I knew it might be interesting. That quote is exactly how I started feeling just not with the same situation, disease, etc. Be thankful for those hardships, problems, mistakes -> they lead to growth, learning, and life.

It was a good documentary that showed how he and another guy were able to do something that enabled them to change their lifestyle. I realize that at face-value maybe it whole thing seems like an infomercial for buying juicers. The key thing I took away is that doing that 60 day juice fast worked for them such that they really had permanent changes to their health. You and no one else has to do that exact same thing. Once the initial trial experiment of a week was done and there were improvements, all they had to do was maintain and then use that to change how they would live afterwards.

I’m sure most people would agree when the doctor says, “Something like more than 70% of all diseases can be attributed to problems in lifestyle.” Its just like all those people in the documentary said. They all said they were weak, had no willpower, and couldn’t help themselves. Many of them said that it was only there own fault and they would probably only live to 55. People tell themselves they will try to change themselves someday. Some of them said they would rather die happy eating junk food than torture themselves to get a few extra years of life. They certainly grasped that they have problems but have no idea what it means.

Both of the people who ended up losing all that weight had a vision of what they wanted to do with their lives and were tired of feeling sick, depending on pills, etc. Everyone needs to find out how they can change themselves, because we already what we need to do. Whether its praying, meditation, or just finding time to think for yourself about yourself without the infinite distractions of our world, it is possible.

“God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way. The way we learn those lessons is not to deny the feelings but to find the meanings underlying them.” -Stanley Lindquist

The new year!

So. Haha I still feel like each holiday just passes by while I don’t write something. I guess I could have wrote about a lot of stuff really but then nothing would be coherent. All those small thoughts that weren’t written down. Oh well. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! I hope all of us realize how important our health is =).

Books: Well I’m planning on finishing up “Predictably Irrational” and of course starting “The Upside of Irrationality” (the next book) soon. I just got “Born to Run” from a friend. Hopefully it inspires me to do so. It really does seem like running can cure almost all problems – I just don’t want it that badly.

Podcasts: I’ve been trying to listen to some of the podcasts from http://fastbuddha.com/audio/ – That guy is the teacher of the guy who created yixingtianxia (the method I learned about to help me). So yeah i’m trying to improve my Chinese. All his podcasts are usually about health. Too bad I couldn’t translate everything into English. I realized trying to even do so for just a sentence takes like 5 minutes because you really need to know what he is trying to say. Still trying to find a better way to do so…

Something to think about: I been thinking a lot about 吃亏. The phonetic pronounciation is chi kui. Something like ‘cher kway’ I guess. Its a concept used to describe what you feel when you have suffered a loss or when you don’t get what you think you deserve. It is any time you’ve felt like you have wasted your time (maybe waiting for someone/something), wasted your money, felt like what you put in was less than what you got out of it. For example, you have to get to class in a hurry. One option is to wait at the bus stop for x minutes, or you start speed walking to get to class. What happens is that right when you start walking the bus comes around the corner and you don’t notice and pretty soon its passed you while you are walking. At at moment you feel chi kui, because you realized you could have waited for the bus instead.

There are so many examples of this its pretty crazy. Its just that feeling that way shouldn’t be so frustrating. Why do should we feel so angry, so sad, so emotional at things that really don’t make a difference?

In a general sense, I’m sure all of us realize that negative emotions affect ourselves severely. I mean we probably even learned something like that in health. These mental issues create actual physical problems. So we should try to stay away from such things. So how can we convince ourselves to stay unaffected, to stay calm? How can we learn to think in a positive light?

  • To put things in perspective, we think of these events in relation to a few days from now, a few weeks, a few years, eternity. Nothing seems that bad anymore. Why did I get frustrated/stressed out over that little thing? That bad test grade, that long argument, being bored, losing a game, and all your #firstworldproblems…
  • We can try to not just put ourselves in other people’s shoes, but to realize they are justified in their perspective and have a reason that you just can’t understand at the moment. Before we get angry and have the inability to comprehend and think clearly we should realize that much of the time there is a misunderstanding.
  • Likewise, know that no one knows exactly what you are thinking and vice-versa. Know that people can’t know what you have already seen, known, learned, heard. I’ve remembered myself getting frustrated at people (family, friends, people I don’t even know) for not knowing something (its only hurting myself). Whenever I see others do this, I can now see how I do the same thing.
  • Find the good in others. Of course this goes for both you like and dislike. The only reason why you can’t think of anything is because your stuck thinking that person is annoying, mean, etc. Realize what you are doing to that person and what harm you are actually doing to yourself. Appreciate and complement what they are good at.
  • Try not to judge. Try not to assume people’s nature/intent even though you think it will help you get an advantage or is useful. I’m talking about understanding and keeping yourself content – not deception.
  • Related to this – seeing the world as a ‘good’ person or in a positive light. This means something like not assuming that someone doing something sneaky is someone bad etc. We are not all policemen, lawyers, spies, robbers, thieves, etc.
  • Example: A random guy gets into a car crash with this lady. He runs away. Another guy comes up to try to help the lady out and pick her up. She immediately assumes the guy who is helping her is the guy who crashed her guy and proceeds to shout at him and sue him. He tells her that he wasn’t that guy but she doesn’t believe him. Luckily the street camera’s caught a picture of his car showing that he wasn’t the guy who crashed the guy. Even after the evidence was shown, the lady just made up a bunch of excuses to why she thought he did it.
  • Think of others as a reflection of yourself. This is basically the above. This is such a hard thing to do. If you act like a thief, then you will think any action that others do that resembles what you do will have the same intent as yourself. So if you see the ‘bad’ in someone, realize that you too have done something like that, if not the exact same thing. I am slowly trying to understand this well.

I say these things because I’ve seen them in my self. I’ve noticed how much I used to act, and how far I’ve come since all that ‘bad’ stuff happened (since then I realized it has been a blessing). However, there is much to improve upon. I’m happy that at least I’ve found a few things I have problems with.

Reading through this list that I’ve now made, I realize that a lot of this stuff seems like ‘common sense’. Its kind of funny. I guess it should be obvious it should be that way, since we usually know the solutions to many of our problems but just won’t use them. The concept of common sense is just so ironic because it is really just common knowledge that not many people actually use…

The long journey

I can only say that my life has truly been changed through my diseases. I can say in large part it had to doing with going through the experience and coming out if not at least healthy but also happy. I feel like a totally different person, eager to learn, to speak, to interact with others about life. Yeah it may seem as if I act seriously too often, but its only because so much has happened. Because I’ve been so greatly helped it only seems right to try and tell other people about what I’ve been through and what I’ve experienced. Its all pretty new to me but I feel eager to learn. I guess this passion comes from the personal connection to my life. The opportunity has risen for me and I have to take it.

But I feel a big barrier to doing this. If anything seems out of the ordinary its just not to be looked at and considered automatically fake. They tell you to prove your claims – well how would I start (wheres the money, the research, the resources supposed to come from)? I can see the skeptical point of view because I’ve been there. However when it comes to your life being at threat, the comfort of statistics is useless. The conventional procedure may have a 70& ‘success’ rate with 30% death, but that statistic isn’t for an individual. If you happen to be in that category then people will just say its just ‘bad luck’. I don’t think its stupid, irrational, ignorant to try alternative medicine. I’ve tried the conventional stuff. Every new medicine (the drugs before they are tested) have just as much uncertainty as any other unproven medicine. They people who try the new theorized/hypothesized methods are just as liable to failure as anyone who does anything else. I don’t think I’m an uninformed individual who is starting to turn to ‘stories’ instead of evidence. Sometimes you have to believe what you can’t see (how do you know its not there) and sometimes you can’t believe what you do see. I feel that all the experts (in my experience listening to lectures, conferences, meetings, etc) all know they don’t know everything and are humble at heart. But online, I think its way to easy to ignore alternative approaches and dismiss what is said as emotional stories. Everyone should take a step back and really think about the conventional approach to health we are taking today. Maybe we might realize the fundamental problems with the approach and the amount of resources that are there but aren’t in the position to support research in alternative methods.

Before everyone runs me over saying that I’m turning a story into scientific data/conclusions, that anecdotes = truth, I’m not claiming that. I’m not denying what the current medical system has done and am not denying that it has usefulness. If i did already then I didn’t mean to say that. 1 case study, 1 example, 1 story sure doesn’t mean it will work for everyone, that its truth, that it means that there’s no argument. However, the research of everyone in the world, the agreement of experts, and thousands of studies still can’t guarantee those things either. Your depending all upon statistics, and the averages and data points of test subjects. The conventional medicine can fail for that same individual as well. What I’m trying to argue for is that this anecdote is ‘evidence’ for truth/correlation that may lead to better understanding health and medicine.

The big problem isn’t that people are being tricked into being fakery, people turning to alternative medicine because of ancedotes of success, people talking about the misincentives of corportaions, doctors, etc. The problem is that the people who are in the industry aren’t doing enough research about it. It may seem true that a lot of the alternative approaches would bring a lot less money in (they don’t cost a lot).

It’s probably going to be a long ride to get to the state we would like to be in. I would certainty like to take part in it.

Update: I’l probably write a longer post about what I think to be reasons for the barriers to alternative forms of medicine. A lot of it will be purely conceptual, experienced based, and full of my own assumptions but hey I want to speak  what I’ve been thinking.

ARE we going to cure all diseases? (Part 1)

I’m already at 2 posts a week now… Yay!

So Tuesday, I went to a lecture by Aaron Ciechanover entitled “Drug Development in the 21st Century: Are We Going to Cure all Diseases?” I thought it was an very interesting talk. I really appreciate him coming to Georgia Tech as well as going into the non-technical aspects of disease. It was relativity easy to understand what he was talking about coming from someone who has no interest in medicine and hasn’t studied chemistry and biology extensively. It was interesting for my to talk about interesting questions that come up based on the knowledge we are learning about. I guess I will first go over what he talked about and my opinions and then I might go over how it got me to think more about how informing key/important people would be great but ironically the hardest people to convince.

I thought he came about as pretty humble even given all his accomplishments throughout the lecture. He started off talking about how he is a physician by profession, how medicine is a hobby of is, and how he would talk over the philosophy/history of medicine. First answering the question of the title of his lecture, he went ahead and basically said his answer was “I don’t know” because of the continuing evolution of the definition of medicine, disease, and health as well as an inability to predict the future.

He talked about how we have extended life by about 30 years within the last 100 years (1900s) while over the past 4000 years, life has only been extended by 20 years. There has been a complete change in life because of how long the average person is living today. He talked about how people are now acquiring and dying from neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, heart disease, etc. He hes that it’s not that we didn’t now about the diseases before, but more than because people are living longer they are more susceptible to these kinds of diseases (basically since its only now that we are living to this age it is only now we know about these diseases). Going back to the idea of curing all diseases, he said how since our lifespans are slowly increasing even longer that there might be even more that we will only find out about in the future so its hard to know.

One question I would have which disagrees with his argument is “Why are people getting these diseases as children?” Why are younger and younger people getting these diseases that we thought were only for ‘old’ people. In my own case, my every single doctor, friend, parent, and teacher were exclaiming how it was so weird I would have such a back problem at such an early age. I know my case isn’t as severe as cancer but why are we discovering that young people are getting it earlier and earlier? Is it that we have ‘better’ technology to find symptoms that would indicate a risk for these diseases, or is there something else causing this to happen. I think its the case that there’s a big reason underlying these changes that has more to do with behavior/environment rather than living longer lives. This is of course without facts/evidence from finding direct scientific studies  and more of speculation through my own experience and the experiences of others but there is a case for what all the improvements we have gained has done to us. I don’t think any of us realize (including me) the extent to which we have become different people. These small changes add up, and we can’t see the consequences until its too late and we need a magic pill to save us.

The things that we have to think about in society is crazy. There is too many to list. Kids have to worry about making friends, wearing the right clothes, listening and watching the right music/tv, doing the right/cool activities, trying to think about how they should act. They care too much about grades, homework, and school. They care too much about fun, distractions, excitement. And at the end of the school day, everyone is ‘bored.’ There is always something that has to be going on. We had phones, then cell phones, computers, the internet, email, text messaging, and now twitter/facebook/reddit/tumblr/…. Its not just that we have begun to find diseases because of living longer. We have created a whole lot of behaviors that I think have certainly caused a lot of burden on the mind. In the past 100 years I’m sure our brain has substantially increased the # of things that should be happening at one time. Its shouldn’t be a surprise to us that it seems as if no one cares, some become depressed, or even worse. There is too much you think you have to do when it all doesn’t matter. I can’t criticize but focus seems like the hardest thing to do for most people. Its not about being smart anymore; its more that no one cares enough to do anything. There is so much out there but we choose to do whats comfortable. Almost everyone in college sleeps late, eats unhealthy, etc – what do we all think is going to happen years down the road? I’m in no position to tell anyone would to do but… health is usually the last thing on our minds… if not at all.

=) –to be continued

Update: There actually an online video of the lecture. Nice!

Hi again!

Its been forever since my last post. I think every week I was able to write something but I guess never felt the urge to go do it. I hope this cycle doesn’t just go like “wait a month, then burst writing a lot in a short period, repeat.” A lot of stuff has happened since those few weeks. I came back home for a while, school has started (been 2 weeks already), I’ve been feeling different.

I’ve noticed how different it is now that school has started. There are constantly distractions, there is pressure to conform to peers and other students, there are time blocks where I have to go to class. Its important I maintain and improve upon the lifestyle I need to be healthy. Simple things like sleeping early is difficult especially around your friends or in college. Everyone around you is staying up till 12 or later than that studying or having fun. Its difficult knowing that people are interacting then and you are missing out, its difficult trying to sleep with everyone else is awake with sounds traveling through the walls, its difficult trying to live this healthy, but hard life while others ‘aren’t’. Its not to say everyone else is bad and I’m just a good person, its just that for me its a lot more important and it just so happens I need to do more than others to be healthy. I also don’t want to feel like I am such a special person and need others to change themselves in order to make my life a little better. I realize that I don’t think its not fair or that its depressing my life is like this. Its not so hard to do the right thing after you have felt what its like to experience hardship from disease (not being able to move, not being to able to pick up something from the ground, not being able to do normal things). It certainty is difficult but now I know its not impossible. I have surprisingly been able to la-jin everyday. Its awesome because I will get bored or not want to do anything or do homework so I just do that. I stopped running everyday because my leg hurt too much (an example of me failing to continue through the pain after learning that is when you should be running the most).

I will talk about some symptoms that I have had since then. These symptoms are called ‘qi chong bin zhao’. The concept is that things happen when your body changes, just like anything else. To get rid of a problem/disease, something has to come out of your body. Our body has many ways of doing this. Some of us may throw up, sweat, cry, pee, poop, have pain etc. So similar to getting rid of waste, our bodies have their way of getting rid of disease. A simple example is the idea that the fever itself isn’t a bad thing. The fever is the body’s response to that bad something that occurred in your body. Its both a signal (diagnosis) of the problem as well as self-treatment. The fever itself isn’t what we need to worry about, its something else. So when we think we need to take ‘medicine’ or something to basically repress the fever, we are kind of hiding the problem. The fever symptom goes away but the thing that causes it doesn’t. We need to understand what the source is, not the symptoms.

Another example would be like my skin problem. I used to have to put creams over my problem areas because it would make it look better and make it ‘go away’. I realized later that the skin itself is just another symptom of another problem and that putting this stuff on me only covered it up. Steroids eventually wouldn’t work and eventually you always have to upgrade to a stronger/more potent cream/medicine. These things have side effects as well as just simple things like making your skin thinner. When I stopped the medicine it would come back and come back worse than before.

So what I am doing now is getting rid of the source of my problems (whatever they are) – and symptoms are coming out basically telling me i’m getting better. If I didn’t know this then I would have gave up thinking it didn’t work and a lot of other things.

After the class, I had stomach aches and eventually threw up an amount equal to 5 bowls. When I got home, I had stomach problems again and got a fever. I started spitting mucus (the greenish-yellow color) for a week. My leg and hip hurt on my right leg and then also on the left. During this whole time however, I didn’t freak out. I continued to do la-jin, pai da, and stay positive. I didn’t take any sort of ‘medicine’ and didn’t go to the doctor when I would have before for any of these symptoms.

The most personal, interesting, and crazy story was about allergies. When I went to the class, they served some porridge with peanuts in it. I didn’t know and found out after noticing my extremely swollen lip. Then I started breaking out a rash and starting having a hard time breathing and felt my heart hurting. However I didn’t panic, I didn’t take any medicine (wasn’t any there of course), and I asked the instructor to help me pai da. She hit the elbow area and my neck/upper back. Within 30 minutes I felt like I had an easier time breathing and was able to stand up and feel relaxed again. A few minutes the swelling decreased as well.

Now that was pretty crazy. Here is an extreme/dire situation where I normally would have to go to the emergency room (I clearly remember I time when my mom didn’t check the ingredients for something and we ended up going to the hospital at like 12 am and waited for a long and end up coming back home around 3 after they gave me some steroids) or have to take anti-histamines. It took someone helping me for less time, less money, and almost no work for me to feel better. Who knew something so simple could what I was impossible before?

The best part is that on the plane ride back to America, I got another allergic reaction. Of course I didn’t bring anything with me to China and no one else would have anything. Apparently there was peanuts in the meal I was having and the same thing happened as before. We asked a flight attendant whether the meal had peanuts in it and she just said “I don’t prepare anything; I just give out the meals and do what they tell me.” I guess she didn’t understand why we asked that and didn’t understand that I was having an allergic reaction. My life could have been in danger at that point but everyone there had no idea. I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have been a good thing for the company if something bad had happened. So I’m there trying not to freak out and remember what I came to China for. I’m here to learn a method that just worked a week ago when I had an allergy then. So my mom helped me as well. It was so hard doing the pai da in that moment. Everything in my body was telling me “you have to do this. What other option is there?” If another person on a flight got an allergic reaction and didn’t have his ‘medicine’ with him, I already know what the end result would be. It was the craziest moment ever since I was doing pai da on plane trying to save my life or least a lot of pain/discomfort (if anyone knows what it feels like) while some guy would be sitting next to me just staring at me. This one guy just kept turning around and I would just be telling myself, “whatever, screw everything, stop caring about what people think, just keep doing it.” If you don’t know already ‘pai-da’ is translated as basically slapping. So I was slapping myself (which is pretty loud by the way) with all these people there who have no idea what was happening. I have no idea what they could have been thinking, other than my own assumptions and the past skepticism I had for this method before. Yes slapping yourself seems like the most retarded thing in the world, but what the heck its working. It was even more awkward that during that time no one came up to me to ask what was wrong, no flight attendant came back to check I was ok, it was just weird. Thinking back I probably should have done it even harder to make it loud enough that someone would say, “What are you doing?” It would certainly give me an opportunity to talk about my life and what I’ve learned on this trip to China and why I was slapping myself. So basically I did that for around 30-40 minutes. I’m sure I could write a lot more about the situation but I’m sure I got the point across. Guess what? I’m still here and alive typing this.

I’m here trying to do what I can to explain and let people know about the amazing things that have happened to me. I really hope that somehow, someway what I can do will go beyond what I have to say in this blog. I just don’t know and I wish I could talk about these things with anyone. I wish there was an easier way to talk to the people who could help this be known faster/more easily even though those same people would be the most skeptical. I think its sad that we have the illusion of being to be in contact with anyone (first with transportation like cars, boats, planes and now with the internet). However its just as hard as before to get an idea across. Anything that doesn’t resemble some kind of rigorous testing/experimented is put into a circle as fakes. People are so skeptical of anything that they haven’t heard of.

I thought about it and I don’t see how I couldn’t also be one of the most skeptical people to tell this to as well. My whole life I have been trying alternative medicines (while I was still taking western medicine) because my mom wanted to find a better way and cared enough about me to spend probably all of her free time to help me live a better life. Every year she would find something that claimed to do something or cure something. I of course tried all of them. Every time something wouldn’t work though, wouldn’t that just increased my skepticism of everything? Everytime some treatment failed it would be harder for me to accept the time, money, effort, and pain to go through something new. It would take a whole lot more through arguments and facts to convince me that it worked (because I have tried all these other things) rather than someone would was just skeptical because of what they had heard.

When I first heard about this I thought that this was the most retarded thing in the world. Wow stretching and hitting yourself. Only an idiot would believe that this would work. I thought that there blog (where people post about how their health has improved) was just people making up stories of random diseases and how they got better. I know now that its not the case and that each one of those people are amazing people. My first reflection even ended up on the site as well, with the teacher asking people to translate my essay into Chinese (within a few days there were like 3-4 translations already). The point I want to get across is just spreading the knowledge that hey I had all these problems and am currently improving my health without doing things that didn’t work. I just want to put out another option since the biggest obstacle from everyone doing this method is ignorance of it.

I have talked in depth to a few people since then. For everyone I actually knew I was able to just really speak about what was on my mind. Doing that was extremely relaxing, comfortable, and probably more intellectually stimulating than anything I ever did in school.I probably talked with people for 1-2 hours. By that time, I am sure anyone ‘polite’ enough would have already left the conversation.Talking helps me put ideas together and helps me understand more about what I am talking about. Talking honestly makes me feel good in that I realize then that my disease was such a positive thing. If I didn’t have all these problems, what kind of person would I be then? I would have never thought about anything like this, never would have discovered this method and never would have meet a lot of people.

I know there are people who are interested. I know I just need to find those people.

I probably talked with people for 1-2 hours. By that time, I am sure anyone ‘polite’ enough would have already left the conversation