Beginning in the middle of November, only 3 weeks into the winter season, body began to manifest overt symptoms of its affliction. Body was born with what is now diagnosed as COPD, Shorthand for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease. While I do not agree that this is a disease, the obstruction by fibrosis in the lungs has proved to be progressive even with a long standing focus on superior nutrition and a lot of personal therapy to maintain the elasticity of function as well as colon integrity. My background and training has shown me at each step more and more of what it takes for me to involve myself in my health and well being.
This surely motivates this section of Raven’s Medicine. I considered the idea to bring directly to you, Dear Reader, some of what it is to be more in charge of your health.
Symptoms are guideposts along the way. The ability to understand your symptoms is a crucial skill that grows as you go along. During those weeks, I began to identify what impact my impaired lung capacity had on my whole life up to that time. I am certain that the acupressure system that I learned and began to practice mostly daily on myself beginning in 1971, has made a huge difference in my life experiences. There were activities that could not be: although I have a strong body, athletics could not work. I was curtailed from a lot of dancing. I swam but no competitions.
Western medicine does not cure this situation, offering me only palliative drugs to ease symptoms. The first bout with pneumonia shocked doctors who expect people like me to have pneumonia at least once a year from the early 30’s onward: I was 77 and I was telling these doctors that I had not used any kind of antibiotic for at least 25 years which meant that earlier forms of these drugs offered me relief of the infection of pneumonia. However, the lungs were impaired enough to restrict the volume of oxygen going to the heart to cause great stress and the inability to walk. I was given a wheelchair which made my life work much better than was possible without it.
I was ok for a couple years; until the winter of 2018.
I returned to Canada in 2015 after 45 years in the United States, and after 2 and a half years in emergency shelter in a destitute state, the Government of Canada awarded me a pension which has given me the ability to manage a slim budget. And the personnel in Powell Place shelter made it possible for me to finally find an apartment in another organization’s projects which protect me from displacement in favor of more money. I am thankful. So, when really heavy symptoms of lung and breathing problems came upon me this winter, I was safe where I was and close to places where I can access Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal practitioners and high quality herb formulas made just for me, and at a reasonable price.
When the body is stressing for too much work, poor diet, assorted psychological problems and even trauma, this is the time of our greatest learning. After nearly 50 years of study and practice, this time has shown me more about myself and my condition that just about anything else that might have been. And you can bet I am paying attention.
I was sick for the first 30 years of my life with a colon that simply did not release solid waste. I learned at an early age to take care of myself. Finally at 30, two Canadian doctors took care of those intractable symptoms by re-sectioning the colon simply removing what would never work and replacing it all into the lower abdomen. I walked out of hospital at my 30th birthday in 1969, without a pocket full of medications and with two thoughts in my mind: I knew I might live as long as I wished and that I was on a quest for health.
It is this experience which I bring to you in these articles. Everything that I bring to you is something I have learned and practiced over these times all to my personal benefit. I have largely stayed away from doctors mostly because I do not trust the western medicine as it is practiced in our world, focusing instead on the Chinese and Japanese systems and a great deal of personal motivation to be as healthy and productive as possible.