Monday, April 2, 2007

If you had access to all resources how would you deal with "the global crisis in diet"?

I can hear Mary (our OM theory teacher) telling us that getting patients to change their dietary practices is beyond challenging, and that the best we can do is provide education and help bring their bodies back into balance with acupuncture, herbs, massage, and qi kung. I believe that schooling around healthy food choices needs to happen when people are young, and that the modeling of conscious eating needs to happen in the home. So if I had all the resources I would target parents and children with dietary education. I would set up a program that would come into every family's home and provide lectures and cooking classes on healthy eating. I would make sure that the foods given to children in school are of the highest quality and that the meals are well-rounded. I would also eradicate all of the fast food chains and the makers of toxic foods, such as Pepsi, Kraft, etc. I would make organic foods cheap to buy, and unhealthy foods really expensive. Shopping at Whole Foods would be the norm! The possibilities are endless.

Would you expect "carbon offsets" to work effectively?

This article was my first introduction to carbon offsets, and it seems that they would be effective in theory. People need to take responsibility and give back to the environment if they are particularly increasing the rate of carbon emissions. It would certainly make people more aware of the environmental damage they are causing with aviation. But the system seems to be more about symptom management and checks and balances than about solving the actual problem. We need to focus our efforts on creating technology/transportation that is environmentally supportive. It's happening with cars, so I see no reason why it can't happen with planes. That may be a naive thing to say, but I'm optimistic and I believe in the limitless potential of the human mind when it's used for goodness.

Do you agree that "Laughter really is the best medicine"?

I certainly agree that laughter is great therapy, and I appreciate that the scientific community is providing the physiological facts to support the obvious. For me, it is not necessarily to act of laughing that is the medicine, but more so that laughter is a key component in an overall healthy, fulfilling lifestyle. I see that living a life of joy and gratitude is the best preventative and restorative healthcare, and laughter is a beautiful expression of these feelings.
I was proud that a Western medical doctor said this in the article: "It may sound corny, but we in health care medical sciences need to get serious about happiness and the lifestyle that produces it, relative to mind, body and spirit." Holistic indeed! And it's with these MDs who are open to holistic medicine that the integration of Eastern and Western practices can occur.

Monday, March 26, 2007

How would you prioritize the reintroduction of the American Bison?

I appreciated the articles on this cooperative movement. The initiative seems much bigger than boosting up the Bison population in the U.S.---it's about the ecological healing of the land, the spiritual revitalization of the tribes, and the restoring of human rights to American Indians. I would say that all of these should be considered priorities of the U.S. government. I think that our government needs to bring its focus back to domestic issues instead of invading other countries and trying to install democracies. We need to make sure that the health and rights of our own citizens are being upheld. I want my tax dollars to go towards supporting groups such as the InterTribal Bison Cooperative instead of the Iraq war. Thanks again for presenting us with materials on the movement and I intend to look into it further.

How would you assess the "New pill promises to reduce breast cancer risk?"

I can't even think about assessing the new pill because I'm so angered that these crazy drugs are being created that seriously mess with women's bodies. "It (the new pill) also stops women having periods altogether-suggesting it could offer relief for the hundreds of thousands suffering from PMT." Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!! As if that would be a good thing?!! Oral contraceptives throw off women's biochemistry and have horrible side-effects. I speak from my own experience of taking the birth control pill. There are many alternatives to taking oral contraceptives and I think that more research and education need to go into making these alternatives available to women. I currently advocate the Fertility Awareness Method and I encourage all women to read, Taking Charge of your Fertility. It explains the Fertility Awareness Method and provides a thorough education on natural birth control practices.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Can you assess the end goals of social ecology?

I get the sense that social ecology operates like a think tank that systematically applies its theories. The end goals seem to be simple: save the planet and elevate human consciousness (just a small task, really---not!). By deconstructing and challenging the socio-political institutions that harm the environment, social ecology seeks to end the global ecology crisis and ensure a human and planetary future.

Can you explain why ecosystems are both strong and fragile?

The ecosystems of our planet have undergone countless changes and adaptations since the beginning of life. They have prevailed and thereby give the impression that they are 'strong,' or maybe better said, 'resilient.' But even though ecosystems have a tremendous capacity to recover, they are not infallible. Clearly with global warming we are seeing that our ecosystems are, indeed, fragile and if we don't start acting out of the long-term health for our planet, we will cause irreparable damage.
I'm optimistic and very concerned at the same time. In my parents' home there is a picture of my dad on the Matterhorn (in Switzerland) in 1973 and one of my brother on the same mountain in 2006. Both pictures were taken during the summertime. The one of my dad shows substantial snow and greenery all over the mountain. There is nothing of the kind in my brother's picture; just a big, brown hill. In just over thirty years, the change of that ecosystem is dramatic. Sure, it's surviving, but clearly fragile. We need to get all of our energy behind saving the environment, or else my children won't have mountains to climb!