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Battling Cold and Flu Season with Acupuncture

We Want to See You When You’re Sick!

Wellness starts with maintaining your body through nutrition, Chinese medicine and acupunctureBy Deanna Tasi

Until you’ve seen us regularly, most people don’t know that acupuncture and Chinese herbs are great for treating and preventing colds and flus.  Let’s start by saying, don’t worry about getting us sick!  We are in the know on how to protect ourselves when we’re around sick people- from washing our hands, to using essential oils, and disinfecting a space when needed- we’ve got ourselves (and other patients) covered.  Now back to you…

Lifestyle Tips to Stay Healthy

Ideally, you’re not getting sick in the first place.  Just a few reminders on how to stay well through the cold season:

  • Get enough sleep! We all need to sleep more in the wintertime, and even one night of sleep deprivation can suppress your immune system the following day, making you more susceptible to catching a cold or flu.  So keep sleep a priority!
  • Wash your hands, often! And avoid touching your face, especially when your hands are not clean.  If you have kids, teach them to cough into their elbow crease rather than their hands- so they don’t contaminate everything they touch if they’re sick.
  • Eat warm/cooked foods. You’ve probably heard us recommend this in general- but this is especially important in the wintertime.  All of the body’s organs and systems affect one another- so keeping your digestion working well will help with your immune system.
  • Avoid processed sugar. Refined sugar has also been shown to suppress the immune system for at least a few hours after eating it.  It can be tough around the holidays to avoid processed sugar entirely- so at least try to minimize your consumption, especially if you’re already feeling run-down.

Stop the Invasion

cold and flues can be helped by acupunctureThe best time to ward off a cold is when it’s in its inception.  DON’T ignore your body’s initial warning signs- a scratching throat, a string of sneezes, sudden fatigue and spaciness, and just generally feeling run down- we’re here to help!  Acupuncture can be a great way to give your immune system a bump, and everyone should have an arsenal of herbs in their medicine cabinet to ward of an invasion.  How people get sick varies. Yes, the same cold can manifest differently from one person to another.   Maybe you’re someone that always gets a sore throat first, or maybe you get a tickle in your throat and you start getting sniffly and sneezing- talk to us about your tendency, and we’ll make sure you have the proper herbs on hand until you can get in to see us.

Speed up the process

Once you get past a certain progression point of a cold, on some level, you need to let it run its course.  But how long it takes you to do so can vary depending on how you take care of yourself while you’re sick and how your health was before getting sick.  When you’re relatively healthy and take care of yourself, a cold shouldn’t last more than a few days.  Keep following the lifestyle tips (above) for staying well, take your herbs, and rest as much as possible.  Acupuncture can also help speed up the process and give relief from some symptoms.  As an aside, it’s not helpful to work out when you are sick- especially if you’re feeling fatigued.  This is your body signaling you to rest so that it can do the repair work it needs to do.  Let your body use it’s energy to get back on track rather than expelling energy through exercising.

When you’re in the middle of an intense head-cold, flu, etc., and you’re astonished at the sheer volume of gook that is coming out of your nose- eat your soup!  You probably won’t be starving- but you’ll want to keep your fluid intake up.  Soup and hot tea are the best for keeping you nourished and hydrated.  Many of us grew up with the idea that drinking orange juice is good for colds, because of it’s supposedly packed with Vitamin C (many vegetables actually have higher Vitamin C).  While Vitamin C can be helpful, the cold and sugary nature of orange juice usually just facilitates generating more phlegm.  As another aside: if after you eat something you find yourself needing to clear your throat, it is probably contributing to producing phlegm in your body.

Clear up lingering symptoms

If that nasty cold took hold of you and has run it’s course, sometimes we need help clearing lingering congestion or a cough that can last long after the cold.  This is where acupuncture and herbs really shine again- we can usually help get you back on track with one treatment and a batch of herbs.

Maintenance through the Cold Season

It is still considered healthy for someone to get a cold about once per year and bounce back within a few days. If you find yourself catching one cold after another, this is a sign that your immune system needs some support.   Another sign that you need extra support is if your colds always go straight to your lungs.  If an upper respiratory tract infection always moves to your lungs, you may have weakness in your lung’s energy that needs to be addressed.

Stress is another major contributing factor that weakens our immune system.  If you are going through an intensely stressful period of time, getting regular treatments can help as a reset button while boosting your immune system.   Unfortunately, beyond stress, certain emotions can also make us more susceptible to getting sick.  And while experiencing emotions is normal and healthy, getting stuck in one particular emotion for a long period of time takes a toll on your body.  In Chinese medicine, each of the organs has an associated emotion that can weaken them.  The lungs are weakened by grief and sadness.  Once again, acupuncture can be useful for processing emotions and assist in rapid recovery when moving through an especially intense period of grief.  Likewise, we may even recommend herbs prophylactically to provide support through periods of intense stress.  The frequency of acupuncture treatments to help support someone going through an intense period of stress can vary; anywhere from a couple of times per week to every other week may be best.  And as always, we’re happy to help you figure out what is best for you!

Got Insomnia? Acupuncture can help!

Got Insomnia? Acupuncture can help!

There is nothing worse than not being able to sleep at night. Tossing and turning, watching the clock tick closer and closer to when you need to get up and start your day….its a dreadful feeling.  There are a lot of commercial remedies out there, but who wants to become dependent on a nightly sleeping pill? Why not try Acupuncture instead?!

There are several ways in which Acupuncture can help.

1. Acupuncture can help your body produce more melatonin:

In an article published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, Spence et al. explored the relationship between melatonin and acupuncture treatments. They observed a significant increase in endogenous melatonin secretion in all of the 18 patients suffering from severe insomnia who were given acupuncture treatments twice a week for 5 weeks. Records of electrical and muscular states during the entire sleeping time indicated that, after acupuncture treatments, the patients took less time to fall asleep, had fewer occasions of waking up during sleep, and experienced increased total sleep time and deep sleep time. Anxiety, depression and fatigue were also decreased. Interestingly, alertness in the morning was reduced as well.

2. Acupuncture can improve blood flow to improve sleep quality:

Hecht and his colleagues studied the relationship between the blood flow to the brain and insomnia. They noted that an insufficient blood flow to the brain could lead to low sugar levels and spontaneous waking from sleep.

3. Acupuncture can decrease effects of aging:

The weakening of parasympathetic function results in the familiar signs of aging, including increased and irregular heartbeats, constipation, insomnia, erectile dysfunction, fluid retention, and systemic inflammation. These consequences may in turn contribute to many of the common diseases associated with aging, including Type-II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arteriosclerosis, and cancer. The maintenance and restoration of parasympathetic function may boost the functions of the internal organs and slow the aging process. Acupuncture generally enhances the parasympathetic nervous system.

4. Acupuncture can reduce pain:

Acupuncture has a very good analgesic effect and can thereby help people with pain improve their sleep quality.

5. Acupuncture can reduce stress hormones to treat insomnia:

When we are under chronic stress, such as over-thinking and overworking, our body produces more cortisol to keep us alert during the daytime. When we are under acute stress, such as a fight-or-flight condition, our body produces more epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. These two stress hormones deeply affect our sleep quality.

Read More….

Much love,

Amanda Self

 
Amanda Self  wears a variety of hats at Tao To Wellness. From Social Media to Medical Billing, she brings healing energy to all that she touches. Amanda is a Reiki Master, a jeweler and is currently studying Herbalism, both in the classroom and out in the fields.
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/how-acupuncture-treats-insomnia

Happy Holidays, take the generosity challenge!

It’s an interesting time of year. I always notice how the energy of the holidays is like a can of mixed nuts. There’s the cashews, the sweetness of generosity and giving. The pecans, that wintery nut giving us tradition. The walnuts, ahh, the all knowing ancestors, the family unit, the sense of community. And finally, the peanuts, highly allergenic and full of mycotoxins, symbolizing the mad rush, the panic, the “I have to get this person a gift, because they are getting me one, because what will the think of me if I don’t” kind of attitude. Face it, most of the country wind up being peanuts. I like to think that we who reside in the most radical and conscious area in America are cashews. And, yes, sometimes it’s not that easy.

I am proud to say yesterday, I was a cashew. I went to volunteer at an organization called “Little Brothers” Friends of the Elderly. It is a fantastic, San Francisco based organization that visits the elderly in residences or convalescent homes. These are typically people that wouldn’t otherwise have any visitors at all. Christmas and Thanksgiving are great days to do this, but they need volunteers all year long. When I was waiting in line yesterday, I met a father and son from Moss Beach who was also volunteering as well, they do this each Christmas and after their visit, they take a ton of blankets and jackets that they have collected from friends and family and hand them out in the Tenderloin. A great idea for next year!

But, while we are on the subject of generosity, here are some other suggestions that are anonymous and way fun, those of you who know me can just see me running around giggling like a maniac….

Buy a few individual flowers wrapped nicely and put them on people’s cars in the parking lot. Who doesn’t want to come out to a flower on their car for no apparent reason.

Donate clothes, blankets or food to shelters who to someone you see on the street who looks like they need it.

Be a meter angel and feed people’s meters.

Pick up trash when you see and dispose of it.

Throw money (dollars preferably, coins can be dangerous) out your car window as your driving or just drop some on the pavement as your walking down the street. Very fun! Totally anonymous, leave it up to the universe who will get it, and don’t worry someone will!

Go into the office early and buy breakfast for everyone once a week, but don’t tell anyone it is you. See how contagious it gets when everyone else starts doing the same thing. Hysterical!

As your leaving a cafe or restaurant, ask your waitress if you can pay for someone’s bill and don’t tell them it’s you. I love this one, I always wait by the door and to see their face and then dash out.

Use acknowledgment as your weapon! Call or send a card to a shelter, a free clinic or charity and let them know what a great job you think they are doing and how much their work means to the community.

Now, I’m all jazzed up and hopefully you are too! Here’s the challenge, do something this week (or each week), and share it with us in a post so we can all be inspired! It’s so easy and it really doesn’t need to take a lot of money or time. Thanks for stopping by and have a great and safe New Year!

How to Decrease Chronic Inflammation with Diet

How to Decrease Chronic Inflammation With Diet

Chronic inflammation in the body is linked with many serious illnesses: heart disease, numerous  cancers, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune conditions. We usually think of inflammation on the surface of the body presenting as local redness, heat, swelling and/or pain. It signifies our body’s healing response, and means that more of our immune activity is directed towards the site of injury or infection. But when inflammation persists or serves no purpose to increase/improve healing, the end result is damaging to the body. Until recently chronic inflammation was thought of as idiopathic and insidious. Today, research and studies are finding many dietary links.

Listed are foods to eat and foods to avoid in order to decrease/prevent inflammation in the body.

 Trans Fats

According to the Mayo Clinic, trans fats can induce inflammation by damaging the cells in the lining of blood vessels.While processed foods are slowly cutting back on using trans fat, it’s still smart to investigate labels for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and leave those packages on the shelf. Ideally, limit your intake of processed foods.

 Sugar

The new bad boy of inflammatory foods!While trans fats may be old news, sugar could be the new news. Too much sugar can alert the body to send out extra immunity messengers, called cytokines, resulting in an inflammatory response. As good as it might taste, and as hard as it is to eliminate, sugar should be eaten rarely and in moderation.

Simple Carbohydrates

White breads and pastas break down quickly into sugar, which in turn leads to inflammation. In a 2010 study, researchers found that a diet high in refined grains led to a greater concentration of certain inflammatory markers in the blood. Conversely, a diet high in whole grains resulted in a lower concentration of two different inflammation markers.

 Saturated Fats

Animal fats have been linked to inflammation in a number of studies. One tracked how our beneficial gut bacteria change after eating saturated fats and found that “as the balance of species shift, it can trigger an immune response that results in inflammation and tissue damage,” Scientific American reported. Saturated fats also contain a compound the body uses to create inflammation naturally called arachidonid acid, according to U.S. News. Diets lower in this molecule have anti-inflammatory effects and have been shown to improve symptoms in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.

Alcohol

Alcohol is naturally irritating to our insides, but shouldn’t cause lasting problems unless you overdo it. With a few too many drinks, however, bacteria can easily pass through the intestinal lining, leading to irritation and inflammation, according to U.S. News.

 Omega-6 Fatty Acids

The average American gets more omega-6 fatty acids via diet than omega-3s. This imbalance can lead to inflammation. The solution is to cut back on omega-6 heavy seeds and vegetable oils and add more cold-water, fatty fish and walnuts.

MSG

There’s some research in animals to suggest that the preservative and flavor enhancer MSG can create inflammation. While few of MSG’s effects are understood in much depth, it may be best to avoid.

Gluten

Even without a diagnosis of Celiac Disease, a number of people report feeling better after eliminating gluten from their diet. In fact, a full 30 percent of American adults are now actively avoiding gluten. Science is still largely inconclusive on what’s being called “gluten intolerance,” but many think that gluten sensitivity can lead to bloating or other digestive ailments and that gluten creates an inflammatory response.

How to Eat a More Anti-Inflammatory Diet

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Minimize saturated and trans fats.
  • Eat a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish or fish oil supplements and walnuts.
  • Watch your intake of refined carbohydrates such as pasta and white rice.
  • Eat plenty of whole grains such as brown rice and bulgur wheat.
  • Eat lean protein sources such as chicken; cut back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods.
  • Avoid refined foods and processed foods.
  • Spice it up. Ginger, curry, and other spices can have an anti-inflammatory effect.

 

A real life patient spotlight: Fertility and Acupuncture

Sara had been trying to get pregnant for two and a half years now.  She had been pregnant about a year and a half ago, but unfortunately she lost the baby around week 8, they tested the tissue and found no answer.  Her and her husband had been trying naturally since then.  They have also recently considered seeking out a reproductive endocrinologist to discuss intra-uterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Sara came to Tao to Wellness to get her body into balance and to support getting pregnant whether naturally or while getting Western support through IUI or IVF.  Like most of our fertility challenged patients, she was healthy overall, but there was some minor things that needed balancing.  She ovulated monthly, but her cervical mucus didn’t match up with ovulation and her periods were a little short at 25-27 days (we aim for 29 days in Chinese medicine.)  She experienced some low back pain, some slight digestive discomfort once a week, some fatigue, stress and sleep problems; she woke in the middle of the night with her head spinning with thoughts.  Sounds like just about everyone you know, right?  In Chinese medicine, each symptom we experience is a clue for the practitioner and tells us what organ system might be out of the balance and causing a barricade around the key to our fertility.

For Sara, like most of us, her Liver was out of balance.  Almost everyone has some degree of Liver imbalance and each person displays that imbalance with a different set of symptoms.  Basically, stress and the Liver imbalance was causing tightness and impeding circulation into her uterus, which was compromising implantation.  So often, I believe that a patient is conceiving, but implantation is the problem.

In one month, Sara got pregnant under our care.  She is now in her 27 week and everything is going smoothly.  Both acupuncture and herbs were mandatory for her and she needed to be diligent.  She also discontinued coffee and her excessive bootcamp workouts.  Essentially, we needed to relax the body allowing her to become more grounded in her lower abdomen, while bringing more circulation to the area.  In addition and as an added bonus, she had more energy, was sleeping better and no longer had digestive discomfort soon after the second treatment.

Much love, 

Christina “Mei Wen” Martin, L.Ac., Dipl.AC, MTOM, FABORM.

christina@berkeley-acupuncture.com

Storytime with Jack Kornfield

From a Soul Food, a collection of stories compiled by Jack Kornfield.

One of the best examples of the attentive heart came after Gandhi’s death, when the whole Gandhian movement was in disarray. Within a year or two of the establishment of India, a number of Gandhi’s followers decided to have a nationwide meeting to see how best to continue his work. They hoped to convince one elder, Vinoba Bhave, Gandhi’s closest disciple and heir apparent, to lead this conference, but he declined. “We cannot revive the past,” he stated. After much pleading, they finally convinced Vinoba to lead their gathering, but only on the condition, as he requested, that it be postponed for six months, giving him enough time to walk on foot from where he lived to the meeting site, halfway across India, and listen as he went.

He began to walk from village to village. As he stayed in each village, he would call a spiritual meeting just as Gandhi had done. He would listen to their problems and at times advise the villagers. Naturally, he walked through a series of very poor villages, there being many of them in India. In one, many people spoke of their hardship, of their hunger and how little food they had to eat. He would ask, “Why don’t you grow your own food?” But most of them were untouchables, and they said, “We would grow our own food, sir, but we have never been allowed to own land.” Upon reflection, Vinoba promised them that when he returned to Delhi he would speak to Prime Minister Nehru and see if a law could be passed giving land to the poorest villagers in India.

The village went to sleep, but Vinoba, struggling with the problem, did not rest that night. In the morning he called the villagers together and apologized, “I know government too well,” he said. “Even if after several years, I am able to convince them to pass a law granting land, you may never see it. It will go through the states and provinces, the district head man and the village head man, and by the time the land grant reaches you, with everyone in the government taking their piece, there probably will be nothing left for you.” This was his honest but sad predicament, “I wish I knew what to do,” he said.

Then one rich villager stood up and said, “I have land. How much do these people need?” There were sixteen families, each needing five acres apiece, so Vinoba said, “Eighty acres,” and the man, deeply inspired by the spirit of Gandhi and Vinoba, offered eighty acres to the poorest families in the village.

The next day Vinoba walked to another village and heard the plight of hunger and landlessness from its lowest caste members. In the meeting he recited the tale of the previous village, and from his story another rich land owner was inspired. He offered 110 acres for twenty-two desperately poor families. Within the day the land was granted to the poor at a meeting and celebration.

Village by village, Vinoba held meetings and continued this process until he reached the council several months later. In the course of his walk, he had collected over twenty two hundred acres of land for the poorest families along the way. He told this story to the council, and out of it, many joined him to start the great Indian Land Reform Movement. For fourteen years that followed, Vinoba Bhave and thousands of those inspired by him walked through every state, every province and most districts in India. Without any government complications or red tape, they collected over ten million acres of land for the hungriest and most impoverished villagers.

This was one of the greatest peaceful transfers of land in modern history. And it all began with an open mind and attentive heart.

Healthy Holiday Eating for Pregnant Women

Being pregnant over the holidays can be tricky to navigate. Holiday parties display a whole feast of yummy goods, some that we typically only see at this time of the year. Here are some tips for you (or your pregnant friends) when preparing, serving or eating holiday foods.

Turkey and stuffing: Cook the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (use a meat thermometer to check it). If you’re preparing stuffing, cook it outside the turkey in a separate baking dish to 165 degrees F. The inside of a stuffed turkey’s cavity doesn’t get hot enough to kill off harmful bacteria.

Unpasteurized juice and cider: If hot or cold apple or other fruit cider is served, make sure it’s pasteurized. Unpasteurized juices, including cider, are unsafe during pregnancy because they can contain bacteria like E. coli. Almost all juice sold is pasteurized — and unpasteurized juice sold in containers is required to carry a warning label. “Freshly squeezed juice,” is usually not pasteurized

Unpasteurized soft cheeses: Fruit and cheese platters are a party staple, and a relatively healthy way to fill up, but stay away from soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. Unpasteurized soft cheeses may contain listeria, which is killed during the pasteurization process. If you’re at a party — avoid blue cheese and soft cheeses (including Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, feta, and Roquefort) and Mexican-style cheeses like queso fresco, queso blanco, and Panela. If you’re not sure which cheeses are safe, stick with hard cheeses like cheddar and Swiss, and semi-soft cheeses like Monterey jack and mozzarella. Cream cheese and pasteurized processed cheeses like American are also safe.

Carving stations: If your party features a carving station with roast beef or turkey, make sure the meat is cooked well-done and is still steaming hot. Unless you’re sure they’re well cooked, avoid sauces like bearnaise, hollandaise, and aioli, which can contain uncooked eggs.

Eggnog: Homemade eggnog is off-limits, because it’s usually made with raw, unpasteurized eggs and alcohol. But you can make a virgin, pregnancy-safe version at home with a pasteurized egg product or an egg alternative like Egg Beaters. Or try store-bought eggnog — just check the label to make sure the eggs are pasteurized. You’ll also want to avoid desserts that may contain raw or under cooked eggs, like some custards and mousse, and homemade ice cream.

Fruitcake and other alcoholic food items: Fruitcake and other desserts that use alcohol as an ingredient are generally okay, because most of the alcohol burns off during cooking. If the fruitcake has been soaked in rum or other liquor after being baked, however, little of the alcohol will have evaporated, and you should probably avoid.

With Love,

Tao to Wellnesss

Emotions and Chinese Medicine

Emotions and Chinese Medicine

What emotion do you gravitate towards when things are challenging?  Do you tend towards being angry, sad or are you a worry wart when times are tough?

Listed below are emotion, the associated organ system, other symptoms that MAY occur when that organ system is out of balance (people rarely have all the symptoms listed!) and some nutritional remedies to help you get over the hump!

 Anger and Depression: Liver

Migraines, PMS, menstrual discomfort, high blood pressure, dizziness, insomnia (mostly trouble staying asleep), pain in the ribs, red eyes, constipation, acne.

Milk Thistle, fish oil, watercress, onions, vinegar, lemon, honey.

(one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar/honey or lemon/honey to lift depression)

Avoid: Alcohol and nicotine

 Tip: Take a martial arts or kickboxing class to move the angry out, don’t simmer in it!

Worry:  Spleen

Low energy, paleness, fibromyalgia like muscle pain or weak muscles, flatulence, bloating, bowel issues, (mostly soft or loose stools, but can be constipation), poor appetite,

Astralagus Tea, ginger, rye, amaranth, corn, millet, pumpkin, chamomile, pau d’arco

Avoid: overeating, gluten and too much raw, cold food or dairy.

 Tip!  Let go!  Dance!

Sadness and Grief:  Lungs

Shallow breathing, chronic cough, phlegm in the throat, lowered immune system, allergies, asthma,

skin diseases, urination issues.

Astralagus Tea, garlic, pears, banana, licorice root.

Tip!  Singing is wonderful for the Lungs!

Fear and Anxiety:  Kidney

Sore and weak low back, frequent urination, premature ejaculation, ringing in the ears, constipation, nightsweats, chronic dry throat,

Gou Qi Zi Berries or Wolfberries, lamb, squash, sweet potatoes.

Tip:  Meditation can ground you back to your Kidneys and add some healthy fire to your spirit.

 

Much love, 

Christina “Mei Wen” Martin, L.A.c., Dipl.AC, MTOM, FABORM

 

How to Beat a Cold!

It’s that time of year again when everyone around you seems to be catching something. Here at the office, we see many people on the verge of getting sick or dealing with an illness that has gone on way too long. But, somehow, knock on wood, we never get sick. I’ve got some tricks of the trade I continually share with you each year….

If your around people that are sick or you feel a ever so slight symptom…
Gan Mao Ling…6 pills initially and then 3 pills every 3 hours thereafter. You should not need to continue this for more than 3 doses. If so, then move into Yin Qiao phase.
Vitamin C …3,000 mg a day
Echinacea Supreme…I prefer tincture, 30 drops every 3 hours.

If you feel a symptom, sore throat, head pressure, ears clogged, etc.
Yin Qiao…Take 6 pills initially, then 3 pills every 3 hours.
Echinacea Surpreme…I prefer tincture, 30 drops every 3 hours.
Vitamin C…3,000 mg a day.
Zinc lozenges…1 lozenge every 2-3 hours.

If you feel constriction in your chest…
Pinneliae XPT by Evergreen…3 capsules 4 times a day
Vitamin C…3,000 mg a day.
You can also call the office for advice anytime or send an email to your practitioner.

Storytime with Jack Kornfield

From Soul Food by Jack Kornfield

Extraordinary Possibilities and the Greatness of the Heart.

It happened just a few years ago to two young children in a family from Illinois. The eight year old daughter became ill and was diagnosed with a life threatening blood disease. A search went out to find a donor of blood compatible with her own. As she weakened, they looked and no donor could be found. Then it was discovered that her six year old brother shared her rare blood type. The mother and their minister and doctor all sat down with the boy to ask if he would be willing to donate his blood to same the life of his sister.

Much to their surprise, he did not answer right away. He wanted some time to think about it. Six year olds can be quite thoughtful at times. After a few days he went to his mother and said, “Yes, I’ll do it!”

The following day the doctor brought both children to his clinic and placed them on cots next to each other. He wanted them to see how one was helping the other. First, he drew a half pint of blood from the young boy’s arm, Then he moved it over to his sister’s cot and inserted the needle so her brother could see the effect. In a few minutes, color began to pour back into her cheeks.

Then the boy motioned for the doctor to come over. He wanted to ask a question, very quietly.

“Will I start to die right away?” he asked.

You see, when he had been asked to donate his blood to save the life of his sister, his six year old mind understood the process literally. That’s why he needed a few days to think about it.

And then he simply gave what is in the heart of every human being to give when we are truly connected.