Archives for: May 2004
Well here I am at the computer again. I'm supposed to be working on the Allergy book, but the weather can't seem to make up its mind, which I prefer to think is the reason for my writer's block.
This morning featured its usual dose of austere training, centered around the simple act of moving foward and backward, delivering either a block or a punch. Sounds easy, but it's not. You have to deliver the technique in a tensed, extended position but move in a relaxed fashion (tension/ relaxation). One author writes that you should "move along the floor as if your feet are separated from the floor by a sheet of tissue paper, but deliver the technique as if you are suction-cupped to the floor." You must also move in a linear manner, not bobbing the head up and down.
Easier done than said.
The concept was to 'flat line' the concentration; do the technique but not bother it with too much thinking. I'm sure the instructor meant flat-lining my EEG, but after 15 minutes of this he could just a soon been referring to my EKG instead.
This weekend Martha and I attended a class in Escrima or Kali, a Phillipine martial art technique that uses short rattan sticks or bastones. It uses complicated footwork as you weave the bastones into an electron flurry (sinawalli). Done with a partner it is quite hypnotizing.
The class was taught by Grandmaster 'Nene' Tortal, a 69 year old, five foot one ball of energy. Not only was this guy quite obviously deadly, he was gentle and helpful as well. Several times that afternoon all twenty of us had to have a go at him one at a time in a series of drills that left each of us panting for air, while GM Nene just went on to the next student and started all over again. He would guide you through the drills by yelling 'get out' while lunging at you. After you finally started doing the drill correctly, he would then just start chanting 'maintain! maintain!'
Maybe that should be a bye word for doing the diet: get it right, then maintain.
This weekend we had a visit from my sister in law Marge and her husband Jim. Jim is one of those people I could listen to for a long time. In one of his prior lives Jim, a West Point graduate, was a battalion commander in Vietnam. The exposure to defoliants like dioxin (Agent Orange) was probably the reason Jim can down with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Hodgkin's Disease at the same time a few years ago, apparently a very rare occurence. He was given several months to live, even with chemotherapy, but has amazed his oncologists by living with the illness now for something like six years, using conventional and alternative medicines.
Maintain Jim. Maintain.
I've been researching P-glycoprotein, a membrane glycoprotein that is associated with resistance to a variety of drugs, including many chemotherapy drugs used in cancer. There is evidence that p-glycoprotein levels can can be expressed up to seven times more numerously in tissues of individuals who are blood type A which may go along way towards explaining why it appears that type A's with cancer who receive chemotherapy often do not have as beneficial an effect as the other blood types.
Obviously finding ways to modulate P-glycoprotein would be very desirable, especially if they could be administered during chemotherapy. So far there appears to be a variety of flavones and alkaloids found in nature that up-regulate or down-regulate P-glycoprotein, so perhaps a nutritional application may be possible. Much more work is needed, but from the biochemical aspect, it is quite fascinating. From a broader perspective, the potential that P-glycoprotein inhibitors may have for the treatment of various immune disorders should also be investigated.