There is something that the Japanese call 'Wabi-Sabi' and which they seem reluctant to define, particularly to 'outsiders' or Gaijin as foreigners are known over there. Wabi-Sabi is a kind of poetic quality, a nebulous feeling, sometimes melancholy, sometimes zen-like and blissful, that -they say- permeates the nature of things.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There's a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in. *
Wabi-sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional. 'Wabi' is seen in the lines of a face, the record of a lifetime of laughter or pain; the knarled trunk of a tree. 'Sabi' is literally a translation of the word patina; the polishing (or in some folks 'grinding') effect of time.I think computers can suck the Wabi-Sabi out of almost anything, since by their very nature they only allow entry to the 'expected' way, which is probably why we can't use them for very long periods of time without mental and physical health consequences.
Brian Eno once said that the problem with computers is that there is not enough Africa in them, and that a nerd is a human being without enough Africa in him or her.
Make sure that there is plenty of Africa and Wabi-Sabi in your life.
This is the time of our lives. The past may have been better or worse on one level of another, but hey, the past is past. 'Create each day anew' wrote Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, in the Art of Peace.
Is today going to be a success or failure? Only I can decide. However, if I carry the trials and tribulations of yesterday with me, what possible outcome can I expect? Many people have written me over the years, depressed and angry because they seem to fail again and again at following the diet.
Well, I need go no further than look at my own failures to know what at least works for me.
The trick to surviving failure is to refuse to be disillusioned by it. It is this gradual effect of disillusionment ('retreat after defeat') that saps the will and prevents us from enduring to the end in order to triumph over our challenges.
The first step in mastering this process is the least obvious. Don't make the mistake of degrading your failures by stripping them of their spiritual value. The ability to learn from mistakes and shortcomings is the most powerful stimulant to success that I know of.
It is also why most successful people are actually experts in failure.
Failures are always so much more interesting than successes from an analytical viewpoint, and it is a shame that our society encourages us to run away from them, feel embarrassed by them, or sweep them under the rug.
If you look at the origin of the word 'Aikido' it derives from the phrase 'the way of Aiki.'
Aiki is a blending and harmonizing energy, the perfect example of which is the so-called 'Tenkan Step', which is an entrance into your attacker that involves a step to the outside of his body and 180 degree turn and stepping back once again. What this does is place you shoulder-to-shoulder alongside your attacker so, for that instant in time, you both look out at the world from the same perspective and viewpoint.
Try giving a 'failure' the Tenkan step. Interesting things may happen.
The last few weeks in the clinic have continued to keep the old spark going. How much better I enjoy practicing by myself! No rush, no big administration hassles, no egos to stroke. Just patients and health problems. In prior times it seemed I'd almost forgotten why I went into this profession! In future blogs I'll spend some time detailing a few of the more interesting case histories since I do seem to be seeing quite a few interesting cases these days.
I've been joined by my friend, Dr. Ginger Nash, who has really brought a nice energy into the practice. We've decided to rename the clinic The NE Center for Personalized Medicine (from the prior 'D'Adamo Clinic') to hopefully get the message out there that this concept is bigger than any one person.
I meet this afternoon with the administration and faculty of the naturopathic college at the University of Bridgeport to lay the the groundwork for my Personalized Medicine shift in the UB Naturopathic Clinic. I'm very excited about this as I love teaching and as the UB clinic serves a somewhat underprivileged section of society, I'm psyched to put resources like SWAMI GenoType into the hands of people who really need the help.
If you are interested in becoming a patient of the Personalized Medicine Clinic Shift, contact the Health Sciences Center at UB for more information. This may be an especially good option for folks who are on a limited income as the total fees for the visit are very reasonable ($45 base charge plus $125 surcharge for all testing and materials). Of course it is a teaching environment, so you'll have students in the room, but as clients of my own clinic soon learn, much more information floats through the air when I've got to explain each and every aspect of my thoughts and plans.
I recently did an interview with the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges for their newsletter and website. Although they did excise some of my more pithy remarks, I think it is still a pretty good reflection af where my head is nowadays about health and natural medicine.
The last few weeks have been devoted to finishing up the SWAMI GenoType and SWAMI Xpress programs, working on my 1971 VW Westfalia restoration, and trying to fins time to get out and sail a bit, though the weather this spring and summer has been 'wet' to say the least.
It is a constant source of amazement that this website continues to be graced by the generous efforts of others. To all of you who have given so freely of your time, creativity and energy over these last ten years, I thank you.
William C. Boyd.
Perhaps a list of his partial accomplishments will demonstrate:
- Boyd wrote the first textbook of immunology.
- Boyd discovered the blood type specificity of many lectins.
- Boyd coined the word 'lectin.'
- He was one of the first 'paleoserologists', using lectins to trace the blood type distributions of many populations around the world. Boyd was the first to document that blood group substances could be recovered intact from physical remains of graves, such as from mummies.
- With Isaac Asimov, he wrote a book for the general public which was one of the first to attack the notion that race was a scientific fact.
- He developed antibody techniques, such as precipitation and flocculation, and applied them to blood group serology.
- He was among the first researchers to recommend the use of magnesium salts in the immediate aftermath of heart attack.
- Boyd wrote some pretty good science fiction (under the name "Boyd Ellanby" ).
Every time I venture into something, be it ABO blood group immunology, lectins in foods, anthropology, and a slew of immunology techniques, this guy was there first. It's a pity nobody really knows about him.
Best serologist, ever.
I'm just back from a site visit to the Dolce Conference Center, scene-to-be of the upcoming IFHI 2009 Conference and Certification. What a facility! If you've been to the Buttes for 2005 or 2007 prepared to get gob-smacked! The premises (a former monastery) are just gorgeous this time of year. The intimacy of the lecture halls combined with the terrific AV capabilities of the facility already have my mind running in overdrive. I think it was very smart to top the attendance at 125. This will insure that everyone feels that they are a real part of the event.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that the conference is three weeks away, I'm told that all available rooms at the Dolce Conference Center have been taken. We have a few seats still available for the day sessions, and if anyone plans to register from this point on, we can book them at the nearby Double Tree Inn and the Dolce will bus these folks back and forth.
Anyway, if you want to attend IFHI, even at this late point in the process, contact IFHI Conference Services and maybe they can work something out for you.
This Transfusion: Sword swallowers and sore throats | ABO in Neanderthals| Blood groups and endometriosis | Nutrigenomics and personalized diets | This News This Week
Welcome to The Weekly Transfusion, 1.6 for the week of April 26, 2009.
Sore throats more common in sword swallowers
Sword swallowers run a higher risk of injury when they are distracted or adding embellishments to their performance, but injured performers have a better prognosis than patients who suffer iatrogenic perforation....Major gastrointestinal bleeding sometimes occurs, and occasional chest pains tend to be treated without medical advice. Sword swallowers without healthcare coverage expose themselves to financial as well as physical risk.
I guess it is just that old 'occupational hazard' story, sort of like the study that discovered that woodpeckers don't seem to get headaches.
Genetic characterization of the ABO blood group in Neanderthals
The high polymorphism rate in the human ABO blood group gene seems to be related to susceptibility to different pathogens. It has been estimated that all genetic variation underlying the human ABO alleles appeared along the human lineage, after the divergence from the chimpanzee lineage. A paleogenetic analysis of the ABO blood group gene in Neandertals allows us to directly test for the presence of the ABO alleles in these extinct humans. We have analysed two male Neandertals that were retrieved under controlled conditions at the El Sidron site in Asturias (Spain) and that appeared to be almost free of modern human DNA contamination. We find a human specific diagnostic deletion for blood group O (O01 haplotype) in both Neandertal individuals. These results suggest that the genetic change responsible for the O blood group in humans predates the human and Neandertal divergence. A potential selective event associated with the emergence of the O allele may have therefore occurred after humans separated from their common ancestor with chimpanzees and before the human-Neandertal population divergence.
Certainly one of the major evolutionary advantages of being blood type O was their double-barreled antibodies; this blood type being the only one that reacts to both “A things” and “B things” in the environment. This probably provided an extra layer of protection against any number of epidemic diseases (plague, smallpox) and many endemic ones (flukes and parasites) as well. If this immune “hyper-vigilance” would go on to increase the rates of inflammation and auto-immune disease in their modern descendants, it should also be remembered that these are often diseases of later life, typically past child bearing and rearing age. Thus if it were a late-model alteration, it certainly provided a significant survival advantage. The Founder Effect can be seen in the characteristics and distribution of the genes for Rhesus Negative and O blood type among the early Mesolithic Period during the so called- ‘Happy Paleo’ period, which also shows some correlation with the ancestral haplogroups R1b and I. On the other hand blood type A seems to have conveyed a better chance of surviving the ‘lean’ period of the early Neolithic; a slightly different, perhaps better way to starve. Type A’s more tolerant immune system may have given them the benefit when it came widening the diet and exploring new foods.
ABO and Rh blood groups distribution in patients with endometriosis.
The blood group A was more predominant in women with endometriosis, while blood group O was less predominant. The overall risk of women with endometriosis and A blood group was 2.89 (95%CI, 1.85-4.52). No significant difference was detected in ABO and Rh blood groups in women with endometriosis according to the severity of disease. CONCLUSION: Women with endometriosis have a 2.9-fold increased risk in the A blood group distribution. The role of blood groups in the development of endometriosis remains to be determined.
I verified the observation back in 1988, when we were observing whether increases in opposing blood group antibodies were associated with any reproductive illnesses. We observed that in our small endometriosis group, all women were type A, and all virtually had elevated antibodies to foreign blood types (in their case, blood type B ). It did seem at he time to be an area ripe for future research, but I never got back to it. It is nice to see that others have observed the same tendencies.
The antibodies in the ABO system (isoagglutinins) called anti-A and anti-B are not normally present at birth. The antibodies develop between 3-6 months of age due to the stimulation of the newborn’s immune system by microbes and foods that possess antigens of an opposing blood type. In, for example, type O children, they will begin forming to type A and B red cell antigens as soon as the child starts eating food, because the A and B antigens are actually found in quite a number of plants. So, as soon as the child starts eating plant food, she'll be exposed to those antigens and start making antibodies against them.
Nutrigenomics and Personalized Diet: From Molecule to Intervention and Nutri-ethics
The relationships between food, nutrition science, and health outcomes have been intensively analyzed over the past century. Genomic variation among individuals and populations is a new factor that enriches and challenges our understanding of these complex relationships. Hence, the rapidly emerging intersection of nutritional science and genomics - nutrigenomics - was the focus of a special issue of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology in December 2008 (Part 1). The OMICS Nutrigenomics Special Issue (Part 2) February 2009 is The relationships between food, nutrition science, and health outcomes have been intensively analyzed over the past century. Genomic variation among individuals and populations is a new factor that enriches and challenges our understanding of these complex relationships. Hence, the rapidly emerging intersection of nutritional science and genomics - nutrigenomics - was the focus of a special issue of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology in December 2008 (Part 1). The OMICS Nutrigenomics Special Issue (Part 2) February 2009 is now available free online
Two entire issues on personalized nutrition with virtually no mention of any of the bio-markers that really determine individualized dietary functionality: ABO blood groups and secretor status. Maybe these bio-markers are just too low-tech for the average scientist. More likely, the nay-sayers behind the smear campaign I've had to endure over the last ten years have had their desired effects.
No matter, if you read enough history you soon realize that Billy Shakespeare had it right: 'Truth will out.'
News of the Week
- April 28 2009: Dr. Peter D'Adamo - Lecture at Backus Hospitalthe basics of 'Eating Right For Your Type.' Open to the general public. More information
- June 5-7 2009: Personalized Medicine in Form and Function. A weekend intensive seminar with naturopathic physician, scientist and author, Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo in Norwalk, CT. This seminar provides training in personalized nutrition determination using blood grouping, secretor status, epigenetic indicators, dermatoglyphics and biometrics. Extensive overview of the latest clinical and laboratory techniques, information systems and pharmacology. Certification will also be offered. Presented by the Institute for Human Individuality. CME's may be available. More information. SEATING IS EXTREMELY LIMITED. RESERVE YOUR SEATS NOW!
Until next time.