Timothy Phillips's blog

Global diet and health: old questions, fresh evidence, and new horizons

With food labels difficult to interpret, the marketing ploys of seductive advertising, along with the next nutritional bestseller touting the secret to life and longevity, no wonder there is so much confusion out there. They all tell a plausible story and can easily influence us in making the wrong choices. So I was rather pleased when the owner of my local health store mentioned a recent article from the Lancet. It’s a bit long but worth the read. Enjoy and spring into Spring with health in your step.

Snow removal and the elements of nature

With the first really heavy snow storm in the Toronto area, there is an upside to all the inconveniences that this brings to our daily routines: there is a degree of quiet and solitude that descends. Perhaps we are moving into hibernation mode. Yesterday after driving the length of the city while the storm was beginning, increasing in intensity and nearly white-out conditions, I was very happy to get home, close the door, deal with some paperwork, prepare a light meal, read a book and have an early night.

 

Stay well this holiday season

Christmas and the holidays can be a stressful time for many. We find ourselves at social gatherings, often one after the other; we eat and drink too much, sometimes the wrong foods and time is not our own. Togetherness comes at a price. Couple that with the pressure of searching for the “perfect” gifts. That in itself is setting us up for disappointment.

 

Deepak Chopra and the Placebo effect

I am always excited to read someone's thinking when it coincides with my own thoughts on the subject. This time, it is Dr. Deepak Chopra writing about the effects of Placebo. It coincides with what I wrote on the same subject in my book (chapter 24) of My Camino Walk - A Way to Healing. I say, with great humility, (I'm inwardly laughing) great minds think alike!

What's the problem?

I was in a yoga class when in the street outside there was a squealing of brakes followed shortly after by an angry exclamation of “what’s the problem?” Breathe in; breathe out. Talk about an exercise in staying present.

 

Making the most of our precious moments

It is difficult to make sense of the carnage inflicted on the minds and bodies of so many people in the wake of the recent shooting on the Danforth near my office. Thank you to the many who emailed to make sure that I was not harmed. As a result of this incident, will I withdraw from the world to stay safely out of harm’s way? Certainly not! If anything, I determine to engage life more fully rather than hide from it.

 

Here is my reasoning: 

Choosing appropriate therapy

Last week I temporarily put my lower back out causing certain movements to be painful. It didn’t stop me from walking 20 km through the Don Valley on a beautiful sunny day this past Monday. It also hasn’t prevented me from working. Somehow there is never a shortage of well-intentioned advice on how best to cope with any sort of physical infirmity. However, not all advice is well informed. I was advised by a non-yogi to miss out on my thrice-weekly yoga practice.

The path to knowledge and wellbeing

I am about to travel down to Mexico to teach another course in shiatsu therapy to Mexican massage therapists despite my Spanish being diabolically awful. Somehow my teaching seems to work and I find my students like sponges for information and detail. In advance, I ask myself what knowledge is it that I wish to impart and, in preparation, reach for some of my old textbooks. In reading them, I find myself reminded of why shiatsu is so effective. That is why I often incorporate this into my treatment protocols along with massage therapy.

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