Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Monday, October 14, 2019

Natural Sleep and Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease due to a dysfunctional immune system. According to Western medicine, there is no cure, only control and suppression of its disease symptoms, which are essentially muscle weakness, especially in the eyes and the limbs.

In a most recent CNN news report, sleep deprivation affects the size of your brain. In the article, Dr. Neal Maru, a neurologist and sleep specialist with Integrated Sleep Services in Alexandria, Virginia, says: “Poor sleep can affect our immune system, our cardiovascular health, weight, and, of course, memories.” Indeed, insomnia is an immune system wrecker. Therefore, it is important to have natural sleep to protect your immune system to alleviate your myasthenia gravis disease symptoms. 

Sleep, which relaxes and rejuvenates both the body and the mind, is a natural human instinct. According to Chinese medicine, natural sleep is holistic health and wellness.

A Swiss research study demonstrated that sleep is so natural to all living things that even gold fish requires sleep: having been deprived of sleep for an extended period of time, gold fish would remain still for an extended period of time to make up for its sleep deprivation. In other words, all animals need sleep and instinctively know how to sleep. Man is no exception. Therefore, to cope with muscle weaknesses due to myasthenia gravis, get enough sleep without the aid of medications.

The Chinese have different ways of getting natural sleep. To overcome insomnia or get natural sleep, perform this simple Chinese Taoist exercise:

Lie on your back. Bend both knees.
Use both hands to pull your knees towards your chest, and breathe naturally.
Hold for one to two minutes, and relax.
Straighten your legs, putting your arms and hands at your sides.      Relax for one to two minutes.
Take a deep breath, and stretch both arms upwards above your head.
Then, slowly bring your hands down while you breathe out.
Massage your body from your chest to your abdomen for a few minutes.
Bring both hands at your sides, and relax.
Repeat as necessary until you feel drowsy and fall asleep.

This Taoist exercise is good not just for insomnia, but also for your lower back pain, if it is performed on a hard surface.

Meditation is another natural way to induce natural sleep.

Given that sleep is a natural process, it is against nature to artificially induce sleep with medications. Do not use sleep medicine to overcome insomnia. The reason is that all pharmaceutical drugs are loaded with toxic chemicals that further damage your compromised immune system.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, October 13, 2019

No Control! No Stress!

CONTROL AND OVER-DOING

Controlling external events is futility because control is but an illusion based on expected results projected by the thinking mind into the future. Concentration on controlling makes it difficult to concentrate on doing the right things to make you live longer.

The TAO, which is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, looks upon the world as something to be accepted, and that involves invoking the profound but paradoxical wisdom of “action through inaction”—which is action based on acceptance of nature or the natural turn of events in life.

“Whenever we try to control,
we separate ourselves from our true nature.
Man proposes; the Creator disposes.
Life is sacred: it flows exactly as it should.
Trusting in the Creator, we return to our breathing,
natural and spontaneous, without conscious control.

In the same manner:
sometimes we have more,
sometimes we have less;
sometimes we exert ourselves,
sometimes we pull back;
sometimes we succeed,
sometimes we fail.

Trusting in the Creator, we see the comings and goings of things,
but without straining and striving to control them.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 29)

According to the TAO, everything in life must follow a natural cycle, whether we like it or not, and that we must be patient because nothing is within our control, especially our destinies.

”That which shrinks
must first expand.
That which fails,
must first be strong.
That which is cast down
must first be raised.
Before receiving, there must be giving.
This is called perception of the nature of things.
Soft and weak overcome hard and strong.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 36)

Spontaneity is the essence of the natural cycle. What goes up must eventually come down; life begets death; day is followed by night—just like the cycle of the four seasons.

"Allowing things to come and go,
following their natural laws,
we gain everything.
Straining and striving,
we lose everything."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 48)

Intuition of spontaneity is an understanding of the impermanence of all things: nothing lasts no matter how we strive to keep the impermanent permanent, and everything remains only with that very present moment.

"Strong winds come and go.
So do torrential rains.
Even heaven and earth cannot make them last forever."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te  Ching, chapter 23)

The bottom line: do what needs to be done, but without over-doing, which causes stress in everyday life and living.



Stephen Lau                             
Copyright© by Stephen Lau



Saturday, October 12, 2019

Attachments Are Stressful


Attachments and Illusions

“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.” Simone Weil
                
An attachment is no more than a safety blanket to overcome human fear—the fear of any change and the fear of the unknown from that change. To cope with that projected fear, you may just need many more attachments.

An attachment is basically your own emotional dependence on things and people that define your identity, around which you wrap your so called “happiness” and even your survival. Attachments are your holding on to anything and everything that you are unwilling to let go of, whether it is something positive or even negative. Attachments do not make you live longer.

We are living in a world with many problems that confront us in our everyday life and living, and many of these problems are not only unavoidable but also insurmountable. To overcome these daily challenges, many of us just turn to our own attachments as a means of distracting ourselves from facing our own problems head on, or from adapting and changing ourselves in an ever-changing environment. All of our struggles in life, from anxiety to frustration, from anger to sadness, from grief to worry—they all stem from the same source: our attachment to how we want things to be, rather than relaxing into accepting and embracing whatever that might happen after we have put forth our own best effort.

Attachments often become the sources of human miseries and sufferings. Worse, they may also come in many different forms that we are unaware of because of the illusions they have created in our minds.
 
Career attachments

Your career may span over several decades, involving many ups and downs, such as promotion and unemployment, changes of career and pursuits of higher qualifications, and among many others. They may all have become your problematic attachments.

Money and wealth attachments

Money plays a major role in life. You need money for almost anything and everything in life. In the past, people could enjoy some of the blessings of life without spending too much real money. Nowadays, to many people, enjoyment of life requires money—and lots of it—and you may be one of them. Attachment to money and the riches of the material world is often a result of an inflated ego-self. You may want to keep up with the Joneses—driving a more expensive car than the ones of your neighbors and friends.

Relationship attachments

Living has much to do with people, involving agreements and disagreements, often resulting in having mixed emotional feelings of joy and sorrow, contentment and regret, and among many others; they often become attachments to the ego-self as memories that you may refuse to let go of—not forgetting and not forgiving, for example, are some of the emotional hurdles that are often difficult for many to overcome.

Success and failure attachments

Success in life often becomes an attachment in the form of expectations that it will continue indefinitely, bringing more success. Failure, on the other hand, may generate regret, frustration, and disappointment. These emotional attachments are often difficult to let go of. 

Adversity and prosperity attachments

In the course of human life, loss and bereavement are as inevitable as death. Loss can be physical, material, and even spiritual, such as loss of hope and purpose. You may also want to attach to your good old days, and even refuse to let go of your current adversity. Both adversity and prosperity attachments stem from the ego-self.

Time attachments

Time is a leveler of mankind: we all have only 24 hours a day, no more and no less, although the lifespan of each individual varies. Attachment to time is the reluctance to let go of time passing away, as well as the vain attempt to fully utilize and maximize every moment of time. This attachment often leads to the development of a compulsive mind and the action of over-doing.

The bottom line: sometimes we are so wrapped up in the outside world that we seldom have an opportunity to look inside of ourselves. Understanding who we really are may make us happy, instead of creating our own attachments in the material world we are living in. Imagine you are all alone in a room with nothing, except a pen and a piece of paper. Well, surprisingly, you may then become creative and even happy, with nothing there to worry about, and nothing there to distract your mind.

Identity crisis

According to Tim Hiller, a motivational speaker, a football coach, and a writer, “We usually don't realize the thing that is defining our identity until that thing is taken away.”

Without attachments, we may have an identity crisis; but the truth of the matter is that attachments only give us a false identity, and this may, ironically enough, lead to an identity crisis.

The spiritual wisdom is that Jesus Christ did not have an identity crisis: He clearly knew who He was; He never claimed to be someone else that He was not; He knew where He originated from, and also where He would be going. The problem with humans is that we do not know who we really are; through comparison and contrast, the human ego is forever striving to be someone else. Sadly, in the process, a real identity crisis ensues.

Attachment illusions

All human attachments are the raw materials with which we both consciously and subconsciously create our own identities through a period of confusion and uncertainty that may eventually lead to not only the identity crisis but also the attachment illusions that distort our perceptions of the realities of life. Without human attachments, there will be no identity crisis, and no illusion of the mind.

For example, does the attachment to money bring happiness, or make you live longer?

To many, it does, especially if they have been experiencing the lack of it! That explains why thousands of people line up for hours to get their lottery tickets, hoping against hope that their tickets would win them great fortunes, and hence their happiness. But the reality is that many lottery winners claim that their happiness from the winning is only transient and is not lasting.

Bruce Lipton, author and cellular biologist, once said: “The function of the mind is to create coherence between our own beliefs and the reality that we experience. We generally perceive that we are running our lives with our own wishes and our own desires. But neuroscience reveals a startling fact: we only run our lives with our creative, conscious mind about 5 percent of the time; 95 percent of the time, our life is controlled by the beliefs and habits that are previously programmed in the subconscious mind.”

It is your pre-programmed subconscious mind that tells you money can give you happiness. That can also explain why you may find yourself working in jobs that you do not even like due to your subconscious belief that money is anything and everything in your life.

The whole world out there that you see in front of you right now is nothing more than a projection of what you feel deep inside. Not only is it a projection of your deep feelings but also you internal energy. Yes, money is energy too, just like you, me, anything and everything else. Money is an expression of energy of your subconscious mind, building a complex system of money beliefs, such as “money makes the world go round” and “when I have enough money . . . then I’ll be happy, and can do whatever I want to do.”

But according to Harvard Business Review, money and happiness are not positively correlated, because money may make people less generous and more demanding and domineering. In addition, money may not bring out the best of an individual: the more money that individual has, the more focused on self that individual may become, and the less sensitive to the needs of people around, as well as the more likely to do the wrong things due to the feeling of right and  entitlement.

The bottom line: any attachment to a just about anything we crave or value only creates an illusion in the mind.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Friday, October 11, 2019

Any Other Treatment Options for Autoimmune Diseases?

Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system attacks your own body cells or tissues, instead of the foreign invaders from the outside. In other words, your dysfunctional immune system results in the occurrence of autoimmune diseases, which plague millions of Americans. Worse, there are over one hundred types of such disorders, which come in many different forms affecting many different organs and tissues.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for any autoimmune disorder because the causes are still medically unknown: it could be due to genes, the toxic metals in the environment, the lifestyle, and a host of other factors contributing to the complications of autoimmunity. 

As of now, the medical community strives to control the symptoms of autoimmune disorders using immune suppressants. Essentially, they are drugs to suppress the overactive immune system. The objectives of such treatment are to alleviate the many symptoms and to slow down the disease progression. This mainstay of treatment is not only ineffective for many autoimmune diseases but also dangerous for the patient. By suppressing the potency of the autoimmune system, these immune suppressants may increase the risks for infections and cancer. 


Most of these new drugs targeting specific immune cells are synthetic corticosteroids. They might be able to control some of the disease symptoms, but at the expense of creating many more chemical toxins that will only further make the immune system dysfunctional.

So, what should one do about the autoimmune disease if one happens to be diagnosed with one?

From my own experience (More than 3 decades ago, I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, one of the autoimmune diseases), a holistic approach is the only option. But before you can do that, you must have the right mindset, which is the ancient wisdom of TAO, because any healing begins with the mind and not the body.  

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, October 10, 2019

No Fear! No Anxiety!

To be diagnosed with myasthenia gravis is devastating, creating anxiety and fear, especially if your doctor tells you there is no cure, only treatment of the disease symptoms.

The good news is that we were all born with a natural gift -- freedom from anxiety and fear, expectation and regret, ambition and disappointment. However, as we grow older, we knowingly or unknowingly abuse or misuse that natural gift.

This is how.

We begin to develop our sensations and become affected by them. We all have our five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting; they then become our perceptions and sensations that are stored as memories in our subconscious minds. Over the long haul, these accumulative experiences form our beliefs and personalities, and make us who we are. In other words, these memories become our bondage and we no longer have that innate freedom.

It is difficult to regain that natural gift once we have relinquished it. To illustrate, if we experienced something unpleasant in the past, we might have anxiety and fear that it would happen again. On the other hand, if we experience something pleasant, we would expect it to happen again; our expectations begin to precondition our minds to do certain things that we think will enable us to fulfill that expectations; by doing so, we pick and choose; any wrong choice or decision may lead to regret. By the same token, disappointment may be the consequence of ambition. 

Develop the mindset of living in the present. Essentially, it means focusing on what is real in the now, rather than letting the mind shuffle between the past and the future. The past was gone and therefore unreal; the future is yet to come, and therefore also unreal. Only the present is real; it is a gift, and that is why it is called "present." If we live in the present, we appreciate what we have, and not what we are supposed to have; more importantly, we have no fear and worry of what might or might not come.


This 125-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle, instead of as if nothing is a miracle. To do just that, you need wisdom to "rethink" your mind, which may not be telling you the whole truth about your thoughts and life experiences; you need wisdom to "renew" your body, which lives in a toxic physical environment; you need spiritual wisdom to "reconnect" your soul, which is the essence of your spirituality. Most importantly, you need wisdom to "realign" your whole being because the body, the mind, and the soul are all interconnected and interdependent on one another for your well-being to live your life as if everything is a miracle. Your mind is the roadmap and your soul is the compass; without them, your body is going nowhere, and you will live your life as if nothing is a miracle.

Without anxiety and fear, you will become a better, happier, and healthier you. With enlightenment, you will live a stress-free life. Learn how to overcome your stress by letting go your ego-self. No Ego No Stress!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Be Happy No Matter What

To be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease is a devastating experience when the doctor told you that there is no known cure, only management of the disease symptoms. But from my own experience, having an autoimmune disease is not the end of the world. Always look at the brighter side of life, and not its darkness. In fact, happiness may play a pivotal role in the prognosis of your autoimmune disease.

What is happiness? It is difficult to define because happiness is but a state of mind. It has everything to do with your perception—how you look at everything in your life, including your health and current circumstances. More specifically, it has to do with your thinking mind: how you thinkDescartes, the great French philosopher, once said: “I think, therefore I am.” In other words, you are the sum of your thoughts. But your thoughts are not you; you just “think” you are who you are. Your mind may be deceiving you by telling you everything but the truth. True human wisdom means you must know your true self.

The human brain is like a computer program. Your whole being is like the computer hardware with the apparatus of a mind, body, and senses. The lens through which you see yourself, as well as others and the world around, is the software that has been programmed by your thoughts, your past and present experiences, your own expectations as well as those of others. That is to say, you may have subconsciously programmed your mind all these years with your memories, perceptions, and thoughts such that you may have become trapped in a constricted sense of self that has prevented you from knowing and being who you really are. Now, you must harness your wisdom to change that conditioned thinking. 

Tao wisdom enables you to see the wisdom in the oneness of all life—that everything exists because of its “opposite” and that everything will ultimately become its opposite, just as youth becoming old age, and life becoming death. Spontaneity, which is following the natural laws of nature, holds the key to attaining true human wisdom to live your life as if everything is a miracle, even though you may have an autoimmune disease.

Happiness holds the key to recuperation from your autoimmune disease. Remember, all autoimmune diseases have to do with stress, which is often a byproduct of unhappiness. Happiness changes the way you look at your life, the way you make your life choices and decisions that may positively or negatively impact your disease over the long haul. Be a better and happier you through Tao wisdom.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Healing Begins With An Empty Mind


“Focusing on status gives us pride, and not humility.
Hoarding worldly riches deprives us of heavenly assets.

An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us let go of everything.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.

With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 3)

You are in the world, but not of the world.

So, do not identify yourself with anything and everything in the world—the car you are driving, the neighborhood you are living in, the name-brand dress you are wearing, and among many others.

What is wrong with them? You become attached to them; they only enhance and inflate your ego, making you shackled to the material world.

With a deflated ego, on the other hand, you may become enlightened and see who you really are, and not what people think you are. Enlightenment opens the door to the TAO of living for life.

The reality is that many of us are not only in the world, but also of the world; so, we are living not for life, but for the world.

We are all somehow connected with one another, so focusing on yourself is not the Way of TAO, and not the TAO of living for life.

Human wisdom requires only an empty mind, not necessarily acquisition of knowledge. As a matter of fact, the more you know, the less wise you may become. The explanation is that knowledge previously acquired and accumulated often pre-conditions your thinking mind, and thus distorting your perceptions.

Human wisdom is already inside you. What you need to do is to search for it with self-intuitive questions. Healing myasthenia gravis begins with an empty mind.

Remember: less for more, and more for less; ask and you shall receive.



Stephen Lau        
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, October 7, 2019

Steroid Therapy


Steroid therapy is the use of steroid medications, also known as corticosteroids, to treat many types of autoimmune disease, including myasthenia gravis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis, and other disorders, such as asthma. Steroid medications may include some medications like prednisone and cortisone. Corticosteroids can be taken orally or in other ways, such as by inhalation.


According to Western medicine, steroid medications are medically necessary to treat many conditions and diseases. But steroid medications have major effects on the metabolism of calcium and bone, which may lead to severe bone loss, osteoporosis, and bone fractures. As a matter of fact, high dosage of steroid medications can cause rapid bone loss, up to as much as 15 percent per year. If you are on steroids, you are more than twice as likely to have a fracture on the spine or the ribs as compared to a person not taking steroids. In addition, there are even different rates of bone loss among individuals on corticosteroids. Bone loss occurs most rapidly in the first six months after starting oral steroid medications. After 12 months of chronic steroid use, there is a slower rate of bone loss. Fracture risk generally increases as the daily doses of steroid medications increase, although not all patients who take steroid medications experience bone loss.


Other adverse side effects of steroid medications are elevation of blood pressure, weight gain, decreased resistance to infection, indigestion, thinning of skin, and potential development of cataracts and glaucoma.


For example, prednisone is a medication that is  commonly prescribed for ocular myasthenia. However, four factors should be carefully considered prior to the use of steroids, especially if your myasthenia gravis is related only to ocular muscles:


Can steroids improve or eradicate your symptoms?


Are there other safer forms of therapy to treat your myasthenia gravis?


Does the severity of the symptoms warrant the risk of steroid adverse effects?


Do steroids reduce the chance of a relapse?


It stands to reason that the high risk of taking pharmaceutical drugs to treat only the symptoms without producing a cure may not warrant the continuation of the medications over a long period.


The bottom line: Set your goal to ultimately stop all medications. It may take weeks, months, or even years, but that should be your ultimate goal in your health pursuit.


Do not stop all medications right away.


Talk to your doctor about your concern. Express your wish to reduce your medications slowly and gradually.


If your doctor does not agree to your suggestion, look for another naturopathic doctor.


No matter what, make it your ultimate objective to stop all medications eventually.


Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Avoid Dairy and Soy Products


Beware of Dairy and Soy Products

If you have an autoimmune disease, such as myasthenia gravis, beware of dairy and soy products because they may adversely affect your already weak and vulnerable immune system.

Dairy Products

Today’s milk is no more than a chemical, biological, and bacterial cocktail.

Instead of the old-fashioned fresh green grass feeding and traditional methods of breeding, modern feeding methods of cows use high-protein, soy-based feeds, and high-technology breeding to produce cows with abnormally large pituitary glands so that they can artificially produce much more milk. Just think about that!

Today, an average cow may produce 30,000 to 40,000 pounds of milk per year, as opposed to the 2,000 pounds produced by its counterpart half a century ago. Such discrepancy may be due to drugs, antibiotics, hormones, forced feeding plans, and specialized breeding. In 1990, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a genetically engineered hormone injected into dairy cows to make them produce more milk. However, the Canadian government and scientists challenged the safety of this hormone. 

Cow’s milk is no longer pure as it was before. Just think about what is in your milk.

Dairy products may play a major role in the development of allergies, asthma, insomnia, and migraine headaches. At least 50 percent of all children in the United States are allergic to cow's milk, and many remain undiagnosed. Dairy products are the leading cause of food allergy, manifested in diarrhea, constipation, and chronic fatigue, although they may not be one of the causes of autoimmune disease.

Milk also contains powerful growth hormones, which may play a major role in human breast cancer. Milk is a hormonal delivery system. If you believe that breast-feeding mothers deliver substances to their infants, then you should understand that milk is a hormonal delivery system, too.

Today, milk is homogenized, which means the fat molecules in milk are evenly distributed within the liquid milk such that there is no visible cream separation in the milk. By artificially changing nature’s natural mechanism, milk proteins are not broken down, and are directly absorbed into your bloodstream without adequate digestion. Undigested proteins may account for increased rates of cancers and heart disease. This may explain why there is such low incidence of breast cancer in rural China, where there is low consumption of dairy products.

To make matters worse, synthetic vitamin D is often fortified and added to homogenized milk to replace the natural vitamin D complex displaced during the process of homogenization.

Synthetic vitamin D is toxic to your liver. Do not believe that your milk “fortified” with vitamin D is a better health food. No, it is not! Some good stuff has been taken out of your milk and is replaced by something not as good. For this reason, milk may not be a health food for healthy eating for everyone.

Normal milk may be bad enough as it is. On top of that, if milk is pasteurized (heated to kill bacteria in milk), it is being changed into something other than milk. When milk is pasteurized, much of its enzymes are destroyed in the process. Without enzymes, milk protein is difficult to digest, thereby unduly stressing your pancreas, which may make you more prone to diabetes later in life.

To protect your immune system, stay away from dairy products as much as possible.

Soy Products

The soybean known today is not the same plant traditionally grown in China. Prior to its introduction into the United States, this 20th century version of soybean was genetically manipulated in Europe in the 1950s to increase its yield for industrial purposes. In fact, soybean was listed in the 1913 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) handbook not as a food but as an industrial product.

Soy may not be the health food for healthy eating that the food industry claims for the following reasons:

Soy has high concentrations of certain chemicals that combine with essential minerals to deposit insoluble salts difficult for your kidneys to eliminate.

Soy may adversely affect enzymes and hormones production in your body.
Soy protein is difficult for your digestion. Soybean is a seed. Like all other seeds, soybean is rich in enzyme inhibitors (anti-digestive) to protect it from the environment.

Soybean did not serve as a food until about 3,000 years ago when the ancient Chinese introduced the art of fermentation, neutralizing enzyme inhibitors and predigesting soybean with several fungus enzymes.

The Chinese did not eat unfermented soybean as they did other legumes such as lentils because soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins.

Only after the Chinese mastered the principle of pre-digesting soybean with natural substances to enhance its nutritional value during the Chou Dynasty (1134-246 B.C.) was soybean designated as one of the five sacred grains along with barley, wheat, millet, and rice for healthy eating.

Unfortunately, advances in technology, with the use of chemicals such as emulsifiers, flavorings, preservatives, and synthetic nutrients, have turned soybean into multiple soy products, while for centuries the Chinese have been consuming soy and its products only as a small po There are indeed many ways to avoid sugar in your cooking and diet. Wherever possible, do not include it to boost your immune system.

The bottom line: Consume soy products, such as soymilk and tofu, only moderately, if you must. Soy products are not good for the immune system.

To heal your autoimmune disease, focus on a healthy immune system through regular detoxification, diet, and mental relaxation.

Remember, medications are toxic substances; they may suppress your disease symptoms, but they never cure your autoimmune disease. Don’t add insult to injury!

MY MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau