Symbol of the Tao
Health Through the Seasons
by Dr. Joseph Odom, OMD, L.AC.

The sun makes its longest trip across the sky this month, at least in the northern hemisphere. This is the time of the fire element, heart time. The long winter and spring of inner work gives way to passions and hearts filled with joy. Hearts filled with joy? Heart disease is the number one killer in our nation. Everyone is on Prozac. Hearts filled with joy. Right.

If you have been reading this column you know that we are examining the seasons as they have been taught by traditional Oriental methods. This based on the Chinese five-element system. This then is the time to ask ourselves what gives us authentic joy and fills us with real passion. How can we possibly do this in modern society? We get fed a constant stream of media which confuses sex and lust with love and passion. How do we keep open hearts with constant cruelty and rude behavior around us? Anti-depressants are the number-one-selling drugs in America today.

I spent last week at teachings given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama here in Northern California. He spoke of holding compassion for all living beings. After the lecture series he went on to Washington D.C., where he met with the President. I took some time to ponder what that meeting might be like. A friend reminded me of what we had been taught, and that His Holiness might see the President as a man suffering and creating suffering and have great compassion for his soul. Passion from compassion. Not a bad idea. I think I might work on that on this summer. How else can we end heart disease and depression except to find our place of compassion and include all beings in that passionate compassion? All beings, including ourselves.

Cardiovascular disease is not inevitable. By now most people are aware that controllable factors such as cigarette smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and diabetes contribute to the problem. Supplements, especially Coenzyme Q10, alphalipoic acid and MSM are essential in maintaining and restoring cardiovascular health. Herbs like barberry, hawthorn berries and red grape vine leaves also give good results.

Enjoy the summer, and may it be filled with true joy and passion.

[ Joseph Odom, O.M.D., L.Ac. photo ]
Dr. Joseph Odom, O.M.D., L.Ac. is an acupuncturist in private practice in San Anselmo, California. He can be reached at (415) 258-9551 or