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14th Apr 2020

John in Lockdown (Inst 6)

by John Burns BVMS MRCVS

Coronavirus Lockdown April 9th 2020

I’ve had a little tickle in my throat and an occasional cough.  Not quite so much energy (hwyl the Welsh call it). Beginning of a cold? Or is it coronavirus?  I’ve had plenty of this sort of thing in the past but you can’t help wondering.  I’ve been in fairly strict isolation for over two weeks, going out for exercise and occasional shopping at Parc y Bocs but always keeping a good distance from other people.  I’m leaving off the exercise for now, just some deep breathing to expand the lungs.  Four days later and improving slightly.  I think I’m off the hook for now.

Also a spot of moxibustion.  What’s that, you ask?  You may know I’m an acupuncturist and moxibustion involves stimulating acupuncture points by heat rather than by needle.  The moxa (dried mugwort) comes in a stick like a gigantic cigarette which you light and hold close to the point as it smoulders.

Talking of cigarettes, you can’t help noticing how much smoking goes on in old films.  When you see a couple close up and one or both light up it makes me want to gag.  There’s a background story to this.  The cigarette companies wanted to recruit more smokers, especially women.  A PR man, Edward Bernays who was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychotherapy was hired by The American Tobacco Company to encourage women to start smoking.

At the time it was not acceptable for women to smoke in public.  Bernays staged a public display of women smoking at the Easter Day Parade.  I believe he also went to the Holly wood film companies and paid them to ensure that glamorous film stars would smoke in the films.  Even in British made films, everyone smokes.  Perhaps it was just eh done thing at the time.  I suppose a lot of things we now consider unacceptable were normal then.

After WWI, Bernays was hired by the American Tobacco Company to encourage women to start smoking. While men smoked cigarettes, it was not publicly acceptable for women to smoke. Bernays staged a dramatic public display of women smoking during the Easter Day Parade in New York City.

Urinary incontinence in a bitch

When I was at Crufts last month, a lady told me about problems with her bitch which had developed urinary incontinence after being spayed.  Harking back to Macrobiotics and traditional medicine I suggested she try giving the bitch a small piece of orange every day. I gave similar advice to one person thirty years ago and it worked. I’ve recently heard back from this lady that my suggestion has worked and the bitch is off the drugs for now.

How can this work?  Macrobiotics isn’t just about diet and eating wholegrains.  In this instance my suggestion is based on Yin and Yang.  Too complicated to try and explain here but incontinence is caused by excessive Yang (no oestrogen) and needs to be re-balanced by something Yin (orange).  Hey presto!  No wonder George Oshawa founder of Macrobiotics called Yin and Yang the magic spectacles.  This needs to be trialled properly.  Urinary incontinence is a widespread problem which usually requires life-long medication.

 

by John Burns BVMS MRCVS
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