Today’s blog post is for informational, and perhaps comical purposes.
There is a trend in some Asian countries in improving male potency by smashing the pelvic area with kicks, logs or any device. It is called Iron Crotch. I am not kidding.
Initially, this martial art technique was developed by kung fu practitioners to withstand a blow to the groin and be able to continue fighting. Within the last twenty-five years or so, it is thought that this practice promotes penile strength and improve sexual prowess.
I posted a video on Yin Diao Gong several years ago, a form of testicular weight lifting if you will which purportedly also helps with improving potency.
I could not find a randomized clinical trial for this approach (LOL) or any credible source to cite but make no mistake; this is practice is a trend working its way to Western countries.
While I can always go for extreme challenges (subjective concept) and look forward to reasonable discomfort ( cold showers daily, Krav Maga lately) in hopes for long-term wellness and survival preparation, crushing my genitals is not something I’m signing for anytime soon. But, you never know. 🙂
Enjoy this video on the Practice of Iron Crotch. Guys, this may be painful to watch. Fair warning.
*Literally, do not try this on your own. I truly have no idea if this approach is beneficial.*
10 Emergency Health Signs Men Should Pay Attention To
My family and I spent most of last Sunday over a friend’s house having a great time. Nice weather, nice wine, swimming in their sea salt water pool and good food, of course.
I was caught off-guard when the host, Greg, informed me that a month prior, he thought he was going to die. After I yelled at him for not telling me sooner, he went on to provide details.
Greg was golfing with his brother and then felt fatigued. Not a normal, out-of-shape type of fatigue but the type that presses your chest. He then did what men do: ignore it and try to continue playing the game. Again, he could barely breathe.
Greg told his brother to take him home. “All I need is to rest a little bit,” Greg insisted. To his brother’s credit, Greg’s brother took him to the emergency room. In the hospital, Greg passed out while urinating in the restroom.
After numerous vials of blood and imaging testing, the diagnosis was a pulmonary embolism (PE).
PE, not to be confused with premature ejaculation (which is what you are thinking I know) is when a blood clot travels to your lungs and causes shortness of breath, lowering of blood pressure and chest pain.
A blood clot is clumping of blood that becomes a solid mass and usually travels from the veins of your leg (deep vein thrombosis). If the blood clot does not dissolve, it causes further clumping and a lodge in the heart (causing a heart attack), brain (causing a stroke) or in the lungs (causing pulmonary embolism).
Uncontrolled irregular heartbeats, as in atrial fibrillation (Afib), can also cause blood clots. Greg was diagnosed with Afib.
Here’s the deal: if it weren’t for Greg’s brother, who followed his instinct and took him to the ER, the outcome of this story might have been different.
(Cool, short video on how pulmonary embolism occur)
Men have a tendency to ignore important health signs and simply fight through things. I get it. I do the same thing. But when is that not a good idea? When should you act fast before things get worse and you die from not acting promptly? The goal here is not to make you paranoid or a hypochondriac, but to make you smart.
Here are 10 emergency health signs men should always pay attention to.
1. Chest pain
Chest pain can result from acid reflux to soreness from bench pressing or doing lots of push-ups. Clearly, if your chest hurts after a bench press workout or any chest workout, e.g. push-ups, there’s no need to run to the ER. Acid reflux can also cause chest pain. Obviously, here the concern is a heart attack, in which case urgent attention can save your life.
The chest pain in a heart attack episode is more in the center part of the chest, and it feels like a pressure or squeezing in your chest. Pain also occurs down the arm, often in the left arm and the left side of the jaw. Shortness of breath is another key symptom—which leads me to my next sign.
But before we go to the second sign, do you remember the sad story of the iconic comedian Gary Shandling’s death earlier this year? He complained to his doctor friend of shortness of breath and his doctor apparently recommended Mr. Shandling to go to the ER. Shandling’s premature demise occurred the next morning while he was calling 911 – a day after it was suggested for him to seek medical help.
2. Shortness of breath (SOB)
Shortness of breath is caused by a heart attack or a pulmonary embolism—as we saw in Greg’s case. It is also caused by pleurisy.
What the heck is that?
Your lungs are surrounded by a thin layer of tissue called the pleura. Inflammation of the pleura is called pleurisy. SOB is a serious sign and symptom, never to be ignored. In any abnormal breathing problem beyond a hard workout or going up a few flights of stairs, it is an urgent emergency situation and quick action is a must.
SOB is one of the biggest signs that something is wrong and immediate attention is required. If you remember anything from this post, let it be to not ignore , unusual and abnormal problems when breathing.
3. Unexplained weight loss without dieting or excessive exercise
This can be a sign of cancer.
4. Blood in urine
Blood in the urine is often not a big deal as it can be caused by damaged tissue in any part of the urinary system. This repairs itself with time. More serious hematuria (medical name for blood in the urine—just trying to sound smart here), which can be a sign of any problem throughout the urinary system: urinary tract infection, kidney stone (accompanies lower flank pain), prostate infection, prostate biopsy, prostate cancer or bladder cancer.
5. Inability to get it up (ED)
Inability to get it up, or ED (as in erection dysfunction, not your neighbors name), is mostly a psychological problem either through stress or performance anxiety. If it lasts 3 months or more, it may be a result of heart disease where the heart can’t pump enough blood to the organ. Prostate problems, both benign and malignant, can also be a cause of ED.
Fatigue—the excessive type, not the usual over-worked form—can likely be caused by cancer or excessive internal bleeding, sometimes from the stomach (see black stools below). Other serious causes of fatigue include Lyme disease.
7. High fever (over 103°F, 39.4°C) for 3+ days
This can be a sign of leukemia, a type of white blood cell cancer.
8. Black poop
Black stools occur due to stomach bleeding. I’m reminded of a runner friend about eight years ago who went out for a short run one morning and came back exhausted. This guy was a marathon runner and had more post-run energy than anyone I have ever known. On my way to the ER with him he admitted to experiencing black stools for the last 3 days. That explained it. And taking him to the ER likely saved his life.
9. Problems peeing
Problems peeing are often a result of an enlarged prostate (BPH). This is not a big deal from an “urgency” perspective unless there’s an absolute obstruction where the urine does not come out.
10. Intense headaches
These are a problem especially if you are not the “headache” type. If it’s the stabbing kind, it could mean a brain aneurysm (widening of the arteries of the brain). Rushing to the ER is the way to go, as an aneurysm can result in hemorrhaging. Brain cancer can also be a reason for intense, unusual headaches.
What should you do?
If you experience any of these 10 symptoms, you know exactly what to do.
Suck it up, man up and finish whatever you’re doing.
Just kidding. 🙂
But seriously, you really need to take these signs seriously and go to the ER. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Your life is more important than whatever inconvenience a trip to the ER causes. Worse case scenario, nothing is seriously wrong. You really don’t want to be the next sad I-could-have-lived story. Or everyone else’s next sad if-only-we-knew-earlier story—because hey, you’re not going to tell it.
I just came across to this video. I’d thought you’d enjoy it and learn from it.
I know and understand that your time is valuable to you, so I warn you, this video is 21 minute video long. You will pee in your pants. (excuse the urologic pun here). But believe me, it’s well, well worth it if you appreciate a fine blend of humor with education.
My obsessive mission as a doctor is to figure out what make’s men live long, healthy and happy lives – and where is the evidence to prove it.
A few years ago I stumbled upon the Grant Study while reading The Atlantic.
The Grant study is 75-year longitudinal study of 268 physically- and mentally-healthy Harvard college white men from the classes of 1939–1944.
The men were evaluated at least every two years by questionnaires, information from their physicians, and in many cases by personal interviews. Information was gathered about their mental and physical health, career enjoyment, retirement experience and marital quality.
The goal of the study was to identify predictors of healthy aging.
Dr. George Vaillant, the principle investigator of the study and the person speaking on this video surmised 4 insights from the study:
1. Alcoholism is destructive
2. Financial success depends little on intelligence and more on relationships
3. Aging liberals have way more sex
4. Men with warm relationship with parents did well as adults
Here’s an interesting brief video from Dr. Vaillant’s findings – Enjoy!
Curcumin is a chemical in the turmeric spice that turns curry sauce yellow. Tumeric is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Turmeric’s other two curcuminoids are desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin. Ideally,when consuming curcumanoids you would want all 3 health promoting curcuminoids:curcumin, bisdemethoxy curcumin, and demethoxy curcumin. I know, its getting a little technical, but the bottom line is to get enough of this yellow staining compound in your body daily. (Don’t get it on your clothes. It
stains pretty bad)
While curcumin can be consumed in food, I typically have my patients take additional curcumin daily from dietary supplements – anywhere around 1,000 to 3,000mg a day.
Lastly, before we watch this cool video, a common question I get asked is:
‘ Dr. Geo, which are your top 5 supplements to maintain great health?’
1. Vitamin D3 (my frequent readers know I would say that)
2. Omega 3 fatty acids mostly from fish oils
5. Vitamin C
Part of your arsenal against disease should include curcumin
OK, now enjoy this cool video on Curcumin’s anti-cancer benefits*
Don’t get thrown off by the word “Natural” on a label
The word “Natural” seems to be the perfect marketing word for consumers who want to live more…well…naturally.
The fact of the matter is that the word “Natural” does not have a strong governmental definition when it comes to food.
The word means as much as “real” does, when it comes to food marketing. Even foods made with High Fructose Syrup may be packaged as natural since the substance is derived from corn. That’s what lobbyist are able to accomplish ignoring the very unnatural process it takes to make sugar from corn.
On the other hand, the word organic actually means something. And organic foods are often natural ( not all the times). Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990, which led to the National Standards on Organic Agricultural Production and Handling rule in 2000.
When a food is labeled organic, it actually has been deemed so through a federally approved accreditation process that regulates the food so that it has no genetic engineering, specific kinds of feed, rules for handling of livestock and so on. Here’s an excellent document by the FDA on organic labeling.
To be clear, things that are minimally processed and come directly from nature are “natural.” These type of foods typically have only one ingredient, i.e. an apple.
If an apple is heavily processed, let’s say heated or chemicals added to as preservatives then that food is less natural.
On a slightly different note; A few weeks ago I was at a medical meeting called the Functional Forum: Accelerating the Evolution of medicine , where they opened the event with the video posted further down.
As a practitioner who has helped thousands of patients with prostate cancer with natural and lifestyle interventions, I could not help wonder about his lifestyle: did he eat good, anti-cancer foods? Exercise? Consumed supplements? Or did he only undergo Conventional therapies? I don’t yet have answers to such questions.
I also wondered how he, an expert in the process of dying, died.
I had meant to meet Dr. Nuland since I read his book, How We Die – Reflections of Life’s Final Chapter, which had a huge impact in my life, especially my clinical life. In his book, he reflected on how so many patients died without dignity. Death, like birth, is a natural process and it should, when possible happen with dignity – an uncommon occurrence in our society. In his teachings he also talks about medicine as an art, not a science. A concept that I agree with. I won’t give away the other strong messages of his book. I highly recommend it.
Despite never meeting Dr. Nuland, I felt strongly connected to him; he was born from immigrant parents like I was – his parents from Russia, mine from Cuba. His parents migrated to the South Bronx where he grew up as I did. He earned his bachelor’s degree from New York University where I presently practice and teach. He was a patient advocate as I am. Lastly, he became a healthcare practitioner and so did I.
When the news of his expiration was presented to me, I was upset that I kept putting off attempting to meet him. “I’d do it later” was my mentality as I was too busy.
Well, later never came.
Of course, there are “follow through” lessons here but that’s not what this blog is about.
This blog post is about the celebration of an extraordinary life. A passionate life reflected by his work and books.
I’d like to share two relatively recent video of Dr. Nuland – one a little less than 20 minutes and the other, if you have time, a little over 72 minutes. Both worth viewing. Trust me.
RIP Dr. Nuland.
TEDMED talk – a little over 19 minutes.
Most recent lecture – 72 minutes long. Provides a most interesting perspective on the history of medicine and the process of dying in our modern world.
Qi Gong Increases Energy in Prostate Cancer Survivors
A recent study randomized 40 men average age 72 years old
20 did Qi Gong and the other 20 did stretching exercises
The length of the study was 12 weeks
Significant improvement in energy and distress was shown in the Qi Gong group compared to the stretching group (Campo et al. 2013).
Qigong has shown benefit in many different types of cancer survivors and genders in other randomized clinical trials. Benefits include: improved fatigue, distress, cognitive functioning, quality of life, and inflammation (C-reactive protein). (Oh et al.2012)
Yoga has also been found to be beneficial in all those areas mentioned above, particularly in men with prostate cancer and women with breast cancer. (Shannahoff 2012)
Qigong is an integration of physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intentions.
Here’s a video to learn more about Qi Gong
Campo RA, Agarwal N, Lastayo PC, O’Connor K, Pappas L, Boucher KM, Gardner J, Smith S, Light KC, Kinney AY.Levels of fatigue and distress in senior prostate cancer survivors enrolled in a 12-week randomized controlled trial of Qigong. J Cancer Surviv. 2013 Oct 30.
Oh B, Butow PN, Mullan BA, Clarke SJ, Beale PJ, Pavlakis N, et al. Effect of medical Qigong on cognitive function, quality of life, and a biomarker of inflammation in cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. Support Care Cancer. 2012;20(6):1235–42.
Shannahoff-Khalsa DS. Patient perspectives: Kundalini yoga meditation techniques for psycho-oncology and as potential therapies for cancer. Integr Cancer Ther. 2005 Mar;4(1):87-100.