Ricky's Riffs:

Random Thoughts on Travel, Education, Health, and the World in General


On Impermanence and Illusion

June 25th, 2020

We spend so much of our lives constructing stories; narratives to make sense of our worlds. And we usually cast ourselves as the heroes, the center pieces of what are, all too often, tall tales.

As I watch my boarded-up city of San Francisco slowly re-open, I know that it will not be what it was before. Like a tidal wave washing over the city, sweeping away lives and livelihoods, COVID-19 has destroyed so much.

I, like millions of others, was comfortable with my illusions of stability and permanence. I have had a practice for more than 30 years on quaint, tourist friendly, Union Street. I was part of an integrative, holistic health center with chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and many other types of practitioners who have come and gone over the years. But now, just a few years from retirement, I am caught in the wake of a flood.Read the rest of this entry »


Book Review: “The DeFlame Diet” by David Seaman, DC, MA–Review by Ricky Fishman, DC

May 24th, 2020

Dr. David Seaman graduated from New York Chiropractic College in 1986. He quickly migrated from chiropractic practice to a broad range of research. His specialties include inflammation, nutrition and pain. Out of his work has come a series of books focused on the effects of low grade inflammation. In this review, I will focus on his first book, The DeFlame Diet.Read the rest of this entry »


On Practice in the World of COVID-19

May 2nd, 2020

One of the biggest challenges for me during this pandemic has been the very real possibility that work, as I have known it, may never be the same.Read the rest of this entry »


Some Early Thoughts on a Global Pandemic

March 23rd, 2020

We have suddenly been thrust into a global pandemic. Seemingly overnight, our lives have changed. Many of us are on lockdown, prohibited from leaving our homes except to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, or the doctor. We must now maintain “social distance” to prevent infection, staying at least six feet from others.

There were already signs, back in December 2019, of a strange viral disease originating in the filthy live animal markets of China’s Wuhan province. Then it was seen in South Korea, and Japan. Somehow it jumped to Italy, and spread throughout Europe. All the while, from our “distant” perch–despite alarms being sounded by infectious disease and public health experts–our leaders looked on, and did nothing.Read the rest of this entry »


The Democratization of Health and Healing

January 26th, 2020

I’d like to start a movement called “Humans for the Democratization of Health and Healing.” The movement will include many stakeholders: patient/consumers, healthcare practitioners, industry, and government. It will question the traditional relationships among all of these entities. And it will demand change from them all–including myself!Read the rest of this entry »


Cannabis: Medicine of the Future?

January 6th, 2020

The cultivation of cannabis is a science and an art. As medicine, it can be used for relief of pain and the enhancing of pleasure; to relax and to sleep. It can stimulate the creative mind, and the spiritual one as well.

The Emerald Cup, an annual event held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, is the “Academy Awards” of cannabis.  Named for Northern California’s “Emerald Triangle”–the center of the state’s cannabis cultivation industry—it is now in its sixteenth year. Awards are given in a variety of categories: from Best Tinctures, Topicals, and Edibles to Best Marijuana Plant Photography.Read the rest of this entry »


Book Review: “The Digital Health Revolution” by Kevin Pereau

September 28th, 2019

In The Digital Health Revolution, Kevin Pereau describes a new world of medicine: a digitized world. He takes us from electronic health records (EHRs) to new self-monitoring devices that provide continuous feedback about blood pressure, heart rate, and how many steps we take each day.

Knowing the number and type of calories we have taken in, how active we have been (or not), and our blood sugar levels, can be very helpful.  This information provides a pathway to prevention, and often reversal, of many of the chronic diseases that plague us today.  Eighty per cent of all illnesses we suffer from fall into this category.Read the rest of this entry »