Ricky's Riffs:

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


Techniques of Transcendence

September 4th, 2021

Who are we? Who am I?

We are daughters and sons, mothers and fathers; we are our jobs, our homes, our educations, our nationalities; we are our ethnicities.

We travel through life attached to these identities; composites built, brick by brick, with the answers to these questions.

These identities are not just useful, but necessary. With the recognition that we have a self that is separate from the world around us, we can divide our experience into “I” and “it,” subject and object, reducing the external world into pieces to be taken apart and put back together again. Our sense of self– of separateness–enables us to navigate the vicissitudes of life.

Yet something nags at us.Read the rest of this entry »


Three Books on Race: A Review

February 18th, 2021

One of the things coinciding with the COVID pandemic, has been the explosive growth of social justice movements, including “Black Lives Matter.” Perhaps it was the spate of police killings of unarmed Black men and women–combined with the racial inequities in health care and economic opportunity laid bare by the pandemic–that sparked the conscience of our nation, leading to mass demonstrations.

As a self-identified “progressive” I sympathized with the cause. But at the same time, I realized there was just so much that I really did not know.Read the rest of this entry »


COVID Diaries, Part Two: Naming Our World

January 27th, 2021

COVID intruded into our world last Winter, then raged through the Spring and Summer of 2020. After taking a small break in the Fall, it exploded again–predictably–on the heels of reckless Thanksgiving and Christmas travel.

So here we are, rounding the turn on our first full year of COVID.Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


COVID Diaries, Part One: 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: COVID Diaries, Part 1

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 »