Ricky's Riffs:

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


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 »


The War on Health Care

July 10th, 2019

Our health care system is in crisis. Everyone feels it. Premiums and deductibles keep rising, provider networks are narrowing, and the bite out of the average American paycheck gets bigger and bigger. Health care has taken center stage in the run-up to the 2020 election.

The Democrat arguments swing from elimination of the private health insurance industry and Medicare-For-All to a public option to buy into the Medicare system.  The Republicans have no plan, beyond destroying the ACA (Obamacare) and crying “socialism!”Read the rest of this entry »


Sit/Stand Desks: A Review And Critique

June 4th, 2019

Both my patients and non-patients ask me about sit/stand desks.  They are all the rage. Many of the workplaces I visit are open-plan and stocked with various versions of these up/down desks, which enable computer workers and others who rely on monitors to change positions throughout the day.

The popularity of the sit/stand desk has given rise to a burgeoning market. There are lots of choices at a variety of price points. There are several things that determine the best choice for an individual or a company: They include space, look, ease of use and budget. I’d like to describe the pros and cons of some of the top models in the marketplace.Read the rest of this entry »


Book Review: “Decisive Intuition” by Rick Snyder

May 21st, 2019

Condition is a health news and information website.  So why am I reviewing a book about business coaching?  Rick Snyder’s Decisive Intuition: Use Your Gut Instincts to Make Smart Business Decisions would seem to belong squarely in the business section of the bookstore. But this book is about much more than business.Read the rest of this entry »


In Guatemala with the Integrative Health Project

April 2nd, 2019

I just returned from a week in Guatemala, where I worked with the Integrative Health Project.  The project was started by a few acupuncturists about eight years ago.  They wanted to work with the underserved, indigenous population living around Lake Atitlan, a beautiful, fertile and impoverished region in the Guatemalan highlands.Read the rest of this entry »