Karate Facts

Many people believe that Karate started in Japan. This is misleading. The Ryuku Islands, which are now politically tied to Japan without being part of the mainland, developed a fighting style in the 14th Century under the Influence of the Chinese. This was not introduced into Japan till the early 20th Century.


Of course there is a lot of pre-history to this. The Chinese martial arts that influenced the Ryuku Islands date back many centuries. They may have come from India centuries before that. The exact point where Japanese Karate separates from Chinese Kung Fu might be difficult to pinpoint stylistically; it helps to point to historical events (such as the first introduction to a country) in order to make find some dividing lines.


Karate is a striking art, using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, grappling, locks, restraints, throws, as well as open hand techniques. It growing popularity in early 20th Century Japan may have been political; the ruling powers at the time were pushing Japanese militarism, and personal combat systems were being promoted as noble pursuits.


Karate did gain some influence in the west over this time. But it was not till after returning American Soldiers from the Second World War and Korean War that the martial art really gained popularity. Karate received a far bigger wave of popularity in the late 60s and 1970s when films featuring other martial arts appeared in the United States. The popularity of these foreign films was so influential that Hollywood soon started incorporating martial arts in many action films.


In 2016 it was decided to introduce Karate to the 2020 Olympics. This is highly appropriate as these Olympics will take place in Tokyo, Japan.

Choosing a Marital Arts School



This is a factor in every aspect of life. Few of us have unlimited resources. Sometimes spending money is an investment, so we can justify spending more. Other times we spend because we should be enjoying life at least some of the time.


Cost is only loosely related to quality. It is quality that has to be prioritised, though admittedly this is a complex matter. There are many average priced martial arts, schools; some are quite good, some are mediocre. If you find a good school, don’t hesitate if it costs a little more. If you learn more rapidly, it is worth it. If the results are better, it is worth it. If your life is improved even slightly, you are probably getting your money’s worth.



All things being equal, closer Martial Arts training is preferable. But no two schools are really the same. Find the better school and train there. Really, you should think of convenience rather than location. 15 minutes travel is hardly different to 5 minutes. And if you can catch a train a moderate travel time hardly seems to matter.


What is being taught in the Martial Arts Training?

Sometime the schools are just turning out coloured belts, and giving you a little exercise. Others emphasis competition rules. The competition schools tend to be serious and high quality, but if you’re not looking to compete they are the wrong school for you. Do you want discipline, fitness or just some solid self-defence? Choose accordingly.


Read Fine Print.

Don’t lock into long term deals. Pay per 3 to 6 months is good; this may encourage you to get past the initial adjustment period, and when you see some benefits you can make an informed decision. Children often change their minds, so avoid locking them into long term deals. Avoid anything that might lock you into compulsory camps or competitions.

Psoriasis Clinic Sydney

Psoriasis Treatment Sydney

Psoriasis is a complex issue. We know psoriasis entails red, scaly skin. We also know it is an autoimmune disease. Matters become a little vague when we try to understand the connection it has with Obesity, Crohn’s disease, and the increased risk of developing diabetes and some cancers. There are various treatments that effectively reduce psoriasis symptom, but our present limited understanding has not found a cure.


Psoriasis Cure Sydney

There is presently no cure for psoriasis, only various different treatments that have been demonstrated as effective. But even the reason for the effectiveness of the treatments is still not fully understood. Some of these include:

  • Ultraviolet Light, including sunlight, can reduce the red scaly skin. This has to be limited as over exposure causes sunburn and increases skin cancer risk.
  • Topical agents applied to the affected skin can reduce the severity of the red, scaly outbreaks, and reduce the itching.
  • Ixekizumab is a drug recently approved (2016) for psoriasis. It initial result look impressive, though it hinders the patient’s immune system.
  • People with food allergies find that removing the specific food benefits the psoriasis as well as the symptoms of the allergy. Undiagnosed allergies may be aggravating some psoriasis sufferers.
  • Acupuncture – As acupuncture can benefit the immune system so it can help autoimmune problems like psoriasis.


Psoriasis Clinic Sydney

Acupuncture is something of an adaptogen treatment – it helps the body deal with whatever health problems it encounters. It does this by optimizing the immune system. And as psoriasis is directly linked to the operating of the immune system (unlike other problems that are dealt with by the immune system) so psoriasis benefits from any improvement in the immune system functioning.


There is no reason why acupuncture treatment need by done in isolation. Indeed, combining with other treatments may be the best approach. The drug Ixekizumab has been show to significantly reduce psoriasis symptoms, but it does so while compromising the patient’s immune system, leaving them prone to flues and infections, including infections form the Ixekizumab injection!  Acupuncture can both reduce the psoriasis issues and reduce the side-effects of the Ixekizumab treatment. Ultraviolet light treatment might also be included here as UV lights are quite inexpensive.

Karate Goals


Much of the profound wisdom we find in simple sayings is either the clearing of confusion or the clarification of goals. Sometime we forget the point in what we are doing and anything that reminds us of our goal seems insightful. In truth we need to be mindful of both what we aim to achieve and the process we follow to get there.


The goals in Karate vary with the situation.


To win the match/round. The operative word here is competition. The opponent is a fellow competitor; you have no grudge against them, you are respectfully competing for the same prize. The two of you are hopefully an even match.


To get away unscathed. The opponent is probably unknown to you, and they will harm you if they think they can get away with it. Blocking their attack is fundamental. If you can neutralize them without causing serious damage, do so. If you harm them there may be legal problems. The legal defence will accept that you did what you had to do to, but you can never exceed this. You cannot go beyond the perceived threat.


To neutralize the threat. Most of us are not concerned with this; those that are in the military should already have been informed of the situation by their superiors. But unlike most personal self-defence the attacker is a threat to others and not just oneself, so it is not enough to just walk away from the attack; military personal must ensure that the enemy is no further threat to anybody.


One common principle here is to avoid being physically hurt. In self-defence this means avoid attack, and attacking back if you have no other option. In sports this can mean attacking before the opponent can, but the idea is to score points not actually harm them. Military matters are best left up to those who give the orders.


Hopefully most of us will never need karate outside of the training or competition ring. The physical improvement through training and becoming a more balanced individual are often the real results of karate.

Magnetic Imaging Radiation

North Ryde Medical Imaging

Magnetic Imaging Radiation(MRI uses magnetism, radio waves and computer processing to produce images of a body’s structure.


The MRI machine consists of a large tube surrounded by a circular magnet. Our bodies are made of atoms, and atoms are affected by magnetic fields. The MRI Magentic field affects the behaviour of hydrogen atoms, the simpilist type of atom, and this change in behaviour is detected with the aid of radio waves. The changes are then recorded and processed by a computer in order to produce an image. Images are quite detailed.


Because the MRI image is so detailed it can be used to detect many issues not shown by other methods of scanning. Where X-rays only contrast hard and soft surfaces the MRI can show the fine details of brain tissue or the structure of the heart. Perhaps most importantly, MRI can be used to replace exploratory surgery, which is difficult and expensive.


Safety with MRI

MRI is considered one of the safest imaging procedures, though it can be a problem for those with pacemakers or any form of artificial implant. Most metals are affected by the strong magnetic field, including bullet shrapnel; this is extremely dangerous. But Titanium, used for dental work and some bone reconstruction, is not affected by the magnetic field and appears quite safe.


North Ryde Radiology

Talk to Central Imaging about North Ryde X Ray, North Ryde Ultrasound or any medical imaging technique.

Korean Red Ginseng – Growing Ginseng


Ginseng varies in quality, partially because of the difference between various varieties of plant, partly because of the growing conditions. Proper aging and processing are also considerations.


  • Ginseng typically takes eight years to mature. It can be harvested in less time, but the herb’s beneficial qualities are notably compromised. Yet there are some farming methods that till the soil and provide artificially shade, resulting in a faster maturing crop. These tricks are less popular that expected s they are labour intensive, and therefore more expensive.
  • Soil for ginseng must be loamy and moist, with acidity levels of 4.5 to 5.5 pH (though some experts disagree and prefer 6-7 pH). Calcium levels must be about 0.35 kg per square meter, and phosphorus with at 0.01 kg per square meter.
  • Sown ginseng seed in the early winter, in moist ground after rain.
  • It is often illegal to harvest wild ginseng. Check local laws before searching for wild plants.
  • Ginseng seeds must be kept moist; dried out seeds will not sprout. Countries such as Australia have strict laws about importing seeds, but ginseng seeds can be purchased locally.
  • The Planted ginseng must be covered with mulch.
  • It will take about seven years for ginseng root to be ready for harvesting, unless you use specialized methods. Extraction is difficult as the whole root must be drawn out. This not fruit to be picked, the main body of the plant is the point. The root often grown at a 45 degree angle and splits in into several sections. The entire piece must be uprooted together.


Best Korean Red Ginseng

It is presently very difficult to import high quality Korean Ginseng seeds. Quality Korean Panax ginseng seeds have been banned from export since mid-2014. It is now far more cost effective to buy the Korean Red Ginseng as an already grown product.





Psoriasis Clinic Sydney

Psoriasis is unpredictable and irritating, and certainly not fully understood. The number of ways that it varies amid individuals only makes any understanding more elusive. Psoriasis is characterised by a build-up of red skin and white scales that can appear almost anywhere on the body. It is most common on the elbows, knees and scalp, varying from one individual case to the next.


Psoriasis Cure Sydney

The build-up of red skin is caused by skin cells that multiply up to ten times faster than normal. These skin cells die and accumulate at the surface; their large volume creating the raised red skin and white scales. While it is understood that the rapidly dividing skill cells causes the psoriasis it is still not fully know what causes the cells to start rapidly dividing, though recent research shows that it is strongly connected to the immune system. There are treatments for this, but presently no cure.


Individual cases find that certain environmental, dietary, lifestyle or emotional factors affect psoriasis. Certainly stress can cause or exacerbate an outbreak. Serious stress is one of the few factors that seem to affect all psoriasis sufferers. Other factors that cause or exacerbate psoriasis outbreaks vary greatly between individual sufferers.  Reactions to blood pressure medication, anti-malarial or ibuprofen are fairly common.


Psoriasis Treatment Sydney

As the condition has at least some connection to the immune system it makes sense to look after the immune system as much as possible. It is quite possible that the body’s immune system normally compensates (at least partly) for the psoriasis, but cannot compensate adequately if it also has to deal with other health issues. This would explain the apparently random factors that cause outbreaks in different individuals. When the individual has an allergic reaction the psoriasis grows worse as the immune system cannot simultaneously handle too many health issues.


Psoriasis Acupuncture Sydney

Acupuncture both enhances the immune system and reduces stress. Both these factors are connected to Psoriasis. While this will not provide a complete cure it will put an individual’s body in the best condition to deal with the problem.




A generation ago the health experts considered all cholesterol to be unhealthy, and thought we raised our cholesterol through our poor diets. It is now known that there is a distinction between good cholesterol (HDL) and bad (LDL), and that diet does not seem to be the real culprit with cholesterol problems.


The dietary link to cholesterol is confusing because the connection is not direct. Reducing the cholesterol in the food will do little if a person is still unhealthy; the body seems to manufacture or retain the bad cholesterol that it already has. Living a healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, will significantly help cholesterol. It is the overall health that appears important, not a single food factor.


While eating cholesterol rich foods may not significantly raise your cholesterol levels it is believed that eating foods with Phytosterols will help reduce them. Phytosterols are similar enough to cholesterol so that they compete for absorption in the intestines. Simply put, if you eat more Phytosterols you absorb less cholesterol from bile and dietary sources. Avocado, flax seed and peanuts are good sources of Healthy phytosterols.


It is possible to increase good cholesterol through aerobic exercise, weight loss, increasing consumption of soluble fibre and decreasing simple carbohydrates; but this matter is not that simple. Healthy bodies do have higher levels of HDL, but just raising HDL alone does not improve health. Dietary and exercise improvements are still recommended for general health, and this will indirectly help the cholesterol situation.


Policosanol Australia

Policosanol, like foods containing Phytosterols, helps the body realign cholesterol levels. This is a fairly natural product derived from sugar cane plants. Supporting the effectiveness of policonsanol Cuban researchers found it has no unwanted side effects. It effectively lowers cholesterol and fights cardiovascular disease in the process.



golden tree massage

Enjoy A Thai Massage a Little More

Two massages a week tends to be about right. This seems to benefit mood and health, two aspects of our lives which are always linked. If you’re better off for having a massage you are better off in your whole life.

Use scented candles. These are not expensive, and with so many types theirs is always at least one you will find appealing. I think lemongrass is a very fine, very masculine option. It is also very Thai.

The mood of the massage is part of the experience. The quiet sound of music or running water, the scent and ambience, contributes a lot. I once had a massage in a hotel room and realized how much I missed these surrounding factors. The masseuse was better than average, but I didn’t enjoy the experience as much as usual.

Scheduled massages seem to work best. By all means do book a massage if you are having a stressful time; but a regular time twice a week, something anticipated, seems to be a good ongoing strategy. We relax more if the massage is part of the schedule, and if we don’t feel we have to rush away to some pressing appointment.

We tend to be partially undressed during a massage. Being comfortable with this is a step forward. Our bodies are part of who we are, and this connects to all that we do with our lives. Not that we wish to encourage public exhibitionism, but in the privacy of the massage room we should be comfortable with ourselves. And we need no worry about the masseuse, they have seen it all before. We do recommend having a shower beforehand, and not using perfume or cologne. Let the scented candles do their work.

Enjoy a Thai massage and enjoy your life a little more. Be physically and mentally a little better..

Golden Tree Massage – A few Ways to Improve Life, or at Least Your Experience of It.

 Find values in everything you are involved with. Objects do physically exist, but they are meaningless without our appreciating them. A work of art exists whether it is displayed on a wall or locked away in storage, but we can only appreciate it when it is displayed. And what would be the point of any work of art that was never appreciated? The whole universe is a work of art, appreciate it.

If objects have value then this goes doubly so for people. Appreciate all people; everybody has a totally different past experience of life; even the simplest person has at least one good anecdote and knows a good joke or two.

Live honestly. Short term dishonesty might have a short term advantage, but unless you are getting a huge payoff somewhere (you are a secret agent who is saving the world as we know it) it is not worth living a dishonest life. It takes too much effort to maintain a lie, and t you will find your memories and thinking become confused when the lies contradict each other. Ever experienced a computer with a virus? That’s what dishonesty does to your brain.

Be curious. The most intelligent people are not the ones who restrict themselves to analytical thinking. Creativity, innovation, problem solving, intelligence and general happiness overlap with curiosity and creative thinking. Try searching for life hacks on line. There are a thousand way to approach every factor in your life. Even the life hacks that only apply to others can be amusing in their creative approach.

Find your strengths, put them to use and enjoy them. Don’t worry about a weakness unless it is somehow holding you back.

If there’s an argument, remember that the point isn’t to be right all the time. If there are answers to a question, or solutions to a conflict, embrace them. If the other person was right about this particular situation, you are better for finding out. You can often avoid embarrassment by listening to their side first. Read some Socratic dialogues, and remember that people have been arguing over the same issues for centuries. Unless it really is a matter of life or death, don’t worry about it.

Get a Thai massage. Being in a better mood and being a little healthier is always a great idea.  A regular massage in enough to give your life that extra little edge.